Gougeon Brothers, Inc.
Gougeon Brothers, Inc. the company that manufactures WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy, is an employee-owned, family-run company located in Bay City, Michigan. Gougeon Brothers, Inc. is ISO 9001:2008 registered.
Brothers Meade and Jan Gougeon opened shop at this location in 1969, building iceboats and light, fast sailboats with wood and their proprietary epoxy formula. By 1971, they were selling WEST SYSTEM Epoxy to other boat builders and individuals who wanted to construct or repair their own boats with it. Since epoxy was new in the boating world, the Gougeons found themselves dispensing a lot of how-to advice right along with their cans of epoxy resin and hardeners.
With a bit of refining, that’s pretty much what we’re still doing nearly five decades later. Although WEST SYSTEM products are now distributed worldwide and sold through full-service retailers, we continue to stay in close contact with our customers. Much of the extensive epoxy research and development in the Gougeon test lab is driven by the needs of our WEST SYSTEM customers. Our full-time technical staff fields thousands of inquiries annually.
We welcome visitors to our plant at 100 Patterson Ave. in Bay City, Michigan. If you’re in the area, feel free to stop by and we’ll be happy show you around.
About the Brothers
Jan and Meade established their new business on the former site of the Ben Huskins Boatworks on the Saginaw River, and GBI remains on that site today. With the help of friends who worked at Dow Chemical, the brother formulated their own epoxy system which was ideally suited for their application. Modifying the epoxy so it was suitable as a coating was a major breakthrough. It had long been known that the epoxy resins had very good moisture resistance but they were so difficult to apply that they weren’t used as a moisture barrier coating. With their new formulation, the Gougeon Brothers found the epoxy could easily be applied as a moisture barrier over wood or fiberglass surfaces. This is how their world-famous 105 Epoxy System came into existence. The company has been formulating and refining marine-grade epoxies ever since.
Many people who saw the Gougeon Brothers’ iceboats were interested in using their proprietary epoxy system for their own projects. By 1971, Gougeon Brothers was selling WEST SYSTEM Epoxy to other builders and to customers who wanted to use the epoxy for building and repairing their own boats. Brother Joel Gougeon joined the company in 1971 and was very involved with developing the epoxy business during his years with the company. In 1975, the original iceboat business was sold to Joe Norton of Norton Boatworks in Green Lake, Wisconsin, so that the company could concentrate on the epoxy business and building larger custom boats. Today, our epoxy systems are sold worldwide.
Read more about the origins of Gougeon Brothers, Inc. at Epoxyworks.