People have been building boats using white oak for centuries, sacrificing blood, sweat and tears to engineer wonderful and enduring vessels of all shapes and sizes.
Oak was often used because of its desirable properties and behavior. It is dense, strong, rot resistant, holds fasteners well and can be steam bent. In the days before glues and adhesives, oak planking was used because it would swell considerably which resulted in tight and sound hulls, meaning little leaking and dry interiors. Of course, time marches inexorably forward and eventually builders began using adhesives to augment or, in some cases, replace mechanical fasteners.
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 →
The Tartan Ten, Flags, sustained port side core damage in a race course collision. The original repair, a simple patch applied over the damaged skin, was improper and ineffective. Within a short time there was distortion and movement in the hull side at the repair area. Water penetrated the skin and saturated the core, which soon began to rot. A significant crack reappeared and even more water went into the balsa core. Eventually, the boat was nearly unusable. Continue reading →
“Maybe the prettiest yacht ever built.” That is what some folks say about Bolero. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, still, very few boaters would be able to take a quick glance at this yacht and not continue to stare and measure every detail with their eyes. Any sailor would imagine themselves on board sailing for Bermuda or their destination of choice. Her proportions are just right and the construction details are elegant and refined. Continue reading →
Hugh Saint is a custom boat builder in Cape Coral, Florida who specializes in fine mahogany runabouts that remind you of those built in the 1930s and ‘40s. His team of skilled artisans combined their backgrounds in engineering with a finely honed understanding of nautical beauty. Continue reading →
I have a now-discontinued Harken furler unit for my F-27GS trailerable trimaran. This furler is made of an extruded PVC foil with a braided stainless internal liner, with a rod that passes through as the actual forestay. I really like this flexible foil because of its ease of use when raising the mast as well as the fact that it can be somewhat coiled and stowed in the boat for travel. Continue reading →
A local sailor stopped by our shop with an old plastic hatch that was slightly warped and badly cracked. He hadn’t been able to find a similar hatch to replace it. He wondered if we had an epoxy that could be used to repair the hatch. I said G/flex would likely work but to know for sure we needed to do a bit of adhesion testing. Continue reading →
This plywood/epoxy Norwegian Gunning Dory is drawn with inspiration from the classic lines of Scandinavian watercraft. The ply/epoxy hull is much simplified from traditional plank-on-frame versions. The lightweight version can weigh less than 60 lb (27 kg), making it an easy car-topper. Instead of the traditional V bottom, there is a flat panel on the hull bottom to simplify construction and provide extra stability.
Watertight fore and aft compartments provide additional hull support, dry storage and the safety of flotation spaces. Additional compartments are optional and open-water versions can be built self-bailing.
Capacity and Functionality
Loaded with gear for camp-cruising or with a passenger and gear, the boat becomes increasingly stable for general recreation, fishing, or drifting small streams and exploring waterways. The 15′ 9″ (4.8 m) length and 45″ (1.14. m) beam provide a stable platform. The Norwegian Gunning Dory can also be poled, or paddled like a canoe. There is room for two fixed-seat rowing stations or a single sliding seat; the lightweight hull is fast enough to make open water rowing with a sliding seat interesting.
Maintenance is much reduced with epoxy sealed plywood and the slick, hard graphite covered bottom allows dragging the hull over parking lots, launch ramps and gravel beaches.
The 30-page building plans are $46 and include photos, sketches, step-by-step directions and a discussion of many options to help the amateur builder customize the boat to suit usage. See additional photos with 2 interior layouts and details at www.butlerprojects.com.
DIY project by Paul Butler for Outdoor Life.– all Photos by Brad Camp
Ted Moores and his company, Bear Mountain Boats, build wood epoxy strip plank canoes, manufacture kits and publish books on building strip plank canoes and kayaks. This method of construction provides a very light yet stiff structure and also enables the hull shape to have compound curves. Moores has 30 years of experience and his designs have logged many safe miles. He understands the forces boats are subjected to when paddled on the water and during transportation. Continue reading →
Gougeon Brothers, Inc. has supported our local tallships—Appledore IV and Appledore V—since they arrived at their downtown Bay City facilities on the Saginaw River. These steel-hulled, gaff-rigged schooners are typical of the type that sailed the Great Lakes and coastal waters right up to the end of the age of sail. Schooners were the primary means of transporting goods and people over long distances. Continue reading →