Category Archives: Boat Mods

carbon fiber air scoop

Carbon Fiber Skinning

Why reinforce with carbon fiber?

By Don Gutzmer

Carbon fiber has very high strength-to-weight ratios and higher stiffness compared to many other reinforcing fabrics. These special properties make it ideal for applications in aerospace, automotive, military, and even sporting goods. When combined with a WEST SYSTEM Epoxy it can be used to build high-end composite parts. Continue reading

Skiff Details

By Captain James R. Watson

A skiff is a shallow, open boat with a sharp bow and square stern. After building some skiffs of various designs and having the opportunity to observe them over time, I have found details that have worked nicely that might be of value to others. Continue reading

Jan C. Gougeon's final project, STRINGS.

Strings Centerboard Adjustment

By Greg Bull — GBI Technical Advisor

Strings, as unique as the man who designed it, continues to be a work in progress for us at GBI. In Jan Gougeon’s first year of sailing Strings, he noticed the boat felt sticky at times. He thought it might be the centerboards jibing too much and the solution might be an adjustment to lock them straight. The centerboards work as jibing boards by having two high spots on each side of a centerboard head creating the pivot point to get the boards to change angle, or jibe. The actual pressure from the boat going through the water and wanting to slide sideways gets the centerboards to jibe. Continue reading

soundproofing a generator

Soundproofing a Generator

By Ted Wasserman

For soundproofing a generator, I built an enclosure with 2 lb lead sheet sandwiched between 24 oz double-biased stitched mat using WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy. The thickness of the enclosure is 1/16” and has a mass of approximately 2 lb per square foot. Continue reading

The repaired furler with PVC sleeve

Harken Flexible Furler Repair

By Tami Shelton

I have a now-discontinued Harken furler unit for my F-27GS trailerable trimaran. This furler is made of an extruded PVC foil with a braided stainless internal liner, with a rod that passes through as the actual forestay. I really like this flexible foil because of its ease of use when raising the mast as well as the fact that it can be somewhat coiled and stowed in the boat for travel. Continue reading

appledore IV

Of Applecores and Deadeyes

by Bruce Niederer and Bill Bertelsen

Gougeon Brothers, Inc. has supported our local tallships—Appledore IV and Appledore V—since they arrived at their downtown Bay City facilities on the Saginaw River. These steel-hulled, gaff-rigged schooners are typical of the type that sailed the Great Lakes and coastal waters right up to the end of the age of sail. Schooners were the primary means of transporting goods and people over long distances. Continue reading

Jeffrey C. Wright aboard FUNKTIONAL with first mate, Chamfer.

Using Google SketchUp to Design a New Cooler

By Jeff Wright — Vice President of Technical Services

Above: Captain and first mate contemplate ways to free up the swim platform and keep the drinks cold aboard the 1986 242 LS, FUNKTIONAL.

My personal boat is a 1986 Formula 242 LS. With a soft riding deep V hull, good performance, and a small but well-appointed cuddy cabin, it is a great boat for me, my wife, and our dog to use for a whole weekend. One shortcoming, besides not having standing headroom in the cabin, is the built-in cooler located in the cuddy cabin. The cooler had a side door and was styled to look like a refrigerator. This may have looked “cool” in the mid-1980s but was impractical. We couldn’t put ice in the cooler without having the water leak out through the door. For any trip longer than one night, I had to use a standard cooler strapped to the swim platform. This was inconvenient and limited the use of the platform at the beach. Continue reading

Mary aboard her 12.3 kayak

Turning a Gougeon 12.3 into a Kayak

by Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

Above: Tom’s wife Mary paddles aboard her Gougeon 12.3 kayak on the Rifle River Recreation area in Lupton, Michigan.

I recently modified the deck of my wife Mary’s fiberglass canoe (one of dozens built from the Gougeon 12.3 mold) to make it more seaworthy and to facilitate a spray skirt. More like a kayak. Previously, the decks covered only the ends of the boat, leaving the middle 40% wide open. I’m fairly pleased with how it turned out.

Continue reading

Kayak Lessons Learned

by Captain James R. Watson—GBI Technical Advisor

Above: Captain James R. Watson in his kayak. Note how the kayak rides at anchor from the bow.

Kayaks are versatile craft. I’m a lucky guy who has had decades of pleasure cruising, exploring, fishing, and simply relaxing on many different streams and lakes throughout Michigan and Canada in my stripper kayak. Comparing the investment dollar per pleasure derived, my kayak wins hands down over all the other watercraft I’ve owned. In her wake, I’ve been taught many lessons, albeit some the hard way. Here are a few I thought worth sharing. Continue reading

pouring an air-free transducer base when installing a depth sounder

Depth Sounder Installation

Above: Pouring an air-free transducer base for installing a depth sounder. Draining neat (unthickened) epoxy through a hole in the bottom of the mixing cup will leave the air bubbles behind on the surface. A putty dam on the hull ensures the correct size and shape for the depth sounder base.

Jim Costello of Dallas, Texas, asked the Gougeon Tech Staff about a depth sounder installation that called for mounting a transducer to the hull of his 1983 Bayliner Capri Classic.

“The user manual for my new Hummingbird fish finder says that the transducer can be installed in the hull with a slow curing epoxy. It says to try to eliminate all bubbles. I have WEST SYSTEM 105 Resin, 206 Slow Hardener, 404 High-Density Filler, and 406 Colloidal Silica on hand. What if I just mix up some peanut butter thick epoxy paste and use that? Or do you have any other suggestions? I can mount the transducer on a part of the hull that is thin enough for the application, according to Hummingbird. Thanks.” Continue reading