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paint vs. translucent finish


Walter T
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OK guys and gals  what is the most durable long lasting finish for polyester fabric? I like the look of translucent finishes and am concerned that they may not hold up as well as paint. What would you folks recommend? I had a wood boat and it required annual sanding and touch ups, is this likely to be the same?

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Walter,

 

What fabric are you using?  My answer would change depending on what you use, not from a durability standpoint, because I think it's a toss-up, but from an "effectiveness of sealing" perspective.  If you're using the economy fabric, I believe you'll get a much better seal in fewer coats with less hastle using spar varnish from the local BBS.  If you're going with the premium fabric, I'd go the paint route.  I did two painted boats with the economy and one of them still has pinholes somewhere and the other took spray on fill primer to get a bunch of spots.  With the varnished one, three coats on the bottom, two on the top - good to go and doesn't leak a drop.  The main thing with the varnish is to apply it as sparingly as possible at first so you don't get runs and drips that go through, because every application error will be visible from both directions...

 

Hope this helps!

 

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I haven't purchased my fabric yet. It was recommended that I use an 8 ounce polyester because of the ease of application. Now I don't know if that means it is an economy fabric or not, this is my first boat. What determines economy fabric.

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21 hours ago, Walter T said:

I haven't purchased my fabric yet. It was recommended that I use an 8 ounce polyester because of the ease of application. Now I don't know if that means it is an economy fabric or not, this is my first boat. What determines economy fabric.

 

http://www.kudzucraft.net/Uncoated-fabrics/

 

Skip the "economy" fabric and save yourself lots of headaches - the cost savings really isn't worth it in the long run.

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  • 3 weeks later...

If it really is spar varnish then it is an oil based product and should work well.  It will also have very good UV protection. Spar is often added to the label out of tradition, from when the spars on a wooden boat might be the only wood varnished.  It is meaningless today.   Read the label, if urethane, or polyurethane are in the description it is not varnish. If indoor is in the description, it is not varnish.  Varnish is an over used word when in fact it is a very specific product. 

 

I would thin the first coat as Jeff suggests for paints and not thin after.

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Walter, that is definitely an exterior product, and should work well.  I would not use it on wood parts of a boat.  The big advantage to real varnish is refinishing.  It is easy to remove with heat for a total refinish and sands easily for repairs.  Urethanes and polyurethanes do neither well.

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So.... What would you suggest I use for the wood, brands?? I did a search for real varnish and there's bajillions  of them that may or may not be (real) but then, most of the wood will be under the skin with only a little showing around the combing, floor boards and a small transom.

Thank you

Walter

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I would, and did use Tung oil.  You are never going to refinish your frame unless you re-skin it also.  The thought of sanding a frame, and not abrading the lashings is a major deterrent to any other finish IMO.  Pettit Z-Spar and McCloskey are the brands I use on the brightwork of my Lapwing, and I have a bit to do.

DSCN3713.JPG

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