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Old 07-28-2017, 07:41 AM   #1
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Name board varnishing question...

Is it necessary to varnish the back side of a name board? Just go around the corners and be done with it as it won't be seen? Seems to me that the variation in moisture absorption might reek some havoc on the board...
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Old 07-28-2017, 07:50 AM   #2
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I would varnish the back side of a name board to the same high standard as the front . That's just me and the way I do things . Apart from that the varnish will lift from the bare wood first and track to the front in a year or 2
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Old 07-28-2017, 08:07 AM   #3
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On the name boards on the large Navy Ships that I have been either Captain or XO on we have always painted the backside of the name boards. Remember that our ma,e boards are 14 in. wide and about 12 ft. long. They are mounted on hand rails so you can see the backside. Of course we paint the Haze Gray to match the rest of the ship. The back side weathers as well as the front side so it is important to seal both sides of the boards. Hope this helps
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Old 07-28-2017, 10:18 AM   #4
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I don't have name boards but do have Nav. lgt backboards of teak. Full varnish all the way around although not as much, 4 or 5 coats, on the back.

Also ran a bead of caulking across the top and ends with a small wrap on the underside of about 2" only. Stops water from getting behind but the open at the bottom, no caulk, will allow possible leakage to drain instead of getting trapped. Worked so far for the 8-10 yrs since I did that.

On some other pieces I did a full caulk, top and bottom, and eventually had problems when water did finally get behind as it was trapped. Darn stuff,water,will enter. Darn top leaked but the bottom didn't. . So now I no longer seal the bottom of many of those pieces.
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Old 07-28-2017, 12:56 PM   #5
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I'd oil the backside that is never seen w 50% turpentine, 25% oil based varnish and 25% kerosene. The kerosene acts as a penetrating oil.

This way the wood can breathe through the back of the board preventing the board from retaining moisture that may quite likely lift the varnish on the outside. Use a varnish w heavy UV inhibitors. McClosky's Spar varnish is good for that. Many others are too. I like mcClosky's because it's also high oil that is more flexible .. at the expense of hardness of course. Name boards shouldn't need much hardness but we use McClosky's on the cap rail too. If your name board goes on a curved surface you may want the flexability.
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:26 PM   #6
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23 years in, plus whatever years were on them before me:
no attention whatsoever to the back sides. All my name boards are screwed to the FG, so treating them would require removal of the screws. I have the "Nav light" name boards and boards for the name, hailing port and Yacht Club on the transom. When I changed the name, I had to strip down to bare wood, paint on the name and varnish. The port didn't change, the YC did. All were done multiple coats of varnish on the face and a single coat on the back. Subsequent varnishing, several times over the time of ownership, has been done without removing from the boat, and maybe once, removed. There has never been any indication of creeping deterioration at the edges. The worst related issue has been a creep of moisture in a few of the screw holes. That has been easily repaired.
The horizontal part of the side boards deteriorates the fastest, as it doesn't shed water, so needs the most frequent attention.
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Old 07-29-2017, 07:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C lectric View Post
I don't have name boards but do have Nav. lgt backboards of teak. Full varnish all the way around although not as much, 4 or 5 coats, on the back.

Also ran a bead of caulking across the top and ends with a small wrap on the underside of about 2" only. Stops water from getting behind but the open at the bottom, no caulk, will allow possible leakage to drain instead of getting trapped. Worked so far for the 8-10 yrs since I did that.

On some other pieces I did a full caulk, top and bottom, and eventually had problems when water did finally get behind as it was trapped. Darn stuff,water,will enter. Darn top leaked but the bottom didn't. . So now I no longer seal the bottom of many of those pieces.
Sort of ironic but doesn't water suck at times? I have my nav light boards offset by thin nylon washers which give just enough space for water to drain down behind. The transom name and hail are both shimmed due to a curved transom giving the same drainage back there.
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Old 07-29-2017, 07:45 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Nomad Willy View Post
I'd oil the backside that is never seen w 50% turpentine, 25% oil based varnish and 25% kerosene. The kerosene acts as a penetrating oil.

