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Thread: Varnish

  1. #1
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    Apr 2018
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    Traverse City, Mi
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    Default Varnish

    I have a question about using "Total Boat Halcyon Varnish". I've been using Captains spar varnish, seems to have been good for U.V. protection. I'm reading about this halcyon varnish, I am wondering if anyone has any experience with it, and what thoughts are about U.V protection, better than spar varnish? Seems almost too good to be true, 4-5 coats in one day, decent wet edge=45-90 seconds, hard finish, low odor, cleans up with soap & water?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Varnish

    Quote Originally Posted by RonPW View Post
    I have a question about using "Total Boat Halcyon Varnish". I've been using Captains spar varnish, seems to have been good for U.V. protection. I'm reading about this halcyon varnish, I am wondering if anyone has any experience with it, and what thoughts are about U.V protection, better than spar varnish? Seems almost too good to be true, 4-5 coats in one day, decent wet edge=45-90 seconds, hard finish, low odor, cleans up with soap & water?
    No experience with that product.

    I can, though, offer some general thoughts.

    I have been making plain & fancy sawdust for over 4 decades now. I love the notion of a water-based clear topcoat. Esp. one with UV protection equal to a good spar varnish. And so - for many years - I allowed myself to believe the people who said, "We've got it all sorted out now. All the advantages of water-cleanup, quick drying, etc. AND we've eliminate all the disadvantages."

    I did that for several generations of 'We've got it now' products. And they really do keep getting better. And, possibly, they really will someday eliminate the problems.

    And maybe THIS is the generation of product that has managed it. But... color me highly skeptical.

    For me, they are going to have to have have decades of success, with no 'new & improved' versions required, before I take water-based clear topcoats seriously. And... by that time... I'll no longer be in the business.

    Therefore, personally, I'll stick with the tried and true solvent-based clear topcoats.

    If YOU want to be the one to do the next round of beta-testing for the manufacturers... feel free. And do report back.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "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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    Norwalk CT
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    Default Re: Varnish

    Couldnt agree more. Water based, easy clean-up...unicorns. "New and Improved" means it didnt work before so lets try it this way.

    Solvent base varnish has been around since God was a boy because it works. Pick a brand you like and stick with it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Varnish

    Ever tried sanding "water based" stuff ?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Varnish

    Ha! Is there anything you haven't sanded?
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
    ♦ The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it
    ♦ If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear
    ♦ George Orwell

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Varnish

    hmmmmm.......guess not.
    nuttin on a bote anyway

  7. #7
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    Oct 2000
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    Padanaram, MA USA
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    Default Re: Varnish

    I like my current traditional varnish and will let others experiment.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Branchville, NJ
    Posts
    193

    Default Re: Varnish

    Yes , old reliable varnish that's been around a while. Though I would like to see how that Halcyon stuff works. I did try water based varnish years ago, after that I never wanted to try it again. Maybe I'll order a pint with my next Jamestown order. just thinking about it , been varnishing all day today, 1015 capt. varnish.

    " The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Emerald Coast, FL
    Posts
    831

    Default Re: Varnish

    What are you varnishing? We like Halcyon on small boat blades and would use it again due to quick recoat time and easy cleanup. It will need to prove its longevity before a lot of folks folks would jump to using it on topsides of large boats.
    Cheers
    Kent and Skipper
    Small Boat Restoration blog

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    609

    Default Re: Varnish

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    No experience with that product.

    I can, though, offer some general thoughts.

    I have been making plain & fancy sawdust for over 4 decades now. I love the notion of a water-based clear topcoat. Esp. one with UV protection equal to a good spar varnish. And so - for many years - I allowed myself to believe the people who said, "We've got it all sorted out now. All the advantages of water-cleanup, quick drying, etc. AND we've eliminate all the disadvantages."

    I did that for several generations of 'We've got it now' products. And they really do keep getting better. And, possibly, they really will someday eliminate the problems.

    And maybe THIS is the generation of product that has managed it. But... color me highly skeptical.

    For me, they are going to have to have have decades of success, with no 'new & improved' versions required, before I take water-based clear topcoats seriously. And... by that time... I'll no longer be in the business.

    Therefore, personally, I'll stick with the tried and true solvent-based clear topcoats.

    If YOU want to be the one to do the next round of beta-testing for the manufacturers... feel free. And do report back.
    I agree completely. As much as I hate using VOC's, their use and durability has been far more predictable. Water-based may perform as well, but I have decided not to take that chance any longer.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Varnish

    Practical Sailor recently (?) did a review of paints including some that were water-based. None were ready for prime time though they were serviceable. I'm going to assume water-based varnish could likely yield similar results.
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
    ♦ The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it
    ♦ If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear
    ♦ George Orwell

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Varnish

    Quote Originally Posted by Autonomous View Post
    Practical Sailor recently (?) did a review of paints including some that were water-based. None were ready for prime time though they were serviceable. I'm going to assume water-based varnish could likely yield similar results.
    A clear, UV-resistant topcoat is even harder than an opaque one.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "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)

  13. #13
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    Apr 2018
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    Traverse City, Mi
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    Default Re: Varnish

    I will be doing my bi-annual varnish on a couple strip kayaks, strip canoe & sup.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    165

    Default Re: Varnish

    "serviceable", as mentioned above, is probably a good description for halcyon. we've been using it at the boatshop for our volunteer projects with kids, which is a smart way to help keep them away from vocs. I believe it only comes in satin finish, which is a strike against it for those who prefer a gloss look. my feeling is that it outperforms seagold from petit, which is also waterbased. neither seems to provide a lot of buildup. but the claims for rapid recoating are certainly true; an hour or two is not unusual on warm days. another plus for halcyon is the plastic "bottle" that allows you to squeeze out air and reseal. bottom line: invest in a quart and try it. meanwhile, i have been using the total boat gleam gloss varnish, which smells to high heaven, but goes on pretty well, is much less fussy than "old" spar varnish, can be recoated in 3 hrs or so in warm weather and is generally pretty easy to use. i wiped some on a tired surface with a rag the other day and the result was astonishing. but as i say, it uses some sort of different solvent and it is pungent, to say the least. also, it will tend to lose its high gloss and/or skin over if you leave a partially used can sealed for a while. pricing is decent, ships for "free."

  15. #15
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    Ottawa, Canada
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    Default Re: Varnish

    Le Tonk for low VOCs !

    Cheers,
    Mark

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Varnish

    Very low!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Varnish

    cetol gloss baby

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Varnish

    Yeah, Cetol. The shipping for a quart is between $10 and $25 nowadays. Unreal.

    Just as general comment, I used some Zar waterborne "oil modified" floor urethane in my house, since I'm living in my house, and oil based urethane is deadly. It looks amazing. It's clearly a bit softer than oil based but the way it leveled out and went on unfussily and allowed three or more coats per day sort of won me over. I'd still use solvent based urethane if I didn't have to share the space with it, but the stuff is not half bad. Of course, not an exterior coating--just on the topic of water based urethanes.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Varnish

    first thing on the google



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    Sikkens Cetol Srd Wood and Deck Stain Sealer-FREE SHIPPING. BUY DIRECT AND SAVE. Where to buy Sikkens. Preservative for Exterior Wood. Sikkens ...

  20. #20
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    Mar 2011
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    Mukilteo, WA
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    Default Re: Varnish

    A 45 second wet edge would cause me all sorts of headaches! That alone would rule it out for me.

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