View Full Version : coelan.......anyone used it??

01-27-2010, 01:27 PM
i have a traditionaly planked wooden deck that is suffering from leaks in various places. I have some small sections of planking to replace,and so the varnish coating will be removed entirely and probably re-caulked. I have heard coelan will flex with the movement of the deck.Has anyone used this product,and can anyone reccomend it?

John P Lebens
01-27-2010, 02:45 PM
I have not used it but found this info while researching le Tonkinois varnish.

Here is a link to a 3 1/2 year varnish test done by a British wood boat magazine called Classic Boat. Coelan was top rated varnish for durability by a long shot. It is expensive and I have heard it shifts color in an unpleasant direction, but again, I have no personal experience with the stuff. Varnish you can apply and forget for 5 years? Wow!


John L

01-27-2010, 03:20 PM
Some of the guys have used it on their Skin on Frame kayaks and nothing but good remarks so far. I would expect a kayak skin is going to flex A LOT more than the your wood deck is going to move. The price keeps a lot of us from using it on the kayaks.

01-27-2010, 03:44 PM
apparently i have heard it can be a bit tricky to apply,being so thick,and a varnish smooth finish is hard to acheive,not that it is a problem on a deck! I dont mind paying for a good product that is long lived and "does what it says on the can". The discolouration thing i have heard about,what about removing the stuff?Thanks for the replys so far.

Michael D. Storey
01-27-2010, 03:52 PM
Classic Boat does these brightwork finish tests on a regular basis. They are complete with photographs of different kinds of wood, first shot being the day of application, and then progressing through the relentless jaws of time, in all sorts of conditions (sun light, salt, fresh, etc.) They do not seem to have an axe to grind. I give their test high marks for fairness, etc.

Dale Genther
01-27-2010, 04:03 PM
I used it on a customer's teak cockpit sole that was in pretty bad shape and was leaking on the boats engine. This was three years ago and it still looks the same as when I applied it. Still doesn't leak on the engine. As far as I'm concerned it worked exactly as advertised. It is messy to apply but follow the instructions exactly. Buy lots of one quart disposable containers and lots of brushes. I used 2 inch brushes called "The Fooler". Throw everything out that you used to apply the stuff at the end of the day.

01-27-2010, 06:04 PM
Coelan is not a ’varnish’, it’s a polyurethane coating. You could say it is ‘5200 in a more liquid form’. It sticks to the substrate just like any polyurethane goop and stays there for a long time unless there is much moisture in the wood underneath. It is a clear coating but you can add pigments to make it look more like a paint. Many people do so because of the added ultraviolet protection.

I have done a teak deck on a 36 ft gaff schooner using Oldodur 521 which is a similar product. I have also done some booms and a cap rail. I have also used Coelan on spars.

If you use the clear coating it is important to pay attention to the fact that although the manufacturer says something to the effect of its giving protection against UV radiation it does not mean that it actually protects the underlying wood from UV. The stuff itself can take UV extremely well but in order to protect the wood you have to use their primer which is slightly pigmented. I had used CPES as a sealer-primer earlier but noticed that the wood becomes lighter after some years. I called the manufacturer and they confirmed to me that the primer is an important part of the UV protection even if it is not mentioned in their printed instructions. Makes sense.

My deck is still good after four years and I expect ten years more of it. I think it is realistic in the Baltic area. There are a few small patches where the coating has let go from the wood. I think this is due to some moisture being left in the deck before coating. It´s no big deal to repair but I haven´t been in a hurry because they don´t spread and they don´t bulge.

Coelan and Oldodur do not take abrasion very well although Coelan is a little better in this respect. They get slippery when wet. You can add some anti-slip but it affects the looks a little. Hope this helps.

01-27-2010, 06:08 PM
what about removing the stuff?

I've had to remove some doing my foredeck repair and it's dead easy. Cut around with a sharp knife where you want it removed and it just peels off leaving clean wood below. The peeled off stuff is impressively stretchy and tough.

You can see in the image below where I've peeled a small piece off on the teak strip as I investigated my problem and you can just make out where I cut with the knife. Very quick and easy.



