Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Varnishing time

Starboard handrail and trim
Port hand rail and trim
Storing your boat over hurricane season or winter can sometimes cost you more than living on it. Especially down here in the Salt waters where everything corrodes. Currently our outboard and stereo system is out of order. The stereo is half fixed, it worked for several hours last night. Humidity and salt must have corroded something in the unit. A boat needs constant maintenance and if you put things on hold, they might cost and require more work in the long run.
The last couple of days we have been sanding, varnishing, and sealing handrails and trim. This project is time consuming. First you have to take the rail off, then clean the old caulk, sand the wood trim, apply one layer at a time of epoxy, mask, and then put new caulk and screw the pieces back into deck, sand the epoxy, and apply one layer of varnish at a time. Phew! All this hard work will pay off when the wooden rail will looks like new after it's done. We are applying 3 coats of epoxy and 3 layers of varnish.  The epoxy should protect the wood from moisture better than anything else. This is the first time I'm using the epoxy and varnish combination and I think it will have great durability.
So far we have just done hand rails and the trim on the starboard side. There is an equal amount of work for the wood on the port, bow and stern of the boat. The good news is that if we apply a couple layers of varnish once a year, we would never need to go through all the steps again next time. Compared to some classic boats, Earthling don't have lots of wood work, teak deck and floors. If you are going to purchase a boat and you fall in love with the wood work and teak deck, keep in mind that keeping up with the wood maintenance might break your back or pocket over the long run. And next time you see that beautiful shinny wooden ketch, remember that the owner put lots of love into her!

Love from varnishing world

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