A couple of years ago my son Ian asked me about building an A Class catamaran. Having built several of these in the past and knowing what was now on the market, I came up with a build method that would:
Allow us to build a competitive design.
Be at or under the class minimum weight of 165 lb.
Be as strong and stiff as anything on the market.
Be competitive in quality and price, but not get trapped in exotic equipment expense. This meant no vacuum bag, no pre-preg, no resin infusion, and no autoclave.
Cover Photo: On July 9, 2011, the 40′ catamaran STRINGS was launched at the Gougeon Brothers boat shop on the Saginaw River in Bay City, Michigan.
Jan Gougeon’s monumental launch of STRINGS occurred in July of 2011, over a decade after the birth of the project. Jan passed away on December 18, 2012. We miss him. —ED
In Epoxyworks 17, we published a photo with the following caption: In the recess of the Gougeon boat shop loft, something unusual is taking shape out of plywood, foam, carbon fiber, and epoxy. There is a minimum of plans and drawings. It evolves, piece by piece, mostly from its creator’s head. It’s not a trimaran. Not exactly a catamaran. Technical you probably wouldn’t call this a hull. It’s more of a fuselage. (There is an aircraft canopy involved.) For now, let’s call it Project J. We’ll keep an eye on this project in coming issues and see what develops.Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
Why not build what you can’t buy? Do you sometimes need a replacement part for your boat, home or recreational vehicle and find out it’s no longer available? Discontinued. Source unknown. Can’t be found. Maybe the price borders on insanity or, you need a part that simply does not exist and never did.
“Okay,” you say, “I need it, can’t get it, my only option is to make it.” Continue reading →
Meade Gougeon was intrigued by the Renovo Bikes company of Portland, Oregon after spotting their wares on display at the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend, Washington last fall. Meade has long been a serious cyclist and understands better than most the value of wood as an engineering material. He saw in Renovo an opportunity to combine two of his great loves, wood, and bicycles. Continue reading →
Jan Gougeon’s newest boat, currently called Project X(later christened STRINGS —Ed), is in the home stretch to completion, and Jan is addressing the fine tweaks of coaming and fairing by using a special fairing technique. Continue reading →
The cover of Epoxyworks 16 shows Serendipity, the sailing canoe I built for Meade Gougeon on a Bell “Starfire” hull after he had seen me sailing my Starfire-based Puffin in the summer of 1998. The Starfire hull was designed by Dave Yost. Continue reading →