serene – 1, part 8

poxy resin and putty are the most crucial parts in small watercraft building, yet they’re the most annoying, paranoidly sticky and easy to mess around. It takes me a long time to learn how to use them properly. After filling all the internal seams with the 511 putty (which I found very good for boat building), I put a layer of 5 cm – width fiberglass tape over them. I highly praise this double – weave glass tape: easy and quick to work with, precise laying, resulting in nice, tidy and tight bondings.

With my previous boats, I haven’t got these fiberglass tapes yet, hence had to resort to bias – cut fiberglass, and it is next to impossible to make out a straight narrow strip of 5 cm, consider the mediocre local plain – weave 6 – oz fabric I was using. The very satirical thing is that this tout simple commodity of fiberglass tapes is not available anywhere in Vietnam market, and so I had to buy them on and have them shipped from the US, with delivery fee doubles the purchasing cost!

To further reduce weight, I only glass the internal side in part, the mid section slightly larger and around the cockpit, the place that could potentially expose to water. Next would go in the gunwales (a.k.a the sheer clamps) and the bulkheads. The gunwales are 15 x 30 mm long strips of wood, bevelled to match the deck’s profile. 7th image below: jointing 2 strips of 3 m wood to form the gunwale that covers the entire 5.5 m length. It’s so good a sensation to see the boat gradually take shape!

Serene – 1, part 1
Serene – 1, part 2
Serene – 1, part 3
Serene – 1, part 4

To completely clean epoxy, putty that stick to your hands, first scrub them hard with a rough piece of sponge, then rinse thoroughly with some acetone, finally wash with soap and water. I usually don’t wear gloves while working with epoxy, my hands just become clumsy with them.

A misc thought: stitch and glue is like a kid’s game, on a larger scale. Though it requires skills to build up a good functional boat, I don’t really see this as true “wood – working”, or any “piece of art” yet. That could be later, I don’t care, pour maintenant, tout ce que je veux c’est allez à la mer!

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