Needless varnish angst

What with all the varnishing questions being posted I just want to remind everyone that there is a foolproof method completely described at The Varnished Kayak  , one of the  many helpful articles under the Tips for Boatbuilders section of CLC's website. It tells you how much to sand, how to sand, which varnish to use, how many coats, what tools to use to apply them, how to apply them, etc. In short, it's a cookbook for a shiny kayak.

The techniques described are exactly the same ones used by CLC on their showroom & demo models, which are the boats you see in the catalogue and website pictures. They're also the same techniques demonstrated by Commodore Harris himself at the Okoumefest varnishing seminars. So they work. Of course there are a lot of other approaches out there, but if a builder follows those instructions as written, they will end up with a finish good enough for CLC to sell boats with.

So first-timers, don't worry, just do exactly what the shop tip says for your first boat. Then later, either at refinish time or for the next boat, you'll have that experience to build on and then you can develop your own variations on a theme.

Have fun,


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RE: Needless varnish angst

i agree.

As a furniture builder i have varnished countles items, but never a boat. the differance, varnish over epoxy over fiberglass. i have mentioned before that building this boat has been more chemistry than carpentry. I'm just finishing my Millcreek 16.5 and after 5-coats of varnish the deck looks like a sheet of glass. my advice "less is more".  a light wet sand between coats will make the deck look incredible.


RE: Needless varnish angst


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