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Old 16-08-2015, 12:08   #1
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Total Boat Varnish?

There is a marine supplier in the U.S. called Jamestown Distributors. in the last few years they have begun selling paints and such under the generic brand "Total Boat". I have hesitated to use them because most of the work is prep; who wants to apply an unknown product to a job that has taken days of prep work. This brings me to my question.

Their latest entry is a varnish they call "Total Boat Lust". A questionable choice in product naming to be sure. Besides the usual claims of a gorgeous finish, they also advertise that up to 5 coats can be applied daily with no sanding between coats. I normally use Z-Spar Flagship which looks great but is extremely time consuming. One coat per day and sanding between each coat..

If anyone is familiar with Cabo Rico, you will know we don't measure the teak in board feet and instead refer to it in board acres.

Here is an opportunity to have a good looking boat without spending a month on the job. IF it works. The web site has a few reviews rating it mostly 4 and 5 star.

Since I very much doubt they are making their own varnish, it is probably someone else's relabeled.

Does anyone out there have any experience or info on this stuff?

Rich
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Old 16-08-2015, 12:21   #2
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Re: Total Boat Varnish ??

Hi Rich,

First: I am not familiar with the product you mention. When not working on other boats my wife and I sail the Baltic on our 41ft cruiser who has a lots of mahogany. So far we used a 2k De Ijssel paint with very good results but with the same long waiting time between paint jobs ...

The 92ft sloop I am currently working on just gets an intensive refit and the yard suggested and is using now Awlwood from Awlgrip.

You can easily apply some layers a day and the finish is awesome. I will for sure try this on our own boat too ....

Might be worth for you to look at Awlwood too.

Regards,

Carsten
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Old 16-08-2015, 12:31   #3
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Re: Total Boat Varnish?

Thank you Carsten I shall do so.

Rich
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Old 16-08-2015, 12:36   #4
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Re: Total Boat Varnish?

I don't know the product, and I am definitely not the "varnishers varnisher"! But I have often put on coats of varnish without sanding between. I would do a coat as early as possible, then once it's mostly hardened, I would apply another coat while still tacky. This didnt seem to wear any worse or better than the traditional method, but avoided sanding between every coat. Of course early coats must be sanded to remove the grain etc that raises up.
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Old 16-08-2015, 12:41   #5
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Re: Total Boat Varnish?

I wonder if the stuff you are talking about i something like Honey Teak? I am going back to HT after the 11 coats of Epfianes experience. I am too old to spent that much time crawling around on my knees.
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Old 16-08-2015, 12:47   #6
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Total Boat Varnish?

I vaguely remember Honey Teak. Since I don't use it, I'll assume it didn't work.

Epiphane only lasted a few months under the FL sun.



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Old 16-08-2015, 15:46   #7
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Re: Total Boat Varnish?

Why do they put wood on boats anyway?😏


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Old 16-08-2015, 16:32   #8
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Re: Total Boat Varnish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
Why do they put wood on boats anyway?😏


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That's simple. It's so they look like boats instead of floating chlorox bottles. In other words, the aesthetics.


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Old 16-08-2015, 17:00   #9
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Re: Total Boat Varnish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post
That's simple. It's so they look like boats instead of floating chlorox bottles. In other words, the aesthetics.


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Old 16-08-2015, 18:40   #10
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Re: Total Boat Varnish?

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I don't know the product, and I am definitely not the "varnishers varnisher"! But I have often put on coats of varnish without sanding between. I would do a coat as early as possible, then once it's mostly hardened, I would apply another coat while still tacky. This didnt seem to wear any worse or better than the traditional method, but avoided sanding between every coat. Of course early coats must be sanded to remove the grain etc that raises up.

I would be cautious about reapplying without allowing adequate drying time ( I worked as a custom furniture finisher for a few years) as this can frequently lead to issues such as "alligatoring" or checking. This is when the solvent still present on the earlier coat tries to escape through the later coat. Sometimes works, sometimes not. Depends on the varnish, solvents used for thinning, humidity, how thick a coat you are applying (important), alignment of the stars, etc.

Shortcuts include varnishes like "jetspeed" if they are still around, doing two or three seal coats prior to flowing on the final varnish coats, etc. Shellac in some applications is great for the first several coats.

While I have used several brands for fine furniture, I have stuck with Interlux for boat projects. Interlux however keeps changing their varnish line. Recently I have been using Interlux Schooner #96. You can squeak in two coats a day if careful, and if conditions allow. Flows out well with perhaps a bit less coverage than prior stuff. Excellent gloss though and very good clarity. This has one of the lighter color tints so it is not heavily amber colored. Not quite as tough a surface as a polyurethane (so maybe not the choice for a table top) but still pretty durable.

If you are spraying, there are other choices. Brushing, patience will be rewarded. That and a good tack rag and badger brush.
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Old 16-08-2015, 19:01   #11
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Re: Total Boat Varnish?

i think the boat lust is worth a try. if you could quickly build up 5 or 6 coats of it and then apply a top coat of the flagship or epifanes varnish. to avoid sanding would be great since it seems one tends to sand off half of what you just worked so hard to lay on
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Old 16-08-2015, 22:07   #12
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Re: Total Boat Varnish?

I don't mind the sanding between coats so much (I use 320-400 grit for that). What kills me is only one coat for 24 hrs.


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Old 17-08-2015, 07:36   #13
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Re: Total Boat Varnish?

Someone mentioned "Awlwood". I've never heard of that, but I've been using AwlSpar for a few months now. You can indeed do 2-3 coats a day without sanding in between, depending on temperature (I'm in Florida). In fact, you don't have to sand if you recoat within 36 hours. So you can do 2 coats a day for 3-4 days and get good buildup without sanding.

The AwlSpar can also be coated with AwlBrite, a urethane, to increase longevity (at a cost of harder touchups, of course). I haven't tried AwlBrite yet.

I've very happy with AwlSpar after a few months in the Florida sun. I hope it will allow me to do 2 coats in one day, twice a year, which is about all I can stand :-)

It smells good too, since it's a traditional varnish. Unlike urethanes which stink!

Fair winds,
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Old 17-08-2015, 11:06   #14
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Re: Total Boat Varnish?

Products like theJD boat lust, Bristol, and others are not varnish, they're polyurethane. They advertise 5 coats a day (in the ideal conditions that neither you nor I will ever see) but they also have the same problems with skimming over and alligatoring as real varnishes do. In theory, they should be tougher and last a little longer w/o maintenance coats but when it comes time that they fail (and they will), scraping plastic off the boat is a lot harder than sanding/scraping ordinary varnish.

I have gotten 2 coats a day from normal varnishes--using a variety of brands. For the last 2 years (I varnish 1x/year) I go with 1 coat per day even if the conditions are perfect for 2. I do not sand between coats. The 1 coat per day is still hot-coating the varnish. As an aside, I wouldn't varnish when the first coat is still sticky. That's too soon and almost certainly would lead me to alligatoring problems. Others may have more talent than I do in this area.

I have a 20 years of furniture refinishing experience but only 7 years of boat varnishing. My techniques have changed over the 7 years, for sure. Although I started with bare wood 7 years ago, since then, I have only had to go down to bare wood in a couple places--my varnishing is sanding off the UVdamaged top coats and then applying maintenance coats on top of good varnish. My boat exterior has both mahogany and teak. It is very important to keep the mahogany varnished as dirt and iron compounds will turn the mahogany black.

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Old 17-08-2015, 12:35   #15
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Re: Total Boat Varnish?

Thank you,
That was helpful

Rich


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