A legendary commuter yacht
by Mike Barker
Above: The legendary commuter yacht THUNDERBIRD, underway on Lake Tahoe. She was built at Huskins Boat Works in Bay City, Michigan, which later became the manufacturing site of WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy.
A little history lesson. Last year a cousin of the Gougeon Brothers, David Huskins and his family, visited the Thunderbird Lodge on Lake Tahoe. He sent us a couple of photos of Thunderbird, the legendary commuter yacht designed by John L. Hacker in 1939. It was commissioned by George Whittell and built by Huskins Boat Works in Bay City, Michigan.
David found out from her captain that WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy is used in the maintenance and restoration work on Thunderbird. What the captain did not know and what David was happy to point out was that WEST SYSTEM Epoxy is manufactured at the same location where Thunderbird was originally built.
Many years after Thunderbird the Gougeon brothers started their boat-building careers working for Ben Huskins and bought the Huskins Boat Works to start their own business. The rest is history. David Huskins, by the way, is a third cousin to the Gougeon brothers because Ben Huskin’s son, his grandfather, married a woman named Betty Gougeon. Small world.