Category Archives: Boat Construction

The finished strip plank dinghy on display.

Building My First Strip-Planked Dinghy

By Sean Schippers

I was inspired to build my first strip-planked dinghy while working for a talented woodworker in a quaint little wood shop in Nashville, Tennessee. He showed me a strip-built canoe, something I’d never seen before. The wheels in my head started turning. I was completely captivated. Continue reading

Application of G/Flex 655. A thin coat was squeegeed onto one surface and a thicker coat was applied with notched trowel to the other mating surface in constructing the voyaging canoe.

Building Iakos

For a Polynesian Voyaging Canoe

By Joe Parker

The John Williams Boat Co. (JWC) on Mt. Desert Island, Maine, recently a set of iakos for the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hôkûle’a, built and maintained for the Polynesian Voyaging Society. We sailors sometimes think of ourselves as adventurers and explorers, self-sufficient and capable of handling the vagaries of wind and weather. But our view of voyaging includes refrigeration to keep the food and drink cold, sail handling and navigation systems to make sailing easy and safe, and a good dry, comfortable boat so we remain content while sailing to the ends of our own personal world. When we compare that to the skills and equipment of early voyagers, it can be almost embarrassing. Continue reading

Meade Gougeon aboard Yello Thing in the 2010 Everglades Challenge

The Everglades Challenge

A True Aquatic Adventure

By Grace Ombry and Ben Gougeon

Here at the Gougeon Brother’s Boat Shop Meade and Jan Gougeon are preparing for another attempt at the Everglades Challenge, a race Meade calls “A true aquatic adventure.” The expedition-style race covers about 300 nautical miles over a maximum of eight days. It’s a grueling challenge; roughly 40% of starters ever make it to the finish line.

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The i550 sportboat HOT CANARY under sail

Building the i550 Sportboat HOT CANARY

by Ben Gougeon

An autopilot steering failure on his sailing scow Yello Thing forced Meade to withdraw from the 2010 Everglades Challenge. When he reached the shore, he was already thinking about building another boat for the next race.
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A completed lapstrake dory at The Apprenticeshop

The Apprenticeshop

By Grace Ombry

The Apprenticeshop in Rockland, Maine, teaches students decision-making skills, care, patience, forethought, and responsibility through traditional boatbuilding. Instructors guide each apprentice through building two to four boats during a two-year apprenticeship.

The philosophy behind The Apprenticeshop is that learning is best accomplished through direct experience. Apprentices in this program learn craftsmanship and problem solving through each step of wooden boat construction from lofting, molds, framing, planking, and decking to finish work and rigging. Continue reading

Replica deer antler rack by Scott Oldanie

Readers’ Projects, Issue 32

Deer antler racks and more

Scott Oldanie has found many unique uses for WEST SYSTEM Epoxy around his Lemont, Illinois, home. These are just a few. He built two whitetail deer antler replica racks, bonded and carved; a wooden bear head attached to the end of a beam; and repaired damaged moose antlers and rotted log ends of his log home.

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At the end of the three-day Family Build Weekend, the nine family teams pose with their assembled Sassafras 16 canoes. After some additional sanding, coating and finishing these handsome lapstrake canoes will be ready for the water.

Sassafras 16 Family Build Weekend

by Grace Ombry
Cover Photo: Semi-finished Family Build Weekend Sassafras 16 canoes on display at the 2010 WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport.

Cover Photo: Semi-finished Family Build Weekend Sassafras 16 canoes on display at the 2010 WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport.

WEST SYSTEM®, Chesapeake Light Craft (CLC) and nine family groups joined forces at the 2010 WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut this June for the Family Build Weekend to build nine Sassafras 16 kit canoes. With only a blue and white striped rental tent to shield them from the unseasonably hot weather in Mystic that weekend, everyone labored hard to get their boats a long way toward completion in just three short days. Continue reading

Why You Want a Hugh Saint Boat

By Grace Ombry

Hugh Saint is a custom boat builder in Cape Coral, Florida who specializes in fine mahogany runabouts that remind you of those built in the 1930s and ‘40s. His team of skilled artisans combined their backgrounds in engineering with a finely honed understanding of nautical beauty.  Continue reading

gunning dory

Norwegian Gunning Dory

by Paul Butler

This plywood/epoxy Norwegian Gunning Dory is drawn with inspiration from the classic lines of Scandinavian watercraft. The ply/epoxy hull is much simplified from traditional plank-on-frame versions. The lightweight version can weigh less than 60 lb (27 kg), making it an easy car-topper. Instead of the traditional V bottom, there is a flat panel on the hull bottom to simplify construction and provide extra stability. Continue reading

Testing for Damage Tolerance

By Jeff Wright — Vice President of Technical Services

Ted Moores and his company, Bear Mountain Boats, build wood epoxy strip plank canoes, manufacture kits, and publish books on building strip plank canoes and kayaks. This method of construction provides a very light yet stiff structure and also enables the hull shape to have compound curves. Moores has 30 years of experience and his designs have logged many safe miles. He understands the forces boats are subjected to when paddled on the water and during transportation. Continue reading