Teak Oil vs Varnish vs Cetol - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 43 Old 04-17-2011 Thread Starter
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Question Teak Oil vs Varnish vs Cetol

I have just sanded down my toe rails and companionway hatch and drop boards and applied a coat of teak oil, I am going to let that soak in do it again later in the week. I like the way it looks now but dont want it to go that gray color again. What are you all using? I do not mind some maintenance but refuse to spend all spring doing it! So tell me what you'll use and why. Please post pictures as I am curious to see what the difference coatings look like after some time.

Again please post pics.... And why you chose the coating you did?

BTW I almost painted it! Almost!
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post #2 of 43 Old 04-17-2011
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The problem with teak oil is that it will turn darker and pick up dirt. Varnish looks best but it can turn into a career. Cetol natural - not the old type that turns orange over time - followed by Cetol gloss looks almost as good as varnish and is easy to keep looking good.

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post #3 of 43 Old 04-18-2011
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I don't have any pics but I will offer my opinion. I went with Varnish because I only have to touch it up once a year. Just lightly sand it down and reapply a couple of coats and you are good to go. Oils require more constant maintenence. In the winter I can redo the varnish on my hatchboards and do a quick touch up on the other parts in the early spring. If I had more area's that needed varnishing I would probably think aobut different options.

I am also in Missouri and keep my boat on the hard in the winter so I dont have as much UV damage as what you do in more southern locals. In Florida its a constant battle to keep your brightwork in Bristol fashion.
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post #4 of 43 Old 04-18-2011
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As others said, teak oil will keep you working on your teak constantly, wearing off after a couple of weeks. Varnish looks good but if you are not diligent and let it go too long before re paring or if you get a chip in it, water can get under it. Once water gets under it, you need to remove it and redo it which can be very onerous. Cetol is the modern technology alternative. I like the look of the Cetol Natural (used to be called Armada but Cetol bought the company and made it their own) but I think regular Cetol is more of a classic look. It's a matter of opinion about which Cetol you choose. Don't simply choose Cetol Gloss as that doesn't have much UV protection as it is designed as a top coat for their base formulations.

If you need to touch Up Cetol it is easy to sand the area of damage and repair without redoing the whole boat. Good luck!
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post #5 of 43 Old 04-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gladrags1 View Post
As others said, teak oil will keep you working on your teak constantly, wearing off after a couple of weeks.
I haven't found this to be the case; wonder if its an old "truism" that's no longer true because of materials reformulation, just like "Cetol will turn your teak orange." We're using Starbrite tropical teak oil sealer, natural light, and after 2 years, wouldn't go back to varnish. Prep was about as much work as prepping for varnish but the application was considerably easier, i.e., more forgiving, no need to feather in, etc. I should point out, I think of varnish as a marathon project, yes you only do it once but it takes a pretty intense week or more (we have a LOT of teak). Personality-wise, we're more the light regular maintenance types; with teak oil if there is a spot needing touchup, its no prep, just an hour or so and you're done. I should also advise, we're not talking about 8 coats of hand-rubbed finish, and if that truly Bristol look is what you want, I really don't have any standing to comment. I want the teak to look decent and be protected, but don't want to be a slave to a glossy finish. If it doesn't make the boat safer or sail faster, it ain't that high on my priority list. Especially when I could be out sailing, or sitting in the cockpit toasting the sunset.
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post #6 of 43 Old 04-18-2011
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Teak oil will require applications several times a year to maintain the color. BUT it only takes a few minutes. A good wash every spring will get rid of the dirt and mildew that has built up. It's definitely the easy way to go if you don't like the weathered gray look.
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post #7 of 43 Old 04-18-2011
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C2B,

This post shows our results using Cetol Natural followed w/ Cetol Gloss.

https://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-m...intensive.html

I refrained from doing the remaining teak on the boat as I wanted to see how the product held up over the first season. I was looking for any indication of yellowing or hints of orange tint. In addition to the pieces shown in the thread, I also finished the teak flag pole which I ended up mounting to our house to extend it's exposure to the elements. It was outside for the Summer and Winter of 2010 (New England). So far, I don't see any reason to complain or notice a degradation in the finish. I'll be working on the rest of the boat this Spring/Summer (shown below sanded and cleaned but not finished).



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post #8 of 43 Old 04-18-2011
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I've spent more time than I'd care to admit on redoing my toerails, and in a recent online search I came up with this "blog" that outlines a number of varnishing techniques: Varnish Teak: Varnish Or Cetol? The author actually suggests using regular yacht varnish, then Cetol Gloss as a topcoat to prevent UV damage. Click to see his other pages about thinning, etc.
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post #9 of 43 Old 04-18-2011
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cetol natural teak. the toe rail caps on my boat look great too but I don't have a close up of those.

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post #10 of 43 Old 04-18-2011
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Applied6-8 coats of Epifanes on my combing in 2009. Haven't touched it since - still looks as good as that.
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