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Old 21-11-2008, 07:25   #1
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varnish vs cetol

im curious as to the pros and cons of using varnish vs cetol for my woodwork. out here on vancouver island the majority of boats i see have used cetol for exterior wood. can anyone tell me the differences or which is the preferred choice. thanks
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Old 21-11-2008, 07:30   #2
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they both suck

I really can't say because IMHO they both suck. Both end up with a supposed sealed top coat and neither will really seal out 100%. especially at the edge along the interface between wood and vessel. You'll end up having to completely remove either one some day. After using both and having to completely strip both I'm now using Teakguard.
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Old 21-11-2008, 07:31   #3
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You may be interested in some previous CF discussions:
Cetol or Wood Oil
Varnish-- I Don't Get It.
The Great Cetol Debate
exterior teak - cetol?
Cetol Convert
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Old 21-11-2008, 10:18   #4
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thanks gord some good information in those posts.
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Old 21-11-2008, 14:32   #5
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Have you considered epoxy & varnish?
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Old 21-11-2008, 17:22   #6
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We used Cetol and varnish in all our woodwork when we left Vancouver. By the time we reached New Zealand, we got so tired of the maintenance work. We have removed almost all of the wood trimmings on deck, even our nice little teak flooring (helm area) and replaced with fibreglass. Just using marine paint now - all white - less heat absorption. We had tan, beige and white colours on deck, and there is a big difference when we step on them. Definitely - white is cooler.

Interiors - cetol is a magnet for all the dirt and dust (turns dirty black). I stripped most of them out now and replaced with polyurethane. Lots of work stripping, but slowly I plan to convert everything to poly. Hope this helps.
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Old 22-11-2008, 07:52   #7
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Our cocpit seating, floor, tables, and steps were made of teak veneer. It was dark, hot, and beginning to splinter. I epoxied them after stripping out the rubber. The cockpit is much cleaner looking, and it looks larger.I left the tables, and step teak, because it was still in good condition, and added some beauty of wood. These I epoxied, and then varnished. The test is to see how long the varnish will last. I did the handrails in epoxy 207 only, and they laster 6-7 months in the sun. In the shade it still looks lovely over a year later.
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Old 22-11-2008, 08:16   #8
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We use ten coats of Bristol two part over three coats of West epoxy. One year so far and it looks new. Hope it sticks as it is way too much work.
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Old 26-11-2008, 12:21   #9
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Semco teak sealer is easy...to apply and maintain

I hated how the Cetol would peel in certain places and it was a real pain to get the coloring to match without redoing the whole boat.

We stripped her down, used the 2 part Semco cleaner and brightener and then rubbed on two coats of the Semco Natural Sealer in the same day. No runs, brush strokes, irregular coloring- wipe it on with a cloth or brush.

I'm real impressed with the ease of application and maintenance. A nice glossy bristol finish would be nice, but I'd rather go sailing.

I do use Cetol on the interior teak plywood- it holds up great out of the sun. I use the Semco on all the natural teak trim pieces. The result is some matte teaks finished combined with some glossy panels. I don't mind and it stays looking goos and it's easy to maintain without a major ordeal.
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Old 06-12-2008, 16:03   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcmcdowell View Post
I hated how the Cetol would peel in certain places and it was a real pain to get the coloring to match without redoing the whole boat.

We stripped her down, used the 2 part Semco cleaner and brightener and then rubbed on two coats of the Semco Natural Sealer in the same day. No runs, brush strokes, irregular coloring- wipe it on with a cloth or brush.

I'm real impressed with the ease of application and maintenance. A nice glossy bristol finish would be nice, but I'd rather go sailing.

I do use Cetol on the interior teak plywood- it holds up great out of the sun. I use the Semco on all the natural teak trim pieces. The result is some matte teaks finished combined with some glossy panels. I don't mind and it stays looking goos and it's easy to maintain without a major ordeal.

Hope you all don't mind revisiting this.

I have contemplated using Cetol on the interior wood trim.
I am working to remove the old varnish that was in really bad condition from age and going underwater for a short period.

I put some Cetol on an old piece of trim that had been sanded down about a month ago and it looks great.

I read here that it could turn black when dirty. And I read that it works great.

Should I just go back with several coats varnish?

The boat is 30 years old and its never going to look new, at least not while I have it. I'm just trying to improve the appearance the best and least expensive way I can. I know a lot of CSY owners ended up painting all the interior surfaces and I really don't want to do that.

Also planning to clean up the teak and holly sole. It needs to be replaced but its not a high priority right now.

I am considering sanding and re-varnishing. Any guidance on that process?

Thanks
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Old 06-12-2008, 17:01   #11
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I really, really don't care for the appearance of Cetol so with that disclaimer out of the way I would vote for either varnish or good rubbed oil. We're talking interior wood here so most of the arguments against either when used on the exterior don't hold. I had good luck on a prior boat by using satin varnish for most of the flat interior surfaces and a gloss varnish on the trim.

Oil can be gorgeous but a good job is somewhat labor intensive.

I would like to recommend the books of Rebecca Wittman.

A good how to on varnishing, oiling, etc

Amazon.com: The Brightwork Companion : Tried-and-True Methods and Strongly Held Opinions in Thirteen and One-Half Chapters: Rebecca Wittman: Books

And one with all the gory detail as well as some droolable pix of what good jobs look like

Amazon.com: Brightwork: Rebecca Wittman: Books

I have and use both.
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Old 06-12-2008, 17:22   #12
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We did the varnish route on the extensive teak on our sailboat for over ten years. We finally got really tired of it, stripped it all off and applied Cetol. After several years of use, primarily in the tropics, we love the Cetol. If you use the natural teak and the gloss it is pretty darn close to the same finish we had with the varnish. The big difference is, it last about 3 times longer than varnish, it is easy to touch up and only requires a maintenance coat once a year unless we bugger it up. Touch up is easy if done right and we can't tell where it was once done. Every place we have gone with the boat, folks come over and tell us how great the wood looked. The new trawler with lots of teak is getting a makeover with Cetol. Everyone at the marina is liking it so far.
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Old 06-12-2008, 17:52   #13
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The BIG difference is that SilentOption was asking about INTERIOR not EXTERIOR wood finishes.
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Old 06-12-2008, 19:16   #14
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Red face

Do all you people really just like working on your boats that much. What's wrong with just using teak oil once in a while and spend all the rest of the time sailing or just kicking back?
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Old 06-12-2008, 19:33   #15
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I for one do enjoy the finer work on our boat, just as much as taking her out. The same is true of my home and vehicle. I just do not enjoy using something unless it is the best I can make it.

I am retired and have much time on my hands though.
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