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Mon, June 17 2024, 11:08Login ] [ Contact Forum Admin ] [ Main index ] [ Post a new message ] [ Search | Check update time | Archives: 123456[7]89 ]

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Date Posted: - Tuesday - 08/19/08 - 2:59pm
Author: Steve M-32 #59
Subject: Varnish vs paint
In reply to: Steve Burge hull #55 's message, "Mast maintenance" on - Tuesday - 08/19/08 - 2:05pm

One of the things I have read with regards to wooden masts is that varnish lets you see whether water has gotten under the varnish so you can fix it before it starts to rot. When I bought my boat the masts were painted and looked to be in great shape. After I stripped them I found myself making more than a few dutchmen to fix some problem areas. I won't go back to an opaque coating for my masts after that experience. I have stuck with traditional spar varnish rather than going to a poly. As Gitano says poly is harder but harder is not necessarily advantageous on a mast. A more flexible varnish withstands minor hits better and works with the wood as it expands, contracts and flexes over time. I don't want to sound dogmatic on this as there are definitely different opinions on the subject and each type of varnish has its' good and bad points. BTW on the subject of surface prep, don't listen to the people who talk about going down to 400 grit or more and trying to get a perfect finish for varnish. Go to 120 use a first coat split 50/50 with thinner and then go for the most thick coats you can. I want protection for the mast I'm not worried about perfection

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[> Spar finishes -- Craig M31-25 Hibou, - Tuesday - 08/19/08 - 3:10pm

Last spring we refinished our spars, they had peeled and turned gray over the winter. We stripped the remaining varnish off, gave the wood a good sanding, a bleach wash, and then applied Cetol. They look good as new, now.

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[> [> Flexible Finish -- Gitano, - Tuesday - 08/19/08 - 3:42pm

We have actually done some test samples at NorthBay Boat Works (www.northbayboatworks.com) where we finished up a spar and applied bending. The two part polyurathane actually does stretch, just about as well as traditional cured varnish. Its a matter of preferance as to maintenance. i.e. having to sand between every coat, and wait until the following day to apply another (and doing that twice a year), or being able to "wet coat" several layors on a single day, and have it last a couple of years beore having to apply another. We found that the key was using the wood sealer as opposed to thinned Bristol (with acetone)as the sealer coat. The one drawback is that patches are more difficult to apply with polyurathane than with varnish. Have to sand and feather down before appying more coats.

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[> [> [> flex -- Steve M-32 #59, - Tuesday - 08/19/08 - 4:12pm

Interesting. I must confess I hadn't tested the finish I just went from my boatbuilding instructor who has a lot of years in the business. Oh well, learn something new every day :-)

On the matter of refinishing I have have found that once a year is fine though that probably has something to do with the fact that there is no sunshine for six months out of the year up here :-)

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[> [> [> [> Wooden Boats -- Gitano, - Tuesday - 08/19/08 - 4:34pm

Indeed! I find most wooden boatbuilders stick with traditional means as opposed to using modern products. That is the case here in Sausalito as well, and is indeed the case of the instructors at the Arques School of wooden boatbuilding (http://www.arqueschl.org/)from which the owners of NBBW are all graduates. Thats why we did the tests. All wooden spars still require routine maintenance, and inspection, regardless of the finish. I actually painted the mast tops from the point of my reach while standing on the spreaders. the mast below that point are varnished with Bristol. One note: I highly recommend replacing the spreader tangs with a different design. See my post about dismasting

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