bìa nhạc phạm duy – 2

iện thể nói chuyện bên lề, xin nói rõ một vấn đề về cách gọi, những khái niệm như: nhạc vàng, nhạc tiền chiến, nhạc xưa, nhạc sến, nhạc miền nam, etc… chỉ là những umbrella term, những cách gom nhóm hết sức tuỳ tiện, thô thiển. Nếu ai đó tìm hiểu kỹ, sẽ thấy không phải bây giờ mà từ ngày xa xưa, văn hoá nghệ thuật Việt Nam cũng đã là một nồi lẩu thập cẩm đủ loại thượng vàng hạ cám, không thiếu một điều gì từ âm nhạc đích thực, loại làng nhàng, rồi loại ba xu rẻ tiền, cho đến loại lưu manh, đĩ điếm (kiểu như Em ơi chiều nay 100%).

Bìa nhạc Phạm Duy,
phần 1, phần 2, phần 3, phần 4

bìa nhạc phạm duy – 1

ập hợp khoảng 150 bìa nhạc Phạm Duy… đây chỉ là một phần nhỏ trong số cả ngàn tác phẩm âm nhạc của ông, còn nhiều ca khúc khác không có bìa nhạc tương ứng, hoặc là thời gian đã quá xa xăm để có thể tìm lại được. Một số là những minh hoạ, giới thiệu đơn giản, một số có vẻ “ngây ngô” theo cái nhìn thời bây giờ, nhưng một số khác là những tiểu phẩm hội hoạ thực sự độc đáo do các hoạ sĩ tên tuổi thực hiện. Một thời, những tác phẩm âm nhạc được phổ biến theo cách như thế, những bản in lụa, in typo công phu, xinh xắn…

Bìa nhạc Phạm Duy,
phần 1, phần 2, phần 3, phần 4

hello world – 3, part 15

Tiếng sóng xô bãi cát,
Tiếng biển xanh đang hát…

Tiếng sóng - Dương Thụ 

ontinue to work on the hatches… In my thinking, using the hasp locks is a nice way to hold down the hatches: secured and easy lock / unlock, tight fit, no hassle of lines or bungee cords. But still I have a little concern that those small metal parts could affect the operation of the magnetic compass, which would be mounted nearby. But most good modern compass nowadays should probably resist well to those small ferromagnetic interferences.

Initially, I intended to install three locks per hatch, but after some considerations, I installed four. With three locks, only one failure could easily let the hatch open, while with four, it would take at least two failed locks to make the hatch unsecured. It takes me a few hours to check fitting the hatches’ grooves, then using 3mm – diameter bolts to nail down all the parts (all is made of stainless steel). The result is quite pleasing: all hatches is tightly fitted and well secured.

Next, I make some slots to install the rigging. These are intended for some “heavy – duty” lashing used for the sail. The idea is simple, but it took me some times to figure out how it works: drilling two small holes near each other, then pull a short piece of plastic tube through those holes, then fill the inside with epoxy putty (the tube is waxed to prevent it sticking to the putty). When the epoxy cures, pull the tube out, that would leave behind a “tunnel” to push your lashing line through.

I make only four “anchor points” like this, as it require some “strong holdings” to rig the mast and sail. The other deck riggings, I would just use some screws, bolts and bungee cords. I would try to keep the deck rigging to minimum, no perimeter lines, as I don’t feel very comfortable with a cluttered deck with too much lines and cords and other hardwares, the sail plan would add a bunch of them in addition later on. Also, I don’t really want to punch too many holes through the hull anyhow.

hello world – 3, part 14

Đàn anh đã cho tôi trời xanh bao ước mơ tuổi thơ,
Đàn anh đã cho tôi dòng sông mang cánh buồm khát vọng…

Mặt trời bé con - Trần Tiến 

roceed on making the aft and forward hatches. I’ve changed my mind to make those hatches as simple as possible: all will be flush – deck, rounded hatches hold down by some hasp locks. (The plan proposes making a twist – lock one for the aft hatch, but that would take considerable effort to get done right). Also, I’ve decided to move the forward hatch further aft, to get the deck space to install some sailing hardwares (compass, blocks, cleats…) later on.

