There are little customizations we do to our boats that set them apart from all the others out there like it. For my Hunter 336, it was replacing the original dodger with a hard top. The dodger was from 1996, and it had so many repairs that it was starting to look shabby. It was the perfect time to upgrade the dodger to a hardtop. Continue reading →
From past fishing experiences, I’ve learned that quick changes in speed and direction are often required when retrieving a hooked fish. Having a control station on the fishing deck of our Trophy 2359 would make for a more enjoyable fishing experience. Since we’ve been underutilizing our bait well, we chose to sacrifice it and built a new rear station in its place.
After a long time in the planning stage, my son Adam and I began work on a tiny house in 2022. While it was possible to purchase small, modular shower pans and enclosures, small soaking tubs were virtually impossible to find. I’ve built several small boats using wood and WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy, so it occurred to me that building a small tub might be possible.
The weekend before our wedding, my husband and I bought our S2 7.9 meter sailboat. She was exactly what we were looking for, a trailerable racer/cruiser that was a diamond in the rough. Over the past nine years, we’ve made many improvements, the latest of which was building a custom fiberglass and carbon fiber rudder support, or as I nicknamed it, a rudder hook. Read on to see how (and why) we made it.
When we purchased our 2006 Winnebago® RV, we knew we would need to complete some repairs. We never imagined the back wall would need to be removed and rebuilt from the ground up. One of the edges of the back wall was compromised which allowed water to penetrate the wall and eventually saturate a majority of the plywood within. After determining that the damage was too great to spot treat/repair, we began the process of removing the wall.
After 20-plus years of vibration and pounding on the water, the molded plastic console on my 2001 Lund® boat was riddled with stress cracks and broken pieces. All of the fastener-mounting points were stripped out or broken. As often happens with older boat components, replacement parts were no longer available. I’d have to repair the console myself.
I’ve been restoring an MFG 15. The transom was made up of one very thin fiberglass hull transom sandwiched between two ¾” mahogany layers and bolted together. I chose to reinforce the fiberglass transom with 12 oz. fiberglass. I also laminated the backside of each mahogany layer piece with 6 oz. fiberglass, and the front (exposed) side with 4 oz. fiberglass.
Featured image (above): A scrap of curved fiberglass panel was the perfect piece to extend the nose of the car body to match the new profile.
Creating things has been a passion of mine over the years, and I continue to improve my skills and grow more proficient at building composite parts. I also enjoy the challenge of helping others create one-off composite parts. I’m happy to share some of the materials and techniques I’ve used over the years to build composites with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy and provide an example of a recent project. Continue reading →
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 →