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Thread: water based marine varnish

  1. #1
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    Default water based marine varnish

    Has anybody tried hydrocote polyshield? it is a water based marine varnish.

    I am completing Iain Oughtred's Humble Bee pram and am planning on finishing her bright. I thought of trying the water based product. thanks. Saul

  2. #2
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    Default Re: water based marine varnish

    Saul,

    As a professional woodworker for over 30 years, I've tried many generations of water-based finishes as they've come out. Each has been better than the last, but each has been - in the end - a disappointment. I've used a lot of Sherwin Williams Kem-Aqua over the last few years. It's ok, but not as durable overall as a comparably priced solvent-based product.

    Now the latest generation is out. I understand the best of them comes from General Finishes. Maybe the Hydrocote product is part of this new generation. Maybe the chemists have finally come up with a comparable product to the solvent-based finishes. I'll probably give it a try on some small stuff... but I won't hold my breath. With your lovely little pram, I wouldn't risk it.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: water based marine varnish

    I haven't heard anyone using this stuff yet... Zirlon Marine

    A new technology topcoat, Zirlon Marine, is available to both the boating enthusiast and the marine services specialist. Zirlon Marine is a clear top coat that protects all water bound steel, fiberglass, aluminum, vinyl, rubber, stainless, bronze, brass and wood. It is anti-fouling, anti-slime, and anti-corrosive while being an “all green” eco-friendly product. It prevents the permanent sticking of algae, slime, quagga mussels, zebra mussels, and barnacles. Zirlon Marine helps to minimize the risk of osmosis or blistering on fiberglass boats. Zirlon Marine improves the performance of alkyd paints, gel coats and epoxy coatings. Zirlon is a nano particle material and forms a permanent cohesive bond providing a flexible crystalline surface matrix as hard and durable as Zirconium or Quartz. It is semi self cleaning, it helps your boat to move faster and will help to reduce your fuel costs.

    BENEFITS:
    Eco-Friendly – all green, water and earth friendly
    Polished Finish - clear top coat
    Non-Stick – keeps surfaces like new- self cleaning
    Provides Rust Protection – with stain proofing
    Easy Application – no components to mix
    Protection Formula – that can used on most surfaces such as wood, steel, fiberglass and more
    Reduces Drag – increases speed and fuel efficiency with reduced engine loads
    Prevents Permanent Adhesion - of zebra mussels, quagga mussels and barnacles
    Impervious to U.V. Damage - cures into an inorganic zirconium U.V. protection
    Long Lasting - requires less dry dock rehab time - significantly reduces cleaning time
    The most impressive feature about Zirlon Marine Zirconium Nanotechnology is the hardness, non-stick, and stain resistance performance of the coating while imitating elongation characteristics of numerous coatings and substrates. It is very hard to scratch and repels the most difficult stains including graffiti, food acids and common chemicals like gasoline, oil and de-icing agents. It outperforms varnish, epoxies and silicon technologies while being an easy to use eco-friendly one component formula. Comparable technologies require film thicknesses ranging from 10-20 ml while Zirlon Marine performs at only 4-6 ml dry film thickness. This means less product is required for greater protection and more benefits.

    Zirlon Marine is everything epoxy is without the difficulties presented by epoxies. Most marine grade coatings used globally are dependent on Epoxy for adhesion and Silicon for water and stain proofing benefits. Epoxy and Silicon are thirty-plus year old technologies and are inexpensive to produce but have limited-term performance characteristics usually 2 to 4 years depending on quality. Other types of coatings eventually fracture and chip, requiring labor intensive sand-blasting and re-coating. They are organic in nature which limits their ability to hold-up to long term UV exposure. It also lasts 4 to 6 times longer than varnish.

    Zirlon Marine is a single multi-tasking product that combines many applications into one while outperforming any competing technology available. Zirlon Marine solves the same problems as anti-fouling, ablative, hard epoxy, slime-resistant, and gel coat products as well as wood, steel, vinyl tops and aluminum in a single one-component formula. This provides tremendous cost savings in re-coating and maintenance labor and reduction in fuel consumption. Zirlon Marine is very low VOC (<100g/l) and in this age using products that meet clean air regulations is imperative. It is also the world's first product ever introduced that can be used on any type of marine substrate even vinyl.

    The additional uses:
    1. Apply over painted steel on engine parts
    2. Apply to propellers
    3. Use over the wooden parts on deck or inside the cabin.
    4. Use on anything that will rust
    5. Use the non-skid additive for as a non-skid coating on slippery areas of ship
    6. Apply to boat docks for extra protection and low maintenance
    save a nose, pick a banjo

  4. #4
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    Default Re: water based marine varnish

    I'm with David on this. IMO nothing comes close to the solvent based finishes.

    I haven't used any of the water based varnishes on boats but have tried many different brands on furniture and some of the water based laquers on my musical instruments. All have been a disappointment for the most part.

    Two that seem Ok (and I sometimes use on furniture) are the Sherwin Williams Kem-Aqua (as David mentioned) and "VARATHANE" DIAMOND FLOOR FINISH. I tried the Varathane Diamond Polyurethane Interior Water Based Varnish but found it not as durable or hard as I prefer. The Floor finish is tougher. However, none of these, I would use on my boats.

