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Cetol Vs Honey Teak
Varnish over Epoxy in the ONLY way to go if you want to keep maintenance to a minimum. Varnish looks great but water will eventually get underneath and begin to stain the wood and lift the varnish. I''m sure most of us have seen examples of boats with mostly beautiful shiny wood that is marred by water stains under the finish.
Epoxy looks great too and it seals out moisture very well, but it won''t stand up to the sun.
The solution is to apply 2 or 3 coats of epoxy (not thinned - there is no need) and then apply varnish over that. The result is a deep rich look that looks like many coats of varnish. When the varnish begins to degrade you do a light sanding and another coat of varnish. As long as the waterproof seal is maintained this system will both look great and require the least maintenance. If you don''t want the full shine you can use satin varnish.
I''ve been very pleased with West System and Epiphanes. After having tried other approaches that didn''t last this has been very satisfying for me.
There is much more information on varnish over epoxy at www.westsystem.com
If you are going through all the trouble to replace you brightwork you''d be crazy not to use this method.
I believe Hinckley Yachts uses this method as well.