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HighPlainsDrifter
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04/12/2011 09:16PM  

Hi
Soon, very soon I will be moving my canoe outside to sand the bumps and ripples of my epoxy....... then (drum roll) I will be looking at varnish.

I have been cruising around the Jamestown site. It looks like the big players are:
Z-Spar Captains
Z-SPAR Flagship
Pettit Ultra Clear Captains

Anybody got a favorite (recommendation) "must use" varnish?
 
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Cedarboy
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04/12/2011 09:33PM  
Helmsman Spar Urethane by Minwax. Gloss has this highest amount of solids for a harder finish. Varethane has something similar. No need to spend big bucks. Get them at Home Depot,Lowes or Menards.
CB

Northwest Canoe has been using a 2 part from Epiphanes, SUPER TOUGH STUFF. VERY hard to scratch. It is expensive though.
 
04/13/2011 12:02AM  
Wow! First post in this group in 10 days! I like what I am hearing...on my last boat I coughed up the money for a premium brand from a top notch company and had curing issues up the a$$. This time around I am going to try something cheaper as my boats live in the garage unless they are being paddled.
 
04/13/2011 12:33PM  
Ditto Cedarboy. I use Helmsman Spar Urethane by Minwax that I buy at Menards. Seems to work well for me.
 
airmorse
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04/13/2011 12:37PM  
quote HighPlainsDrifter: "
Hi
Soon, very soon I will be moving my canoe outside to sand the bumps and ripples of my epoxy....... then (drum roll) I will be looking at varnish.

I have been cruising around the Jamestown site. It looks like the big players are:
Z-Spar Captains
Z-SPAR Flagship
Pettit Ultra Clear Captains

Anybody got a favorite (recommendation) "must use" varnish?"


I used Z-spar Captains on my kayak and was happy with it.

Remember when applying varnish that wood breaths...so when the wood is warming up it outgases and if you apply your varnish as the wood is warming you will get zillions of tiny bubbles. That is a bad bad thing.

I'm sure you knew this already.

Good luck and can't wait to see.

Curt

 
04/13/2011 03:36PM  
If you have glassed and epoxied inside and out, the wood should be sealed and there shouldn't be any outgassing from the wood.
 
mwd1976
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04/13/2011 03:46PM  
If you roll on the varnish make sure you "tip" by lightly dragging a brush across it after it's been rolled on. That breaks up all those millions of air bubbles and gives you a nice smooth finish.
 
Cedarboy
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04/13/2011 08:30PM  
Ditto Bannock, there should be no outgasing after epoxy and glass, wood completely sealed.
CB
 
HighPlainsDrifter
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04/13/2011 09:02PM  

No easy answer, I guess.
But, your posts prompted me to look at different products and try to figure out what "varnish" is all about. I found a good article and this article says:

" varnish pretenders — the so-called "spar varnish" made from linseed oil and urethane resin. "Spar Urethane" varnish should be avoided in any exterior application in which even moderate exposure to direct sunlight is likely. We need look no further than the properties of varnish made from urethane resin (polyurethane) to understand why. Urethane resin varnishes suffer two weaknesses that have direct bearing on varnish used in exterior applications in general, and marine applications in particular "

Marine varnish
 
buffalodick
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04/13/2011 09:23PM  
Whatever you use make sure it provides UV protection from the sun. Epoxy resin will deteriorate with exposure to sunlight. I do regular seasonal maintenance on my canoe. I give it a light sanding and recoat with Helmsman Spar varnish. I originally gave the canoe four coats using a sponge brush which leaves a nice smooth finish. I work from one end in about one foot increments and go from gunnel to gunnel and progress toward the other end always working fast to keep the edge wet. I also use a trouble light in one hand as I work to see that I have covered everything well.
Dick
 
Cedarboy
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04/13/2011 09:39PM  
Helmsman is not a varnish and is specifically formulated for exterior use.
Would agree interior polyurethane is crap for exterior use.
Helmsman has the UV inhibitors for exterior, thats what its for.
Good link about varnishs.
Remember you are putting this on epoxy NOT wood.
Varnish wont stick to epoxy.
CB
 
HighPlainsDrifter
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04/13/2011 10:07PM  
Cedar

These days "varnish" is kinda of a catch-all term (I think) and the new formulations are way different than "traditional varnish".

