Category Archives: Boat Mods

Using Google SketchUp to Design a New Cooler

By Jeff Wright — Vice President of Technical Services

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

Kayak Lessons Learned

By Captain James R. Watson

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. Comparing the investment dollar per pleasure derived, my kayak wins hands down over all the other water craft 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

Depth Sounder Installation

Jim Costello of Dallas, Texas, recently asked the Tech Staff about 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 have105, 206, 404, and 406 on hand. What if I just mix up some peanut butter thick 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

Installing a Removable Hatch

By Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

Meade Gougeon installed the original hatches on his Gougmaran, but he wasn’t convinced he had selected the ideal locations. Prior to installation he thought about how difficult it would be to remove and relocate them if he used one of the flexible adhesive/ sealants made for this purpose. There had to be a better way, one that would allow hardware to be easily removed yet seal out water. Continue reading

Repair Non-Skid and get Professional Results

By Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

If the patterned non-skid on your production-built fiberglass boat needs repair, you may be interested to know that flexible molds are available for making professional-looking repairs. Continue reading

Repairing Machined Holes in Fiberglass

Technical Staff Report

First, we will classify the types of holes we are discussing as ones that are round and have been machined, probably with a drill, as opposed to punctures and cracks incurred from damage. The reasons they may need to be repaired are numerous: refitting, resizing, removing obsolete equipment, or mistakes. When repairing fiberglass boats, the challenge is to determine an appropriate repair strategy. You want a repair that is safe and adequate, but also realistic. You want to ensure that the repair is strong enough for the anticipated worst-case load and err on the side of being conservative. Continue reading

Installing a Bow Thruster

Island Heights, New Jersey architect, John B. Wilson, installed a bow thruster in his 26′ Albermarle sport fisherman, using WEST SYSTEM® products. The toughest part of the job was cutting through the 1″ solid hull laminate. After trying several tools, he had success with a Roto Zip™ with a ½” carbide bit by making two ½” deep passes. The only other difficult job was cutting away a portion of the floor in the storage area under the V-berth to make room for the 5″ diameter thrust tube. Continue reading

Building a Leeboard Bracket

By Robert Monroe

Dave Hatton and I had a January trip planned to the Everglades and the Florida Keys. We decided to use a Feathercraft™ double folding kayak with a sailing rig, but were not very happy with its sailing performance to weather. It has a simple reaching/downwind sail and no effective lateral resistance to give it any bite in the water. It’s a neat boat, but we decided we could improve its performance without too much effort. We would start with a leeboard and look at the rig later. Continue reading

Evolving the Sailing Canoe Rig for Cruising

By Meade Gougeon — GBI Founder

The original sailing rigs on both Serendipity and Puffin are Hugh Horton’s sophisticated version of the old, but efficient sliding gunter rig (Figure 1). Hugh had put a lot of thought into sailing rigs for canoes and had chosen the gunter because it best fit several needs that he considered mandatory for a cruising canoe. Continue reading

Nose for Speed

By Patrick Ropp

Some people just have a knack for things. We commonly say that someone may have an “eye” for beauty, an “ear” for music, or a “taste” for art, and now you can have a…“nose” for speed. Nose cones on outboard and sterndrive lower units are common in the world of boat racing. Whether it be outboard hydroplane racing, outboard performance craft (tunnel hulls), offshore powerboats, or customized recreational boats, all have factory built “speedo” lower units, which are very fast, but expensive. However, adding a nose cone to your existing lower unit is affordable, quick, and fun to do. Continue reading