covering plywood on carvel planking

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by urisvan, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    alan white Senior Member

    Ten coats of varnish (of average viscosity) once wooded (taken down to bare wood). Expect to add another two coats each year. Skip the first recoat (because it still looks perfect) after one year and you may regret it.
    Maintaining a good varnish job isn't hard to do (or so it will seem) once you've had to deal with the effects of neglect----- discoloration, lifting, etc..
    I'm referring to tung oil-based varnish, which is how most brightwork done out there is protected.
    In addition, scratches and wear spots need to be brought back to original 10-coat thickness by the application of multiple coats over those spots. some people carry a small container of varnish aboard the boat so that spot repairs can be done as soon as possible.
    It all sounds like a lot of work to people accustomed to mainainance-free modern surfaces, but if you can't commit to the work involved (which isn't really a lot of work, but must be attended to without fail), then understand the varnish won't last and within five years paint may seem to be a more attractive option, given the many flaws that will be detracting from the beautiful amber finish you worked so hard to produce.
    I always think long and hard about whether to varnish or to paint due to the above issues. I tend to varnish very selectively----- usually painting areas that are difficult to recoat with varnish such as have many fittings and suffer high wear.
    Owning a wood boat or any older yacht is about minimizing maintainance while still looking (and being) shipshape. Any decision about what to cover the surfaces with should balance the two goals of aesthetics and cost of ownership in time and materials.
    Of course, if you have loads of money, disregard the above!
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. wardd
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    wardd Senior Member


    and another boat to sail
     
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    After the long search and debate you made here on the forum, then then the survey and transport to your home waters, to leave her to mother nature's wrath for a year, suggests the care she'll likely get in the future. Paint all the bright work with at least two coats of good grade marine paint. This will protect the wood from UV damage without help or care on your part. When the boat is again in the hands of someone that will keep her up, maybe they'll strip off the paint and find the beautifully varnished surface below, so that they can care for them.
     
  4. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    danggg..........
     
  5. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    What? Did I misunderstand?

    Again, after the lengthy search for a sweet, wooden beauty, a careful examination, lengthy transport, just to let it's finishes die in the first year of new ownership. This tells me a great deal.

    Varnishing this boat again means, the owner will have to do what so far they haven't, so my suggestion is to not bother and do the best thing for the boat, which is protect the surfaces, which paint does so much better, given the level of care it will likely receive.
     
  6. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Nothing Paul,

    dangg.. was the noise in Ulas´s head when your comment approached.

    There was consensus between the two old salts when we surveyed and later sailed the boat.

    The boat is worth the price, the question is, will she receive what she needs?
     
  7. urisvan
    Joined: Nov 2005
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    Location: istanbul

    urisvan Senior Member

    yes, you are wright. But i felt some despise towards me.. Let me explain:
    i was serching for a good, seaworthy boat for 2-3 years and it is not easy to find a well designed and "well maintained" boat in Turkey.
    After patient searching, i found and liked this boat. And more, i take the old salts near me as consultantancy. And then sailed home at stormy winter conditions.
    And i am not a stupid guy. More, i am a Naval Architect. Afterwards, i did not neglect the boat. At winter and spring, my hand was always on the boat. i made good improvements and important repairs. Like:
    -unstepping mast, reapiring mast heel and mast foot
    -very cleverly repaired the beam that support the mast
    -changed the windlass and properly secured it on deck
    -i remove all stanchion bases,cleats, fairleads and other things on deck and mounted them according to west system.
    -in bilge area some parts of the floors were rotted. i cleaned the rotted parts and glued wood with epoxy.
    -painted bilge
    -painted anchor chain storage
    -add cutter stay and runners(it is not easy to explain something to a Turkish sailmaker and rigger, he likes to do it on his own way)
    -some improvements in ventilation
    -some improvements in the galley.
    -maintenance of the engine, changing the filters.
    -install solar panel.
    and some more....
    i save the boat from a disable Turkish guy,
    Be sure that the boat is on the hands of a clever N.A and skillfull worker
    and i did it with my own hands. so i am not lazy.
    but yes i neglected the varnishing job. i was not thinking such a fast detoriation of the old varnish. And it was not urgent.
    but now it is urgent and i have to give a desicion. Paint it or varnish it.
    for sure painting it protects it much more from nature. But asthetic is another matter. she can look good if i paint it to a good colour.

    ***(i respect this old salt, RICHARD. He has an exellent way of thinking, compeletely adopted to sea conditions. he can sail the world on a piece of timber. He is the ultimate man that you can trust at sea. he had a big influence on me)
     
  8. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Sand it down and slap some varnish over the (not too big) cabin sides.
    Don´t forget to fix the little spot in the fore cabin port side where it was dripping.

