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Old 12-06-2020, 09:56 AM   #41
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Where do you get this Alwood? I’m thinking about stripping my brightwork bad spots and repairing.
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Old 12-06-2020, 11:21 AM   #42
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For those here parading around as ultra smart painting their varnish will go silent about the time they sell the family yacht.
These are pleasure boats and people expect varnish.
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Old 12-06-2020, 11:50 AM   #43
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I agree Eric. Many people want varnish. At least for the first few years of ownership. Then paint looks better and better as time passes. Lol
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Old 12-06-2020, 11:55 AM   #44
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Bright work looks beautiful, on someone else's boat
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Old 12-06-2020, 12:07 PM   #45
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MinWax Helmsman is a polyurethane and does not stand up on exterior work. Yes, it has UV inhibitors, but it is not flexible enough. For what you are doing you must use "old school" spar varnish. You will have problems now if you don't remove most the polyurethane b/4 applying the spar.
I am a big fan of Minwax Helmsman and have used it for years on furniture I have built and even teak but always interior.
Of course your end grain must be sealed and the exposed underside of your caps as well.
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Old 12-06-2020, 01:15 PM   #46
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Brooksie,
Yes I’ve had a lot of success w high oil spar varnish.
I read here on TF about the problems w newer supposedly better products.
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Old 12-06-2020, 02:11 PM   #47
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Folks, it's not the product.


I split the job into three. Around the cockpit, around the pilot house/Portuguese Bridge, and around the bow. Same process, same product.

I completed each section fully before moving onto the next one. The other two section are fine, this did not happen to them.

I suspect, given it was may, by the time I got to the bow last there was either more humidity in the air, or the wood wasn't dry from dew etc.
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Old 12-06-2020, 03:34 PM   #48
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Yup,
Dew would do it.
Even dew that soaked it and got trapped only to surface later.
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Old 12-06-2020, 06:06 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Burgess View Post
Where do you get this Alwood? Iím thinking about stripping my brightwork bad spots and repairing.


Awlwood is an Awlgrip product so search online. Your local full service yard should be able to get it for you at a better price than online.

Itís not a product that you can use to fix just the bad spots, itís more of a strip it all off and start from scratch product.
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Old 12-06-2020, 11:16 PM   #50
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from my experience, I'd agree with those in the moisture camp. My 1979 OA has plenty of wood that is out in the weather all the time. Seems to me that anytime moisture finds a pin hole in the varnish, it makes a black spot that slowly expands and then starts flaking the varnish from the movement.
The last three years I've been using Total Boat Gleam. Reason being that I can slather on multiple coats without sanding in-between. I'm in the PNW and so have to take advantage of weather windows to get the job done. This year I also tried their water base product on the rails forward of the Portuguese. Time will tell how well it holds up. Again, it was a product that I could put multiple coats on in a days time.
I will also add that I'm not a perfectionist. On an old boat, sometimes good enough is more then adequate. My method is to strip with a heat gun and a scraper followed by light sanding. Wipe down with acetone, and get two coats of the varnish primer sealer quickly Then I put as many coast of the Gleam on as I can get in a day. Usually 4-5. I usually get two seasons before issues arise, and then I decide if the whole section needs to be redone or just fix that section. Looks good from 10 ft back. Good enough!

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Old 12-07-2020, 07:28 AM   #51
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"For those here parading around as ultra smart painting their varnish will go silent about the time they sell the family yacht.
These are pleasure boats and people expect varnish."

The usual method of painting over varnish is to slop on 3 or more coats of varnish , any varnish, Then primer and any good paint works.

The finish sold for decks works well for a 10 ft "wood" finish.

It is less work to remove the paint and varnish barrier coats than refinish ignored bright work if the next owner wants to look at teak.
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Old 12-07-2020, 07:51 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PMF1984 View Post
Awlwood is an Awlgrip product so search online. Your local full service yard should be able to get it for you at a better price than online.

Itís not a product that you can use to fix just the bad spots, itís more of a strip it all off and start from scratch product.
Agree. Awl-wood is a system. Once done properly you'd never go back.

My first hands on marine varnish experience was in 1956 on a gorgeous vessel that was 30 years old at the time. Then as now, the secret is in the prep work. Even better if done in a shed with no sun or moisture.
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Old 12-07-2020, 01:45 PM   #53
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Looks to me like moisture in the wood caused coating to fail or failed finish allowed moisture in.

Which came first? Chicken/egg.

Remedy is the same either way. Remove failed finish, thorough clean and dry wood then apply coating as you did before.
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Old 12-07-2020, 01:54 PM   #54
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Moisture!

50 years of Carpentry , cabinetmaking and fine woodworking and the last 10 working on boats. Failing to insure the air and surface temperatures and moisture level are the greatest cause of Finish failure!

Quote:
Originally Posted by menzies View Post
Back in May I went around all the cap rail on Sonas, scraped out and sanded all the spots, filled with four coats of poly, then went over everything with three coats. It all looked great.

About four weeks ago the varnish on my bow cap rail literally exploded! The varnish on the other cap rails is fine - the top coat is flaking a bit but nothing more than the usual Florida wear and tear, a light sanding in the spring and a couple of new coats will be fine.

The bow rail however looks like someone walked around and poured acid on it. I am now going to have to take a sander to it and bring it to all back to bare teak and start again.

Any ideas why this happened to the bow rail and not the rest? I was wondering if doing this in May when there may have been humidity in the air trapped moisture under the poly - but wouldn't that have happened to the rest as well?

I did have mechanics on the bow dismantling and rebuilding my windlasss but I can't see how they could have caused this.

