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Old 03-27-2015, 12:58 PM   #21
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Eric- Bristol is very thin. This requires learning the proper application technique, particularly on vertical surfaces. We use it because its UV resistance is far, far greater than varnish in our experience.

We would never use an oil finish on the exterior of a boat for the reasons I've given previously. Also if one uses oil it eliminates the possibility of switching to a urethane finish like Bristol. The instructions for Bristol state that it cannot be used on wood that has had any kind of oil on it unless all traces of the oil are removed from the wood first. For us, the downsides of an oil finish on the outside of a boat far exceed the upsides.

Other people feel differently, of course.
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Old 03-27-2015, 01:00 PM   #22
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What I gather from the many posts about refinishing bright work is that many boats are laid up too long rather than being used while the bling(10 coats) is getting redone. The cure is covered slip or paint or no bright work, all of which have a strong down side for many boat owners. The development of a good faux wood material that takes little or no maintenance would be a boon. Some of the new products I have seen at boat shows seem to be inching in that direction. Of course there are a few individuals who actually enjoy refinishing wood maybe they are addicted to the fumes. This is something I don't relate to some what like the people who enjoy building a boat but no interest in using one. I salute those who take pleasure in varnishing and only wonder why they don't ask to do my boat.
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Old 03-27-2015, 01:34 PM   #23
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I enjoy working with wood, particularly the very high quality Burmese teak used on boats back in the 60s and 70s. The teak used in more recent years tends to be plantation teak because of the logging and export restrictions on old-growth teak and its subsequent very high cost. Plantation teak, while very nice looking, does not have the color depth and figuring of old-growth teak.

I find finishing or refinishing wood to be very relaxing. Some of my best ideas creatively for my writing and film/video production work have come when I was working on the wood on our boat. My only frustration is that I rarely have the time (or the weather) to get a truly proper finish on. Hopefully that will change in the not too distant future. At least only one of our boats, the 1973 boat, has a rainforest of external teak on it.

I used to refinish gunstocks back in the late 60s and early 70s. That was a very rewarding task because the walnut used back then was simply spectacular.

As to the point in the previous post about not using a boat because the wood's being refinished, we learned a long time ago that if the weather cooperates, we can work on a finishing or refinishing project while we're out on the boat. Many a time we've been at anchor or on a mooring and I've spent a very pleasant afternoon working on a wood project while enjoying being out in beautiful surroundings. If I need to have some old finish removed we start the generator and my wife has the finish off in a flash with her heat gun and scrapers.

We are not social boaters-- we rarely have guests and there is only one boating couple we boat with whenever we can get together-- so we are generally free of the distraction of other people on the boat and the need to entertain or spend time with them. So I can often get quite a lot done on a wood finishing project even if we're just out for a weekend.

Unless it's rainng......
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Old 03-27-2015, 01:53 PM   #24
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I love these teak threads. Eventually I'll see a solution that I like and I may actually get around to implementing it. I do have almost all my teak scrapped clean so I'm nearly ready to commit to a course of action.

It seems there is almost universal agreement to start with CPES. After that, I'm still considering some of the alternatives I've seen in the thread. Maybe one of the Brightside colors, maybe clear polyurethane, maybe clear Cetol.
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Old 03-27-2015, 01:59 PM   #25
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If your boat's kept out in the weather, don't leave the raw teak raw very long if you intend to put a bright finish on it. And know that CPES, like most epoxies, is VERY susceptible to UV damage. So it's not a good idea to apply it and then not put anything over it while taking a lot of time to figure out what you want to do next or have to leave it to be gone from the boat for awhile.

And if you decide to paint the teak, it's a smart idea to put a coat of varnish on first over the CPES. This will prevent the paint from getting down into the grain of the wood. This will make it easy later if you or another owner decide to return the wood finish to bright. Don't think the CPES will do this for you. CPES seals the upper wood cells with epoxy which makes them impervious to moisture but it does not seal off the grain. You need an actual finish like varnish to do that.
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Old 03-27-2015, 03:18 PM   #26
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The development of a good faux wood material that takes little or no maintenance would be a boon.


David Marlow tried that. At least on his own boat. He made foam cored fiberglass covered rails that were faux painted to look like varnisher teak. They came it looking pretty good. Of course you had to be very careful to straddle the stanchions of you had to stand on the top rail or you'd break the rail.
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Old 03-27-2015, 03:27 PM   #27
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Does any one else use "Seafin"? I've never traditionally varnished my cap rail and left it "grey" but then tried Cetol years ago and it just did'nt work for me. I then started with application of Seafin, after sanding completely. I have used this for the past 9-10 years and though it wears, it looks good and it easy to retouch. Like Eric says being covered or having covers helps in a huge way.

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Old 03-27-2015, 03:50 PM   #28
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We use Daly's Seafin Twak Oil on certain components of our interior. Very good product for this. We would not use it on the exterior of the boat.

