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Varnish for all wood hull

Discussion in 'Traditional All-Wood Construction' started by Dave Osborn, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Up until now, I've only worked with canvas or fiberglass covered hulls. Now I'm planning to work on an all wood hull. Is there one kind of varnish that is better than others for wooden hulls?
  2. john hupfield

    john hupfield fire starter/wood burner

    Classic or New? Classic varnishes like Petit Hi-Build or Z-Spar.
    No No No urethanes. At the risk of affronting some stockholder.They tend to be too stable resulting in peeling and are hard to repair. Urethanes are Plastic Film.
    Modern Varnishes take your pick.
  3. thompsonboatboy

    thompsonboatboy LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I've never worked on a canoe. However, the marien spar varnish I use on my antique and classic Thompson speed boats is Interlux Schooner No. 96. I like the stuff.

  4. john hupfield

    john hupfield fire starter/wood burner

    If it works on your "Classics" then it works on your canoes. Main thing is to make sure that the ribs and planking are in good shape and sand and remove any old varnish unless you are enamored with "Patina" as they call that old black stuff. Don't try to match that old colour. Better to refinish. Mind you that is all a matter of esthetics anyway.
    I'm sure some others will jump in with instructions and opinions on refinishing and they are welcome.
    I have been running a wooden boat shop for 20 years and treat canoes with the same respect as the boats. I do favour Petit but then that is what my Distributor sells. Proper preparation is the main thing.
  5. OP
    Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Thanks for the info.... I wasn't sure if there was anything special to be used below the waterline on the outside of the hull. Apparently not, as I have been hearing that a good quality marine varnish, of which I have used many, will do the trick on a wooden hull even though they are not recommended for below the waterline. Been using Epifanes on interiors of late. I'll probably stick with that or Schooner.
  6. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    Most varnishes and enamels will peel if you leave the boat in the water constantly for several days, but for the type of "in the water during the day and out of it at night" use that canoes and daysailers usually get, they work fine.

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