No Such Thing as Shortcuts: The Right Ways to Varnish your Boat

Proper Boat VarnishingSparkling boats are rare these days. When you do spot one, you cannot help but admire the work of fellow boaters and casual dock walkers. Either way, conversations with responsible boat owners beginning with, ‘That’s a beautiful boat,” always end pleasantly.

The secret to an attractive boat is simple: good varnishing. But there is more to varnishing than slapping on some varnish on the vessel. There is no such thing as shortcuts when it comes to the perfect marine varnish job; it requires dedication and discipline.

Requirements for a Good Prep Work

Before every varnishing job, repair discoloured or soft wood with bleach or epoxy. Be very mindful when it comes to fixing those little flaws before they affect the wood. Also, quality masking tape is a must-have for all protection and other extended uses with polyethylene sheeting.

Pay attention when it comes to using the chemical pain stripper while removing old layers of varnish. Do not forget to wear protective gear to avoid direct skin contact.

The Right Brush Matters

The brush you use is as vital as your technique. For the best results, refrain from re-using brushes. Instead, use new brushes and always clean them after each use. If you fail to clean these properly, all of your brushes will go to waste.

If you do not have the time to deal with kerosene solvents and linseed oil, use foam brushes. Always keep these covered with cloth before you varnish.

How Many Coats Should you Apply?

The number of coats depends on the existing coats and the type of environment your boat is in. Fresh wooden boats only require six to eight coats but for some varnishers, ten coats is the minimum. Boats situated in tropical settings require more coats and frequent maintenance due to the warm environment.

If you are not happy with your current coating, you can always add more. You can never overdo varnishing as long as your boat’s surface is not cracked, faded or brittle.

The most attractive boat pulls its look off with mere varnishing. You can achieve that beautiful boat with the right brush, right coating and the right technique.