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Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction: Wood and West System Materials Fifth Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1878207500
ISBN-10: 1878207504
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 406 pages
  • Publisher: Gougeon Brothers; Fifth edition (October 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1878207504
  • ISBN-13: 978-1878207500
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.7 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #420,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have both copies of the book, and the 85 version was considerably updated. About 8 years ago there was talk of a new version, but I guess that has been shelved,
The biggest changes in recent years, haven't been so much in epoxies, as they have in methods. Cold molded boats are still made, but with computers (as sophisticated shape generators) and better fabrics, the majority of great new boats are being built strip style. There is little coverage of that here. Neither is there coverage of Constant Camber, Duracore (though there is balsa core relative stuff), Cylinder Molds, glued lap, and the list goes on.
Few amateur builders have ever lofted a boat these days, it just isn't the same scene.
But on the other hand these guys understand wood. They go into a lot of non-hull details, from decks to gas tanks (though they no longer recommend the latter. If you read and understand this book, you will be a far better wooden boat builder. There really isn't anything else as serious out there. Mead Gougeon's tri made Sail magazine's (I think) list of the 30 most important boats, I don't think anyone else who made that list has written a similar book.
Other than 207 hardener, their epoxies remain much as described here.
Oh by the way, they have a free booklet on strip building.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a very comprehensive overview of wood boat construction. I checked the book out of the library before making the decision to buy it! Two vital pieces of information, in addition to boat construction, was the attention to detail regarding the power and hand tools you might need, and the layout of your shop in the construction of your boat.
I would recommend the Fourth (Revised) Edition, which was published in 1985. At that, I was still concerned about the dated materials on epoxy being fifteen years out. I contacted G.B.s Inc. and they emailed me back that there was no plans to update the book. They let me know that they have a free newsletter they send out on the latest construction techniques and the evolving science of epoxy construction materials. They apparently have archived past newletters for those looking for particular information. I would, however, recommend the Fourth (1985) and last edition if you are going to purchase this book. The 1979 edition is too dated. An excellent companion book is "Boat Strength" by David Gerr, N.A. The two books cover most of my questions!
The G.B.s website has a very responsive tech team that answered my questions promptly.
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Format: Hardcover
(Reference is to 1994 update of 1985 revision) Everything you want to know by the inventors of WEST SYSTEM materials as they apply to wood.
Includes test results (eg: how thick, how many layers, how strong, how far will it bend, etc).
Excellect illustrations and pictures. Covers all phases of construction: estimating materials, tools, wood as structural material, safety, lamination techniques, scarfing, coating & finishing, lofting, molds, keels/stems/sheer clamps, laminated hulls, strip planking/composit, interiors, decks, hardware bonding.
Does not include plans for any specific boat.
Privately printed (almost as good as Tufte)
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Format: Hardcover
This edition comprises a thorough review of best practices, 20% new and updated material, and a revised layout for easier navigation. Each chapter was reconsidered in terms of evolving technology, new techniques, and the successes and failures of over 35 years of experience. We believe that the updates and improvements will enhance the value of this reference text for amateur and experienced professionals alike.

Please call our Order Dept. at 866-937-8797 or check with Amazon.com
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Format: Hardcover
This is possibly the most complete guide ever written on the subject of wood/epoxy boat construction. It was written by the leading name in epoxy, Gudgeon brothers, manufacturers of the ever popular West Systems epoxy line. You HAVE to own this book if tyou are going to work with epoxy
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Format: Hardcover
Although (contrary to what some have said) Amazon does sell the latest (1985) edition of this book, it's still over 15 years out-of-date. That said, though, there's a deep wealth of practical boatbuilding advice here that can't be had elsewhere, and I'd recommend the book to anyone interested in wood-and-epoxy techniques. The chapter on lofting is also better than many entire books that have been written on the subject.
The book also comes with a small addendum covering updates in the WEST System technologies (the latest I've seen is February 2001, although there may be newer), although it's only a few pages.
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Format: Hardcover
As editor of a popular amateur boat building site I have seen quite a few books on building in wood, this is one of the few that I own...

My first contact with "Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction" was the previous edition at a time when I was getting back into boat building seriously. The boat was a glued lapstrake and my first ever contact with epoxy so I read cover to cover and learned a great deal. This new edition improves on the previous one in many ways - the content has better organization for example.

The Gougeon Brothers know a lot about wood. They know a lot about building boats in wood. They invented some of the modern epoxy boat building techniques used today. If you are going to build a boat in wood get this book - even if you are not going to use epoxy. There is a wealth of information here that makes this book one (if not the one) book you must have on your bookshelf. If you are going to use epoxy for the first time you must have this definitive reference. Even if you are not going to use West System products this book and your epoxy brand instruction sheet are all you need to make that first experience a success. Please read the chapter on safety a couple of times.
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