Above: Babyface Nelson is a replica of Baby Bootlegger, a Gold Cup racer designed by George Crouch and built by Nivens in 1924.
Cover Photo: After two years of work, Bruce Hutchinson launched BABYFACE NELSON at Gull Lake in western Michigan.
What was I thinking? That phrase kept running through my mind during the 2000 hours over two years it took to build Babyface Nelson. Now that it’s complete and I’ve logged 50 hours on the water, I can say it was a worthwhile venture. It’s too much fun! People have commented that it must have taken a lot of patience to complete the project. Patience had nothing to do with it: it was perseverance. I ran out of patience about the second layer of cedar planking! Continue reading →
Above: The singlehanded sailing skiff SWIFT SOLO by Bram Dally was part of his design quest to prevent loss of stiffness in small boats.
Cover Photo: The SWIFT SOLO is a single-handed skiff built by Bram Dally. Stiff, durable hulls are crucial to skiff speed.
One of the little-known or understood characteristics of modern fiber-reinforced plastic composites is the loss of some initial stiffness capability after repeated cyclic loading. Loss of stiffness can be significant enough to cause a noticeable effect on performance, depending upon laminate makeup and degree of cyclic loading. Continue reading →
Above: The Swift Solo in action. The complicated rig is designed to be managed by one person while they hang from the side of the boat.
Swift Solo, a single-handed skiff built by Bram Dally.
When Meade Gougeon asked me if I’d write a piece about what I’m up to for Epoxyworks, I was honored. He had read the January 2002 article on my single-handed skiff in Sailing World and offered the assistance of GBI (Gougeon Brothers, Inc.) to do some extensive testing for us on several composite samples. Continue reading →
Cover Photo: The intricate plank layout of ZATARA’s finished teak-covered cockpit, before the hardware was reinstalled.
The Zatara refit project began two years ago when my partner Steve Gallo (a mortgage banker) and myself, Ken Newell (a materials engineer), decided that we wanted something to do with our spare time and money. What we didn’t realize was the level to which the refit project would absorb every weekend and every non-critical dollar we had and cause our significant others to chastise us for our obsessive behavior. Continue reading →
Above: Scheherazade, the 154’7″ yacht that required testing of large bonded-in fasteners.
Cover Photo: The 154’7″ Bruce King-designed Scheherazade resting on her massive keel at Hodgdon Yachts in East Boothbay, Maine.
Scheherazade is a 154′ 7″ Bruce King-designed ketch under construction at Hodgdon Yachts, in East Boothbay, Maine. Scheherazade is 60% larger than Antonisa, the last Bruce King/Hodgdon Yacht collaboration, and is the largest sailboat under construction in the United States. Continue reading →
Above: Optimist prams built by the SBCSA in the Gougeon boatshop, sailing before the Liberty Bridge on the Saginaw River.
Cover Photo: A new fleet of Optimist prams was built to serve the Saginaw Bay Community Sailing Association
The Saginaw Bay Community Sailing Association (SBCSA) was founded in 1995 by a group of local sailboat racers who shared a vision of a grassroots organization to provide area youngsters and adults a low-cost introduction to sailing. We began that first season with three Transfusion 547’s purchased for the association by Gougeon Brothers, Inc. (GBI) and a half dozen used Optimist prams donated by the Saginaw Bay Yacht Racing Association. Continue reading →
Cover Photo: After four years of construction, TENACIOUS began sea trials in June of 2000.
Tenacious, the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s (JST) new wood/WEST SYSTEM Epoxy, 3-masted barque, underwent sea trials that began in June 2000. It offered a full schedule of tall ship voyages to Spain and the Canary Islands over the winter, with spring and summer trips to Brittany, Ireland, and Scotland. JST is a British charitable organization formed in 1978 with the aim of promoting the integration of able-bodied and physically disabled people through tall ship sailing. Tenacious now joins their other tall ship, Lord Nelson, which was built in 1986 and has carried over 6,500 disabled sailors, including 2,687 wheelchair users. Continue reading →
Cover Photo: A decked sailing canoe combines seaworthiness and comfort.
As a life long sailor, I have always had some mystical attraction to the canoe. As a young man, I read the exploits of my French Canadian ancestors who plied our beautiful Great Lakes for over two centuries in their birchbark canoes in pursuit of the fur trade. More recently, I followed the adventures of Verlen Kruger as he traveled by kayak from Alaska to South America. Continue reading →
Dean Wolfe of Manchester, California constructed this spiral staircase of red oak and black walnut.
This unique spiral staircase was designed and built by Dean Wolfe of Manchester, California. Dean used WEST SYSTEM® 105 Resin with either 205 Fast or 206 Slow Hardener, depending on the time need to assemble a part. 403 Microfibers was the adhesive filler for all bonding operations. Continue reading →
Cover Photo: ALPHA Z is like no other boat. It’s a stepped V-bottom planing runabout designed by Michael Peters Yacht Design.
If boat building was ever in a period of renaissance, it is now. One center for the revival in exquisitely constructed yachts is Van Dam Custom Boats near Lake Charlevoix in Boyne City, Michigan. Business partners Steve and Jean Van Dam have a 23 year history of building interesting wooden craft. Although Steve is a sailor, most of their work involves powerboats, custom one-offs and restorations. They are particularly noted for the fine detail of their wood/epoxy composite boats and their willingness to experiment with materials and structures. Continue reading →