01-28-2010, 08:47 AM
Thanks for the replies all. I think i will go for the coelan treatment from what i have read. JORMA.S. Thanks for the details about UV,i would have thought using a polyurethane sealer such as G4 (by bondaglass),would have been better than using CPES. I have not heard of Oldodur,is that a product avaliable in Sweden? Im in the UK at present and generally things like G4 primer and the coelan would be cheaper to buy here than back in Sweden. I have clear fir (oregan pine) decks,and im not so fussed about a bit of UV light,the hull is clear finished oak,and shows signs of UV in places,yet another job to strip of 20 years of varnish!!!

01-28-2010, 08:49 AM
eastcoast chris,thanks for the info. How do i post pictures here??? Be nice to share some pictures with you all if you want to see the boat in question.

01-28-2010, 10:02 AM
A guy at my marina uses it and it lives up to its claims, he says. I have teak decks, caulked and seamed. Can one apply Coelan right over all of it? Does it become slippery?

Dale Genther
01-28-2010, 12:13 PM
Seneca, as long as the seams are repaired, the bungs are good and the structure under the deck is good, you can apply it right over the wood and seams. Yes it can become slippery. They sell a non-skid compound that is tiny glass beads that you can sprinkle onto the Coelan. It somewhat ruins the appearance and is a very agressive non-skid. I.E. if your working on your knees it will tear them up pretty good.

05-24-2010, 09:29 PM
On my boat, a 1980 41' Marine Trader Trawler, the previous owner covered his teak deck with varinsh and marine paint. I have removed the paint and some of the seams. My seams are not easily redone. The teak planking is 5/8 inch thick and 4" wide. Cosmetic grooves are done to make the appearance of 2" wide planks. The acutal planks are butted tight together with caulking in between the planks. The substrate is the same caulking material on fiberglass. The planks are screwed down every 1 foot or so, and bungs are added on top of the screws. What I intend to do is redo the permiter caulking and to use Coelan on the teak deck. 5 coats of primer and 5 or six coats of gloss. The seams look pretty good execpt for hairline cracks at the side of the seams. The idea is to have Coelan fill these cracks.

Redoing these seams where the thickness of the seam is 1/16th of an inch would not seem to be a good idea. The only other alternative would be to widen the seam with a saw to the proper width. Before doing that or removing the deck altogether I am going to try Coelan. I have another post on here looking for advice on compatable caulking material with Coelan. If any one has real life experience working with Coelan and Sikaflex or SIS 440 I would appreciate some feed back.

05-25-2010, 02:20 AM
This is all rather encouraging, but does anybody know how to remove it?

It is a tempting prospect on my very old teak cabin sides (primarily for the gap bridging properties:

after apropriate preparation of course).

However, if it were to go t*ts up I would like to be sure I could remove it without any ill effects or deep abrasion to restore the surface to accept a more tradtional coating. Anybody had any experience if removig this stuff?

05-25-2010, 02:36 AM
This is all rather encouraging, but does anybody know how to remove it?

Err see, post number 8, 6 posts above. :rolleyes:

Removal is dead easy use a sharp knife to edge the area you want to remove, lift a corner and it just peels off. I occassionaly use a heat gun for a stubborn spot. Very very easy.

Definitely no scraping, gouging etc. Take care with the knife and you would never know.


05-25-2010, 04:06 AM

ref post #6: I wasn't quesioning its ability to cover - hence my desire to use it.

ref post #8: I was assuming the ease of removal in your case was down to the moisture ingress as a result of the surrounding rot and damage to the woodwork. Coelan product data sheets are very particular about the moisture content of woodwork and its effect on the application of the product...

My question was more concerned about removal of undamaged Coelan or where the wood / coating bond was uncompromised. My cabin sides are 17' long and whilst it might be easy to remove in a similar localised situation such as yours, further away it might be more difficult.

05-25-2010, 06:25 AM
ref post #6:
My question was more concerned about removal of undamaged Coelan or where the wood / coating bond was uncompromised.

Sorry, I was only reffering to post number 8. Which was located six posts above yours. Never to post number 6. Apologies for being unclear.

I removed it from a number of areas, however the only place I have a photograph is the one I posted.

It was as easy to remove from sound dry wood. It really does just peel off. It takes a bit of a pull; the Coelan is so robust the bond with the wood gives way before the coating stretches or tears.

Imagine the material a large plastic coke bottle is made from, but at about the thickness of a sheet of paper and you're about there for how this stuff feels and how tough it is. If you tried stretching a bit between your hands, you'd struggle to snap it!


05-25-2010, 06:36 AM
Andrew Craig-Bennett uses it on his lovely old cutter and is a fan. You might want to get in touch with him.