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Author Topic:   best varnish for teak?
specktrout posted 12-02-2001 01:44 PM ET (US)   Profile for specktrout   Send Email to specktrout  
I would appreciate any recommendations for a varnish which would dry clear and offer the most UV protection. I refinished my teak with teak oil on my montauk only 6 months ago and it is already greying under the south Texas sun despite the cover and many repeated applications. thanks for any info.
myotherboatisawhaler posted 12-02-2001 02:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for myotherboatisawhaler  Send Email to myotherboatisawhaler     
sikens is a wonderful durable finish. the satin looks very much like teak oil if you want a less glossy apperance. the only draw back is that is not completly clear, it has a redish/brown tint and it is rather expensive. you can find it a any good marine store. good luck. mitchell
compounder posted 12-02-2001 09:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
speck, after 20 years of oiling on my 1980 Montauk, I went with varnish last year. From posts on this board, I learned of Epifanes brand varnish. I used the high gloss, and also used the Epifanes brand thinner.....first coat 50% thinner, second coat 25% thinner, third coat 10% thinner, then four more coats of just varnish. Finish is glass-like and still looks new after nearly a year of hard use. It will be interesting to see just how durable it actually is.!

I found the Epifanes at Boat U.S. stores.

jimh posted 12-02-2001 11:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I was watching the DISCOVERY channel's documentary on the sinking of the battleship ARIZONA tonight. In one diving shot they showed the diver brushing loose growth off the teak deck. The wood appeared to still be intact after fifty years under salt water. That teak is resiliant stuff.

If you varnish your teak gunwale boards to a high gloss, can people still use them to step on when boarding? Using teak for decking was to provide a good surface that would not be slippery when wet. Isn't that part of the purpose?

OutrageMan posted 12-02-2001 11:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for OutrageMan  Send Email to OutrageMan     
I am very fond of Interlux Interthane Plus. It is a two part polyurathane. They claim that it will last twice as long as Schooner (another great choice). One thing to remember is that you do have to keep it maintained. This stuff can not be chemically stripped, it has to me mechanically removed (scraping, sanding) so you have to keep up with the coats and not let them deteriorate.


lhg posted 12-03-2001 03:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Getting a varnish recommendation is like picking out the best looking woman in a beauty contest - everybody has their own idea.

My choice is Z-Spars' Flagship brand. It has very high UV inhibiters, which I think is essential. I've had excellent results with it (with a FOAM brush), and consider it the best I've ever used. I used to use Petit's Captains varnish, and there is no comparison.

hauptjm posted 12-03-2001 03:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
This very topic was seen yesterday morning on the "Ship Shape" show. They had a guy on from Interlux, and he commented on two things.

First, all surface oils natural to teak have to be removed, via a thinning agent or something of like nature. This is irregardless of varnish/poly finish.

Secondly, if you ever use a two-part epoxy based poly finish, you have to keep it up religiously. If the finish fails, you cannot touch-it-up. The entire surface should be stripped down to bare wood and refinished again.

I was impressed this came out on the show, because Interlux is trying to make a push on this product. It's a consideration to keep in mind. Apparently, the epoxys work harder for the you, but have a littel caveat attached.

Tsuriki BW posted 12-03-2001 04:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     
If you change the topic to Select 2 years, then do a search on "varnish" you will get lots of additional information.


lhg posted 12-03-2001 04:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I am convinced that evertyhing on Shipshpe TV is a veiled advertisement, similar to the boating mags.
David Ratusnik posted 12-03-2001 04:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Teak- Teak oil versus varnish, teak oil versus varnish, etc. jimh brings up a question I am familiar with--boarding impact on the teak. I'm an oil guy all the way. I travel with 3 cocker spaniels 90% of the time and they can scratch heck out of teak as they come and go at a dock. I can rub out a 4-6 inch dog paw scratch in short order using oil--not so with varnish. I don't want to think about it. Oh, isn't "oil" factory correct on a Whaler?. My .03 David
David Ratusnik posted 12-03-2001 04:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Teak- Teak oil versus varnish, teak oil versus varnish, etc. jimh brings up a question I am familiar with--boarding impact on the teak. I'm an oil guy all the way. I travel with 3 cocker spaniels 90% of the time and they can scratch heck out of teak as they come and go at a dock. I can rub out a 4-6 inch dog paw scratch in short order using oil--not so with varnish. I don't want to think about it. Oh, isn't "oil" factory correct on a Whaler?. My .03 David
newboater posted 12-03-2001 06:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for newboater  Send Email to newboater     
I personally use Z-spar's Captian's varnish. It was top rated in Practical Sailor’s longevity tests a few years back. It runs $20 or so a quart.