First photo is what I was doing in May, others are examples of the rail now.
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Old 12-07-2020, 02:03 PM   #55
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Happened to us

The same thing happened to us on our trawler. All the way around the cap rail. After much discussion and expert opinions, the only thing that made sense to us is that whatever was used originally on the wood, sank in and is forever incompatible with any finish, except of course, more of whatever was on here originally. We sanded, bleached, washed with every solvent. Couldnít ever get hat bright new finish. So we gave in and cleaned, bleached, and oiled it.
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Old 12-07-2020, 02:39 PM   #56
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Wood expands and contracts continually, so its a battle to maintain any finish applied.
Any joints are particularly prone to cracking and then moisture ingress.
A lot of polyurethane products have poor adhesion when applied to bare wood and this exacerbates any cracking issues down the road.
From the photos, it looks like the original base coats were some sort of poly and if you look at photo 3 - the one with the zigzag joint, you can see that the entire finish layer is 'lifting' at the top LH edge of the finish that remains.
Photo 2 shows small longitudinal cracks in the parent wood which have allowed the finish to crack via expansion/contraction thus allowing moisture in and lifting the finish.
Photo 3 - zigzag joint has cracked - again allowing moisture in and lifting the finish.
This problem can only be cured for the long term by stripping all of it and starting again.
I have been refinishing boats professionally in Florida for 20 years and this is my method which works.
Bare teak - build up with 10 coats of Epifanes (best UV) high gloss varnish, sanding between each coat with 220 grit.
Don't bother with diluting the first coats - neat varnish will disappear into the teak and grip without any thinning.
Sand the last coat with 400 grit, clean carefully and on a calm day, apply one topcoat of 3 part Awlbrite finish.
Varnish degrades in sunlight and the Awlbrite will protect the varnish layer and give longevity.
Open out any joints as suggested to about 1/8" wide and 1/4" deep. Varnish as if they were 2 separate pieces.
Mask the joint after all is complete and caulk with black Teak Decking Systems caulk.
This will allow the joint to flex without cracking the finish.
Final note - don't be tempted to build up using polyurethanes including Awlwood. They are all deficient in UV (compared to quality marine varnish) and while the finish may look good, the color of the parent wood underneath will bleach out over time and look like s--t.
I'm not trying to be a smartass, but I've seen the results of all the so called wonder products that have come out over the years and I still use my method as above.
I would move with the times if I found a better way, but for my money it doesn't yet exist.
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Old 12-07-2020, 05:01 PM   #57
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Quote:
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Wood expands and contracts continually, so its a battle to maintain any finish applied.
Any joints are particularly prone to cracking and then moisture ingress. This problem can only be cured for the long term by stripping all of it and starting again. Open out any joints as suggested to about 1/8" wide and 1/4" deep. Varnish as if they were 2 separate pieces.
Mask the joint after all is complete and caulk with black Teak Decking Systems caulk.
This will allow the joint to flex without cracking the finish."
I do similar - Epiphanes 10 coats then caulking the joints (including underside of cap rail) after the varnishing is complete. There is no way you can prevent wood expansion & contraction with varnish or polymers so you have to plan to allow for it. I hired the local pro who maintains bright work on the Hinckleys and Back Coves (that abound in my marina) for a few hours to teach me how he does it. That's what he uses & it worked for me too. Spoiler -there is no product that will reliably last more than a year or two in the Southern sun (Awl wood may give 3 years or so but then a major pain removing it the next time. The extreme UV exposure down here is why the big boys do a light sand and recoat their brightwork every 6-12 months even though it still looks perfect! - applies more of the UV blocking varnish before the sun eats it and the moisture intrudes.
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Old 12-07-2020, 05:02 PM   #58
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http://www.coelan-boat.com/

I know someone who got this and like it a lot. Clear coat that lasts up to 10 years on wood. Anyone here used it? You buy the clear and mix in a color stain.

I dont know if you can buy it here any longer...It could be it was too costly and they could not sell enough for retail sales.
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Old 12-07-2020, 06:29 PM   #59
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I'm speculating a bit, but it seems there are black spots or streaks common to the problem areas. That is likely to be mould & mildew. Prep with sanding wont remove it all, there will be some that is in the grain, or just under the surface. The natural oil in the teak can feed it, enabling it to grow. Once it has cracked the varnish then it can really get going....

So I am thinking that part of the answer will be to wash the teak with both detergent and a bleach solution prior to varnish.

Lots or folks advocate heat gun to remove old varnish to minimise sanding. It is possible that a benefit of doing that is that the heat could kill the mould & mildew also.

What is the varnish that you use?
Yes - Moisture and mildew in wood grain.

Decades ago; having for years applied varnish on boats when young:

I recommend the following... Full varnish removal. Then wrap on a cloth [full tite wrap around the wood - old bath towel material cut into strips... and the like]. Then soak with 25% bleach 75% water mix. I'd let it get to point of near dry and soak with same mixture a second time. Then when nearly fully dry unwrap and let wood really, really dry out. Sand surface as desired. Clean off with rubbing alcohol on a rag. Again let dry [alcohol doesn't take long to disappear]. Stain if desired and coat with a clear finish [varnish?] as desired.

Be careful the bleach mix does not put bleached spots on deck/gunnel or in streaks down hull side. You may want other absorbent fabric atop plastic film underneath bleach soaked wrap around the hand rail.
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Old 12-07-2020, 06:45 PM   #60
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http://www.coelan-boat.com/

I know someone who got this and like it a lot. Clear coat that lasts up to 10 years on wood. Anyone here used it? You buy the clear and mix in a color stain.

I dont know if you can buy it here any longer...It could be it was too costly and they could not sell enough for retail sales.
Coelan was available here maybe 10 years ago. I ceased using the Yard which stocked and promoted it, they were very enthused, kept some exposed wood finished with it on display,seemed to last and look good.
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