Hello CCCC Family, 

What product do you suggest is best for sealing the wood trim outside? 

See attached photo for location. 

Last time I used stain and about 5 layers of PolyUrethane but it got wrecked from the sun over 4-5 years. Is there anything that lasts longer than PU? 

I have a 72' Commander. 

Thanks for your thoughts in advance. 

Jesse 

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I just use a good quality varnish such as pettit captains vanish, Epifanes wood finish gloss, and this year awgrip M3131. I like the epifanes and the awgrip as you don't have sand between coats as long as you resoat within I believe is 72 hours I think tats the longest you can wait but I could be wrong. I just recoat the next day. the other thing is if your boat gets a lot of sun you should at least scuff and recoat every year to put the UV  protection back in to avoid the problem your having now. sikkens also makes an excellent product called cetol marine. it will go on like a stain (comes in two shades) and dries to a very nice low sheen. if you want to you can put there wood finish gloss over that which will brighten it up. sikkens is flexible and breathable and I have never seen it lift in the 15 years I have using it. again, just do a light recoat every year. on a bigger I would go with sikkens to make it easier come spring. make sure to use a good respirator with the sikkens. I try to upload a picture from today. top deck is sikkens cetol marine gloss. toe rails are awlgrip. 

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Old school way that I was taught and it worked for me for years. As Kevin said, it might be best to wet sand down and add a few coats of varnish every few years if the sun is that strong. After sanding down stripping to bare wood. In order I numbered the cans #1 the Interlux paste/stain (573 Chris Craft Mahogany what I used) fills in splits and a little goes along way. Then #2 Interprime Wood Sealer, a few coats.  #3 1015 Captains varnish. It takes time to let dry between coats. 12 hrs? Wet sand and repeat. I think I did about 8 coats till the trim looked like glass.

 

Thanks Rob, I appreciate the input. 

I am in Southern California and the boat is in the sun all the time. 

I was wondering if resin, epoxy, or anything existed to help cover it for 5 years as I  would like a longer term strategy. 



Rob P said:

Old school way that I was taught and it worked for me for years. As Kevin said, it might be best to wet sand down and add a few coats of varnish every few years if the sun is that strong. After sanding down stripping to bare wood. In order I numbered the cans #1 the Interlux paste/stain (573 Chris Craft Mahogany what I used) fills in splits and a little goes along way. Then #2 Interprime Wood Sealer, a few coats.  #3 1015 Captains varnish. It takes time to let dry between coats. 12 hrs? Wet sand and repeat. I think I did about 8 coats till the trim looked like glass.

 

Thanks for your response Kevin, the wood looks amazing. 

Im really looking for something that will last 5 years, and was considering epoxy or resins. 

kevin burleigh said:

I just use a good quality varnish such as pettit captains vanish, Epifanes wood finish gloss, and this year awgrip M3131. I like the epifanes and the awgrip as you don't have sand between coats as long as you resoat within I believe is 72 hours I think tats the longest you can wait but I could be wrong. I just recoat the next day. the other thing is if your boat gets a lot of sun you should at least scuff and recoat every year to put the UV  protection back in to avoid the problem your having now. sikkens also makes an excellent product called cetol marine. it will go on like a stain (comes in two shades) and dries to a very nice low sheen. if you want to you can put there wood finish gloss over that which will brighten it up. sikkens is flexible and breathable and I have never seen it lift in the 15 years I have using it. again, just do a light recoat every year. on a bigger I would go with sikkens to make it easier come spring. make sure to use a good respirator with the sikkens. I try to upload a picture from today. top deck is sikkens cetol marine gloss. toe rails are awlgrip. 


good advice Rob, that boat is a stripper for sure. it you want more longevity after stripping you can use a water base stain and put west system epoxy over it using their 207 hardener which produces a nice gloss. you still have to revarnish every year though. gougeon brothers makes it and they are very helpful. I did it once on a wood grady white I redid and it was nice. the mistake I made was not listening to their tech support to only use water base stain. I used a solvent base and just like they said it lifted in sheets about 4 years later.. but, west system used right is the best you can buy..I would call them. 866 937 8797 .                                                              esse Dombrowiak said:

Thanks Rob, I appreciate the input. 

I am in Southern California and the boat is in the sun all the time. 

I was wondering if resin, epoxy, or anything existed to help cover it for 5 years as I  would like a longer term strategy. 



Rob P said:

Old school way that I was taught and it worked for me for years. As Kevin said, it might be best to wet sand down and add a few coats of varnish every few years if the sun is that strong. After sanding down stripping to bare wood. In order I numbered the cans #1 the Interlux paste/stain (573 Chris Craft Mahogany what I used) fills in splits and a little goes along way. Then #2 Interprime Wood Sealer, a few coats.  #3 1015 Captains varnish. It takes time to let dry between coats. 12 hrs? Wet sand and repeat. I think I did about 8 coats till the trim looked like glass.

 

hey Rob, like that work bench, looks like mine. gotta have it all. 

Jesse Dombrowiak said:

Thanks Rob, I appreciate the input. 

