If you look closely at some of the photos in the Bufflehead article, you will notice small eye pads (also called pad eyes) in strategic locations inside and outside of Hugh Horton’s Bufflehead. Hugh makes this lightweight carbon fiber or Twaron™ reinforced nylon line eye pads for his sailing canoes.
He glues them onto the decks or inside his sailing canoes—wherever they’re needed to hold supplies in place or hold flotation inside the hull. The eye pads are easy to make and amazingly strong. Continue reading →
Stephens, Waring & White Yacht Design of Brooklin, Maine, designed Zogo to meet their clients’ concern for treading lightly on their environment. Her owners are longtime summer residents of Stonington, Maine who enjoy low-impact kayaking and rowing around the pristine islands of Merchants Row. They wanted a quiet powerboat with a low carbon footprint to reflect their respect for the waters around Stonington. Continue reading →
I will start by saying that, in my opinion, most carbon fiber bicycle frames that have sustained damage from an impact should not be repaired—there are too many damaged fibers that are typically unseen. The two repaired frames featured in this article had damage caused by operator error, not impact. The last two frames are prime examples of parts that should not be repaired for safety reasons. Continue reading →
Fly fishing, particularly for Atlantic Salmon, has been my lifelong hobby. The fly rod itself has an ancient past but its technical prowess as an instrument to launch line and fly to a designated spot on the river was epitomized by the arrival of handcrafted split bamboo rods in the late nineteenth century. Continue reading →
Adagio, our 35′ trimaran, was already off to a bad start in the 100th anniversary of the first running of the Chicago to Mackinaw race with an over-early call by the race committee. Everything went downhill from there.
Less than an hour into the race the luff wire in our number one genoa parted, putting our crucial 360 sq ft light air weapon out of business. Attempts to use it to leeward on our spinnaker pole resulted in more loads than the pole was designed to handle. It collapsed with a bang! Continue reading →
Composites are a blend of resin (in this case mixed epoxy) and reinforcing fiber. Folks often ask, “How strong are they?” It is difficult to answer this question due to many variables including resin type, fiber type, fiber orientation, and resin/fiber ratio. To give a value for a laminate, we reduce the variables. Values shown in this article were done with test samples using WEST SYSTEM 105 Epoxy Resin®/206 Slow Hardener® at room temperature (70°F). Reinforcing fibers are Episize™ materials. Laminates made for the test had fibers oriented in one direction (unidirectional) and were laminated using Continue reading →
Cover Photo: A small sampling of the Gougeon 12.3 canoe family. Robert Monroe’s cold-molded canoe (foreground) came from a half-mold that eventually resulted in the a 12.3 mold (object directly behind first canoe) which has been used since 1989 to produce dozens of offspring that reflect a wide raged of tastes and technology.
The Gougeon 12.3 canoe represents several decades of experimentation by employees of Gougeon Brothers. Dozens have been built but no two are exactly alike. The evolution of the Gougeon 12.3 parallels our love of boating, passion for innovation and desire to build better boats—all of which contribute to the products we produce today.
It started 35 years ago with a personal project of Jim Gardiner, who was an employee of Gougeon Brothers at the time. He wanted to build the lightest solo canoe possible Continue reading →
In early 2007 Impossible Pictures of London, U.K. approached me to participate in a boat demonstration using a Flettner rotor powered trimaran. They were filming a demonstration for the Discovery Channel’s Project Earth series. Our program would be called Brighter World. Two atmospheric scientists, John Latham and Stephen Salter, had devised the Albedo effect, a way of changing the reflectivity of clouds to deflect some of the sun’s heat, cooling the oceans. It required a flotilla of vessels to seed clouds with small saltwater particles. Our trimaran would be a prototype for this type of vessel. Continue reading →
Tubes are used on boats for hard tops, T-tops, Biminis, dodgers, bows, bow and stern pulpits, rails, canoe and kayak paddle shafts, boat hooks, and so on. Composite tubes built with epoxy and reinforcing fibers offer advantages over metal in terms of light weight, custom shapes and sizes, and corrosion resistance. Composite tubes can be faired and painted to produce a seamless appearance to match the boat, or left to show the carbon fiber. I’ve been experimenting with approaches to building a variety of composite tubes. Following are some things I’ve tried (some that worked and some that did not) that you may find of value if you want to produce composite tubes yourself. Continue reading →
The Technical Staff at Gougeon Brothers, Inc. regularly discuss material properties in a variety of applications. For example, it is not uncommon for us to discuss with a customer how to use carbon fiber to stiffen a structure, such as the shaft of a kayak paddle, and then within minutes discuss with another how to bond a dimensionally unstable wood, such as oak, and ensure precautions are taken so that the relative movement of the wood will not cause a failure.
For the kayak paddle, the customer’s concern is that the epoxy will allow the stiff carbon fiber fabric to be as rigid as possible. For bonding the unstable wood, the Continue reading →