At the La Routa Maya canoe race in Belize, SA., we saw a natural progression from chopping canoes out of logs to fiberglassing strip-planked boats with WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy. Strip-planking may have been the first step after the dugout in the evolution of boatbuilding techniques; the way the quality of wood is going, it might be the last to survive. With our strip-planked hull faired and the outside stem attached, there are many techniques that could turn these strips into a boat. Continue reading →
I decided on my boat Ion, a 34′ power cat, because I wanted an efficient, modest, contemporary, and quiet running yacht for cruising the Intra coastal waterway, Chesapeake Bay, Bahamas, and the Great Lakes in my retirement. The boat would require the ability to safely cross several hundred miles of open sea at a good cruising speed.Continue reading →
Editor’s note: The Michigan School is no longer in operation.—November 18, 2014.
Located in the Petoskey area of northern Michigan, The Michigan School’s nine month vocational program will teach students contemporary boat building and marine industry skills. Composite manufacturing technology is used extensively in a number of industries such as aerospace, recreation, transportation and alternative energy. The skills learned at TMS will be widely transferable.Continue reading →
I built my kayak THERAPY after I fell in love with the North Star baidarka-style kayaks developed by Rob Macks of Laughing Loon Custom Canoes & Kayaks in Maine. But when I tried one out, the cockpit was too roomy for me. So, I bought plans for the smaller Fire Star. When I realized it was going to be smaller than I wanted, I put the Fire Star plans into my CAD program and blew it up proportionately to be halfway between the two models. Continue reading →
This shortened version of a Grand Laker canoe is very popular on the big lakes in Maine. It was built by architect Victor Trodella of Yarmouth. It is 16′ 6″ long, 42″ at the beam, and is equipped with a 2 hp Honda outboard, oars and oarlocks, and of course, paddles. Trodella says, “WEST SYSTEM gave me fabulous results… again. Thanks for your advice.” Continue reading →
Cover Photo: Ted Moores ties up the Hybrid Electric Launch SPARKS at the blue line at Kilmarnock Lock n the Rideau Canal.
After three years of painstaking work and many interruptions, Ted Moores of Bear Mountain Boats completed the Bear Mountain 30 Hybrid Electric Launch Sparks on June 22, 2010. The boat is unlike any he had built before.
Sparks is designed for low-speed cruising while using the least amount of fossil fuel possible. It normally runs on batteries charged by solar panels and shore power. When necessary, a diesel generator powers its electric motor and charges its batteries.Continue reading →
In this strip planking series, we will take a look at how we have used WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy to utilize less than ideal wood and look at ways of building boats with wood that will be low maintenance and age gracefully. Since working safely with epoxy has allowed me to have a long career using it, you will hear a lot about safety. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
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.