I acquired this 1957 MFG 15 fiberglass runabout with its original mahogany transom in 2017. The previous owner had started to restore it but did not finish. When I first got the boat it was just a hull and a bunch of parts. A neighbor, Kami, and I work on it on weekends at Black River Boat Shop when we both are available. Continue reading
An Epic Rant
My humorous take on the Social Media disasters called Technical Forums
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
A Wooden Dory Makeover
In the past few years my river dory, Obsession, has traveled a thousand rocky river miles in all kinds of weather, dodged a million rocks (and hit more than a few) while running rivers in Yellowstone, Tetons, Olympic, Rocky Mountain, Rainier and a dozen other National Parks.
This dory has run backward through a rapid on the Rogue River, run sideways through a rapid on the McKenzie River, and slammed into a wall at Mule Creek Canyon on the Rogue River so hard that it split a rib, shattered an oarlock, and was put out of commission for a month. Continue reading
By Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor
In the spring of 2016, several US Coast Guard vessel inspection officers from the east coast attended our 2-day Professional Fiberglass Boat Repair Workshop. Afterward, they asked if we would consider creating a document that they could hand out to commercial boat owners, captains and vessel reps that would provide guidelines for proper use of WEST SYSTEM products for repairing and maintaining larger wooden vessels subject to Coast Guard inspections. They were having an increasingly difficult time because a number of commercial boat operators were repairing their own vessels using techniques that caused concern. The reasons given for using these questionable procedures vary from trying to save some money to the short supply of qualified wooden vessel shipwrights who could complete work in a reasonable amount of time. To make their case that their repairs were appropriate, some operators handed the Coast Guard Inspection Officers the WEST SYSTEM Wooden Boat Restoration & Repair manual. Unfortunately, some were cherry picking information and techniques intended for repairing smaller recreational wooden craft, and not following all of the recommended procedures for avoiding problems. Continue reading
By Alex Boelkins
For readers of Epoxyworks, the name Hot Canary should ring a bell. Constructed in 2011 by an employee team at Gougeon Brothers, Inc., she was built as a winning platform for the Everglades Challenge. Having completed several of these self-supported, expedition races, and with the sad passing of Jan Gougeon, the highly customized i550 Hot Canary was listed for sale, ready for new adventures. Continue reading
By Don Gutzmer – GBI Technical Advisor
During the fall of 2016, I took a technical call from a customer who owned a Sunfish Sailboat. He lived in the area and was looking for help repairing a few minor gel coat cracks and restoring his wooden daggerboard and rudder. I told him I would be happy to help because this would be a good opportunity to write an article about using WEST SYSTEM 105 Resin and 207 Special Clear Hardener for the wood restoration part of his project. The mahogany daggerboard and rudder had weathered over the years because of only being varnished. Continue reading
A home-built runabout
By Mark Bronkalla
WOW, the home-built runabout I completed in 2000, has been a focal point of summer activities for our family and friends over the years. We’ve spent hundreds of happy hours out on the water, and taken it on vacations to northern Wisconsin, Kentucky, and New York. The majority of WOW’s use has been in Lake Nagawicka in Southeast Wisconsin.
WOW is a 20′ Glen-L Riviera with an inboard 350 cubic inch V8 engine. The hull is constructed of white ash frames, okoume plywood inner laminations, and a Honduras mahogany outer layer. The exterior is sheathed with 4 oz. fiberglass cloth on the deck, and 6 oz. on the sides and bottom. Primary construction was over one winter (see WOW by Mike Barnard in Epoxyworks 43). We started the build at the end of August 1999 and launched at the end of June 2000. The project continued with ongoing additions for the first several years, including upholstering the seats, installing a snap-on cover, a swim platform, cup holders, a wakeboard pylon, and a sound system. Continue reading
A restoration with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy
By Ed Stubbs
I’m rebuilding and restoring this vintage tunnel hull race boat for Steve Roberge. It was his late father’s boat and he wanted to restore it. We took it to my house to do as a home project.
I love using WEST SYSTEM Epoxy because there is very little odor or product waste, especially when compared to working with polyester resins in less than ideal temperatures. Continue reading
Restoring a 1954 Cadillac Runabout
One never really knows when the Fickle Finger of Fate will be pointing in your direction, but it sure did one day early last fall in 2015 at my brother’s shop—Nelson Niederer Woodworking in Bay City’s south end.
One day out of the blue a young man walks into the shop and relates a story about an old boat he found in his grandpa’s barn. He knew he wouldn’t really have the money nor the time and expertise to restore the boat. Nonetheless, he would hate to see it forgotten and disintegrating. Nelson told him to bring it by and he’d take a look. What he brought back was an extremely rare, 14′, 1954 Cadillac Runabout—in great condition! Cold molded, no frames. Mahogany veneer hull construction with a mahogany planked deck. The seat cushions and bimini top in good shape. No rot in the hull— only a little on the ends of the splash rails. Continue reading
By Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor
The prospect of fiberglassing overhead when laminating the bottom of a hull can be a bit ominous. Any type of overhead work can be frustrating, but the thought of trying to hold fiberglass in place while applying epoxy can produce nightmares for some people. This is especially true if you will be working alone. Continue reading