Interlux Schooner vs. Sikkens Cetol - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 47 Old 10-04-2013 Thread Starter
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Interlux Schooner vs. Sikkens Cetol

For years Sikkens Cetol has been the industry standard for brightwork. Recently, I bought a book called "The brightwork companion" and they seem to prefer Interlux Schooner which costs about the same. Schooner needs 5 to 12 coats vs cetol's 3 to 4, and doesn't give you that orange color and hide the grain. Schooner is a clear finish with a tint of gold and resembles a wooden bar top and lasts as long as cetal, occording to Interlux, who now owns both.

Does anyone have experience with Schooner and feel it is worth the transition?

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post #2 of 47 Old 10-04-2013
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Re: Interlux Schooner vs. Sikkens Cetol

Schooner is varnish. Great look, but requires more work than Cetol. If you don't like the orange color of the original Cetol, try the natural teak color.
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post #3 of 47 Old 10-04-2013
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Re: Interlux Schooner vs. Sikkens Cetol

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Originally Posted by wavedancer38 View Post
For years Sikkens Cetol has been the industry standard for brightwork.
No, it hasn't.
It has been the shortcut preferred by those who can't do, or don't want to do a proper varnish schedule.
The use of Cetol is usually excused with "I'd rather spend my time sailing.'

IMO Cetol is to varnishing brightwork as microwaving a Lean Cuisine is to cooking.
Now that you have read the "brightwork companion" you understand how brightwork SHOULD be done.

I am not a big Schooner fan- As old-school as it sounds, I think Le Tonk is the way to go. More forgiving than Schooner, smoother layout, easier to thin, dries and hardens well and colours nicely.

It's 5 o'clock somewhere:


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Last edited by bljones; 10-04-2013 at 08:47 PM.
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post #4 of 47 Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Interlux Schooner vs. Sikkens Cetol

I am will be doing my brightwork over the winter. I think what's on there now (what's left of it anyway) is Cetol (based on the color). I plan on going with Epifaines. I'll have the time so I might as well do it "right".
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post #5 of 47 Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Interlux Schooner vs. Sikkens Cetol

I dont know why every one hates on Cetol so much. The older colors were orange, but the natural teak comes out really nice. Its sooo much easer and lasts sooo much longer than varnish.

Yu & Frank

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post #6 of 47 Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Interlux Schooner vs. Sikkens Cetol

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Originally Posted by bljones View Post
No, it hasn't.
It has been the shortcut preferred by those who can't do, or don't want to do a proper varnish schedule.
The use of Cetol is usually excused with "I'd rather spend my time sailing...
Varnish schedule? WTF!
After 6 years in the tropics, Cetol is definitely the right excuse for me - two coats once a year, no sanding, that is all.
Take your varnished yacht down south and I mean South, then you'll understand these are not excuses and shortcuts. We would rather be sailing, or not?
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Re: Interlux Schooner vs. Sikkens Cetol

SVT, two coats a year is all you need to do to maintain varnish brightwork as well, IF you took the time the first time to lay on 6-8 properly thinned coats on a properly sanded surface.

A varnish schedule is not something you put in your appointment book, it simply means the order of finishing the wood- number of coats, how each coat should be thinned, the sanding order (between which coats), etc., comprises the varnish schedule.

It's 5 o'clock somewhere:


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post #8 of 47 Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Interlux Schooner vs. Sikkens Cetol

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Originally Posted by bljones View Post
SVT, two coats a year is all you need to do to maintain varnish brightwork as well, IF you took the time the first time to lay on 6-8 properly thinned coats on a properly sanded surface.
That's the problem with varnish. Two coats a year. That means every spring and fall I'd need to sand, mask and apply it. Way too much time to spend on teak maintenance. Cetol only needs reapplication for maintenance once every 18 months to two years. That's 3-4x better performance than varnish.

Natural teak is the color that looks best; it's not orange, and not opaque. 3-4 thin coats of natural teak beneath 2-3 coats of gloss will not look orange or obscure the grain. I've had Cetol on for 8 years and it has not peeled or lifted.

Last edited by KeelHaulin; 10-05-2013 at 10:59 PM.
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Re: Interlux Schooner vs. Sikkens Cetol

Keel, two coats a year means two coats once a year, not one coat twice a year. So, how is

"3-4 thin coats of natural teak beneath 2-3 coats of gloss " every 18 months any sort of time savings over 2 coats of varnish every 12 months? Doing the math, in three years I have had to lay on 2 coats three times, you have laid on 7 coats twice. I've put in 6 coats, you have done 14.

It's 5 o'clock somewhere:


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post #10 of 47 Old 10-06-2013
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Re: Interlux Schooner vs. Sikkens Cetol

Your math is also incorrect. When you put down a base coat of natural teak you apply a minimum of 3 coats IIRC. If you want to clear coat for more durability you put two coats over that so its 5 coats initially, same as varnish. The 18month to two year maintenance coat can be a single coat. I usually put two thinner coats on instead of one, the clear flows better and is more workable with a little bit of thinning. Everything I've read says that varnish needs re coating every six months unless you are at a high latitude. I get two years out of Cetol here in San Francisco, you might get one year out of varnish here but I don't know. I've seen many slightly neglected varnish jobs suddenly start peeling at my marina; not the case with cetol if you heed the warning signs (dull finish, some light surface checking).

I'd say in 8 years I have about 12 coats total including base coat, but only had to re-coat 4 times instead of 8, and prepping is most of the work.
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