I’ve cut some plywood rings: one spacer ring, one lip ring, and two groove rings (to prevent water leaking in) for each hatch. The forward hatch is quite small indeed, 22 cm in diameter, and 34 cm for the aft hatch. Actually, I prefer shapes that can be geometrically defined, so abandon the egg – shape forward hatch as proposed by the plan. Next would be the simple task of glueing them together. Also, I’ve cut a slot on the aft deck section to get the skeg box through.

After glueing the hatch lips to the hull, I put small fillet lines at the seams before glassing the internal side of the lips. Then I apply several layers of penetrating epoxy (epoxy thinned with xylene) onto the hatches’ rings, grooves… before applying another layer of un – thinned epoxy, then would come the painting in a later phase. All these parts could easily wear out after some times of use, so they need some special cares. Then come the hasp locks, four locks per hatch.

I was thinking over about the use of hasp locks. Usually, on sea kayaks, they avoid metal part, cause it could get corroded by salt water. But good metal part plus proper maintenance can prolong the service life to years, before it can be replaced. The only problem with these locks is that putting them on deck could cause you some small injuries in self – rescue actions, e.g: if you’re thrown out of the boat in heavy sea, the locks could scratch your skin when trying to get in again.

hello world – 3, part 8

Trên nước sông xanh, thuyền tôi buông giữa đêm thanh,
Theo gió mong manh, thuyền trôi trên sóng đa tình…

Tiếng hát trên sông - Thái Thanh 

oticed that the hull’s plywood scarf joints happen to be closed to the seat and (sail) mast base position, I decided to reinforce those places with a narrow (20 cm) stripe of glass. Also noticed that a small paint roller helps distributing the epoxy more even and quicker compared to a brush, though it does absorb (and hence waste) a considerable amount of epoxy. Saigon this season is so hot, all glassing need to be done at night, precisely and quickly.

Next is glassing the hull’s seams, and internal glassing for all the hull and deck (I don’t glass the deck’s seams, feeling that one layer of glass is enough). I use epoxy with the B5 hardener for the seams, it’s slow curing and somewhat elastic nature is more suitable for all glueing, joining, better bonding to some tropical hard wood (compared to the TETA). And I use TETA for the overall glassing, its hardness helps creating a rigid external shell, and it is also cheaper to be used in greater quantity.

I can’t find fiberglass tape suitable for boat work of any kind here, so decided to use bias – cut fiberglass (cut along the diagonal line) instead. At this point, I tried to bend the side bilges a bit, it’s really really tough, with the internal glassing only (the external is not yet on). Feeling pleased with my epoxy and glassing work, and by my estimation, I’ve put about 1.8 ~ 1.9 kg of epoxy on (for both the deck and hull), I’m now counting the epoxy to help reducing the final boat weight.

Next is installing the gunwales (the inwales), just learnt that these are British English, for American English, it’s called the ‘sheer clamp’. The plan suggests joining the hull and deck using fiberglass tape, but since I have no such, and since I have less confident in that method, I resort to the known technique of using the inwales instead. This gonna be a bit tricky, since the inwales need to be bevelled differently along their length, the good side is that there would be little difficulty in bending them.

hello world – 3, part 7

Chiều nay trên bến muôn phương,
Có thuyền viễn xứ, nhổ neo lên đường.

Thuyền viễn xứ - Thái Thanh 

he 511 putty comes in 2 parts: the resin and hardener, both premixed with a certain kind of thickening agent (filler), one has a dark gray and one has a yellowish color. Just stir them until you have a consistent light gray, highly viscous mixture. Since the hull and deck are tied to the framing boxes, I can easily slant the boxes to get the putty cured into the exact position, resulting into very clean seam lines. No need to use duct tapes to mask the lines though.

Fill the seams, wait for the putty to cure, cut the wires, then fill the remaining, repeat that for both the hull and deck parts. My precautious nature steps in as always, I made the seam lines of the hull much bolder and thicker, while the deck has very thin lines only. It’s easy, but it would take a few days to finish all these glueing tasks. After this, I would dry fit the two halves, to see if they match each other well, and to produce an initial impression of the final product also!

