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Sundown Sailing
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have applied gallons of varnish using traditional methods and now I am faced with a recommendation for a two-part varnish system. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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I've used two part "varnishes" on cabin soles with good luck. It stands up well to foot traffic, abrasion, etc. I use traditional varnish in all other areas of the boat.

Where are you considering using the 2 part product?
 

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Two part varnishes are tougher as posted. Good for higher wear areas. They cannot be used over traditional varnish. Traditional over two part does work.
 

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A lot of the two-part finishes dry quickly and also allow for wet on wet re-coating which makes the job much faster. They also cure to a very durable finish.

In the past I have used Bristol Finish, Honey Teak and another I cannot remember the name. I like the Bristol the best.
 

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How do you keep bubbles from forming on the rails when using the honey teak Sshould i keep the componets of the honey teak in the fridge???
 

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My impression is that the two part varnishes don't stand up to the UV any better than the quality traditional varnishes. When the time comes to redo, much harder to get the two parter off. So, I will stick with epifanes for outside brightwork. Two part would be good for cabin sole, table top and such.
 

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We are about to undertake a major overhaul of our bright work... if we were to use a 2 parter on the heavy-use areas and traditional on the rest... any opinions\experience on the difference in color... or is it pretty darn close?
 

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Catboat
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No, it's not close at all. Traditional varnish produces a cats-eye beauty that seems to glow. The two part finishes are relatively flat, but are tougher. I use 2 part on areas I can't see while sailing, but varnish in the cockpit.
Cheers,
Dick
 

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2008 Jeanneau 39i S/V Grace
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What would you use on a tiller? Two different types of wood....
 

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I would use traditional varnish on a tiller - I prefer Epifanes. When not sailing the tiller should be covered. That way it will last years.
 

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How do you keep bubbles from forming on the rails when using the honey teak Sshould i keep the componets of the honey teak in the fridge???
#1. Bubbles - as with any finish, dont apply the first coat of 'any' finish if the surface is or will be HOT.
#2. With HT, the shelf life of the catalyst is greatly extended if you keep it in the refrigerator ... and prevent air from getting into the bottle - by putting a small 'flow fluid' soaked paper towel 'under' the cap. When opening a can of HT catalyst DO NOT remove the metal 'inner seal'; just 'pierce' it .. and it can be used to hold that solvent saturated paper towel 'ball' in place under the 'cap'.
 

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If Bristol Finish is what you mean by two part finish, then to be clear, it's not varnish. I have it on my rub rail, toe rail and cockpit coming. it does not stand up to water or UV well, although, nothing likes water.

The biggest difference is that you can feather in varnish if it blemishes much easier than Bristol.

I am removing it from the rub and toe rails. It is much easier to manage in the covered cockpit.
 

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My impression is that the two part varnishes don't stand up to the UV any better than the quality traditional varnishes. When the time comes to redo, much harder to get the two parter off. So, I will stick with epifanes for outside brightwork. Two part would be good for cabin sole, table top and such.
The 'secret' with catalyzed marine coating is to lay them on thick so you get a proper 'build' of the base coat (contains the UV inhibitor - usually ferrous oxide, etc.). If you apply 'thin' then you can expect the same 'short' service life of a prime varnish job; if you apply the 2 parts thick, you can get 10-12+ years (with yearly or 2 biennial 'quick maintenance'.

w/r 'gloss', most of the catalyzed systems are a co-polymer of urethane and ACRYLIC, and the acrylic component allows a gloss to be 'finished' much flatter/planar and with much HIGHER gloss than any varnish you can dream of .... of course by 'finishing' I mean by after a full 'cure' - flat sanding (2000 grit) then either 'hand-rubbing'* or powerbuffing with 3000+ grit. Just like how they do the 'concours' finishes on mega-$ automobiles, the 'finish' you see on Mega-yachts and high-end private aircraft, etc.

note* -- hand-rubbing produces controlled heat which develops and produces the rich and breath-taking iridescent GLOW of the wood cells as well as the surface polishing/burnishing. Only 'french polishing' using shellac can produce more 'gloss' (shellac isnt applicable for 'exterior'/ wet)

:)
 

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Sundown Sailing
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think that a combination of 2 part in some areas and traditional in others is the way I will proceed. Honey Teak for the two part and Epifanies for the traditional.
 

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The modern '2-part' finishes, if applied correctly, will outlast 'traditional' by a margin of 5:1 in exterior applications. The only reason I find for removal of long term 2-parts is that eventually moisture will permeate the finish from the 'underside' or 'through' the wood ... and you will eventually have the wood begin to turn 'dark'. Since varnish (either oil based or urethane) has HIGH moisture permeability you get 'the blacks' much faster (needing to be removed) much faster.

Being a former and reformed 'varnish-aholic' I still use varnish for interiors .... but NOT the soft and easily 'dinged' SPAR varnish but rather HARD or old fashioned oil-based BAR TOP varnish. BAR TOP varnish is nowadays 'unobtainable' and the only way to get it is find an ancient old proprietor of a 'real' paint store to make it up for you.
 

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Sundown Sailing
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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
As far as bubbles go.....if you apply after the peak of the heat, in the cool down, you will not have so many problems. While doing large epoxy and cloth schedules over a sealed wood core, my shop would crank the heat in the morning and then turn it off when we started wetting out, this helped considerably.
 
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