On the Jamestown page they talk about the benefits of varnish over epoxy:
"Two-part clear polyurethanes are known for superior UV resistance and scratch resistance compared to traditional varnishes, but they have shown mixed results when applied directly to wood. They also tend to develop cracks due to expansion/contraction of the wood. Two to three coats of epoxy also provide a stable base for clear two-part polyurethane finishes. Applied over epoxy, they perform beautifully together and outlast either coating used by itself".

 
amhacker22@hotmail.com
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04/14/2011 06:05AM  
Kind of a side note, but I am cleaning up a blackgold canoe at the moment & I've been struggling with using epoxy, some sort of "varnish", or a combination of the two. I had come to the conclusion that a thin layer of epoxy followed by a 2 part polyurethane from epifanes might be the way to go. Your quote from Jamestown Dist. seems to back that up.
 
Cedarboy
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04/14/2011 06:54AM  
HPD
The 2 part NWC uses is from Epifanes. It is d$%# near as tough as epoxy. Amazing scratch resistance. Almost the same price as epoxy.
Debating a try.
Let us know what you will be using and results.
CB
 
HighPlainsDrifter
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04/14/2011 10:11AM  
Good deal at JD if you use "flat rate shipping"

Cedar

Jamestown Distibutors has a sale on Epifanes right now:
1000ml (1.05 quarts) is priced at $26.99 !!!! (reg price $43.66)

By comparison JD offers:
Z-SPAR Flagship at $29.99/qt
Z-SPAR Captains at $25.99 (on sale also) reg price = 36.99/qt

Epifanes clear marine spar varnish is renowned for its gloss finish and offers superior protection in all climates. Made from Chinese tung oil and non-yellowing alkyd and urethane resins including U.V. inhibitors to make it an exceptional finish for wood or over traditional marine varnish clear urethane and clear epoxy resins systems.

As this is my first baby, I am really tempted to spoil her and put on the "big name" stuff at the sale prices
 
04/14/2011 11:30AM  
Ditto that the "varnish" is on epoxy, not wood. Also, "marine" is not applicable here. Marine is for when the craft spends all its time in the water. Obviously a canoe does not. Most of its time is out of the water.
 
HighPlainsDrifter
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04/14/2011 06:50PM  
Bannock

I believe there is room for interpretation of what "marine varnish" means:

Spar varnish (also called marine varnish) was originally intended for use on ship or boat spars, to protect the timber from the effects of sea and weather.

 
Woods Walker
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04/16/2011 04:27PM  
quote Bannock: "Ditto Cedarboy. I use Helmsman Spar Urethane by Minwax that I buy at Menards. Seems to work well for me."


Ditto, Ditto

Works for me, I recoat every other year.
 
carpetman
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04/19/2011 05:11PM  
Not trying to start a argument, but " varnish " is not recommended for use over fiberglass by any manufacture. Varnish is made for wood.

I use automotive clearcoat. It is expensive, but durable. I sprayed my kayak 10 years ago it is used 12-15 times a year, spends 30+ days on roof rack in south sun still looks like new. I was recoating every year with varnish.
If you think logically would you brush varnish on your corvette of fiber glass speed boat.

Varnish will block uv rays. It is much better than nothing. but in my opinion automotive clear is the way to go.


 
HighPlainsDrifter
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04/20/2011 01:23PM  
Varnish on fiberglass (or epoxy) Fact and fiction

Lets get facts straight about this issue of varnish on epoxy or fiberglass ! To separate fact from fiction, I asked the experts at PETIT about Z-SPAR Flagship varnish.

My Question:
Is it OK to use Z-SPAR Flagship varnish on Systems III epoxy? This application is a cedar strip canoe that has been covered with fiberglass using Systems III SilverTip marine laminating resin

Answer:
Thank you for the e-mail. Yes, follow the overcoating instructions.
Joe Petrocelli
Customer Service
Pettit Paint
 
ladyspiller
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05/06/2011 10:07AM  
Well this is plenty late of an answer but maybe I can help a future builder.

I've built more canoes than I care to count.

Yes you do varnish over fiberglass, absolutely. Yes.


Helmsman spar varnish is extremely low quality. It wears poorly, has low UV inhibitors, and loses it's gloss rapidly.

I've used hundreds og gallons of varnish on canoes over the years.

Z-Spar Captains varnish is good but has more solvents in it so it is a thinner varnish. It's quality is good but not great.

Z-Spar Flagship varnish is the best vanish on the market. It is superior in quality, gloss retention and UV inhibitors. IT is thick varnish and should be thinned 5% or so with their brush flow thinner if you are having a hard time getting it on the boat. Use as little thinner as possible to get it to thin out.

You need three thin coats on a boat as a minimum.

Any empty space in the vanish can will allow the varnish to thicken and gel over time. I use quarter sized cleaned rocks in the bottom of the can to keep the can full to the top. Otherwise your vanish will be ruined in a few months.

Tom





 
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