that my boat is partly made of is 31 years old, and the boat is in EXCELLENT shape. This is because it is EPOXY
glassed on the outside in thicknesses and fiber orientations that are appropriate to the area, and it is WEST system on the inside. In fact, the very BEST boats in the world tend to be the better "one offs". These are often a wood/epoxy composite like ours.
We do avoid (at all cost), ANY exterior varnish
. Clear finished or bare wood, on the outside of a boat, is a makework project! IMO... We made all small bits like toe rails or cockpit
enclosure skirt, out of Starboard, and the hand rails are all SS. Only down below is it evident that it is a mostly wood boat, and that's as it should be. Enjoy the beauty down below.
IF one wanted to epoxy
over their teak
hand rails or such, and then LP paint
them brown, it would last well over 10 years before needing more work.
The thing you can't have is CLEAR or UNFINISHED wood on the exterior, AND low maintenance!
Even planked wooden boats have been epoxy glassed successfully, by laying up so much glass that the skin could be on its own... Then keep a bone dry bilge
forever. It is MORE work than building from scratch, and once again... IF you want low maintenance
, the outside needs to NOT look like a wood boat!
BTW American Marine ply is a very poor wood choice, as it is Fir, which gets checks & splits on the inside. For the WEST system, a good metric exterior Okoume ply will remain stable for more than your lifetime!
I started my career building &/or repairing boats, on old non glassed, planked woodies, 42 years ago. If varnished outside, they are VERY beautiful! I would NEVER want THAT type of wood boat for myself however. WAY too much work! If it was glassed outside & epoxied inside, made of plywood or cold molded, and painted over outside... THEN wood is a low maintenance material!