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Old 01-18-2021, 03:09 PM   #1
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refinishing caprails varnish or awlgrip?

we're needing to strip/refinish our caprails on Kadey Krogen. not a job I'm going to do myself so before we get some estimates, i'm wondering the pros/cons of stripping and revarnishing or using awlgrip
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Old 01-18-2021, 04:18 PM   #2
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If you're going to Awlgrip them, you really should encapsulate them. If you don't, when the paint cracks (it absolutely will), you will be redoing the whole process. Encapsulating it prevents the expansion and contraction causing the paint to crack. I did mine 5+ years ago, and it still looks great. Could also sand and repaint over the encapsulation.

There are some pictures half way down page 2 of this thread that show the process. Look near the last page for the pictures after the painting is finished.

https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...t-19105-2.html

Ted
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Old 01-19-2021, 08:53 AM   #3
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Ted, forgive my ignorance, but what is "encapsulating"? Your link did not work for me.
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
If you're going to Awlgrip them, you really should encapsulate them. If you don't, when the paint cracks (it absolutely will), you will be redoing the whole process. Encapsulating it prevents the expansion and contraction causing the paint to crack. I did mine 5+ years ago, and it still looks great. Could also sand and repaint over the encapsulation.

There are some pictures half way down page 2 of this thread that show the process. Look near the last page for the pictures after the painting is finished.

https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...t-19105-2.html

Ted
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Old 01-19-2021, 09:56 AM   #4
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Ted, forgive my ignorance, but what is "encapsulating"? Your link did not work for me.
That's my "Short haul refit thread". Link works for me.

Encapsulating refers to covering the wood with fiberglass and cloth. In my situation it was biaxial cloth and West System epoxy.

Ted
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Old 01-19-2021, 10:07 AM   #5
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Why not use Awlwood?
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Old 01-19-2021, 10:21 AM   #6
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I'll presume "Awlgrip" means painting?


If your present finish is intact, e.g. NO water intrusion, no discoloration at cracks, no peeling, then painting might be an option. If the existing finish has flaws, they will need to be repaired regardless of the end finish. Prep is prep, and I'd propose that the prep will be the same no matter. Paint may last longer, but not if you don't prep it correctly.



Another option you don't mention is Awlwood vs. traditional varnish, and what final finish you want to achieve. If you want the beauty of a varnished caprail, Awlwood is an option that will last the longest, but it requires "wooding" of the surface: you have to get to bare wood to properly apply the Awlwood "system". I had been using Epifanes for years; beautiful result, but in the semi-tropical environment of the south, it required refreshing every 6-9 months. Let it go too long, and the finish starts to fail and then it's back to wood. The Awlwood system will last much longer, is faster to apply, but either requires the same amount of prep. As OC mentioned, if you want the paint to last, encapsulation is part of that paint prep that's not part of varnish or Awlwood prep. I'm much happier with the Awlwood over Epifanes. Highly recommend it. If your teak is dark, the clear primer may be a better choice. I used the "yellow" primer, and it darkened the wood more than it needed to be.



It boils down to personal preference. I wouldn't be at all happy with a painted caprail; for me, it covers up the natural beauty of the wood. But that's me!
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Old 01-19-2021, 10:44 AM   #7
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My caprails were totally buggered. I had them encapsulated (fiberglass and faired smooth) and painted out in LPU (I used AlexSeal vs awlgrip).

EDIT - found a 'before' picture to give some idea of prior condition. Pretty bad, including some rot/termite damage. Encapsulation wasn't too expensive as an add-on to paining the boat. I think it was in the $2200 range (Mexico). Not sure how practical it is at US rates or as a standalone project - all hardware came off in my instance.

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Old 01-19-2021, 10:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
That's my "Short haul refit thread". Link works for me.

Encapsulating refers to covering the wood with fiberglass and cloth. In my situation it was biaxial cloth and West System epoxy.

Ted
Or just epoxy. Three coats of clear epoxy makes a great base for synthetic varnish. Epoxy degrades in UV so it needs a UV protective coating but the two together will last years and years.
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Old 01-19-2021, 12:09 PM   #9
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Or just epoxy. Three coats of clear epoxy makes a great base for synthetic varnish. Epoxy degrades in UV so it needs a UV protective coating but the two together will last years and years.
There is a reason they don't do that to wood hulled boats. While it might be ok for the individual pieces of wood, there will be issues at the joints. Also, the cloth gives thickness. Any puncture of the coating will allow moisture inside. The expansion and contraction of the wood because of moisture and changing temperature, will force the epoxy to crack. Epoxy lacks strength without fiber reinforcement.

