I stuck with sanding on my boat. Epifanes should come off relativly easily, because it is one of the softest varnishes, however it has a tendancy to gum up sandpaper preety quickly. If tou use a stripper off of the boat, any will do. I reccomend one that is in a gell form which you can also cover with wax paper so that it will not dry out if you need to let it soak in. If the wood to be stripped is on the boat then you can not use standard furniture paint
stripper because it will melt fiberglass and make it permanently soft. In this case West Marine sells a fiberglass safe stripper called peel-away.
When it comes to choosing a varnish
, you may already have a favorite, but having tried many marine brands, my preference is pettit flagship spar varnish
, which is captains varnish
with extra U.V. filters. At 67% solids it is the most durable traditional style varnish
. It will have a deep amber color. Interlux schooner varnish is decent, and will have more of a gold tone, and the Epifanes builds depth fast, and is almost colorless. The problem with the epifanes is the lack of U.V. protection, and its poor abrasion resistance due to a soft finish. I think it is a fine choice as a maintinence coat over the Flag ship varnish. Make sure you realy want to make the commitment before using two part stuff, because it will last longer, but will be hell on wheeles to get off next time, and cetol is only acceptable if you don't like wood, but want to apply a paint
which will kind of be wood colored at a distance. You might as well go with brown enamel before Siekens Cetol. Good Luck.