I recall glueing the seams of Hello World – 1, my first build. I used a small masonry trowel to apply the putty, about 1/2″ thick, and epoxy is all messing around. Now it’s much tidier and cleaner, and I don’t even need a pair of gloves and just work with my bare hands. Well, lots of little know – hows, skills and experiences that you could never learn if you don’t just really do it. About this time last year, I was so doubtful if I could even finish myself a boat, now it’s (almost) the third! 😀

A bit off topic here, but the thinking has been in my mind for a long time. About educational methodology, they’ve been arguing all the time, about knowledges, information, attitudes, practices, etc… But for me, it works a different way: if you want someone to build a boat, show him / her the immense beauty of the sea. Similarly, you don’t have to learn all those maths and algorithms to become a good coder, seek the inspiration in something else, e.g: the art of hand writing calligraphy! 😀

hello world – 3, part 2

Đò ơi, đêm nay dòng sông Thương dâng cao,
mà ai hát dưới trăng ngà. Ngồi đây ta gõ
ván thuyền, ta ca trái đất còn riêng ta!

Trương Chi - Văn Cao 

am making a slow start, working mainly on the implementation plan. It’s better to think out all building details beforehand carefully and thoroughly. Unlike a software project though, which is more flexible, in a hardware project, you would have little chance to correct something that went wrong, or correcting it would cost much time, effort, materials… There’re many things to be considered, and require experiences to get done right! One important concern is weight.

HW – 1 weighs at 35 kg, HW – 2 is roughly 30 kg. With my previous two boats, and with my inexperiences, I did put lots more materials into the building, hoping for strength, but they turned out to be really heavy indeed. If HW – 3 could be built at 20 kg, it’s a great success! Imagine that your boat is 10 kg lighter, and that 10 kg saved could be used for additional food, drink on longer trips! And of course, the weight saving should come without any compromisation on quality and durability!

HW – 3 is a really complicated boat, the hull will be stitched together with 4 plywood bilges , while the deck has 5 main bilges. And since the 5.5 m hull length exceeds twice the standard plywood sheet length (2.44 m), there will be 2 joints in each of the hull’s bilges, which I’ve decided to be dovetail joints to further reduce weight and increase strength. In all, every parts of this boat will be more complicated (compared to my previous boats), and hence requires ‘astute’ planning and execution.

Below, I’m building the two halves (hull and deck) of the framing box that would help forming the kayak from plywood planks into the precise desired shape! With the new air compressor and nail gun and glue, all these frames are just quick and easy task which takes just several hours to complete. I’ve switched to using the excellent TiteBond 2 wood glue instead of other normal Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA), which has much better water resistance capability.


Cẩm sắt vô đoan ngũ thập huyền,
Nhất huyền nhất trụ tứ hoa niên…
Channels and Winds 
Ragas in minor scale 
Meetings along the edge 

artly presented very long before, some compositions that’s highly inspirational to me, the Ravi Shankar and Philip Glass album: Passages. I particularly like the Meetings along the edge and Ragas in minor scale pieces. It’s a real pleasure to enjoy the profound sounds of the Indian sitar, sarod, tabla… in conjunction with the Western instruments violin, viola, cello… For so long, my mind has been too dull and monotonous… for such a delicate and elegant music.

the call

We’re all following a strange melody.
We’re all summoned by a tune…
And we dance beneath the moon!

The piper remixed - ABBA 

eally busy lately, can’t even find some little time slots for going paddling! For many time I’ve been hearing it, the tune sounds like Enya’s Orinoco Flow (a.k.a: Sail away), and I know, it’s calling, it’s calling me. I just have to “Slide to answer”, but pressing “Remind me” is my only option right now! 😢 Surely won’t miss your next call again!


Once we were standing still in time,
Chasing the fantasies that filled our minds.
…Now looking back at all we’ve planned,
We let so many dreams just slip through our hands.

Do you know where you're going to - Diana Ross 

his has been added into my intermediate – term TODO list, a promise to return to Côn Đảo made earlier last year, in a different way, not by way of air of course. Don’t really know if I could make this, cause it’s really a tough (and adventurous) target to conquer, and there’re lots of things I also wanted and planned to do, too many of them indeed, but let just set the milestone there!