This way the wood can breathe through the back of the board preventing the board from retaining moisture that may quite likely lift the varnish on the outside. Use a varnish w heavy UV inhibitors. McClosky's Spar varnish is good for that. Many others are too. I like mcClosky's because it's also high oil that is more flexible .. at the expense of hardness of course. Name boards shouldn't need much hardness but we use McClosky's on the cap rail too. If your name board goes on a curved surface you may want the flexability.
Thanks NW, I took your McCloskey comments from a previous thread to heart and will be using it. High UV and flexibility on the somewhat curved transom are a good combo. McCloskey's can says "Don't thin" so I am going to CPES until it sucks in no more and then coat with full strength varnish I guess. Conventional wisdom seems to be progressively less thinning for each coat but don't want to go against the manufacturer. Not sure but willing to bet that they know a bit more about their varnish than I do.

Will ask one more question, when varnishing a piiece like a name board, is it an absolute that I need to coat the entire piece each coat or is it ok to coats the front and wrap around the ends a little then, after 4-5-19 coats flip it over and do the back?
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Old 07-29-2017, 07:49 AM   #9
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The worst related issue has been a creep of moisture in a few of the screw holes. That has been easily repaired.
What is the proper way to fasten to the hull? I know use screws but is it better to counter sink the holes prior to varnishing to get a good coat under where the screw heads dig into the wood? Use a washer of some sort so I don't break the varnish? Do I go back after install and put a light coat over the screw heads? Trying to prevent deterioration from the screw heads cutting the varnish.
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Old 07-29-2017, 08:11 AM   #10
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I was not a fan of the name boards. I removed them, filled the holes they left and had the front and back of the boat lettered. It seemed to update the boat and give it a sleeker look.
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Old 07-29-2017, 08:16 AM   #11
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Thanks Donna. Have already ordered the name boards!!! I hate to admit, taking them off and going with lettering on the hull never occurred to me. Sounds stupid but...
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Old 07-29-2017, 08:23 AM   #12
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Nope not stupid at all. Really it's just personal preference. I did about 20,000 in cosmetic work already. Not stopping yet. A salon refit (except the gorgeous teak and holly floors) is in the works as soon as I finish the damn air conditioner.
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Old 07-29-2017, 08:28 AM   #13
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Either bed/adhere to the FG or varnish the back, just a couple of coats to restrain moisture uptake. "Back priming" and the cut ends of exterior wood components is standard practice in good building construction, too.

Kieth noted that the horizontal, up-facing surface deteriorated first. (I'd bet it is more directly aimed at the sun.) But you could slightly angle the top surface so it would shed water better.
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Old 07-29-2017, 10:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Nope not stupid at all. Really it's just personal preference. I did about 20,000 in cosmetic work already. Not stopping yet. A salon refit (except the gorgeous teak and holly floors) is in the works as soon as I finish the damn air conditioner.
Could you please let me finish with the name boards before you bring "air conditioner? into the discussion?!?!? My forward one is blowing...not so cold...at least not as cold as the other two. Hopefully a good flushing with barnacle buster will cure it. Hopefully. After I flush the engines. And the generator.

I have no idea what would be going on had I bought a couple of the "forlorn" boats I looked at. This one was in pretty impeccable shape and has kept me going for 3 months now.
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:58 PM   #15
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I`ve refinished the front of mine 3-4 times in 7 years. The back has the boat name written in texta pen(presumably to guide whoever cut the letters into the board in 1981. There is light varnishing over the back, I`ve never touched it, it is not changing.
To prevent water wicking down the screws, I use a wood colored caulk seal under the screw heads and where the screws penetrate the boat. My transom boards are onto teak laid over f/g, like a GB.
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Old 07-30-2017, 08:24 PM   #16
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Name board varnishing question...

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Ours are directly on the bulwarks.
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Old 07-30-2017, 09:18 PM   #17
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How was that done Bob?

And that subtle green is GB Beige?
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Old 07-30-2017, 09:19 PM   #18
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You want all surfaces sealed. One or two coats on the back should be enough as UV light will never get to it.
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Old 07-30-2017, 09:48 PM   #19
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Ultra vinyl for now. Will be hand painted in the future.

Pettit Grand Banks Beige.
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:45 AM   #20
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I went from varnishing and lettering teak to this...much better and never any maintenance.
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