Jan Gougeon was a visionary, ingenious, and a great innovator who could see beyond boundaries, one of a few people to really have changed the boatbuilding game in his lifelong quest for speed. This is how boat builders, designers, sailors, and iceboaters recall Jan. A natural engineer, Jan became an accomplished boat designer and builder who was always thinking about his next boat. His vibrant, boyish enthusiasm lit up the room. Jan was a fierce competitor who shared tips and technology openly, offering astute and encouraging advice to novice and veteran sailors and builders alike. Continue reading →
Cover Photo: One of LADY B’s first sails on the Saginaw River near the Gougeon Brothers boat shop.
Lady B is a sailing sharpie I launched on August 20, 2009. On one of the first sails, I asked Jan Gougeon to come along with me to see what he thought of her. That sail brought back many memorable sailing moments that Jan and I have shared over our lifetimes.
Above: The proa Slingshot was one of the true pioneers of speed, topping out at 40 knots.
There are those who believe sailing fast means advanced composites with high-tech fibers, exotic cores, and plenty of cash. Very few think of wood when they think of fast, but before carbon fiber, before Kevlar™…there was wood. Continue reading →