Paint Vs Varnish (Wooden Hull)

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by Josh Goodswen, Nov 18, 2021.

  1. Josh Goodswen
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    Josh Goodswen Junior Member

    Hi this is an oldie but a goody.
    In love with my 1950's Timber Sharpie Cruiser.
    Simple question to most but if I eventually varnish her hull after plank replacement and corking, traditional varnish will allow the hull to take on water to swell and close the boards?
    Any guidance very much appreciated. Similar topic but a laquered finish like a Riva does that act as a seal and doesn't that wreak havoc if mosture gets to the timber inside?
    Folks please ramble at length - want to learn as much about the old crafts as possible.
     
  2. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Clear finishes may have better UV resistance these days, but the expectation in the harsh Queensland sun is they won't last like pigmented finishes. You have the added complication of greying of timbers exposed to UV. The seal may be there, but that sun will take its toll on appearances sooner.
     
  3. bajansailor
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Welcome to the Forum Josh.
    Re your Sharpie Cruiser, was she previously varnished, or painted?
    Or have you literally now completely re-planked her with new timber in your re-build?
    What are the construction materials used for the hull framing and planking?
    Can you post any photos of the boat 'as is'?
    (You might not be able to post photos until you have made a few other posts first).
     
  4. Josh Goodswen
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    Josh Goodswen Junior Member

    Cheers Mr E. great information.
     
  5. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    The other thing about clear finishes, is that all defects are revealed to the cruel light of day, whereas paint is renowned as being able to hide the proverbial multitude of sins. A fella I know built in a couple of rooms under his house, and had the idea of clear coating the architraves etc, but neglected to specify his intention with the builder, and soon realised the finger-jointed pine mouldings would have to be painted.
     
  6. Josh Goodswen
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    Josh Goodswen Junior Member

    Thank you Banjan, she was painted but glassed over, umm, now stripping her back and stript her out re fittings, taking out rotten planks now and replacing soon, the timber is red and durable but will get a better ID at the timber yard soon.
    She was in a sorry state when she came to me, hence photo, but I'm totally up for the resto project.
     

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  7. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    That is full carvel ?
     
  8. Josh Goodswen
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    Josh Goodswen Junior Member

    Hi Mr E.
    I think yes, but bottom gentler slope with shorter planks, direction forward angle, keel to retaining timber? the prow changes angle, sides mostly boatlong carvel rising up 1.7 metres approx, of good clean wood.
    Please advise if not full carvel?
     
  9. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    So planked cross-wise on the bottom ? Do you know the history of it ?
     
  10. Josh Goodswen
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    Josh Goodswen Junior Member

    Mr E., not so much. bought from previous owner on Great Sandy Strait. Advertised as 1985 but once I got hold of her, saw original boat 1950's I reckon. I'm wanting to remodle cabins but using design cues from the period.
    Mid engined inboard and shaft, used for years for fishing on the Strait. Apparently really robust in moderate seas and can take a bit of rough. Hull design, cruiser not a planer I think.

    Having to replace a few ribs as well.

    My thoughts are, really solidly and quite elegant working original construction but altered as needs must heath robinson since.... I'm trying to rectify as much of that as I can.
     
  11. Blueknarr
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    Blueknarr Senior Member

    Welcome

    As mentioned earlier pigments hide flaws and last longer.

    The proper amount of clear coating should seal the wood well.

    Moisture under clear or pigmented will cause problems.

    Clear allows those problems to be seen and possibly corrected while still relatively minor.
     
  12. Josh Goodswen
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    Josh Goodswen Junior Member

    Thank you Bluenarr.
     
  13. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Might have been made earlier than the 50's even, certainly looks like the old pre-war boats. They used to have details chiseled into some heavier timbers, in some cases.
     
  14. Josh Goodswen
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    Josh Goodswen Junior Member

    Yep maybe so Mr E. from the shape, no details found as yet but thankfully I'm not deal;ing with the Diesel dust anymore and I'll keep an eye out!
    It's been a fascinating chat and any info please share.
    I can alway's fix the hull, go back to white but reflect the wood in cabin window design etc and with decking. I've seen some great looking historic results with bronze/ "oxtail" colours below the waterline.
    I think she's had many uses since original built. Any photos of thoughts for period anybody would like to share would be fantastic!
    Extremely glad to join the community folks.
     

  15. bajansailor
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    She does look very fine indeed.
    When you initially mentioned that she is a 'sharpie', I was thinking of a typical American type of sharpie which I think is flat bottomed - yours does have a nice hull shape.
    Can you post some more photos of her please? Including inside, showing the construction?
     
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