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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 04-24-2002
jb jb is offline
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Varnish remains off Deck

The previous owner did a hurried job on the brightwork and left varnish on the fiberglass deck of my Islander 36 sailboat. It''s not pretty to say the least and has been there likely 2+ years. Does anyone have any experience in removing old varnish from the gelcoated deck?
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Old 04-24-2002
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Varnish remains off Deck

As an I-36 owner, I can sympathize with the problem. The varnish is probably around the handrails, which are mounted on a non-skid surface, and it''s seemingly impossible to remove the varnish from all of the little crevices. Been there....done that!

I''ve had pretty good luck treating each varnish spot with a dab of varnish remover ( be sure to mask off your adjacent brightwork to avoid damage to those surfaces). Allow the remover to work on the varnish for about five minutes and then scrub the surface with a small stiff bristle brush to remove the softened varnish. It may take several attempts to get most of the varnish off. Picking at the crevices with an awl will help remove some of the more stubborn areas.

After the varnish is removed, you will still have some discoloration. I then use soft scrub bleach...let it stand for a few minutes and then scrub it off. The area should now be pretty white. When you are satisfied with the results, hose off the area with lots of water.

It''s not an easy job, but if you are patient, it can be done.

For future varnishing, you may be interested in how to keep the varnish from migrating down into the crevices, which it does even when carefully masked. I received some good suggestions in a previous posting which you may find worthwhile. It should be available in this list''s archives.

Good luck

Jim
I-36 Mon Ami
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Old 04-25-2002
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Varnish remains off Deck

Fiberglass-safe paint stripper worked for me. Don''t leave it on any longer than necessary!

Graham
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Old 04-28-2002
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Varnish remains off Deck

Mask the brightwork, then carefully apply Eazy-Off oven cleaner with a very small brush, cover with saran to keep from drying, scrape away with an exacto knife or single edge razor. :-)
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