We also use Daly's AquaSpar on our cabin sole surfaces. Or we will. As a test we finished the step inside the main cabin door with AquaSpar some eight or nine years ago. It is stepped on by every person and dog entering and leaving the cabin. We have not touched the step since applying the initial eight or ten coats of AquaSpar. And today,the step looks exactly as it did when we reinstalled it after refinishing it. We are both amazed at the longevity of this stuff and will use it when we refinish the main cabin sole.
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Old 03-27-2015, 05:27 PM   #29
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I like varnish . This is 6 coats of Epifanes on new teak .
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Old 03-27-2015, 05:44 PM   #30
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I like varnish . This is 6 coats of Epifanes on new teak .
Its not the new teak that is the problem. New wood looks good with almost anything on it even raw. Its the older wood that needs a redo. Yes well finished wood looks good. My rails are a variant of mahogany and I only tolerate the bright finish because most of the year the boat is under cover. Since my knees do not tolerate refinishing work I would have preferred a lower maintenance material or finish but I had a very stubborn boat builder.
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:04 PM   #31
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Cetol comes in clear without the tinge. In our local of over 150 inches of rain, varnish is just too hard to deal with. Cetol is quick and dirty in terms of roughing up the existing varnish, stain the open wood and then several coats of Cetol. Cetol drys to the next coat in 15-20 minutes in 50 degree sun weather so several coats can be applied.
I'll second that!! Cetol is long lasting and easy to apply. Light scuffing up once a year, followed by a single coat of Cetol light is enough to keep it going. Plus we fish and crab a lot and it gets beat up a bit. But is easy to spot sand, recoat and blends right in after a few weeks in the sun.
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:13 PM   #32
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If the teak is in good shape, why start with CPES under Bristol? Won't it detract from the natural beauty of the wood?
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:26 PM   #33
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If the teak is in good shape, why start with CPES under Bristol? Won't it detract from the natural beauty of the wood?
I used to think so but have since been proven wrong. CPES has a tint to it and it does darken the wood a tiny bit. But it is essentially clear and the figuring and grain shows through just fine. The advantage of using CPES first is that being a very thin two-part epoxy it fills and seals the upper layer of wood cells. Bristol (or varnish or Cetol, etc.) doesn't do this.

Also, if if the first layer of finish is applied while the second coat of CPES is still a bit tacky, the finish will be "glued" down to the wood. While this will not eliminate the possibility of finish lifting due to moisture getting under the finish, it will make it much harder for the moisture to penetrate under the finish.

I was very skeptical of the advnatage of using CPES under a bright finish, in our case Bristol. So we didn't do it for many years. After multiple discussions on the Grand Banks forum about CPES under bright finish I was finally convinced by Bob Lowe, the former owner of Oak Harbor Boatworks on Whidbey Island and who knows more than God about the care and feeding of wood and glass Grand Banks, to try the CPES-under-the-finish method.

And it turned out that Bob was correct and it makes for a superior finish job. It does NOT alter the need for multple coats of finish. In our case we try to get on at least eight coats if time and weather allow. Ten is even better. We have developed our own process of applying Bristol and if our time and the weather cooperate to let us comlpete the whole process, we generally don't have to touch that section again for quite a few years.
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:58 PM   #34
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Thinned varnish will certainly seal the wood. But epoxy has an advantage with its adhesive qualities. I think it forms a better bond and is more resistant to water. So that seal lasts longer.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:01 PM   #35
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I like varnish . This is 6 coats of Epifanes on new teak .
Looking good. It will look even better once you put 6 more coats on and get it smooooth, like butta.
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:25 PM   #36
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Thinned varnish will certainly seal the wood. But epoxy has an advantage with its adhesive qualities. I think it forms a better bond and is more resistant to water. So that seal lasts longer.
Yes I usually put the first coat of varnish on w 75% thinner, the 2nd w 50% thinner and the third w 25% thinner. Then full strength.
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Old 03-28-2015, 10:39 AM   #37
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Having used Cetol on a teak pulpit, and Epiphanes Wood Finish on an aft deck floor exposed to sun (in places) and water and foot traffic and furniture scraping and semi-interior stairs to the flying bridge and also heavily trafficked, plus exterior uncovered trim rails, I think the Epiphanes WF is the only way to go for ease of application and durability. Particularly if you are in more intense sunlight areas year around. Never had to get around to putting it on the mid ship rails, as we had covers on those 90% of the time.
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Old 03-28-2015, 12:40 PM   #38
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I love the look of varnish. No way will I ever have a varnished exterior. Too much work, plus the maint. goes on forever. Cetol is not the prettiest solution, but the best, IMO. I use the clear, it has the lightest stain. Three or four coats will last 3 seasons in the NE. Maybe 5 seasons, if you do a quick 220 sanding and another coat each year.
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:14 PM   #39
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Thanks for all the sage advice. We liveaboard and the rails see a lot of abuse from sand, sun, dog and visitors, so something easy/durable sounds like the way to go. I'll probably grab my heat gun and scrape off what's there, then apply some CPES followed by Bristol or Cetol. If I was smart though I'd just get some covers made for it, but work and school limit the amount of time and finances available for these projects...

thanks again!
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Old 03-28-2015, 03:05 PM   #40
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I'll probably grab my heat gun and scrape off what's there, then apply some CPES followed by Bristol or Cetol.
Some folks say CPES under Cetol works, but Interlux tech support says "Unfortunately it is not possible to apply Cetol over CPES, Marine-Tex Epoxy, Gluv-it or any type of epoxy sealant."
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