My friend Chris bought a 33′ fiberglass sailboat, a Cal 33, to use as his family cruiser. Because it was an older boat, he knew he had a few projects ahead—including drying out the wet rudder. Here in Michigan, we haul our boats out of the water for the winter and it gives us a chance to do repairs and inspect under the waterline. Continue reading
Scarfing wood together dates back ages. Scarfing is the process of cutting corresponding angles (or sometimes shapes) on two similar pieces of wood and gluing them together to create a larger piece of lumber or plywood. The most common place scarfing is used is in building a stitch-and-glue canoe or kayak. Continue reading
Knowing how or why your boat’s gelcoat cracks occurred in the first place is the key to a successful repair. For example, if hitting a seawall or dropping a champagne bottle on deck is what caused the cracks, after fixing them you will know how to prevent them in the future: Don’t drink the champagne causing you to hit the seawall and drop the bottle. Continue reading
Above: The highlighted sections indicated the optimal zone for flame treating plastics. On the left is a typical propane torch flame. On the right is one with a flame spreader attachment.
It’s no secret that bonding to plastic can be a challenge. Identifying what type of plastic you are working with—ABS, PVC, HDPE, LDPE, UHMWPE, and this list goes on—is your first step. Continue reading
Why pressure-treated plywood is a poor choice
A very high percentage of boats in the U.S. are at least 30 years old. It doesn’t surprise me when a boat’s plywood components fail due to water intrusion. In my experience, the transom is the first area to rot out in most trailerable boats. That’s not to say the first thing to rot couldn’t be the cockpit floor, stringers, or motor mounts. Continue reading
After a few years of racing on the J22 This Little Piggy, the owner was ready to take a step back and gave me the first option to purchase it. I took advantage of the opportunity. As with many boats I’ve owned over the years, the first couple winters I plan on spending money upgrading and doing repairs. Not that a lot has to be done, but a few changes in hardware placement and re-bedding the deck hardware are at the top of my list. Continue reading
Not that long ago, clear coating with epoxy meant that you were finishing a natural wood canoe or kayak, or the teak toe rails on your boat. Today, WEST SYSTEM 105 Resin and 207 Special Clear Hardener is used for clear coating in many different ways. Regardless of the project, there are some basic techniques to follow when epoxy coating and a few pitfalls to avoid. Continue reading
2018 has been a year of growth and change here at Gougeon Brothers. Our Technical Department welcomes three new staff members.
Welcome Victoria Hankins
Laboratory Technician (Photo above)
Victoria has an Associates degrees from Delta College in Mechanical Engineering Technology, Fine Arts, Liberal Arts, as well as certificates in CNC and CAD. During her schooling she was the lead lab tech at Delta College for the photography and ceramics labs, then later worked at Aptar as an Elastomeric Flow Control Expert Center intern. Continue reading
To buy or not to buy?
Do I really need the Mini Pumps?
If it’s a two-part epoxy, why are there three pumps in the package?
The pumps look the wrong size to fit my cans. Are you sure these are the right ones?
Selling WEST SYSTEM Epoxy in a retail environment for more than 20 years, those were the three most common questions I received.
These are valid questions. We’ve all been in a situation where the salesperson is trying to upsell us or has no clue what we really need. In the case of Mini Pumps, however, the salesperson is trying to do you a favor.