Michigander on Lake Pewaukee, Wisconson for the 2018 Wisconsin SternSteerers Association regatta. Photo by Jay Yaeso.
Michigander is 40-feet long and weighs 1,400 pounds. It’s in a class by itself and is one of the
largest ice yachts sailing anywhere in the 21st century.
This “A”-class stern steerer carries 360 square feet of sloop-rigged sail. “That’s a lot of horsepower,” said skipper Eric Sawyer. Michigander also sports a 250-square-foot Kevlar® mainsail for better control in more wind. She’ll sail in excess of 60 mph in a 10 mph wind.
Here at Gougeon Brothers, Inc. we’re celebrating our 50th anniversary in business. We’ve grown from a modest boat shop that began experimenting with epoxy in the late 1960s to a trusted manufacturer and supplier of epoxies worldwide. We serve the high-end composite, boatbuilding, boat repair, and board-sports industries. Our products are manufactured under rigorous ISO 9001:2015 standards to ensure consistent high quality and performance. Marine and composites educators, designers and manufacturers consider GBI epoxies—WEST SYSTEM®, PRO-SET®, and bio-based Entropy Resins®—the gold standard in their respective markets. Continue reading →
I made a difficult rear-hatch repair on my 2007 aluminum SeaArk 1872 MVJT (modified V-jet tunnel) center console using WEST SYSTEM G/flex Epoxy.
The year before I bought it, my SeaArk center console had undergone a complete rebuild. The entire inside of the boat was sprayed with Line-X® Protective Coating, which makes clean-up super easy but prohibits any additional welding to the aluminum.
I started working regularly at Pine Ridge Cemetery, an abandoned, historic cemetery in Bay City, Michigan in 2009. For several years, I concentrated on mowing and clearing out scrub growth (clusters of hawthorn with up to 1 ½” thorns). I reached a point where things looked better with the grass and trees. That’s when I began working on monuments that needed to be raised, straightened, or stood up.
I thought a lot about my career here at Gougeon Brothers, Inc. as my time for retirement drew near. I’ve been working every day, more or less, from the time I was 16 years old. I’ve had a lot of different jobs. But for the last 22 years and change I’ve been with GBI and—without sounding too hyperbolic—it has been life-changing. Soon it will all be over and I can reap the rewards I’ve earned in retirement.
I couldn’t be more excited… I couldn’t be more apprehensive.
I designed this project by scaling down a Chris Craft runabout from pictures I found online.
Hull and Drive Assembly
I started with five rib frames and a center beam temporarily mounted upside-down on a workbench. I glued and stapled the ¼” x ¾” bead-and-cove pine strips to the ribs. Once all the strips were installed, I removed the staples and sanded the hull smooth for the heat-activated 2″ mahogany strips I’d apply later.
Why use a WEST SYSTEM specialty epoxy? I will cover the important characteristics of each of our three specialty epoxies. After reading this short article, you may see a use for one of these products in your future. Continue reading →
Looking for an entry-level composite project? One that needs a minimum amount of materials and construction space, costs less than a boat, but still lets you travel on water? If you live in snow country, why not build a pair of composite snowshoes?
These snowshoes are made from a rigid foam core between two layers of carbon-fiber cloth, edged with 1″ Kevlar tape. A carbon-fiber wrapped wood spar runs across each snowshoe under the ball of your foot. This provides a solid mounting point for a couple of stainless steel eye-bolts to attach a simple toe-and-heel strap for a binding. Fiberglass tape reinforces the top and bottom edges, and the upper surface of the snowshoes where your winter boots contact them.
Meade Gougeon was excited in 2008. “I’m using Six10 for everything!” he said. He was working on his sailing canoe in Florida. In every phone conversation we had he seemed to find a new use for Six10, “… even for composite layups because of its ‘shear thinning’,” a phrase new to me.
In May of 2018, a perfect application came along for Six10—the teak gunwales capping the plywood endgrain on my prototype Clam Girl.
Here is an inside snapshot of how the composites materials world is growing at my alma mater, Winona State University. Located in Winona, Minnesota, this university has the only accredited four-year undergraduate program for composite materials engineering in the US. Through this program, students learn the fundamentals of engineering while investigating different materials. This program challenges students both academically and creatively. Students are encouraged to ask questions and strive for a deeper understanding of why things are done the way they are done. From this, they can explore how things can be improved.