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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 12-13-2007
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Brightwork, Care & Feeding

Greetings,
I'd like some suggestions from experienced owners of varnished boats. What works well to keep the finish looking as good as it can for as long as it can? What do you suggest washing the varnished boat with and is it wise to apply anything to protect the surface (wax)?
Thanks,
Scott
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Old 12-13-2007
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You have a decision to make.

I asked a similar question a year or so ago and the answers came back in two basic camps. The first position says to do nothing with the original wood, allow time and the elements to age it naturally. Just wash it off occasionally (depends on where you keep the boat and what kind of wood is installed). Both positions agree that if you decide to apply whatever product on the wood you also make the decision to keep working on the wood, because nothing lasts permanently. To decide to treat the wood is to make the decision to keep treating it over time.
I was willing to put the work into achieving a high gloss finish so I ended up purchasing several of the products that were recommended. To do a really good job I removed several of the external pieces of wood allowing me to gain access to every part of the trim. The end result was the teak looked absolutely beautiful. However, due to my inexperience, when I reinstalled the teak I failed to correctly seal the wood to deck joint. So now I am in the middle of fixing my first error as some of my mounting hardware is leaking. I love my simple boat and the time I put into her is actually a pleasure.
Several recommended Sikkens Cetol Marine Natural Teak and Marine Gloss. I bought a quart of each and was extremely pleased with the results.
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Old 12-13-2007
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Depends on the wood. Teak, Mahogany or both?
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Old 12-13-2007
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Covering the wood when the boat is not in use has proven to extend the life of the finish more than any particular product or technique for us. Sunbrella - The ultimate sunblock - You have to do regular maintenance but much less frequently. The canvas is worth it for us.
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Old 12-16-2007
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The wood is mohagony, with about 12 coats of varnish. I keep the boat covered when not on the water and she lives on a covered lift. Over the last few months I've noticed what I'll call "crazing", that is to say the entire top surface is becoming covered by tiny cracks in the varnish. Any thoughts??
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Old 12-17-2007
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If that surface is crazing, the foundation is dead. It's time to take the heat gun and scraper to it before ya start getting water stains. Get the "Brightwork Companion" for info on how to do it right. Typically, a well done varnish finish will last 10+ years before ya have to strip it, with just annual single maintenance coats and light sanding.

However, if you want to check how deep the checks go, you can sand a piece, wet it down and see if the cracks disappear. You have to wet sand with 240+ the last stage to get it smooth enough to see. Otherwise, all you'll see are sanding cuts.

Last edited by CharlieCobra; 12-17-2007 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 02-02-2008
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Cetol- natural is orange too?

At the risk of everyone running away and screaming, I have a Cetol question. Which Cetol product is it that Ive seen for years on boats in a muddy brownish or an orangish flavor (both of which I dont like too much). Would that be the Marine and Marine Light? I see a product called Cetol Marine Natural Teak (with a flashing "New" by it). Is this stuff also orange or does it have the clearish amber yellow color of varnish? Anyone experienced? And does the gloss Cetol topcoat impart its own muddy color too?
Ive read the pros and cons of Cetol, varnish, nothing so dont beat me up on that subject. Im deciding what to do with my brightwork for my first boat.
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Old 02-02-2008
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Scosche...the orange looking stuff is Cetol Regular that has been re-applied on itself over the years. Light can also get that way if built up. don't know about the new NATURAL TEAK...as it is too new on the market to say what multilple coats over years will look like.
The first coating of Cetol you put on will not look anything like that. It will be clear and show the wood grain and only have a bit of color. The new NATURAL TEAK is even nicer IMHO. What you do next is coat THAT with CETOL CLEAR GLOSS and from then on only touch up with clear gloss...you will never get that ugly look...only a look similar to varnish and much easier to take care of. See the picture of my brightwork on the Endeavor 42 thread...that is cetol with gloss after 3 years of regular maintenance as above.

I don't know what the brown stuff you refer to is...perhaps Armada or one of the West Marine coatings. I don't like it either.

Nothing looks like varnish...and nothing takes as much time and energy. All depends what you're after.
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Old 02-02-2008
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What ever happened to the original poster?
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