I am in Southern California and the boat is in the sun all the time. 

I was wondering if resin, epoxy, or anything existed to help cover it for 5 years as I  would like a longer term strategy. 



Rob P said:

Old school way that I was taught and it worked for me for years. As Kevin said, it might be best to wet sand down and add a few coats of varnish every few years if the sun is that strong. After sanding down stripping to bare wood. In order I numbered the cans #1 the Interlux paste/stain (573 Chris Craft Mahogany what I used) fills in splits and a little goes along way. Then #2 Interprime Wood Sealer, a few coats.  #3 1015 Captains varnish. It takes time to let dry between coats. 12 hrs? Wet sand and repeat. I think I did about 8 coats till the trim looked like glass.

 

Thanks Kevin ha ha, it looks a mess but I know where everything is!

Jesse, I asked about the poly/epoxy when I was at the shop and he took me over to a boat that was done that way. It looked nice but had a crack in the finish all the way across the hull (wood boat). He said it does not flex like the varnish. My dock neighbor used oils and such but it never lasted but 1 season, turning black and he was back to sanding and trying somthing else. Maybe the wood sealer before the varnish helped on mine? It was really weathered before I redid it and was still looking good after 4 years but I'm in the midwest and lucky to get that many sunny days.

Post some more pictures of your boat, from what I see she needs a good scrubbing X 3. bar keeper friend with red scothhbrite pads, lots of residue so she will need to be SHRUBBED HARD, get several hundred razor blades and use them as scrapers on all joints between metal and fiberglass. Start at the top and work down.... Then 3 coats of 3m Restorer Wax. Your toe rail looks thick, just sand hard with 120  wiper with Lacquer thinner and just coat with Sikens Cetol just as a protective coat, the spots can be feathered out and have several coats of  Cetol. This material is easy to remove. I use Smiths CPES as a primer but at  $150/ GAL.  Two years ago, I redid my toerail, 3 coats x 3, west system and 3 coats X 3 Awl spar, 3 coats per secession. Have lots of spots to repair. It is all hands on LABOR good luck finding someome to do it, this is part of owning a Commander. How are your leaks, took me 12 years to get all mine stopped. Every piece of hardware was removed and  rebedded.

Are your engine running good??? You had head issued years ago.

Did you fine struts, I have the aft but can't fine the smaller ones. 

Orphil is pulling hard top and windshield now . Here again he and his family are doing ALL the work!  Our boats shine really good with lots of elbow grease......    Back to the landscape boarders, 100 ft 4'' solid block 8'' high. Im dying!

I just want 'Malabu II' to look as nice as 'What If'.  How many years have we been doing this Chris???

Unfortunately none of the single part products mentioned above will give you the results you are looking for of 5 + years. 

Here's  a few  few options to consider  : 

- You can use oil. The pros are that it is very easy to apply and you don't need to remove your hardware to reapply it (just wipe it off)   The cons are that you will need to reapply about every 6-8 weeks. 

-You can use Awl Bright :  Awlbrite is a durable, fast wood finish (awlgrip.com)     Pros are its the only  brushable 3 part acrylic urethane clear coat available today.  It is highly abrasion resistant . It is also has fantastic UV inhibitors that will far out perform all traditional varnishes It   buffs out super nice after a 1500 wet sand .   Its gloss is off the charts impressive .  The cons: it is expensive , you need a good charcoal respirator to apply it , and it does take some practice to get the hang of . It dries rapidly so you need to apply it very efficiently  to maintain a wet edge and flow. 

-You can use Awl-Wood Awlwood is an exterior clear solution (awlgrip.com)   which is a single part clear coat.  Pros; builds very quickly , has great durability , will out perform all traditional varnishes in abrasion & UV resistance. It is a hybrid between old school single part varnish. Essentially  it has two parts  but both are in the same can and only activate when exposed to oxygen.   Cons; it takes practice to get it to flow out , it is pricey compared to traditional marine varnish.  Its final finish is not quite as finessed as an acrylic finish. It can be buffed to a mirror finish but requires wet sanding up to 5000 grit  

Either of the awl grip products mentioned above can be applied over top of epoxy .  However if you develop any water damage under the epoxy , it is a lot of work to strip the epoxy off to bare wood albeit it is doable. 

Unfortunately the tow rails on commanders  have many but joints which do tend to expand and contract allowing water to enter so regular maintenance will be needed at those joints regardless of what finish you use.   

I've seen some owners have covers made for their tow rails to reduce the amount of sun they get . This helps exponentially but it also requires you to fuss with putting the covers  on and off. 

In the end the varnished tow-rails are part of what makes many boats pop cosmetically and  they become the single most biggest maintenance item on a yacht.  Its also the first thing people see and when maintained they are truly elegant.  

 

Jeremy, one of these days I will post some pictures of my issues and get a bit of insight from you. Please post more pics of your 35.

Byron

One thing that helped with all the brightwork on my Egg Harbor I owned before my Chris-Craft, I would always add coats of 2-part penetrating epoxy to bare wood before any varnish. I personally used Smiths but I'm sure there are others that work just as well.  

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