ork until the last days of the (Lunar) year, the progress has stagnated recently. A setback in building progress, I did hope I could finish the whole boat within the old year, but when molding the hatches’ gaskets, the (soft) epoxy just didn’t cure, maybe because I’ve been storing it for more than 2 years, its “shelf-life” has ended, or maybe another reason I don’t know, have serious doubts about the quality of every materials here in VN! 🙁 Materials’ qualities are important, cause if they’re not upto the “standards”, then most of the time, instead of building, you would just “fix this, fix that”, problems that arise during the progress, it adds much more time to the building, which is already labour-intensive.
For the epoxy, it would be a total mess if epoxy doesn’t cure properly, the best scenario is you can somehow, scrap the whole jelly, sticky thing away and the worse case is that: all you’re working on has to be thrown away (and building new ones). And I’m building 2 completely new hatches! Well, I’m used to it already, sometimes, a simple task has to be done 2 times to be right! 🙁 And since all stores is closed down during these 10 days of holiday, lots of building jobs have to be postponed! So I take this time and slow down all the building steps, and maybe launch the kayak without some not-too-important details, and finish it later on after the holidays when all the stores are opened again!
The deck part would receive 3 protecting layers: 1 epoxy layer, 1 gelcoat layer and 1 topcoat (PU paint) (not counting an initial layer of coloring wax), the bottom part has 5: 2 layers of epoxy, 2 layers of gelcoat, and 1 topcoat. As proven in the previous build, gelcoat is really great: hard, durable, not easy to scratch. The thin topcoat layer is just for the gelcoat to cure properly, as the gelcoat I’ve purchased is not pre-mixed with wax (wax is required to protect the gelcoat from making contact with air, it can only cure properly without air). Then building and fitting the rudder, then fitting the bilge pump, light bulbs and the battery box, fit the compass and those bungee cords, various details to be done!
Sometimes, I did re-use some components from a previous build, well, I did reuse the bilge-pump (leave it in the old boat and it would just rot away anyway for no good). But I really hate having to “cannibal” an old boat to get the parts for the new one, it would leave your boat collection… incomplete. But that also means I would have to build a lot of things, a new build is surely better then an old one, after some times of practical uses in real-world, you would come up with new ideas, new designs. As for this build, the battery box, the compass and bilge pump, the rudder, the hatches (caps and rims) are all improved, they’re built in a way that they can be easily swapped out for repair or upgrade later on!