Most popular GRP models from the last century have some decorative exterior wood like rubbing strips, hand rails, hatch covers etc. and if well kept these can add a genuine charm to your boat. However, when overlooked they soon become half-cracked and discoloured and it is amazing how much this takes away from a boat cosmetically. The main causes of flaking varnish and discolouration to wood made trims is UV damage weakening the varnish as well as enabling water to pass through right into the wood. The very best way to stop this is to touch up any kind of scratches or cracks in the varnish as soon as possible after they appear stopping water from immersing into the wood. To keep varnished timber looking its best it truly requires re-doing every 1-2 years.


Possibly one of the most overwhelming thing people discover when varnishing is the sheer volume of various marine varnishes on the market. Varnishes naturally vary in price according to their quality, however budget plan is not the only variable to consider when picking a yacht varnish. The major technical attributes different varnishes will advertise are the efficiency of the products ability to resist UV (the significant root cause of flaking) as well as the products self-levelling attributes; varnishes with much better levelling properties will certainly be much easier to use equally to a surface area. These are typically factors of quality that will naturally differ because the varnishes vary in price range, nevertheless there are additional elements to consider.

Check the application process when considering a varnish; will it need to be sanded in between each coat or can you apply 2 or 3 before needing to sand it down once more? It’s likewise worth checking the drying time and exactly how often you can apply coats to the surface, the majority of varnishes will strictly recommend only one coat a day yet some can take 2. It is consequently vital to understand how many coats you will require and also ensure you have the time available to do so. Varnishes likewise differ in colour, some are near enough clear whilst others will transfer a brownish-yellow or gold glow to the wood, consider just what result you intend to finish with. Finally, what wood is it going on, many varnishes are fairly universal, nevertheless, in case you are using an especially oily wood like teak some varnishes will require you to clean up the wood with the proper thinners and possibly secure the wood prior to application.

International Perfection Plus Marine Varnish

At the top of the International range is their two pack ‘Perfection Plus’, a premium quality varnish with a treating additive. International recommend between 2 and 5 layers to leave a great gloss with the curing agent to give the hardest, most scrape immune shell and the longest life in the range.The next in the selection are the ‘Schooner’ varnishes; ‘Schooner Gold’ giving the better UV defence as well as a brownish-yellow tone to the timber, and the regular ‘Schooner’ giving even more of a golden colour and needing even more coats than the ‘Gold’ with both calling for sanding between each coat. Next off, ‘Compass’ is the fast drying varnish in the range enabling two coats daily under the ideal conditions and not requiring sanding between each layer.

International Original Marine Varnish Finally, the ‘Original’ is the general purpose entry in the range; a fantastic value, good quality varnish suitable for exterior work and requiring about three layers for a nice gloss.


Application of varnishes normally varies between products and any kind of special requirements will be described on the tin. To give the most general idea of exactly how you can use varnish let’s assume we’re making use of International’s ‘Original’ varnish on wooden rubbing strips together with hand rails. It’s of course best, if possible, to get rid of wooden features from the boat to varnish to be able both to improve access and also prevent leaking varnish all over the hull.

Give the wood a good clean and sand it with around 300 grit paper, remembering to sand towards the grain, and also give it a very good wipe down after that with a tack-rag as any kind of dust will ruin the finish. Select a high quality brush, sticky varnish is notorious for pulling hairs from brushes, Harris ‘No-Loss’ brushes are the best bet for a smooth finish.

International advise thinning the very first layer of ‘Original’ by about 10% with their ‘No. 1’ thinners, this will help the varnish to really soak right into the wood and also adhere well to the surface. Do this in a separate mixing container where you can apply the varnish. Seal up the tin when you have actually measured out what you will need for a layer to avoid any unnecessary contamination and use the thinned varnish amply from your measuring container using long, sleek moves in the same direction as the grain of the wood. This should be left to dry for a minimum of 1 Day prior to being given a good sanding with 320-400 grit sandpaper. This great site clear yacht varnish provides extensive more info on the topic of yacht-paint.

Once completely dry and sanded remove any dirt again and you are set to begin applying unthinned layers. Again don’t apply straight from the tin but separate approximately what you will need into an appropriate jug. When using the unthinned varnish take care to keep strokes smooth and clean out any drips as soon as you see them as once they’re tacky it becomes really hard to fix them. As soon as you are pleased with the layer leave it to dry for at least 24-HOUR before sanding once more with 320-400grit paper to provide a key for the next coat, if you do not accomplish this the varnish is likely to peel off in large strips, use the tack rag to eliminate any type of dirt before proceeding with the following coat. Continue this process as often as you can, or till you are pleased with the coating, International recommend 3 unthinned coats for ‘Original’ however in case you have the time there is no reason you can’t go even more.


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