If the boat is kept covered, it will last indefinitely, if outdoors you need to recoat every 6 months in San Diego, more often in Florida I'm told.

As for dog nails scratching varnish, our experience is it doesn't happen. The interior of our sail boat (we live aboard full time) is varnished with Z-spar's satin finish interior varnish. We have a Scottish Terrier who runs around, chases her ball, etc and has yet to leave a scratch. Her nails will leave a mark on gelcoat and my legs though. She loves the whaler…

Dave S
San Diego

lhg posted 12-03-2001 06:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
newboater - If you like Z-Spar's Captain's varnish, try the Flagship upgrade. It has 6 times more UV inhibitors in it.
David Ratusnik posted 12-03-2001 07:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Newboater- We love boating with the cocker spaniels- they are in/out of the boat quite often even away from the dock. Have been known to go after anything with feathers, our male went after a dog in another boat passing a few months ago-glad he didn't get far as the other dog was 10X his size. Getting traction on the gunwhales as the dog dives off reeks havoc on the teak. The nice thing about spaniels is they swim like fish- I'm told they can do 7 hours in open water. We shall not try that one. Good luck with your varnish- David
Jim Bennett posted 12-03-2001 10:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jim Bennett  Send Email to Jim Bennett     
My $.02. About 4 years ago, I think, I totally stripped my 68 Sakonnet mahogany console and seat and varnished with Z-Spar Flagship. Still looks great but do keep boat garaged when not on water. Am in process of restoring 73 Outrage 21 and am varnishing all teak and mahogany(rod holders) with Interlux Schooner. Find glasslike appearance of Schooner superior to Flagship when comparing mahony on two boats. Of course, teak is even more beautiful. Also have to say that work on Sakonnet did not have benefit of useful tips on foam brushes and razor blade smoothing found in this forum.
specktrout posted 12-04-2001 12:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for specktrout  Send Email to specktrout     
Thank you for all the replies. Does the Z-spar flagship varnish or the epifanes varnish dry clear? By this I mean that the natural color of the teak shows through and the overlying varnish does not yellow with age. Thanks again.
OutrageMan posted 12-04-2001 12:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for OutrageMan  Send Email to OutrageMan     
If the varnish you want to use has the word "spar" anywhere, it has a golden/amber color to it.


Toad2001 posted 12-04-2001 01:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for Toad2001  Send Email to Toad2001     
You can build the Flagship (High Gloss) up as much as you like. The wood grain doesn't seem to distort or lose clarity. (ie: 10 coats) The finish just gets deeper.
On the other hand, building coats of satin finish varnish will lose clarity.

I like the Flagship over the Petit product.
My experience with varnish is, the more expensive it is, the better it is.

JFM posted 12-04-2001 10:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for JFM  Send Email to JFM     
Outside oil only. Inside Daly's sea fin prouducts. I say this after being in the teak bench business for over 10 years. Teak is used outside because it is truley indestructible by nature. There are Chinese junks built over 2000 years ago with teak that are still used today. Also, the framing lumber used in Greek and Roman architecture was of teak. By the way none of that old teak was treated with anything. Regards, Jay
Taylor posted 12-04-2001 07:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
Toad2001 - great Grand Banks website! Toba River is a beautiful yacht.

Don't tell my spouse I was looking (drool). I have enough trouble with just the Whaler.

Also, my experience has been that satin varnishes contain little particles to make the satin finish. Now that I know better, I build with gloss, finish the last coat only with satin, or a satin gloss mix, or I avoid satin all together.

Toad2001 posted 12-05-2001 06:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Toad2001  Send Email to Toad2001     
Thanks Taylor.

Did you notice my "courtesy flag".
I fly it nowadays even when cruising local Canadian waters...

hauptjm posted 12-06-2001 10:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    

Grand Banks is to Trawlers, what Boston Whaler is to Small Craft. You have a beautiful lady. I particularly like the photo of your Whaler beside the GBs. Two real yachts!

swoodfield posted 12-08-2001 06:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for swoodfield  Send Email to swoodfield     
I agree with the Sikkens. I re-did my entire teak and mahogany brightwork ('73 Nauset, console and seat-back). Had to stip to bare wood. 4 coats of Cetol light and 3 coats of the clear gloss over top. 10 months later and it looks great!!!!!!!!! I think it beats the pants off of varnish for durability (I am told you can get three years out of it with no maintenance). I think that the finish may be not quite a rich as varnish, but the difference is negligible. Also it did hide minor color variations due to staining from previously very neglected varnish.
I plan on putting one new coat on a year, and I should get many years of service out of it.
swoodfield posted 12-08-2001 06:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for swoodfield  Send Email to swoodfield     
By the way. Who cares about price if you don't have to do it very often. I did my entire job with one quart of each. I think it was $25 per can.

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