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Catboat "hoop" coating and protection

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I am replacing my old (came with boat) fiberglass hoops with new wood hoops. I am perplexed with what type of "coating" I should use. I sail on Lake Michigan (salt not a problem). Boat is outside all summer. Any ideas are greatly appreciated.

Thank you!



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Traditional finish is to soak them in hot, boiled linseed Oil until they won't accept any more. Then let them dry out and buff them. The hot oil opens up the pores in the wood and the linseed oil soaks into the grain sealing it and strengthening it.

After they dry out for a week of two, you could also varnish them if you want a shiney finish on them. Personally, I would not do that, it is far easier to just rub an additional coat of linseed oil on them perodically to maintain them. Also the oil doesn't crack like varnish can when the hoops flex.

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