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03/15/2024 01:25PM  
I think I have read everything already posted about this subject but I would still love some feedback from this group of clever folks.

I have a 2007 Prism in very good condition. I want to give it back some shine. I have cleaned it well and lightly sanded. I purchased a can of Epifanes clear varnish, acetone for a light wipe down and foam roller and brush for application.

Just before "going for it" I decided to contact Wenonah to make sure what my hull exactly is (my son purchased this for me and was told it is lightweight Kevlar) and to make sure I am not making a mistake by not applying epoxy first.

I got an unexpected reply. First they apparently do not have records of hull builds going back past 2014. Secondly, they do not "recommend trying to refinish the bottom of a canoe. This rarely gives good cosmetic results and adds unnecessary weight without improving strength."

They suggested possibly using a product they sell called Boat Guard Sealant.

I think I will go ahead and apply the Epifanes. Your thoughts?

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03/15/2024 01:42PM  
Regarding my hull they only said "if your canoe is ultralight aramid with a skin coat it will have been built with vinylester resin for the exterior."
distinguished member(2928)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
03/15/2024 06:35PM  
Well here’s my opinion.

Gloss spar varnish will give you a shiny new surface over the canoe.
It will hide many of the lighter scratches. It will add minimal weight, guessing at about 4oz.

Clean everything off. Lightly sand with about 220 sandpaper to rough the surface. Clean again and apply the varnish in a warm dust-free work area. It takes several hours for spar varnish to harden enough to touch without leaving a finger print so keep your space dust-free for a while.

You will probably need to add a second coat. Usually the gloss will not really come out until more than one coat is applied. If you don’t want a shiny surface, satin will give it less sheen. You will use more than a quart if you apply two coats. You need to sand very lightly with fine paper between coats. And you need to apply thin coats! IF you try to be a rockstar and apply a heavy coat to get it done in one fell swoop you will end up with runs in the varnish so don’t try to be a rockstar.
Have fun!
03/15/2024 08:22PM  
Thanks so much, Tom. I was hoping you would reply!
distinguished member (141)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
03/17/2024 09:08AM  
Tumblehome nailed it. Follow his directions. The only thing I’ll add is that if your canoe has any deep gouges that look a little darker than the surrounding fabric it means there has been some water intrusion. Now would be the time to fill those with something like thickened gflex, before you varnish.

03/17/2024 09:52AM  
Thanks Mark and Tom. My canoe has no damage, just cosmetic. It was dull as dirt and lightly scratched. The previous owner, or perhaps the dealer my son purchased it from, was not real careful and there are some drips, runs, and such in the existing coating. I sanded some but am not going to worry about this level of imperfection. I appreciate good craftsmanship but this old boat is to use, not a show piece. :-)

As I was reading the fine print on the Epifanes can they recommend thinning 50% on the first coat, 25% on the second coat and 15% on the 3rd coat. This surprised me but I decided to proceed with their recommendations.

The first coat made a huge difference. The color was much deeper and while not consistently shiny it does look nice compared to the before picture.

This morning I put on a second coat. I find it quite difficult to accurately see the details and I won't be surprised to discover my own mistakes but I did take Tom's advice to heart and applied the varnish with a thin coat.

So far I am happy. I will apply a final coat tomorrow.

distinguished member(2928)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
03/17/2024 02:17PM  
Oh man, that looks about 500% better. Very nice!

Thinning varnish helps it flow/brush better and soaks into wood fibers. In your case it was not necessary but didn’t hurt either.
So no harm, no foul. And following direction on the can is always a wise decision.

See you on the water.
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