Congratulations to the Gougeon family and WEST SYSTEM employees literally being the glue (well, 2 part epoxy) that has been used in all iceboat builds for the past 50 years. The DN class and Gougeon (how most iceboaters refer to WEST SYSTEM) have grown up together. From the WEST SYSTEM website:
Brothers Meade and Jan Gougeon begin building DN class iceboats with wood and epoxy, selling 200 iceboats between 1969 and 1974. “Where we got really lucky in our quest for epoxy technology was to be located 17 miles east of Dow Chemical Co. We introduced Herbert Dow (an avid sailor and the grandson of Dow Chemical’s founder) to iceboating. Herb made it possible for us to work with chemists in Dow’s epoxy lab, helping us to develop resins and hardeners we could use as both an adhesive and a coating,” company founder Meade Gougeon says. With Dow’s help, the Gougeon brothers develop the formulations WEST SYSTEM epoxy products are based on.
Jane and Mead have passed but their legacy lives on in every iceboat being made or repaired. Mead and Jan’s good friend, Ron Sherry, attended the 50th Anniversary party at WEST headquarters in Bay City, Michigan on August 3rd. Ron writes, “Great 50th anniversary party last weekend at the Gougeon brothers plant. Wonderful party filled with food, drinks, boats, and lots and lots of great friends all together to celebrate 50 years of making it easy for anyone to build their ultimate toys.” Ron shared the photos below:
Jan Gougeon’s first DN, HOT CANARY
Meade (second from left) and his wife, Janet, when they met with the United States Commission on Energy to discuss making wind turbines.