Cover photo: The Farrier folding trimaran Nelda Ray under sail following Don Gutzmer’s aluminum mast step repair.
I received a call from a friend of mine who owns a 2004 Farrier F33RX folding trimaran, the 33′ Nelda Ray. This sailboat is a frequent competitor in regattas on the Great Lakes. The aluminum mast step was compressing the deck and causing laminate failure. I told my friend I’d figure out what went wrong and then fix it so it would never happen again. I’ll outline the process I used to make this successful repair. Continue reading →
Cover Photo: One of Ed Lewis’s wood/epoxy turned vases.
In 1947, my parents took me to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for my first vacation. I was fascinated by a woodturner and resolved that I would one day learn the craft. In the early 1970s, I found an ancient used lathe in a flea market. I bought a box set of chisels at Sears and set out to learn the craft. I didn’t have a teacher and I made a lot of mistakes. Continue reading →
Cover Photo: Robert Garrison’s big, beautiful barn. The trusses were reinforced with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy.
I designed and, with the help of others, built my big, beautiful barn many years ago. While we didn’t use epoxy in the construction, I’ve used WEST SYSTEM® many times to make repairs and modifications. Much of this was needed because the construction crew didn’t follow the design instructions.
The fourth floor of the building is a 24′ wide by 60′ long clear-span room. The weight of the roof, cupola, and sometimes a lot of snow, are held up by six trusses. I strengthened the trusses by adding the missing gussets, adding additional lumber to some parts, and strengthening weak spots in the grade F lumber I’d used. Continue reading →
In late 2018, my son and I were given a unique opportunity by the Michigan-based Water Wonderland Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society (ACBS) to build an 8′ MiniMax hydroplane based on original plans from the early 1960s. Almost anything from that era seems to be popular again. Maybe it’s nostalgia or maybe the designs of that groundbreaking decade were just ahead of their time. Either way, the MiniMax’s appeal seems as relevant today as it did in 1962. We accepted the challenge without hesitation. Continue reading →
Cover photo: Strings, build by Gougeon Brothers, saling on the Saginaw Bay. Epoxyworks 49, Fall 2019
I used this quick mold method in order to move the mainsail traveler cleat from the transom of Strings to put it within easy reach of the helmsmen. The part I made had to be strong enough to withstand the loads of the traveler.
A male mold was the best choice for creating the shape to put the cleat where I wanted it. I
began with Owens Corning® Foamular® 150 foam insulation, the “Pink Panther” rigid board foam sold at home improvement stores. It comes in different thicknesses and will bond easily with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy to build thickness or create the desired shape. This foam is inexpensive and easily contoured with basic hand tools. I used a piece that was 2″ thick by 3″ wide and 7″ long. Continue reading →
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.
Some years ago I had the curious idea of cutting a dried black walnut in half on a band saw. That first look at the exposed insides of the nut grabbed me as very unusual, even surreal and not at all what I expected. I decided to seal the cut surfaces in epoxy which made them look even more unusual. I’ve made many since and love to see the reaction from people looking at them for the first time. I’ve been told they look like brain scans, polished geodes, and ink blots. Continue reading →
Russell Brown’s G-32 catamaran on the cover of Epoxyworks 46, Spring 2018
The work of the Gougeon brothers has been like a guiding light to me starting when I was a young teenager. It wasn’t just the methods and skills they developed that inspired me (and led to my career in boatbuilding), it was the “outside the box” thinking about boat design they employed. While Meade Gougeon led the effort to develop and teach epoxy skills and building methods, it was his brother Jan who had the courage to design, build, develop, and race boats that were very unusual and often counter-intuitive, yet very successful. Jan’s G-32 catamaran is an example of his genius. Continue reading →
Cover Photo: The Marita live edge coffee table by Steve Pomerleau.
The Marita is a modern, live edge coffee table made out of a solid 2.25″ thick slab of Canadian Black Walnut salvaged from Essex County, Ontario. The void in the center of this curly black walnut slab was filled with broken safety glass and WEST SYSTEM Epoxy. The table is lit from below with a wireless RGB LED to allow for any color light to be selected. One-of-a-kind, this coffee table is an eye catching conversation piece. Continue reading →
Cover Photo: WOW, a 20′ Glen-L Riviera built by Mark Bronkalla
In June of 2000, Mark Bronkalla launched his homebuilt Glen-L Riviera. The20′ runabout was nearly complete but not yet named. The boat turned heads wherever Mark took it and the reaction from bystanders was a universal “WOW.” That’s how his beautiful Glen-L Riviera got its name.
Mark had never built a boat before and found lackluster information from first-time boat builders like himself. Websites or blogs with good information tended to end once the structure was built. Mark used his background in woodworking, marketing, and computer science to share his first-time boat-building experience to encourage and help other first-time boat builders. In this article, I’ll give a brief overview of this build where WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy was used. Anyone considering a build similar to this should consult Mark’s website, bronkalla.com, for more detailed descriptions of each step. Continue reading →