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Old 10-26-2011
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Refinishing Teak

Hey All,

We want to refinish the deck teak on our new to us Catalina 30. The varnish is staring to go in some areas and we were thinking of pulling the handrails and working on them over the winter and then keep moving onto the rest of it in the spring. I am under the impression that I can sand until I get to bare wood and re-varnish after that? Correct? Any advice on this idea? Any advice on the best product to use? I don't want to go the oil route.

Thanks in advance.

Joe
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I did the same thing when I bought my C-30 some years ago. lots of coats of good quality varnish had my teak looking good.
Now I have a C-34 and the PO used Cetol. As much as I like varnish, I'm going to stick with the Cetol as it will last a lot longer before retouching.
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Where the handrails a pain to get off and back on? I'm afraid i will take them off and then have a tough time getting them back on correctly in the spring. They are not that bad as they are.
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Originally Posted by jetdrvr393 View Post
Where the handrails a pain to get off and back on? I'm afraid i will take them off and then have a tough time getting them back on correctly in the spring. They are not that bad as they are.
I've taken the handrails off of our Catalina 30 and it was pretty painless. I'd highly recommend Teakguard from Allguard Products. It's worked great for me and several friends.
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My hand rails weren't a problem at all. I took as much teak off the boat as I could to work on over the winter.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetdrvr393 View Post
Hey All,

We want to refinish the deck teak on our new to us Catalina 30. The varnish is staring to go in some areas and we were thinking of pulling the handrails and working on them over the winter and then keep moving onto the rest of it in the spring. I am under the impression that I can sand until I get to bare wood and re-varnish after that? Correct? Any advice on this idea? Any advice on the best product to use? I don't want to go the oil route.

Thanks in advance.

Joe
There are some substitutes but nothing looks like spar varnish. 7 coats of it ideally.

Suggest buying Don Casey's "complete illustrated sailboat manual" which goes into plenty of detail on the procedure, but to sum up it is : get back to bare wood then varnish, sand, varnish, repeat 7 times.

Get some sunbrella covers for the rails and the varnish will last at least 10 years.

You might find chemical stripper the easiest way to get the old varnish off.
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Sanding is universal, but depending on what is on it now (you say varnish, but some use that term for everything), a chemical stripper or scraping could help, then sand. If the old brightwork has failed, it is common to have water penetration and small amounts of mold growing in the grain. This is particularly true under a blister that holds water.

Sanding dust can mask these and you think you haver it looking good as new, but when you put new finish over top, you might see black stains or streaks in the grain. You may also need to bleach the wood or clean it once the current finish is off. Oh yea, then sand some more.

Final thought is to be absolutely sure you get every bit of sanding dust off the boat before applying the finish. By stock in a tack cloth company.
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There are some substitutes but nothing looks like spar varnish. 7 coats of it ideally.
Agree, but that will be 7 coats of it this year, then strip and redo every 3 or so years. Go with Cetol.
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Not meaning to start a flame war - I love varnish, and would not have anything else down below - but topsides I use Cetol. 90% as pretty, 10% the work.

I'd add to what msmith10 said - 7 coats this year, sand and recoat every 6 months (don't forget touching up any nicks in the meantime), redo time depends on how much use and if they are covered after usage...
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Originally Posted by paul323 View Post
Not meaning to start a flame war - I love varnish, and would not have anything else down below - but topsides I use Cetol. 90% as pretty, 10% the work.

I'd add to what msmith10 said - 7 coats this year, sand and recoat every 6 months (don't forget touching up any nicks in the meantime), redo time depends on how much use and if they are covered after usage...
Lifetime should be more like 10 years if the brightwork is covered when not in use.
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