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Old 04-20-2018, 10:08 PM   #1
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Cap rails re varnish ? oil ? 2 pak ?

Time has come to strip and prep my cap rails to make ready for some form of oil or varnish . At present I'm told they have a 2 pak varnish that's failed the Australian sun in just 14 months so.
I'm calling on the brain trust and ask what they have used in HOT conditions.
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Old 04-20-2018, 10:31 PM   #2
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Time has come to strip and prep my cap rails to make ready for some form of oil or varnish . At present I'm told they have a 2 pak varnish that's failed the Australian sun in just 14 months so.
I'm calling on the brain trust and ask what they have used in HOT conditions.
Have you considered Cetol? My cap rails are holding up amazingly well in Norcal, so not 100 degrees. Regardless, they were done as follows:

1 coat of epoxy
2 coats of tinted Cetol
3 coats of clear Cetol
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Old 04-20-2018, 10:36 PM   #3
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Have you considered Cetol? My cap rails are holding up amazingly well in Norcal, so not 100 degrees. Regardless, they were done as follows:

1 coat of epoxy
2 coats of tinted Cetol
3 coats of clear Cetol



2 boats on our marina have used Cetol and both look very orange.Yes it could be the timber . You say 1 coat epoxy what one did you use and what Cetol was the 2 coats. Thanks
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Old 04-20-2018, 10:56 PM   #4
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I did the Varnish thing, then the Cetol thing, the oil thing, the Poly thing, and I’ve abandoned the all for the “Sealer” thing. Here in the FL heat and sun, I noticed the boat show vendors were using teak cleaner, teak brightner, and then applying teak sealer. It took me all of maybe 4 hours to go from weathered grey to the final product. Add an extra coat or two (spreads like water) every three or four months, easy. I used the Semco tinted “natural” version, but I see there is an untinted also (leaves more of a silvery finish) as well as a gloss version. I apply with a rag, just like stain.
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:01 PM   #5
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I did the Varnis thing, then the Cetol thing, the oil thing, and I’ve abandoned the all for the “Sealer” thing. Here in the FL heat and sun, I noticed the boat showboats were using teak cleaner, teak brightner, and then applying teak sealer. It took me all of maybe 4 hours to go from weathered grey to the final product. Add an extra coat or two (spreads like water) every three or four months, easy.


What about your cap rails ?
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:03 PM   #6
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2 boats on our marina have used Cetol and both look very orange.Yes it could be the timber . You say 1 coat epoxy what one did you use and what Cetol was the 2 coats. Thanks


I believe the tinted Cetol is "Natural". I don't know which epoxy was used. I don't think mine look orange, but you be the judge.

Note that the teak has a fresh coat of Semco. 1/2 Natural and 1/2 Goldtone.

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Old 04-20-2018, 11:12 PM   #7
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I believe the tinted Cetol is "Natural". I don't know which epoxy was used. I don't think mine look orange, but you be the judge.

Note that the teak has a fresh coat of Semco. 1/2 Natural and 1/2 Goldtone.

Attachment 75400



No yours isn't "orange: as I have seen .It mat just be the Chinese Teak lol
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:30 PM   #8
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I use Cetol Marine Light and it isn’t orange. bTW, I called Interulx and asked about using epoxy first and the coating with Cetol. They said absolutely not to use epoxy as a primer or undercoat.
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:38 PM   #9
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I use Cetol Marine Light and it isn’t orange. bTW, I called Interulx and asked about using epoxy first and the coating with Cetol. They said absolutely not to use epoxy as a primer or undercoat.
From what I understand, Cetol designs their product to adhere directly to the wood, so not much of a surprise that they would say not to use another coating, especially epoxy which completely seals the wood, underneath.

That said, the guy who did my boat has been doing it for years on other boats in the marina and they are holding up extremely well. And mine seem to be in exactly the same condition they were almost a year ago.

But...as they say...time will tell!
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:46 PM   #10
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I first used Cetol (natural), but it was not very durable at all. It may well be a lot better if you use a coat of epoxy first. Despite the warnings!

