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Thread: Old Downeast Deck Coating Formula

  1. #1
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    Question

    Hamilton Marine suggests the following formula for a wooden deck coating:

    1 Qt Turpentine
    1 Qt Boiled Linseed Oil
    1/2 Pt Pine Tabr /> 1/2 Pt Japan Driers

    I'm considering it for the floor in my 16' flat bottom Miranti ply skiff.

    Has anyone used this formula?
    Does it have any advantages over paint (durability, low maintenance, aesthetics)?
    What preparation prior to application?
    What application method?
    Number of coats?
    How dark is it, or what will it do to my miranti color?

    Thanks,
    CJ

  2. #2
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    It's going to smell really good. It is going to be bomb proof. It is going to turn everything black.

  3. #3
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    Someone told me what Pine Tar is, sounds real sticky
    Then mix in the Linseed oil, not gona make it any less sticky
    Dilute it wid da Terps, Ahh... that'l make it thin and sticky...
    And the Jap drier? I guess it will make it dry up a little faster.

    That stuff with a little honey added to it sounds like good flypaper treatment...but not something I'd want to step on. Are they selling it real cheap?

    But who knows...

    With so many modern GOOD WATERPROOF COATINGS available today... why screw around with that junk?

    [ 08-03-2005, 04:13 PM: Message edited by: Gary E ]

  4. #4
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    Thumbs up

    Boat soup! I like to keep an open container of it around just for the smell! Rick

  5. #5
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    There are lots, and lots of different mix formulas for the 'boat soup' concoction that has been being used to preserve wood for pretty much this side of forever. You've quoted one of em. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Here is a quick, boiled down synopsis.

    The Linseed oil preserves wood by keeping the cell walls flexible, so that ingredient is for preservation.
    The Pine Tar tends to stay on the surface after the linseed oil soaks in, and seals the pores of the wood. It also acts as a mild fungicide and biocide. It is sticky as hell, yep. It turns everything black (or at least makes it dark).
    Turps thins the linseed oil so that it gets carried further into the wood.
    Japan Drier is there so that it takes less than a month for the oil to dry.

    There are many accounts of how the old timers used the stuff. From what I've seen, read and done pine tar is used less in small boats than in larger ones because it is a preservative and means you won't have to do the work over again too often, but again, is sticky as hell and so could be a pain in a small boat as fish bits, croutons and small children get it all over themselves.

    A good account of a simple method I've used with success on wood without pine tar is this one:

    Once a day for a week
    Once a week for a month
    Once a month for the season

    At the end of that treatment, you apply as needed. No stickiness and works pretty well. Also gives the wood a nice color.

    For finer stuff you add Tung Oil in varying proportions, or even as a substitute for linseed. It is expensive so you might want to look up an authoritative formula in an old varnish book.

    For bilges you could get pretty liberal with the pine tar without worry since you won't be touching it much, and it won't be seen.

  6. #6
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    An interesting option for you might be to contact Kirby paints and ask them if they'll coat a sample of your meranti ply with their Salty Dog pine tar mix. You'll see before you buy what it'll look like -- dark ...and smell like -- yum. If you'll want something not so dark, ask if Kirby has an optional mix for you.

    I used Salty Dog on a rubrail -- it does darken and is a matte finish and sure smells like a rubrail you'd like to rub up against...if you're a dock. [img]smile.gif[/img]

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by CJ:
    I'm considering it for the floor in my 16' flat bottom Miranti ply skiff.

    Has anyone used this formula?
    Does it have any advantages over paint (durability, low maintenance, aesthetics)?
    CJ
    He said it's use will be the FLOOR !!! which means standing on it !!!!

    You want to stand on that stickky sheeeeeet ?????

  8. #8
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    I used it on some outdoor furniture (with a bit less pine tar and a litlle more japan driers). It takes forever to dry. Once it dries, if it sits in the sun it looks OK for a couple of weeks. It takes forever to apply in quantites that actually protect the wood, doesn't wear well, doesn't last well, and is IMHO inferior in almost every way to paint (except for the smell). I would DEFINITELY use paint if it were my boat. I suspect the old-timers only used it because it was a lot cheaper than paint.

    [ 08-04-2005, 12:04 PM: Message edited by: Keith Wilson ]

  9. #9
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    I use basically that same mix on the interiors of my railbird skiff and wee lassie, both built of cedar. I find it dries quite well, and it's not at all sticky. It does require fairly frequent recoating, but that's really quick. These boats are under cover when not in use, I don't know if I'd use it otherwise as it might need recoating constantly, I don't know. It's a nice oil finish with a sort of stain built in, and there is supposed to be some biocide feature to the pine tar. It works for me.
    Edited to add: I use raw linseed oil. I find boiled oil when recoated to get black and not dry well. The Japan dryers must be different than the dryers in the boiled linseed. (which I'm pretty sure is not actually boiled, just has dryers added to raw oil.) I see you're talking about ply, which I'd paint for sure, I don't care for bright finished plywood, even the fancy stuff. I also think the ply will fare better for it. So I guess I say: I like the oil/pine tar finish, but not for your intended use.
    Jack

    [ 08-04-2005, 12:50 PM: Message edited by: muscongus ]

  10. #10
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    I like this Hamilton marine formula and use it on garden tool handles, the wood on the wheel barrow, the locust cleats on Bietzpadlin and almost on any other wood that spends most of the time out of doors.
    That said it is worth noting that it is a workboat finish, a bit sticky is far more desirable than a bit slippery.

  11. #11
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    I've used this recipe of boat brew for 10+ years now on the interior of my boat. Definitely a work boat finish and it smells GREAT!

  12. #12
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    Same ingredients and different proportions to traditional SLUSH used for rigging preservation. e.g. Brion Toss 'Rigger Apprentice' has formula.
    I suspect it will work well and you will like it. May not dry quickly.

  13. #13
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    Use it, Aside from coating it once maybe even twice a year it requires no maintainence, no sanding. The sticky goes away after awhile and it is not that bad to begin with. You can mix it to your liking for color, shine, etc... Great stuff!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Old Downeast Deck Coating Formula

    You have to use Venice Turpentine found at feed stores and horse care suppliers for 100 year coatings and you cqn adjust the color by adding or subtracting the amount of pine tar. By the was it dries to the touch and is NOT Sticky!!!!!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Old Downeast Deck Coating Formula

    Linseed oil has to be wiped dry to get away from being sticky. If you leave it wet on the surface it will not dry properly. Many people make this mistake then blame the material but is usually ignorance in the application.
    ron

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Old Downeast Deck Coating Formula

    The old "Down-Easters" that I knew were fond of old used motor oil, toxic, loaded with heavy metals and guaranteed to last until the next oil change.

    I was told, and you can quote this, that when you look at an old abandoned and derelict boat, the only wood that was any good would be under the engine. You know, where they drained the oil...

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Old Downeast Deck Coating Formula

    I think that this is the Scandinavian boat soup. It does soak in to real wood, but I don't know whether it will get past the glue line on plywood. If you get any hot sunny days in Maine, it will melt and come back to the surface, where it will stick to anything that touches it.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Old Downeast Deck Coating Formula

    What Nick said....its only going to soak in to the glue line. Its great stuff in it's many formulations for solid wood. For ply I'd paint, or CPES and then paint.
    Hardware store porch and deck enamel.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Old Downeast Deck Coating Formula

    2005...wonder if the goo has dried yet.

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