A very high percentage of boats in the U.S. are at least 30 years old. It doesn’t surprise me when a boat’s plywood components fail due to water intrusion. In my experience, the transom is the first area to rot out in most trailerable boats. That’s not to say the first thing to rot couldn’t be the cockpit floor, stringers, or motor mounts. Continue reading →
In preparation for a thorough Coast Guard inspection, we’d stripped the masts, booms, and gaffs on the schooners Appledore IV and V of paint and varnish. This revealed several small rot areas, wear, and damage. Two of the gaff jaws (also called gaff saddles) had significant damage, including cracks in the jaws themselves, probably due to hard jibes and insufficient repairs. Gaffs are the angled spars from which the sails are hung. Continue reading →
Many products, especially boats, are now being manufactured with a process called Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Molding (VARTM), also frequently referred to as infusion. The main topics of this article are: what infusion is, how to repair an infused part with vacuum bagging vs. infusion, and the results of our study comparing a vacuum-bagged repaired laminate and an infused repaired laminate. Continue reading →
After a few years of racing on the J22 This Little Piggy, the owner was ready to take a step back and gave me the first option to purchase it. I took advantage of the opportunity. As with many boats I’ve owned over the years, the first couple winters I plan on spending money upgrading and doing repairs. Not that a lot has to be done, but a few changes in hardware placement and re-bedding the deck hardware are at the top of my list. Continue reading →
I wanted to purchase a personal watercraft so I’d be able to join my friends at the local lake for some fun in the sin this summer. Like most people on a budget, I searched Craigslist for the best deal. I needed something low maintenance, so a WaveRunner™ felt like a good fit. After a week of looking, I found a 2004 Yamaha GP1300r that appeared to be in decent shape; however, a strangely placed sticker on the top port side turned out to be covering a painful past. Continue reading →
I made a difficult rear-hatch repair on my 2007 aluminum SeaArk 1872 MVJT (modified V-jet tunnel) center console using WEST SYSTEM G/flex Epoxy.
The year before I bought it, my SeaArk center console had undergone a complete rebuild. The entire inside of the boat was sprayed with Line-X® Protective Coating, which makes clean-up super easy but prohibits any additional welding to the aluminum.
There is only one solution that comes from the ache of seeing iceboats ripping around on Mona Lake all your life: give in and buy one. If the thrill doesn’t quite meet expectations, build one that will be faster.
Pat Filius has lived 20 years on a now-flooded celery flat fed by Black Creek, the main tributary of Mona Lake in Norton, Michigan. In 2014 he bought his first iceboat for $400. Sailing it just once was enough to convince him that he wanted a faster boat. Continue reading →
My father, rest his soul, and I bought Triple Threat together sometime in the mid-’80s. We raced our ’81 Pearson Flyer hard together for the next 15 or so years, including 12 Port Huron to Mac races. The purchase date is lost to history, but the details surrounding how many times the boat needed a new bottom—meaning a new epoxy barrier coat—are forever etched in my psyche. It’s all the sanding that accompanies repairing gelcoat blisters that has addled my IPA soaked cranium. One just doesn’t forget those seemingly endless hours of self-imposed torture. Continue reading →
I’ve answered a lot of phone calls and e-mails in my 23 years here at Gougeon Brothers, Inc. Many of the questions are repetitive—that’s the nature of helping customers both new and old to be successful. Some are interesting—a few are downright fascinating. But I know it’s gonna be one of those calls when the first thing I hear is “I was reading in this forum last night about…”
DOH! (I try not to slap my forehead loud enough to be heard on my headset.) Continue reading →
I wanted to purchase a personal watercraft so I’d be able to join my friends at the local lake for some fun in the sun this summer. Like most people on a budget, I searched Craigslist for the best deal. I needed something low maintenance, so a WaveRunner™ felt like a good fit. After a week of looking, I found a 2004 Yamaha GP1300r that appeared to be in decent shape; however, a strangely placed sticker on the top port side turned out to be covering a painful past. Continue reading →