Before I get started, I just want to make it clear that I know we already have too many varnish posts, and that varnishing is one of the least important aspects of boat building (although it is one of the most time consuming aspects of boat maintenance).
I have to wood my exterior teak brightwork next season. So before I put in the large amount of time and effort needed to strip and recoat, I decided I would do an experiment to determine which varnish to use. Here's the experiment:
Three premium varnishes:
1. Rivale Classic Gloss
3. Detco Crystal
For each varnish I am coating two pieces of teak, one with sealed with CPES and one sealed with thinned varnish. I will have a total of six samples, two for each varnish. I plan to apply eight coats.
I am testing for ease of application and beauty of appearance. I am not testing for durability, as all three are on the high end of durability for traditional tung oil products.
I have used Rivale in the past. The reason I am considering a switch is because it is difficult and time-consuming to apply, and because horizontal surfaces develop an unusually high amount of crazing from direct exposure to sun. It is a very looonnnngggg oil product, so some coats take two days to dry enough to recoat. Sanding is difficult too, as it stays on the soft side for weeks, and it clogs paper like nothing else. But it is a beautiful looking finish.
I chose Epifanes because it is widely known to be an excellent product and has been recommended by some Forumites.
I chose Detco, because of the company's reputation for making top quality coatings and goops for the marine and aeronautical industries. You may recall that Detco polysulfide deck caulk is the standard of the industry, and its Sterling LPU paints are reputed to be among the best. But back to varnish--Detco is supposedly formulated for ease of application. After an overnight dry, it can be recoated without sanding between coats. Dries to touch in an hour so the first three or four coats can be applied in a two day period. It sands easily like powder and doesn't clog paper. It can be applied in cold weather, which is ideal for me, as I do most of my varnishing in the winter, spring and fall.
I realize this is a completely subjective "test." But for those of you who are interested, I'll keep you posted.
Anyway, I need something to play with during the Void--November through March when there's no sailing and no baseball.
[This message has been edited by Scott Rosen (edited 11-13-2000).]