varnishing deck and hull, C16LT

I am getting ready to varnish and was wondering how I go about working the deck and bottom. I can only do one side at a time, so I was wondering if I give the hull a coat, wait for it to dry and then flip the boat and then give the deck a coat. Or do I give the hull all 3 to 5 coats and then flip the boat and do the deck completely?

If I alternate deck and hull, how long do I need to wait before I can flip the boat to give the other side a coat?

The can of varnish says that it will be dry to the touch in 1 hour at 85 deg and down here in South Florida it is closer to 90 during the day. Is 1 hour long enough before I flip the boat or do I need to wait a little longer?


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RE: varnishing deck and hull, C16LT


When I built my wife her 16LT I completed the bottom & sides first, then the top That worked well.

The bottom is graphite/epoxy, so it was ready for all sorts of abuse after just 3 days. The sides & top took a couple of days before they were ready. While the varnish may dry quickly, it takes a while to harden enough to take bumps & scrapes.

It also sounds as if you should only plan on 1 coat a day, applied first thing in the morning (unless you have an airconditioned space). Applying varnish at 90 degrees is an exercise in frustration and a waste of varnish, with lots of sanding to come.

Good luck,


RE: varnishing deck and hull, C16LT

Okay, I will do bottom and sides, one coat a day until I have 3 to 5 coats. Then I will do the deck.

The lowest the temperature gets here these days is 79 and that is at around 6 AM right before the sun rises. I work so I can't do it in the morning and between sunset and midnight the temperatures are around 82 deg.

What do you recommend the highest temperature be for varnishing? I might have to look into a way of cooling the garage or wait until winter when temps are lower.



RE: varnishing deck and hull, C16LT

Just finished my wife's CH16.  I would do a coat on the hull, let it dry for at least 12 hrs, flip it over then do the deck the next day.  Wet sand the whole thing.  Repeat over the course of 10 days for 5 coats total.  Luckily for me it was about 72 in the evening--perfect for varnish. The waiting time is to let the varnish harden, not just dry to the touch.

After varnishing my first CH17 in the summer, i would not try it again over 80 degrees.  I did most of it at around 85 degrees and it was very hard to keep a wet edge epecially when going around the cockpit.  One side would dry before I could run around pick up where I left off.  One thing that really helped was mixing in a splash of Interlux 333 brushing liquid.  It helped keep the varnish flowing in hotter weather.

Good luck.  Have patience, you'e almost done.


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