    When you do like Alan said, and apply another coat each spring and autumn, she will be fine for long.

    How did you fix the mast step idioty? (wooden wedges between a Al. mast and steel maststep)

    We had no stormy conditions Ulas. We had a perfect breeze up to force 8, unfortunately always on the nose. But the cold rain was not nice. Well, a few days before christmas one cannot expect much better weather and finally you did it home, even without me. (scared and with a frozen *** I know)

    And thank you for the flowers, but I can NOT sail the world on a piece of timber! Except there is a Diesel on it, maybe.

    Regards
    Richard
     
  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Accept my apologies and I hope you have better luck with the coming season, as you catch this old gal up on her maintenance.
     
  10. urisvan
    Joined: Nov 2005
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    Location: istanbul

    urisvan Senior Member

    PAR,
    it is your kindness. i think it is ok to be a little sarcastic. the sea is not a place for the fools.
    And till now i got some clues and benefits from your responses on different threats as well as this one. I appreciate you and your interest. thank you.

    Richard,
    I use Derlin as a insulator between mast foot and the mast heel. It was your advise to use some kind of plastic in between. And i think i did it in a good way with a good workmanship. i made a derlin mast heel between the old mast heel and mast step.
     
  11. pdwiley
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    Well, actually, no, we didn't and no we don't. I speak as a 56 y/o who started school under the old inch measurement system and finished under the metric system.

    PDW
     
  12. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    You mean "Delrin".

    Yes that was my recommendation, nice you did it.
     
  13. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Well, actually yes you do Pdwiley. Compared to the USA, Australia has had a relatively successful conversion, but there is still consternation over the change.

    For example how tall are you? Most still use feet and inches. Real estate is often still acres instead of square meters. When you order a beer at the local bar, what sizes do they offer? Weather reports often say you're getting a 6' surf this afternoon. How big is your TV screen?

    Opposition to metrication was not widespread, as it was in this country, but we have also converted, though it doesn't seem so if you ask an American. In every regard we've converted (industry and metric standardization), but being hard headed and a stubborn lot, the predominate number of "baby boomers" just refuse to make the transition, of which I have to admit, I'm one. Though I offer metric and imperial measurements on my plans, I'm not comfortable thinking in metric. Younger generations have much less difficulty with metric.
     
  14. Landlubber
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    ...varnishing the old girl......do it mate.

    If you feel like it, entirely remove the old varnish back to bare wood, this can be done best by either chemical paint stripper of use of a hot air gun. Most of my work is done with a Bosch two speed gun, it is unbelievably over 25 years old and still working....Dog knows how ....see PAR we have the same problem)...anyhow, if you have not used a hot air gun FORGET the idea, and use chemical stripper.

    DO NOT REMOVE any wood during this process, be very careful and strip with the grain in the direction that the grain will not lift...this may change direction in the same section of the plank, so go the other way sometimes as required.

    Wash off carefull all traces of stripper and allow to dry. Whilst washing off, use a sharp chisel to clean out the corners etc of any spare material (varnish).

    Get some oxalic acid powder and mix it with one part oxalic acid to 5 parts water by volume. This will be a strong mix. but use it carefully to bleach the wood back to nice clean finish. Flush off all traces with a hose well. Allow to dry thoroughly, and then determine if sanding is required, hopefully it will only need a light flip over with 240 aluminium oxide frecut paper, with the grain.

    Epifanes single pack full gloss varnish should be available in your area, i can only recommend it to you. Apply using a nice 2" soft bristle brush, and do only one coat at a time. Use wet and dry paper of about 360 to lightly sand down between coats, and apply varnish till the grain is filled. This is easy to see when the sanding is done as there will be no hollows left when the grain has been filled. You then need sand it smooth again and apply at least three coats onto the job. Final coat is tacked down before applying the last coat.

    You will find after all this has been done that it will take very little time to do a light coat every few months to maintain the vessel in Bristol fashion...the only way.

    Enjoy her mate, she looks nice.
     

  15. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    alan white Senior Member

    I agree with the above although my recommendation would be to sand between coats with a coarser grit, say 150-180 or so (150 works well on a random orbit sander used judiciously).
    I generally consider 320 grit to be about right for sanding prior to the last coat on a relatively finicky job.
    The reason has to do with levelling and speed. Until the grain is filled, which sometimes can take a few coats on most woods (and many more coats on oak, e.g.), I like to sand aggressively.
    It's true it takes more coats this way and uses more varnish, but getting a mirror finish always requires good levelling before light sanding is done. For example, the first six coats on oak might be aggressively sanded and another five coats could be lightly sanded between. In this respect, the varnish is like joint compound on a wall---- first levelling the surface and filling all voids. The following coats are like paint on that wall.
     
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