By Jeff Wright – GBI Vice President of Technical Services
Before starting on your next fiberglass repair or boat modification, let’s look at some projects that would most-likely require you to make appropriate structural reinforcements to your boat. After all – boats are complicated structures. Sailboats endure multiple loads from the rigging as the shrouds are pulled in tension and the mast is compressed into the hull. Inboard-powered boats must transfer the thrust from the engine mounts into the stringers while outboard and sterndrive boats place substantial loads on the transom. Even the steering wheel at a stand-up helm can undergo high loads when the boat moves fast through large waves — the security of which many go-fast boaters may take for granted. Let’s dive in.
The family of Employee Owners at Gougeon Brothers Incorporated lost Technical Advisor Mike Barnard, who passed away on 7/28/2017. Our customers who had the opportunity to work with Mike will know that we lost an incredibly friendly, educated, and patient young man. I had the wonderful opportunity to be Mike’s manager for over 6 years, and hoped to keep him challenged until I retired. But fate took our favorite Eagle Scout well before we should have had to say goodbye. Continue reading →
An epoxy fairing compound should be of a consistency that can be troweled onto a surface without sagging. Add 407 Low Density or 410 Microlight filler to mixed epoxy, checking the consistency as you stir in the filler to determine if the mixture has the correct viscosity for your application.
While most of our customers are successful when using WEST SYSTEM Epoxy to repair a damaged fiberglass laminate, we have become familiar with some common errors that are easily preventable. These mistakes are made by both professionals and amateurs. The information discussed in this article is available in our Fiberglass Boat Repair Manual and WEST SYSTEM User Manual, and on the WEST SYSTEM website. Continue reading →
The amount of wood used in a production fiberglass boat is significant; it is used for many things such as stringers, bulkheads, floors, and backers. Higher quality production boats often use marine grade plywood for these applications but it can still be damaged by long-term exposure to water. Continue reading →
I believe we have many customers who, like me, use WEST SYSTEM Epoxy simply to keep an older fiberglass boat in good repair. The following are examples of repairs and small projects that I have completed on my personal boat, a Formula 242 LS, over the last ten years. These would apply to many aging production fiberglass boats. Since WEST SYSTEM Epoxy has a shelf life measured in years, it is easy to keep it on your shelf and tackle these tasks when it’s convenient. Continue reading →
January 2013 was a big month for the Gougeon Brothers, Inc. Technical Department. This department is responsible for our technical customer service, product development, and quality control. In January this department moved into a completely new building that adjoins our current facility. Continue reading →
This article will discuss some of the engineering aspects to consider when designing or repairing an adhesive bonded composite structure, particularly bond line stresses. Fiberglass reinforced plastic and other composites influence the design of many products manufactured today. Boat hulls, sports equipment and airplanes can easily take new, complex shapes when composites are used in place of traditional materials. Reinforcing structures also benefit from the versatility of composite materials when prefabricated components are bonded with a high-strength adhesive. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →