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Old 12-25-2010, 12:13 AM   #1
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spar varnish or Epifanes

I have stripped all the old finish off the teak trim and hand rails. Iam planning on applying 10 coats but which one: Spar varnish or Epifanes
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Old 12-25-2010, 12:33 AM   #2
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RE: spar varnish or Epifanes

We don't use either one, but whatever finish you use you might want to consider first painting the raw teak with CPES before applying your finish. The CPES will soak into and seal the upper layers of wood cells against moisture intrusion and will make whatever finish you use adhere better. The only caution is that the CPES many darken the teak a little, so you might want to try it on a scrap piece of teak first to see what it looks like.

We have used CPES for the last twelve years to seal wood we are working on--- like refinishing window frames or wood bulkheads in the boat--- prior to priming and painting. It is the best friend one can have when prepping wood on a boat for painting. However we have only recently started using it as a base coat on bare teak trim prior to the application multiple coats of clear finish. This practice has long been advocated by the most experienced shipwrights on the Grand Banks Owners forum but we resisted it until recently. We are now converts, and have noticed that painting stripped and prepped wood trim with CPES makes the final clear finish adhere much better and resists moisture intrusion under the finish.

Great stuff, not cheap, but anything that prolongs the time before finish has to be screwed with again is well worth the cost and effort in our minds.
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Old 12-25-2010, 07:28 AM   #3
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spar varnish or Epifanes

I used Epifanes on my side name boards and was extremely disappointed. Five coats didn't last a year here in the Florida sun before it started peeling. Yes, I followed directions and used the Epifanes thinner. After that experience I decided to paint them to match the gelcoat.

So, Epifanes goes on my bad list along with Captain's Varnish. Over the years I have had the best luck with Interlux Schooner Varnish. I should have used it but it was out of stock so I tried Epifanes.

-- Edited by Doc on Saturday 25th of December 2010 10:46:17 AM
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Old 12-25-2010, 07:54 AM   #4
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RE: spar varnish or Epifanes

** I have used both and found that they perform about the same. First I wash the teak after sandind using dawn dish washing detergent and water,*rinse well, let it dry then lightly sand, next apply*a coat of*varnish thinned 50% which soaks in to seal. After the*thinned coat is dry I lightly sand and apply a full coat, lightly sand and so on. You may or may not need to sand after each coat depending on the finish you want.*8 coats hold up very well here on the N.C. coast for one season. In the fall I apply two more coats and in the spring two more. This has worked well over the 24 years I've had the boat. J.T.
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Old 12-25-2010, 09:16 AM   #5
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spar varnish or Epifanes

Marin,
The reason for using an acronym is so you don't need to repeat many worded things or a very long word with difficult spelling that you intend to refer to many times in subsequent text. Some acronyms like BYOB everybody knows but the first time you want to use an acronym you should write it out so everyone knows what you're talking about.
Like this,
The water line length (WLL) of a boat is........then use "WLL" for quite a long time and everybody that's not asleep will follow.
In your case, a man of many words, the words seen to flow so readily acronyms would seem to be a low priority. So now Marin, if you're not too offended by the above what is
CPES?

-- Edited by nomadwilly on Saturday 25th of December 2010 10:17:36 AM
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Old 12-25-2010, 09:26 AM   #6
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RE: spar varnish or Epifanes

Quote:
nomadwilly wrote:

....what is
CPES?

-- Edited by nomadwilly on Saturday 25th of December 2010 10:17:36 AM

Take a look at:* http://www.rotdoctor.com/products/cpes.html
*
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Old 12-25-2010, 09:38 AM   #7
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RE: spar varnish or Epifanes

Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer
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Old 12-25-2010, 10:35 AM   #8
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RE: spar varnish or Epifanes

