Cost to do a proper varnish job - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 28 Old 08-28-2008 Thread Starter
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Cost to do a proper varnish job

Hi Everyone:

I currently have my 1980 Orion 27 hauled out to have a thru hull and seacock replaced ( Posted a picture in another thread and a few people were highly concerned ). While it is out, I had the yard quote me on what it would cost to strip all the brightwork down to wood, apply 8 coats of varnish with sanding between coats, and do a final top coat, detail, unmask, etc. The boat is 27 feel long and here are the pieces they were going to redo:

Cap Rails, Eyebrow Trim (2), Bow Sprit platform, Companion Way hatch, Top Grab Rails (4), Flue Bases (2), Hatch Base, Sampson Posts (2), Chain Plate Standoffs (2), and the Cockpit Table.

No wood repair, or color matching, or bleaching of wood.

The estimated labor was 400 hours @ $63/hour for $25,200 and $770 for parts. OUCH!! I guess they really don't want to do the work. Does this seem correct? I will do it myself, but what have others paid to have this done? I called the project manager assigned to my boat to make sure it wasn't a typo on the estimate, and he is serious.


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LittleWingCA
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post #2 of 28 Old 08-28-2008
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I'll do it for $40 and hour with the same time estimate. Varnishing is a huge PITA and that's why production boats are plastic. I put 13-15 coats on mine, and I have very little teak. Took forever, and it stopped being fun after the first 5 coats. That is an incredible quote, reinforces why so many just oil their teak and give up on varnish.

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post #3 of 28 Old 08-28-2008
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This is why i have very little teak outside and it looks like crap.

This is 90% of the teak on my boat.


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post #4 of 28 Old 08-28-2008
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May I suggest you sand it down...put on 2 coats of Cetol Natural teak and 2 coats of Cetol gloss with NO sanding between coats. Should run you about 60 bucks in materials and 3-4 days of work. Results look quite nice and NEVER require sanding again...just light scrubbing and a touch up coat or two of gloss once a year.

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post #5 of 28 Old 08-29-2008 Thread Starter
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Camaraderie:

Any pictures of what it looks like? What are the benefits of Teak oil? Can that be applied after the Flagship Varnish is stripped off?


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post #6 of 28 Old 08-29-2008
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First off; they don't want to do the work or they would not have given that ridiculously high quote. Second; prepping for varnish or Cetol does take time but it is not super hard and can be done in sections (you don't have to do everything at once). I would sand or heat-gun remove everything you can at the yard then do the application of finish while in your slip. If you don't want to paint everything at once (time/temp/wind conditions might not allow it); you can do a final prep (tape, light sand and and acetone wipe) on one section and varnish it while the others weather lightly. Being in So Cal you should have way more time/opportunity to do the finish work than here in Nor-Cal or where it snows in the winter.

You can use teak oil; but the wood will weather/gray from sun and mildew growth. Personally I prefer finished teak on the rails and all non-walking surfaces; decks should be left natural for traction.

Cetol is excellent IMHO; the "natural teak" color is outstanding. You don't need 4 coats of base color, 2-3 looks best IMHO with the clear gloss used as topcoat and annual maintenance coat. Do a search on this forum for Cetol; there are some pictures in the threads.
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post #7 of 28 Old 08-29-2008
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Littlewing,

That's a ridiculous quote. They must not need or want the work.

Good advice above. We are using Cetol Light and it's a pretty decent finish (we started with it before the new "natural" color came out). I actually prefer the look of varnish -- but the Cetol's a lot easier to maintain.

Our boats have a fair bit of teak trim. I've found it's easiest to work on it in segments. This makes the tasks more manageable, with the downside that we never have all the teak looking "bristol" at the same time. Oh well, that doesn't really bother me.

P.S. Does anybody know whether we could switch to the new "Natural" Cetol without stripping al the old "Light"?


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post #8 of 28 Old 08-29-2008
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LittleWing...here's a shot of my toe rail done in Cetol as described above but using Cetol and Cetol Gloss instead of Cetol Natural and Cetol Gloss. Helped on another boat using the Cetol Natural last summer and it looks even better and closer to varnish.
My decks are just bare teak kept in shape with salt water. Anything else just becomes a pain. Some folks use teak oil on decks because it looks nice when you do it. Unfortunately, the oil holds dirt and pollution and gets really ugly rather quickly. I prefer to just leave it alone but the saltwater is critical to keeping it well preserved. Don't sand or use harsh chemicals on deck teak ...just boat soap and a reasonably soft scrub brush to clean it up and then let nature (and salt water) do the rest as keelhaulin says above.
http://www.sailnet.com/forums/buying...tml#post259546

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post #9 of 28 Old 08-29-2008
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JRP...you CAN switch but the wood grain will be more obscured. Are you using the gloss on top? If so, that will need to go before switching the bottom coat.
FWIW..."light" with gloss looks pretty good too just not quite as good...but I sure wouldn't sand down to bare for the minor improvement!

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post #10 of 28 Old 08-29-2008
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And if you don't get in a rush. Most likely yourwork will be as good, and probably better than the yards........BEST WISHES...I2F
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