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West, Young Anarchist

with the Gougeons

the Great Lakes Multihull Championship this year, I had the opportunity,
nay, the honor, to sail with Multihull pioneers and legends Meade and
Jan Gougeon. As an E-Scow sailor, I jumped at the chance to hop on a hot
dog Multihull. But I felt like I had won the lottery to be able to sail
with Meade, Jan and longtime crewmember Butch Babcock on board their 35′
trimaran, Adagio.

The Gougeon Brothers Bio

the early 1960s in Erie, PA, Meade and Jan built their first trimarans
using epoxy from a nearby chemical company. Up to this time they had mixed
results with the different epoxies they had used. However, they were very
impressed that epoxy could bond to many different kinds of wood, metal,
and fiber reinforcement, and that it appeared to be very moisture resistant
as well. The commercially available epoxies of that time had many advantages
over the other adhesive options, but they still had some limitations.

returning to their hometown of Bay City, Michigan in the later 1960s,
Jan and Meade established WEST System on the former site of Ben Huskin’s
Boatworks on the Saginaw River. With the help of friends who worked at
Dow Chemical, they formulated their own epoxy system, which was ideally
suited for their application.


September 14th, 2007