Capuchin,
I think Epifanes is a brand name like Pettit of Interlux. All of them make many finishes including spar varnish. McCloskey makes spar varnish and other varnish w less gloss. I think to get the high gloss you need to get spar varnish. Or one could say another word for high gloss varnish is spar varnish. I've just been scanning a book mostly on varnishing boats by Rebecca Whittman and after about 10 minutes I haven't found the expression "spar varnish" anywhere. Also I think McCloskey's spar varnish has Tung oil in it and their other varnish products do not. I once had a college prof tell me the best varnish was made primarily from Tung oil and phenolic resin. So then I looked for it when buying varnish. But was I getting the best product only as to gloss or was it best overall?* I follow, to a great extent the words of Peter Culler who is one of the worlds best authorities on traditional boat building and finishing. He says to use lots of turpentine and I have been doing that lately with good results. Well I've found Whittman's blurb on "spar" varnish. It is varnish with a high level of oil and hence takes much longer to dry. So it seems "spar" has to do w the amount of oil rather than the quality or type of oil within. So it would seem if you found a varnish w a high percentage of oil and an oil of high quality it should be excellent. I think the resin also plays a big part in the quality issue and from my experience phenolic resin is very good or best. Turpentine "is a natural essential oil obtained by steam distillation" (Whittman) and turpentine has antiseptic properties so is a good preventer of mold and mildew. Varnishes using turpentine or thinned w turpentine should be very slow to dry but should produce the overall best Finnish that will tend to blacken or darken the least.
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Old 12-25-2010, 10:52 AM   #9
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RE: spar varnish or Epifanes

Apparently I haven't been following page 2 and 3 and since you don't say 2 and 3 of what and this thread is only on page 1 You are hard to follow as well. I am a very active member here but I don't read everything and most read much less than I. Acronyms seem to be some sort of fad and I don't think they are most often a positive element of comunication here on the forum.
I do like the boat in your avitar. Is it a real boat? Is it your boat?
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Old 12-25-2010, 11:26 AM   #10
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RE: spar varnish or Epifanes

I have been varnishing teak on my various boats since 1977, so I have tried a lot of different products.
I have stopped switching, because since I have been using Epifanes, I have had to do much less varnishing than with any other product. I lasts at least twice as long as any other i have ever tried. It goes on easier. It looks better with less work.
It isn't any cheaper.
I have never used Bristol. I won't be trying Cetol.
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Old 12-25-2010, 11:36 AM   #11
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RE: spar varnish or Epifanes

I thought that spar varnish was for spars. Not a special kind of varnish. Apparently so does
WikiWikiWiki...

Spar varnish (also called marine varnish) was originally intended for use on ship or boat spars, to protect the timber from the effects of sea and weather. Spars bend under the load of their sails. The primary requirements were water resistance and also elasticity, so as to remain adhering as the spars flexed. Elasticity was a pre-condition for weatherproofing too, as a finish that cracked would then allow water through, even if the remaining film was impermeable. Appearance and gloss was of relatively low value, in comparison. Modified tung oil and phenolic resins are often used.

When first developed, no varnishes had good uv-resistance. Even after more modern synthetic resins did become resistant, a true spar varnish maintained its elasticity above other virtues, even if this required a compromise in its uv-resistance. Spar varnishes are thus not necessarily the best choice for outdoor woodwork which does not need to bend in service.

Despite this, the widespread perception of "marine products" as "tough" led to domestic outdoor varnishes being branded as "Spar varnish" and sold on the virtue of their weather- and uv-resistance. These claims may be more or less realistic, depending on individual products. Only relatively recently have spar varnishes been available that can offer both effective elasticity and uv-resistance.

There are more words here than Marin would write, but they are not mine.
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Old 12-25-2010, 11:56 AM   #12
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RE: spar varnish or Epifanes

Doc, Great post. Cleared up some things about varnish. I've wondered for a long time why they called it spar varnish. Elasticity! yes. And it would seem that would come from lots of oil. Thanks for the input.
Koliver, How could a product containing the same things as comparable products be twice as good***** ...not likely as I see it. Epifanes, Interlux Schooner, McCloskey's Spar and probably many other brands are probably just about as good as each other or even better. Lots of boaters do like Epifanes though. Does it say on an Epifanes can what's inside**** ..kinds of oil and resins? I've never used it.
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Old 12-25-2010, 11:58 AM   #13
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RE: spar varnish or Epifanes

You guys turkey must not be ready or you would be nap mode by now and not in here.
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Old 12-25-2010, 01:39 PM   #14
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spar varnish or Epifanes

Quote:
nomadwilly wrote:

So now Marin, if you're not too offended by the above what is
CPES?


