Meade Gougeon passes on

Meade Gougeon, founder of Gougeon Brothers Inc., a world renowned manufacturer of marine epoxy, and a multiple times champion, has passed away at age 86. Since 1971, Meade and his brother Jan have been leading the way in formulating craft epoxy resins and in showing us how to use them.

Even more than their West System® epoxy products, it has been their guidance in the application of a new technology that has resulted in a sea change in small craft design, construction and repair. Because of this technology, epoxy-laminated wooden structures of great variety can now exhibit unprecedented stiffness, strength, lightness, fatigue resistance and – most notably for wood – permanence.

Such elevated physical properties are normally associated with today’s all-synthetic, composite materials used in industrial settings, but they are now routinely rivaled in wood/epoxy by amateur craftspeople working in home shops with ordinary tools and at relatively low cost.

All through the 1970s and 80s, Meade and Jan continued racing their own boats on waters both hard and soft. Ice boat repairs proved invaluable for observing failure modes, and their “ballroom” boat shop was also utilized in building custom boats for a diverse clientele.

Talk about diverse; these projects included everything from a monohull two-tonner race boat to a Formula 40 trimaran, a speed trials proa, a Little Americas Cup catamaran and a large ocean racing/cruising trimaran.

The latter of these was the gallant ROGUE WAVE, a 60’ trimaran designed by Dick Newick, and owned and skippered by Phil Weld (both men are now deceased but remain two of America’s most venerated multihull proponents).

Thanks to Out Rig media and MLive for their help in this article. This great man will be missed. Jump over to the thread.

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