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Old 01-19-2021, 12:42 PM   #10
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I painted mine 3 years ago using Brightside paint. I did 2 coats of PreKote primer and 3 coats of Brightside paint. So far it looks brand new, but I am not in Florida.
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Old 01-19-2021, 12:45 PM   #11
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My ex-wife use to do that work often in Honolulu, with sun that is hard on any clear coat type of finish. She would do coats of Awlgrip, then cover it with a good varnish, that had good UV protection. What she found was that the Awlgrip didn't stand up to the sun from the heat that was created because of the dark wood and sun. The varnish with good UV protection stood up to the heat a lot better. The varnish in time would check slightly and she would lightly sand it and give it a couple of coats and it was good for another year or longer.
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Old 01-19-2021, 12:59 PM   #12
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To wood down is common best practice for all recoating.
One can leave what appear to be well bonded previous coatings but it’s always questionable. One needs to get to the metal, wood FG or whatever and sand w the appropriate abrasives to prepare the surface for good adhesion.

Too many miracle coatings now. The application procedure is different for most if not every one. Everybody was raving about “Bristol” clear coating in the past and Marin Faure among them. But it was a very thin coating. Don’t hear any talk about Bristol lately. So it’s on the the next miracle coating.

So what’s this new stuff awlgrip?

My 3 or 4yr old high oil spar varnish will need some touch up but that’s about it. A light sanding for “tooth” and apply a new coat.

Oh well what were you saying about awlgrip?
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Old 01-19-2021, 01:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
That's my "Short haul refit thread". Link works for me.

Encapsulating refers to covering the wood with fiberglass and cloth. In my situation it was biaxial cloth and West System epoxy.

Ted
Ted - were your caprails encapsulated after production? I was surprised at the process used to encapsulate my caprails. 6-inches of hull beneath the caprail was sanded down and the glass fabric (three layers) were feathered into the hull so the hull-deck joint is also encapsulated.

Peter
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Old 01-19-2021, 01:52 PM   #14
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Whatever happened to the epoxy coating that was supposed to penetrate into the wood and form a water barrier? Can’t remember the name of it. Another thing Marin Farue was a fan of.
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Old 01-19-2021, 02:16 PM   #15
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Whatever happened to the epoxy coating that was supposed to penetrate into the wood and form a water barrier? Canít remember the name of it. Another thing Marin Farue was a fan of.
That's what I was referring to. Works well on rails, trim, etc. Not for plank on frame hulls, but pretty much required in strip plank and cold-molded construction. For bright finished wood you can't use heavy fiberglass but one layer of 4 or 6 once cloth will be invisible enough to work. Anything heavier will show and of course biaxial will just be white with whatever color the resin is. OK for paint but I thought we were talking about brightwork. WEST System is the most well known epoxy but there are a lot of manufacturers now. I usually use US Composites, seems every bit as good as WEST but quite a bit cheaper. WEST's biggest advantage is West Marine (not related) stocks it and I've even seen it one of the big box stores, although I can't remember now which. All the others have to be shipped.
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Old 01-19-2021, 03:23 PM   #16
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Whatever happened to the epoxy coating that was supposed to penetrate into the wood and form a water barrier? Canít remember the name of it. Another thing Marin Farue was a fan of.
Are you thinking Smith Penetrating Epoxy? Very watery liquid - use on a calm day only.

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Old 01-19-2021, 03:37 PM   #17
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FG is the ruination of any wood boat.
Water gets under the overlay and from there on it’s battle or strip. Striping paint = bad. Striping FG overlay on wood is ... better just throw it away.

Some newer higher tech stuff is good and worth the effort. What those products are I don’t know. But IMO most are going to be surpassed next week or in a few years. Varnish is still on the store shelves (100 yrs at least) because it works. It’s not an experiment.
Epoxy is not an experiment though but it’s no miracle. It is what it is. WD40 and Duct Tape also are not miracles either but people put them in places more often than not in-on places where it was never intended. Cleaning up after a Duct Tape application is a goey event.
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Old 01-19-2021, 03:39 PM   #18
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I think part of the reason a lot of people keep going with varnish over some of the fancy alternatives is a combination of a few things. It's really hard to beat the look of really well done varnish work. And most of the good alternative wood finishes that aren't Cetol are easily twice the price of good varnish.
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Old 01-19-2021, 03:47 PM   #19
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Peter,
CPES ... yes I think that’s it.

I use a mixture of varnish and kerosene. Read about in a book called Skiffs and Schooners by R. d. Culler. Kerosene is the best penetrator (re Culler) and drives the varnish (small quantities added to the kero) into the wood.
He use-to heavily coat the inside of a new wood boat w kerosene.
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Old 01-19-2021, 03:55 PM   #20
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100 ways around the tree, pick a path you like, or choose the one that worked for the guy before you.

I am still learning a lot about Varnish from the people that are willing to share their results. I have used Smiths under Varnish on my El Toro, it worked well.
I have used Perfection Plus on teak and then coved with a single part compass clear with good results.

And I am following this tread to see what he decides to do, as I will be doing my tow boards this spring, not sure if I am going to go with straight Varnish, Smiths then Varnish, or Perfection Plus.
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