Cover Photo: On July 9, 2011, the 40′ catamaran STRINGS was launched at the Gougeon Brothers boat shop on the Saginaw River in Bay City, Michigan.
Jan Gougeon’s monumental launch of STRINGS occurred in July of 2011, over a decade after the birth of the project. Jan passed away on December 18, 2012. We miss him. —ED
In Epoxyworks 17, we published a photo with the following caption: In the recess of the Gougeon boat shop loft, something unusual is taking shape out of plywood, foam, carbon fiber, and epoxy. There is a minimum of plans and drawings. It evolves, piece by piece, mostly from its creator’s head. It’s not a trimaran. Not exactly a catamaran. Technical you probably wouldn’t call this a hull. It’s more of a fuselage. (There is an aircraft canopy involved.) For now, let’s call it Project J. We’ll keep an eye on this project in coming issues and see what develops.Continue reading →
All of the boat builders that I know have little sanding tricks that make a job go faster or do it better. Fairing a 40′ custom-built hull is an arduous task that is often accomplished with two-man teams and fairing boards. We do 90% of the work with a grinding device. Almost everyone in the business will agree that a grinder will remove a substantial amount of material quickly. The trick is controlling that removal.Continue reading →
For soundproofing a generator, I built an enclosure with 2 lb lead sheet sandwiched between 24 oz double-biased stitched mat using WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy. The thickness of the enclosure is 1/16” and has a mass of approximately 2 lb per square foot. Continue reading →
At the La Routa Maya canoe race in Belize, SA., we saw a natural progression from chopping canoes out of logs to fiberglassing strip-planked boats with WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy. Strip-planking may have been the first step after the dugout in the evolution of boatbuilding techniques; the way the quality of wood is going, it might be the last to survive. With our strip-planked hull faired and the outside stem attached, there are many techniques that could turn these strips into a boat. Continue reading →
I decided on my boat Ion, a 34′ power cat, because I wanted an efficient, modest, contemporary, and quiet running yacht for cruising the Intra coastal waterway, Chesapeake Bay, Bahamas, and the Great Lakes in my retirement. The boat would require the ability to safely cross several hundred miles of open sea at a good cruising speed.Continue reading →
On July 15th, 2006, a friend and I took my 1958 Flying Dutchman out for a sail in the Saginaw River. This was only the third time the boat had sailed in 30 years and the first hard sailing since my six-year-long restoration. We set both sails and made several runs in front of the Saginaw Bay Yacht Club before we hit something, maybe an old piling or maybe the freighter rudder that went missing the previous fall. Continue reading →
I helped by brother Nelson with a different, smaller custom bar he built for a customer who comes from a long line of dairymen. His family has been in the business for decades. He has a little bar area in his garage where he and his buddies hang out and work on cars or watch their hunting blind videos while they have a couple of beers.
Boatbuilders or advanced hobbyists often want to learn more about the characteristics of the fiberglass laminate they’ve just created. But sending samples to a professional testing laboratory can be expensive and impractical. Fortunately, you can do these simple shop floor test that will yield reasonably accurate results.Continue reading →
25 years of use (some might say abuse) had taken its toll on the heavy aluminum rip fence on our Delta Rockwell 12″–14″ Tilting Arbor Saw. Deep saw kerf grooves on the face of the fence had become a hazard because wood occasionally got hung up on it when ripping stock. Over a few months, each time I used the saw I thought about how it could be repaired. While the plan was still developing in my head, more than once I clamped a flat piece of plywood to the rip fence face to temporarily create the smooth surface that I needed.