Cruisers Forum

Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 27-05-2021, 05:51   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2020
Boat: '84 Tayana Vancouver 42
Posts: 15
Polish vs Patina

My Tayana Vancouver has bronze hardware through-out. I'm thinking about polishing off the patina on my portholes, but don't know much about the maintenance required to keep up with it. Am I going to regret making them shine, or is keeping them that way not as hard as I think?
SVRealityCheck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2021, 06:06   #2
Registered User
Mike OReilly's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Good question
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 11,782
Re: Polish vs Patina

I've left all my bronze, both outside and inside, in their natural green patina state. I think it looks nicer than shiny bronze, and to my eye looks more "shippy."

It's also way easier . If you opt to keep the bronze polished you'll be polishing all the time (if you live in salt air).
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMGA0692.jpg
Views:	35
Size:	413.6 KB
ID:	239292   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0323.jpg
Views:	36
Size:	435.0 KB
ID:	239293  

Why go fast, when you can go slow.
Mike OReilly is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2021, 06:13   #3
Registered User
Nicholson58's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Caribbean live aboard
Boat: Camper & Nicholson58 Ketch - ROXY Traverse City, Michigan No.668283
Posts: 5,785
Images: 84
Re: Polish vs Patina

I saw an almost mega yacht in Newport and again in Antigua. This had immaculate wood and polished brass everything. All deck hardware, windlass, ports, winches, blocks, any metal was custom for this yacht. There was very regular polishing and varnishing. It looks like a museum specimen. Full time upkeep.

If you decide it’s too much, just stop.
Nicholson58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2021, 06:13   #4
Senior Cruiser
tkeithlu's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Carrabelle, Florida
Boat: Fiberglas shattering 44' steel trawler
Posts: 3,799
Re: Polish vs Patina

Yeah, it's a problem that has never really been solved, short of gold plating the bronze. Yes, you can polish it up. Incredibly fine sandpaper (1000 grit or finer, available easily at auto parts stores) will do it. So will bead blasting. Avoid wire wheels that will leave steel residue in the bronze.

Then, you either polish every time the piece of bronze even smells salt air/water, or you encase your careful work in clear varnish. That preserves it, and looks great, until the day that the ever-pervasive salt air/water breaches it, and then you get really ugly blotches. So, you have to start over, but this time you have to remove all the varnish as well as the corrosion.

So, it it worth it? It is for my 1943 Navy tugboat bell, a boat commanded by the uncle of a friend. Otherwise, to me, no. Notice the movement away from exposed bronze and toward stainless steel, chrome, aluminum, and plastic. We have not just retired wooden boats, we have retired wood trim. Labor takes time and is expensive.
Never let anything mechanical know that you are in a hurry.
tkeithlu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2021, 06:14   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Florida
Boat: Spindrift 43
Posts: 342
Re: Polish vs Patina

I have an ongoing thread on this very topic that you may find helpful:

In the thread, I have a bit of a running experiment. I have polished some of my bronze fittings starting with sandpaper all the way down to a fine finish with jeweler’s rouge. The intent was to create a surface where corrosive particles would have a difficult time finding a footing. That SHOULD lend itself to the development of a more even patina- whatever color that turns out to be. I’ll be posting pictures as it develops over time.

I think it basically breaks down like this: polished bronze is possible to keep, but maintaining that is work-intensive. It’s naturally going to oxidize, and it IS possible to manage how it oxidizes if you want to.

Some like green, some like brown, some like polished. Each has benefits and drawbacks.

I find the most vocal with their opinions fall into the leave it alone camp, the same thing happens in the teak maintenance discussion. But it’s your boat, so figure out which is your preference and balance that against what you’re willing to do to sustain that.
Creedence is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2021, 08:22   #6
Registered User
Tayana42's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Long Beach, CA
Boat: Tayana Vancouver 42
Posts: 2,699
Re: Polish vs Patina

RealityCheck, for what it’s worth, I like the look of the natural patina on bronze but that’s just my opinion of the aesthetic. On my own 1989 Tayana Vancouver 42 almost everything is stainless steel. Only the deck plate covering the manual bilge pump and the ships bell are bronze. As I said I like the patina.
Tayana42 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2021, 09:05   #7
Registered User
Lowcountry's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Charleston SC
Boat: 1988 Hans Christian 33
Posts: 666
Re: Polish vs Patina

All of the bronze on my HC33 (and there's a lot of it), is unpolished and covered with a beautiful patina.
Lowcountry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2021, 15:35   #8
Registered User
tallship's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: On the Beachs of Super Sunny Southern California USA
Posts: 8
Send a message via ICQ to tallship Send a message via AIM to tallship Send a message via Yahoo to tallship Send a message via Skype™ to tallship
Re: Polish vs Patina

Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post

If you decide it’s too much, just stop.

Yes, absolutely, I've had a couple of boats with brass and bronze hardware, and on one vessel, the first one outfitted in such a way, found myself regretting putting in the hours and hours of effort to brighten up the bronze stanchions, although I do enjoy bright brass for the cabin lights below so here's a tip if that's all you do - clear coat them (thinly) with a protective layer of spray.

Why thinly? coz the moment you scratch it....

It looks really nice and compliments the bright work below to coincide with all of the effort to apply multiple layers of varnish (or a bit easier, West systems topped with varnish) to keep that wood bright. and glowing.

But I would not personally polish anything, save for perhaps the ship's bell topside ever again unless my ship was part of a non-profit with ample volunteer labor available lolz.

But for you? Ask yourself this: Do you find yourself tinkering, sanding, touching up every little blemish during coffee/tea time and on your days off? Are you constantly bleaching your teak w/Oxalic acid or oiling it?

If so, then maybe this is a great idea for you! your boat will certainly stand out and become a conversational item for passersby walking down the finger where your slip is located, but otherwise, remember that patina is itself a protectant, and if you change your later after polishing everything up, it will prolly take a couple of years before you start to get a good prominence of green again.
tallship is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Polish . . . No Joke! TaoJones General Sailing Forum 11 06-12-2009 06:25
hull polish dakno Construction, Maintenance & Refit 1 07-03-2009 10:47
Prism Polish Greg S Product or Service Reviews & Evaluations 0 27-05-2008 13:34
Sailing at Masuria, Polish Lake District RADEK General Sailing Forum 0 12-05-2006 01:54
Deck Polish? GordMay Construction, Maintenance & Refit 7 05-10-2005 07:07

Advertise Here

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:47.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.