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I went through this a couple of years ago. I hired someone to do the job who was recommended by a slip neighbor. I checked with Pacific Seacraft and they said the original finish was Varathane polyurethane. So that's what we went with. It turned out poorly. The Varathane took weeks to dry (that is, to stop being sticky), plus the finish was uneven. The guy that did the job blamed it on the product; however, I wasn't that impressed with his work in general so I'm not sure where the fault lies.

I then hired another "teak refinisher" who came highly recommended from someone whose judgement I trust. This guy was good. He sanded the Varathane finish with a belt sander and then applied Miniwax polyurethane satin. After two seasons, the floor still looks great. He also did the steps with Awlcare Classic Spar Varnish.

This is probably a lot more information that you need, but I hope it helps.

Bob Thomas
Crealock 37, Morning Dew #360
 

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Don,

I share your feelings regarding using a belt sander. I certainly wouldn't attempt it myself. All this guy was trying to do was take off the coat of Varathane the previous finisher had applied; he didn't take it down to bare wood. Basically, he was cleaning up the previous guy's mess.

He approached the job the same way you are. He took one of the bilge covers to his shop to see what would work before doing the whole job. He recommended using Miniwax instead of Varathane.

I should mention that the sole was in pretty good shape to start with. All it needed was a maintenance coat. I didn't have time to tackle the project myself, but next time I probably will now that I'm retired.

Good luck!

Bob
Crealock 37, Morning Dew #360
 

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Hush,

The fellow that used the belt sander on my cabin sole knew what he was doing. He's semi-retired but made a living for years as a woodworker and teak re-finisher. In the summers he worked in the Northeast and in the winters in Florida. He used the belt sander to remove the mess the previous guy made with the Varathane. He thought it was too sloppy to go over. If he chewed through the veneer in spots, I can't tell. The floor looks really good.

Regarding Varathane, I don't think there was any thing wrong with the product since others haven't had a problem with it. It's something he did. The sole was sticky for 5-6 weeks after he applied the Varathane.

Personally, I'd be terrified to use a belt sander on the sole.

Bob Thomas
Morning Dew, Crealock 37 #360
 
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