Whitworths carry a two-part epoxy sealer which has consistency of water, even after mixing, and penetrates quite well. Leave it to dry for 4 days, then apply whatever you wish. Although I just noticed they say to only use a clear finish in permanently shaded areas. So You might need a tinted product, such as Cetol, before a clear gloss.
I have only used it on teak hatch trims, which I decided to paint.

https://www.whitworths.com.au/norgla...reatment-clear

I have seen very good results for Awlwood. It has several shades, but can be a bit too reddish for some. I think its best left for professional's to apply as there are some tricks to getting it right.

Before I discovered the NorSeal I went the Deks Olje route. You apply multiple coats of #1, wet on wet, until no more can be absorbed. Then wipe off with a cloth. Allow 3 days to dry, then apply multiple coats of #2 with a day between coats. I'm reasonably happy with results. After 6 months a light rub with a green scourer pad using #1 oil. Then a couple of coats of #2. Its all quite painless! I believe #2 is a polyurethane.

What I am testing on one section of rail for the 6mth top-up is a light, dry sand of the rail, then Cabots Exterior Polyurethane 'Marine Grade' (from Bunnings). It seems more durable then the Deks Olje #2. At least a year, perhaps longer. Cabots by itself is durable enough but the wood gets bleached underneath, hence my preference for using Deks Olje first.

For my decks, I first used Starbrite Tropical Teak Sealer (light). Its Ok, but not great. Then I used the Teak Wonder system. Teak cleaner, then brightener and then multiple coats of Sealer. It is easy to apply but does no last very long. Worse, it leaches out with rain, and stains the gelcoat beneath the scuppers.

So now I'm using Deks Olje, #1 oil only. I thinks that's what I'll be sticking with.
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Old 04-21-2018, 02:09 AM   #11
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For a deep varnished look, I use West System epoxy and 207 special clear hardener. Usually 2 coats of epoxy. Then 2-3 coats of varnish with a high UV block rating. No water based varnish. Lightly sanded between coats. It gives the 10-12 coat varnish look. Needs light sanding and revarnish each season. If revarnished each year, rarely has to be stripped and completely redone. Epoxy must always be protected with a UV coat or it will deteriorate.
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Old 04-21-2018, 07:47 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by healhustler View Post
I did the Varnish thing, then the Cetol thing, the oil thing, the Poly thing, and I’ve abandoned the all for the “Sealer” thing. Here in the FL heat and sun, I noticed the boat show vendors were using teak cleaner, teak brightner, and then applying teak sealer. It took me all of maybe 4 hours to go from weathered grey to the final product. Add an extra coat or two (spreads like water) every three or four months, easy. I used the Semco tinted “natural” version, but I see there is an untinted also (leaves more of a silvery finish) as well as a gloss version. I apply with a rag, just like stain.
HH, does the Semco stain your fiberglass at all? I know it is more of a "watery" product and has to get on the glass during application. Is it easy to wipe up with nothing left behind?
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Old 04-21-2018, 08:31 AM   #13
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I use Cetol Marine Light and it isn’t orange. bTW, I called Interulx and asked about using epoxy first and the coating with Cetol. They said absolutely not to use epoxy as a primer or undercoat.
And yes, do not use epoxy first! We have a good friend who refinished his cap rail and exterior doors. Stripped everything to bare wood. Used thinned MAS epoxy then Cetol. The Cetol failed and then the epoxy failed because it has no UV protection. He had to strip everything down to bare wood and start all over. He cried, litterly.

We use to Ceto Light and then 3 coats of their gloss over it. Once a year we lightly sand and a couple more coats of gloss. If we happen to chip the finish down to bare wood, no problem. I use a foam brush to touch up the damaged area with the Light and sand smooth before the annual maintanance coats of the gloss. When we bought Hobo the cap rail was varnish, never again.

