Company founders Meade and Jan Gougeon started out building production iceboats at their Bay City, Michigan shop, using epoxy for these these lightweight, sail-powered vessels. With the help of a few friends, the brothers formulated an epoxy system suited ideally to their boatbuilding needs. Many people who saw the iceboats were interested in using the epoxy for their own projects. By 1971, they'd named their epoxy formulation WEST SYSTEM and were dispensing it, along with a lot of how-to advice, for customers who dropped by the shop.
In the early days of Gougeon Brothers, Inc., the crew takes a break
Through years of sailboat racing, boatbuilding, constructing wind turbine blades and conducting materials testing and research, the company earned wide recognition as an authority on epoxy.
Much of the early success of WEST SYSTEM epoxy was based on its compatibility with wood. However, its superior strength and moisture resistance along with its ability to bond with reinforcing fabrics, glass and metal makes it an excellent choice for an array of projects. This versatility, along with reliable customer support, is why WEST SYSTEM remains popular for use in building modern composites and repairing fiberglass boats.
WEST SYSTEM products are now distributed worldwide and sold through full-service retailers, but the company maintains close contact with its customers via a toll-free support line, their bi-annual publication Epoxyworks, and web site. Their experienced six-person technical staff fields more than 10,000 client phone inquiries a year. Most of the extensive research and development completed in the Gougeon lab is driven by the needs of WEST SYSTEM customers.
|The Gougeon Brothers, Inc. team today. |
The company continues to create innovative products such as the new Six10 Thickened Epoxy Adhesive. It meters the proper ratio of resin and hardener from a multi-chambered tube that fits in any standard caulking gun, dispensing the epoxy through a static mixer to lay a fully-mixed, pre-thicken bead of epoxy. WEST SYSTEM manufactures epoxy resin, hardeners, fillers and additives for coating, bonding and fairing applications with wood, fiberglass and metal, as well as epoxy dispensers, reinforcing materials, application tools and instructional publications.
Read more about the early days of Gougeon Brothers, Inc. and WEST SYSTEM Epoxy and veiw footage from our video archives at our history pages.