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Old 09-04-2022, 14:39   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
Boat: Woods Eclipse 33' sailing cat
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varnish alternative

I have a small amount of exterior wood on my boat, toerails, cabin coaming, and campanionway frame and door. All of the wood is new cypress.

I'd like to stain the wood, probably a light gray. I'm looking at using a wood deck stain/finish, such as Sherwin-Williams Superdeck. These are flat finishes, some are more opaque than others. Some are water-base and some are oil.

I don't want to use varnish, it takes so much time. I could paint the wood with a topside enamel, but I want to see some of the grain.

Anyone have experience with these products, or have other ideas?
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Old 09-04-2022, 15:09   #2
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Location: Lake Ont
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Re: varnish alternative

Our little boat has some nice teak accents - rubrail, cabintop handrails, sliders for hatch, etc. I had some Cetol 'natural' (golden) deck stain left over from a renovation. I just lightly sanded the greyed-up teak and did two coats of the Cetol. The woodwork is not glossy-bright, but it glows, has a nice colour, and stands up to the weather. I do touchups every year, and a light sand and full coat every two or three years.
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Old 09-04-2022, 21:18   #3
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Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
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Re: varnish alternative

Cetol gives a nice, maintained appearance. To my eye, it is not as pretty to see as varnish, but it is much easier to deal with. We have friends who used it below decks as well, holds up and looks good.

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