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Exterior Varnish etc.

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I've used Altex Timbercote on my boat's fairly extensive exterior timber. Very easy to apply, looks great, but is ultimately a traditional varnish that needs 1000 coats and starts to look a bit tatty after 18 months.

I've seen some fantastic looking results from people using 2 pack varnishes, so finding some user stories about them would be interesting.

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Varnish discussions are a perennial favourite in wooden boat world, the best varnish is entirely personal and if your circumstances allow you to get your man to do it then it doesnt matter what goes on! 

Hard finishes last significantly longer but the enemy is water intrusion and if it gets underneath via knock etc then it needs to recoated carefully so it doesnt start lifting and while repairing it you don't sand divots into relatively soft timber. Single pack varnishes like schooner need a lot of coats 5-7 initially and seasonal or bi seasonal refreshes but a scotchbrite makes that relatively easy as long as you keep on top of it. A nailpolish bottle of varnish onboard to immediately deal with nicks will keep it looking good for longer too, provided the finish is sufficiently thick to begin with and the biggest issue is again movement and damage allowing water to lift the finish. Personally I like the glow and depth of trad varnish but its way too much work for me which is why I stick to bare timber or gelcoat on the exterior.

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On the coamings and toe cap rail my uses a product called lion oil,not sure where its from,but beats varnishing,last/loks great,not a stain more like a lnseed without the smell or oilyness,once or twice a yr .kauri coamings and teak toe rail. But nothing beats a traditional varnish for appearances.Watched a old guy in the 80s varnishing a transom and when finished it ad basically a mirror finish,10 coats but first 2 thinned so it could soak in and seal. I guess now days with the new europhans and expoxys life has got easier.

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