Eric--- Sorry.* CPES is so commonly used in the marine industry and by boaters that I assumed everyone other than Bayliner and Sea Ray drivers know what it is.

CPES has the consistency of diesel fuel.* It is not a filling epoxy and it's not a "glue."* It has one purpose only and that is to soak into the upper layer of wood cells, fill them, and then cure thus completely sealing the wood against moisture intrusion.* It is effective on all kinds of wood.* We have used it for over a decade when refinishnng the wood window frames on our boat, which are mahogany.* We've also used it when refinishing the bulkheads and shelves in our aft head (also mahogany.)* I used it on the oak floor I made for our anchor locker to replace the delaminated and sagging mahogany plywood floor that was in the boat when we bought it.* Probably the most significant project we've had using CPES was to "save" our three aft hatches which are all wood construction from the rot that was starting to eat away the plywood.

We've only recently started using it on the exterior teak on the boat prior to the application of the clear finish we use, and we have noticed a significant difference in the longevity of the finish, particularly on pieces that we were only able to put one or two coats on because of time or weather.* (We try to put eight or ten coats on raw wood but we often can't.)* Where these minimally finished pieces would have started to deteriorate finish-wise during the winter, a few of these pieces are still holding up more than two years after the application of the finish.* I can only attribute this to the application of CPES to the bare wood prior to the appiication of the finish.* Part of the technique is to apply the first coat of finish while the last coat of CPES is still a bit tacky.


-- Edited by Marin on Saturday 25th of December 2010 02:41:32 PM
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Old 12-25-2010, 04:42 PM   #15
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RE: spar varnish or Epifanes

Doc;

Right on. We leave for our son's for the turkey, in another couple of hours (west coast).
Merry Christmas all!
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:31 PM   #16
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RE: spar varnish or Epifanes

Epifanes, Spar Varnish dabate. I have a bunch of Epifanes and if we cross paths you may have it all.

Two other folk and I gave up on this stuff. If your boat is in a shed it appears it will work well. However, for the rest of us I cannot recommend it. It is slow to dry, touchy about humidity and temperature because of the slower drying.

We had it go white, bubble and generally look like the dickens. We could not find a balance between time of day, sun avoidance, humidity.

It is I believe a good product, as evidenced by the many who use it, and I know of many who have good success, but they all have their vessels in a shed where there is much better control of the temperature, sun and humidity.

Ive gone back to Spar for the uppper trim and rails and use the latest Cetol light on the hull wood overlaid with the clear gloss
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:00 PM   #17
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RE: spar varnish or Epifanes

You guys work to hard.

*I let all my teak go gray then I wipe it with linseed oil.
*Turns it black.

*Then again I don't really care how good the wood looks. To me it is there to prevent the gel coat from getting cracked.

I have replaced most of the wood with starboard and the like*

I want something servicable. No maintenance. I wish there was something as good as wood.

With most of the plastics you can't get any caulk or anything to stick to it.

SD
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:04 PM   #18
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spar varnish or Epifanes