    I find that it takes quite a few more coats of water borne varnish to get a comparable thickness of finish as with traditional oil/solvent based varnish. That may or may not be important to everyone but it's still a factor. Although you can put more coats of water borne varnish on in a day than solvent it is more brushing you need to do.

    So, until they come up with the product that matches the protection of a traditional oil based varnish, I'm not sold.

    However, I'd be interested in others experience as I am open to change...get tired of the fumes sometimes.
    "Take good care of the earth, for it was not given to you by your Grandfathers but loaned to you by your Grandchildren."

    Native American Saying.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: water based marine varnish

    Scot L T,
    I have used indoor type clear gloss finishes.. I never am satisfied with result..
    Sure it is glossy looking right directly at it, but at an angle it just not clear, somewhat cloudy like watered down milk...

    Oil based finishes have bodies to it, like glass on wood.. It really brings out the beauty of the wood...
    save a nose, pick a banjo

  6. #6
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    Default Re: water based marine varnish

    Saul,

    Polycote hydroshield is a polyurethane water-reduced (aka water-hased) coating which many would not term a "varnish." Here is a link: http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/b...ld--Quart.HTML Note this restriction: (Polyshield is rated for above-water line use only.)

    I'm with David G on this one, although I use a two-part LPU finish from System Three which is water-reduced. It is rated for use below the water line for dry-sailed boats (two weeks of continuous immersion maximum). that might be a good alternative for you boat if it will be dry sailed.

    One aspect of so-called "true" marine varnishes is that they remain plastic enough that they withstand the hard knocks of marine abuse (use) and are not readily compromised. Can't tell about the hydrocote without direct experience. The System Three two-part LPU product seems to compare well with "true" varnishes in durability. It is very expensive, however. And, it goes on very thin such that it takes 4-5 coats to reach an adequate film thickness.

    A high quality "solvent-based" marine varnish with UV inhibitors in it probably is a safer choice. These typically go on much thicker so that you can achieve sufficient film thickness in two coats (some insist on three coats).

    As a longtime organic chemist with awareness of the harmful effects of non-water vehicles on your respiratory system, I'm a big fan of water-based finishes; wear a mask rated for protecting yourself from organic vapors, though, and you are good to go.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: water based marine varnish

    There was a thread on this earlier this year, and this spring I did the topsides of a runabout with water based varnish mainly because you can't buy solvent paint or varnish anymore except old stock....
    The results were acceptable, durable buts it's not walked on, and the samples shown by the rep were indistinguishable from trad finishes, so I guess as in most finishes it's the prep thats sorts out the ultimate finish.
    I'd think we are all going to have to get used to the water based products, as not only are they here to stay but solvent based stuff isn't, in Europe anyway.

    And BBs thread on Zirlon Marine is impressive....if it does what it says on the can, then I see no alternative.....price maybe, but the stuff I used earlier was no more costly than 'ordinary' marine varnish and cheaper than the top gear by a mile.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: water based marine varnish

    Thank you all for the quick and thorough responses.

    I figured there may have been a similar thread, but could not find it using the search engine. Knowing it is there, I will try again.

    I think it won't be long before we have similar exclusions on solvent based finishes in the US. The floors in our house have a water based finish. Two coats everywhere except in the kitchen where it gets three. It is pretty durable and I was hoping that more progress had been made in the marine world.

    Saul

  9. #9
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    Default Re: water based marine varnish

    Quote Originally Posted by SJKaplan View Post
    I think it won't be long before we have similar exclusions on solvent based finishes in the US. The floors in our house have a water based finish. Two coats everywhere except in the kitchen where it gets three. It is pretty durable and I was hoping that more progress had been made in the marine world.
    Saul, that "progress" is already here -- the two-part System Three WR-LPU coating I described has been around for maybe 10 years plus (it does have a clear gloss version and a clear satin one, also). I suspect other manufacturers/formulators can provide similar materials. The progress is compromised by reality, however: WR-finishes currently are expensive to own and more work to fine-tune for your needs. This is the part of the real world where there is no free lunch.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: water based marine varnish

    You may want to take a look at this product...

    http://www.admiraltymarinecoatings.c...ishimpact.html

    Regards,

    Graham

  11. #11
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    Default Re: water based marine varnish

    Smart move to ask this question of everybody. My practice with all this new crap they keep telling us is the greatest thing since sliced bread, and especially ANYTHING they tell me is "organic" or "green," it to let some other guy try it for a while and make my decision based on his experience. There's no shortage of such "guinea pigs" out there, since the advertising hype is so all-pervasive. Not surprisingly, I haven't decided any of it is better than the old tried and true nasty smelling, toxic, global-warming ecologically damaging stuff... But I keep watching and waiting.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: water based marine varnish

    I would be happy to send samples of coated wood to anyone who wants them. You may then test the coating any way you see fit and compare it to what is out there... then make your own decisions.

    Regards,

    Graham
    619 207 7778

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