Varnished timber or painted decks on a 20ft tri?

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Aaron_de, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. Aaron_de
    Joined: Jun 2016
    Posts: 13
    Likes: 2, Points: 3, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Avoca Beach, Australia

    Aaron_de Junior Member

    What's the consensus of varnished timber vs. painted decks on a small 18- 20ft plywood trimaran?

    Here's some examples of both options for comparison...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 14,507
    Likes: 659, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    It depends on how much maintenance you are willing to do. Varnish is a never ending job. If sailing is you primary goal, paint is the way to go.
     
  3. Corley
    Joined: Oct 2009
    Posts: 3,765
    Likes: 183, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 826
    Location: Melbourne, Australia

    Corley epoxy coated

    You can have varnished decks but they are higher maintenance than painted and let more UV through to the substrate.
     
  4. hump101
    Joined: Oct 2004
    Posts: 261
    Likes: 14, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 58
    Location: Brittany, France

    hump101 Senior Member

    If you want to have a wooden deck then vacbag a thin veneer of teak onto the ply - just needs oiling occasionally and lovely to walk on. Weight penalty is small if you incorporate the teak into the scantlings (i.e. reduce the ply thickness correspondingly).

    Varnish in any kind of sunshine is always an issue, even on top of epoxy, both to keep a decent finish, and to protect the substrate.
     
  5. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 16,653
    Likes: 322, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 1362
    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    The varnish looks like a million dollars! Thats a very interesting tri- can you post some details?
     
  6. Aaron_de
    Joined: Jun 2016
    Posts: 13
    Likes: 2, Points: 3, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Avoca Beach, Australia

    Aaron_de Junior Member

    Thanks all, as the tri will be kept in the garage the sun factor is very small. All depends on how often I get out sailing I suppose! :)

    I'm leaning towards the varnish timber approach with timber decks + cabin sole with gloss white vertical surfaces.

    I like the teak veneer approach Hump, I haven't seen this option before. Is Teak veneer difficult to obtain?

    Doug - I sourced all the tri images online for comparison.

    Images top to bottom...
    Trika 540 - www.dixdesign.com/Trika_540
    Snowgoose - www.smalltrimarans.com/blog/snowgoose-trimaran-in-the-uk-ready-for-finishing/
    Frank Smoot 24' tri - www.diytris.com
    Alien trimaran - www.smalltrimarans.com/blog/alien-trimaran-not-from-outer-space/

    p.s. I'm asking for thoughts on aka design here http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/multihulls/cross-beams-akas-6m-20ft-trimaran-55812.html
     
  7. hump101
    Joined: Oct 2004
    Posts: 261
    Likes: 14, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 58
    Location: Brittany, France

    hump101 Senior Member

    We bought some teak from a lumber yard and slit it ourselves on a bandsaw. A bit wasteful as the loss from the saw width is half the veneer width, but still the cost per m2 was similar to paint. It's bonded down with the same epoxy you would have coated the deck with, so no additional cost or weight from this, and the teak increases the panel stiffness disproportionately to its thickness, even though increase in panel strength is more questionable. This isn't usually an issue on small craft decks as panel stiffness is usually the driving design criterion.

    Varnish looks beautiful if the underlying wood is beautiful, and the application is perfect, and the varnish hasn't weathered, but anywhere you have to walk on will have to be non-slip of some description, which on varnish looks ugly, and is heavy if using sand. Teak looks beautiful when new or weathered, doesn't require any non-slip, doesn't spoil if damaged. Just my opinion, of course.
     

  8. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 476, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Clear coating wood is the most difficult finish to live with. It takes the most time to assemble, finish and care for, so watch out for what you wish for. Painted surfaces are much more durable and easier to apply and/or repair.
     
Loading...
Similar Threads
  1. sctpc
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    1,862
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.