C lectric,If your Epifanes is slow drying it probably IS spar varnish. Sorry to repeat but I think Epifanes is a brand name not a finnish type. My experience agrees w your's. I have found nothing that comes out of a can ready to use that will handle PNW weather outside. Generous coats thinned way down (preferably turp) is the best one can do w oil base finnish. CPES may work as well but down the road I think refinishing will go better if all coatings is oil base. Peter Culler says turpentine will "drive the oils into the wood" and it's anti-mildew/mould properties help more if it's driven into the wood. Whenever I've had an oil based finnish it always goes bad but there are always places where it looks great. I presume it's where the water/moisture didn't migrate underneath the top coat. I think epoxies and Bristol and all other finishes (except oil) will scum to the same fate if a base coat (preferably migrated down into the wood) is not properly applied. Is Cetol Light the new clear non-orange stuff I've been hearing about? Alaskans are kinda Cetol crazy. They put it on everything. It maintains the natural wood color well.
Marin,
"It is not a filling epoxy and it's not a "glue."
IS it epoxy? Since it cures it probably is a one shot sealing operation * ...right? It would seem to me it would very significantly harden the surface of the wood. That could be a significant advantage over oil based sealing. But subsequent coatings would not soak into the wood so everything you brush or spray on must be scraped or burned off at some time. This of course true of all varnish and other finishes harder than spar varnish. Has anyone tried CPES w oil based varnish on top?
Sorry about the blast Marin but I HATE acronyms and only know about half of the ones used here. And I'm sure there's many to lots that know even less than that. New guys will prolly not hang around long if they can't understand what wer'e talk'in about. We've got a good bunch of newbies now too.
Skipperdude,
I've been using raw linseed oil w Olympic Wood Preservative and lots of turpentine and it's not turning black. Put most of it on last spring. Already seen lots of snow and ice.
The ice on my GPS antenna rendered it useless though. Came back from the South Arm at night w the radar mostly. Biggest problem was standing up on the icy floats and handling mooring lines.


-- Edited by nomadwilly on Monday 27th of December 2010 04:12:08 PM
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:16 PM   #19
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RE: spar varnish or Epifanes

Eric,
The Cetol I use is the latest, lightest stuff they offered about two years ago. It's at the boat and of course, I'm not although I'll fix that shortly. I think it's called Cetol Teak, I'll try to remember??? to check the actual name.

I put on three coats of the stuff and then three of the Clear Gloss and it looks very nice. It does not have the warm golden colour of the teak with the Spar varnish I use, Interlux Schooner. The wood I apllied it to is Gumwood, not teak. There is no hint of the orange that is the normal mark of the Cetol. It's still a lot of work and of course I have to watch the weather and sun as the boat is outside, but it is doable.

There will come a time , I'm sure when I will have trouble keeping up with it. Too darn much wood. I like my boat, I enjoy the time I FOOL with it but I can see in a few more years it may get ahead of me. Maybe then I'll do as Skipperdude, hmmm, actually I am as I repair some locker doors and use Starboard to replace the doors.

I think the stuff Marin refers to, CPES, I know as S-1, whch is a water thin epoxy for sealing wood purposes also, not glueing or buildup. It's also used as part of the prep, in some cases, for barrier coating boat bottoms.

Fun, fun, fun.
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:29 PM   #20
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RE: spar varnish or Epifanes

Quote:
nomadwilly wrote:
IS it [CPES] epoxy?
Yes, CPES (Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer (or Sealant) is a very thin two-part epoxy.* You mix it 50:50, one part of Can A to one part of Can B.* You paint it on with a brush.* I prefer a bristle brush but a foam brush works, too.* CPES has the same lack of UV resistance as most other epoxies.* So you need to cover it with something that has UV resistance.* In the case of our window frames, it's primer and paint.* In the case of our exterior natural teak it's Bristol.* Or you could use varnish or any other bright finish you prefer.

The only place we have used CPES and not put anything over it is the teak shower grate in our aft head.* The original glue had given out by the time we bought the boat so it creaked and squeaked underfoot something terrible.* A shipwright we know said that if we left it like that we were risking cracking the wood.* And it was a bare teak grate--- no finish at all--- which meant it took a long time to dry out after a shower.* But you can't varnish these things or put any finish on them, really, since all the joints and flexing will ensure that moisture will get under the finish and lift it.

So I took it home and knocked it all apart and then glued it back together again with adhesive epoxy.* After the joints had all cured, I then painted the grate with multiple coats of CPES.* The end result was a rock-hard grate that does not absorb any water and so dries out right away.* There is still some flexing, of course--- that's nature of a wood grate like this.* It's not enough to feel but it's enough to put hairline cracks in any finish one puts on it, and with the many joints in the the thing it's just a matter of time before moisture got in and started to lift the finish.* This won't happen with the CPES coating, however.

But the ONLY reason this has worked so well for the last ten years or so is that our aft head is pretty much in the dark all the time.* Even with the Sunbrella window cover off, the window blind is kept closed most of the time.* So very little UV enters that space.

*
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