We live/cruise year round in the sun and for us, the Cetol is a great compromise. It doesn’t have the depth that 10 coats of gloss varnish gives you but from 5’ away you can’t tell the difference and the annual maintenance ritual is manageable.
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Old 04-21-2018, 10:00 AM   #14
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What about your cap rails ?
Yeah, same stuff. Only difference was I sanded the rail with 150 and 220 after removing the Cetol remains. We’ll see. Did the ladder steps too.
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Old 04-21-2018, 10:05 AM   #15
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HH, does the Semco stain your fiberglass at all? I know it is more of a "watery" product and has to get on the glass during application. Is it easy to wipe up with nothing left behind?
Yes it does. I kept a rag and acetone on the side just in case. I think you’re going to be OK if you get to it in 5 minutes or so.
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Old 04-21-2018, 10:15 AM   #16
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Thanks. No one has mentioned taping off areas but assume that is ok or even preferred with this process. Depending on the .... anal inclination...of the owner.
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Old 04-21-2018, 11:17 AM   #17
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I usta oil mine w my own oil but now I varnish.

But not just any varnish. You’ve herd of passing something over the rail. Stepping over the rain that mostly means stepping on the rail. In short they take a beating.

Hard varnish does well w foot scuffing and other abrasive contact w things. I once changed to hard varnish to reduce foot scuffing. It helped w that. But like most hard things it cracked when stressed horizontally. An example of that is the joints on the cap rail. The joint is small and as the rails expand contract the varnish film gets pulled and pushed until it fails .. breaks the film. Then water gets under the film and w any coating it’s game over.

I went back to my original favorite varnish that is what they call a “high oil” varnish. Using lots of oil in the mix the varnish has greater (or much greater) flexibility I have decided flexibilit is more important than the other virtues of varnish.
Another plus w high oil is build. It flows on thicker and requires fewer coats. I suppose anybody can see the advantage in that.

The problem w finding high oil varnish is that the contents of the varnish is not on the can like it was in the past. McClosky “man o’ War” marine spar varnish is what I use. There are other brands that are as good I’m sure (like Interlux Schooner) but I’m familiar McCloski’s for 50 years. It does have an “ingredients” list but no amounts are given. They are; Alkyd Resin, Mineral Spirits, Tung Oil Phenolic Resin, Exempt Mineral Spirits and finally Regular Mineral Spirits. In the 70’s the contents expressed in percentages so one could choose finishes w greater confidence.

When wooded down I “prime” w kerosene and raw Linseed oil about 25% Linseed oil to start and 50% for a second coat. It should be heavy enough that you need to wipe off some excess.

And for those that like something better than what’s read on the internet, specifically by the likes of me get or otherwise read Rebecca Whittman’s book “Brightwork”.
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Old 04-21-2018, 12:47 PM   #18
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Semco wipes off the fiberglass easily if you get to it immediately. If not, you need a light cleaner/compound and it comes right off.
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Old 04-21-2018, 01:06 PM   #19
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Thanks. No one has mentioned taping off areas but assume that is ok or even preferred with this process. Depending on the .... anal inclination...of the owner.
Lena has been using Semco on our decks since we bought Hobo. She usually does it twice a year without any taping. Any spillage on the fiberglass, she wipes it up with a dry rag or a rag with a little mineral spririts. We primarily use the Semco to keep the teak from drying out and keeping dirt out of the soft grain. A shipwrite in Mexico swore by it, particularly if the boat is kept close to the tropics, which Florida qualifies imho.

I’d be a little concerned about using it on the cap rail. It may not protect the soft grain from wear. As much as Semco is a sealer, it doesn’t build up like Cetol or a varnish does.
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Old 04-21-2018, 01:09 PM   #20
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Lena has been using Semco on our decks since we bought her. She usually does it twice a year without any taping. Any spillage on the fiberglass, she wipes it up with a dry rag or a rag with a little mineral spririts. We primarily use the Semco to keep the teak from drying out and keeping dirt out of the soft grain. A shipwrite in Mexico swore by it, particularly if the boat is kept close to the tropics, which Florida qualifies imho.

I’d be a little concerned about using it on the cap rail. As much Semco is a sealer, it doesn’t build up like Cetol or a varnish does.


I agree. I don't think Semco is a good fit for a cap rail. It doesn't last that long and doesn't offer much protection at all since, as you suggested, it doesn't build up in layers on top of the wood. At least not significantly enough to offer any protection.
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