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  • Best marine varnish?

    Im making a wood(pine) hydro foil wing and am trying to find a marine varnish to use on it. Many say water proof or water resistant and then say in the fine print "only for use above water" and some don't even mention good for underwater or not, is there any wood varnishes that will work on a submerged wood object? It needs to be rather thick to seal up the wood since it will be submerged in water. But only for up to two hours at a time so maybe something like Eplfanes clear, interlux schooner or Pettit captains varnish could work well? Bubble free when applying it would be great as well and decent uv resistance. What marine varnishes have you guys used in the past. If you've varnished the underside of any wood boat I would think it would be the same idea here.
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  • #2

    Re: Best marine varnish?

    I would recommend something other than pine,white oak or teak,then a quality spar finish

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    • #3

      Re: Best marine varnish?

      Real pricey ones would be composite and carbon fibre but lesser units would be encapsulated in products like Fiberglass wouldn't they?
      "Do it Right!"

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      • #4

        Re: Best marine varnish?

        I used the Pettit Captain's Varnish on a kayak and it still looks great 10 years later. But any of the premium varnishes you listed should be good. As Rusty suggested, the varnish on a hull is normally used to protect epoxy from UV. You could wrap the pine with 6 oz fibreglass cloth and epoxy (West or similar), then varnish.

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        • #5

          Re: Best marine varnish?

          Yes carbon fiber gets pritty pricey. I don't really think I need to fiber glass, it although would seal it up well and provide some protection for scraps or dings. The peice I'm using is 80cm in span and 17.5cm chord length, it's thin but not super thin and good and siff(held me and my dad's weight on it and only flexed slightly). But I have not worked with it nor know where to buy fiber glass for a decent price. Heard it is priity nasty stuff, super smelly. Thought varnish might work ok. It's the easiest and cheapest option I think.
          Attached Files

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          • #6

            Re: Best marine varnish?

            I think the varnish alone would work OK in that application. I had in mind something larger. And varnish can easily be touched up if dinged.

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            • #7

              Re: Best marine varnish?

              Thanks for the advice Jim. It is the front wing for a Neil pryde aluminium windsurf foil. The production wing is made from g10 and is smaller in size then this one I made.

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              • #8

                Re: Best marine varnish?

                I'd try a brush on or spray on finish now that I see it. If it fails it's not like destroying carbon fibre is it?
                "Do it Right!"

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                • #9

                  Re: Best marine varnish?

                  I have a lot of boating experience but mostly sailboats. For my exterior brightwork I used to use cetol, but have switched to canadian tire brand "armour coat" spar varnish. Its cheap as chips, has a nicer colour than "helmsman varnish" and lasts just as long. I get about a season and a hlaf before things need redoing from the sun exposure. Remember to thin your first couple of coats. For below waterline I would use epoxy for sure. I have been using EXP system the past several years as it is significantly less expensive than west and is actually clear when cured rather than that yellow yuck colour. TO make it as slick as poo on a doorknob you could sand the epoxy really nice and smooth and finish with some VC17. thats what all the racers use, its an ablative paint and full of copper and teflon. may be overkill though...

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                  • #10

                    Re: Best marine varnish?

                    Thanks big show the EXP system 100 looks good. Did you get it right from there site( can't seem to load there page) I am in ontario as well, but see it on marine outfitters.ca. Does the EXP 200 fast hardener 5:1 stuff mean you use less hardener then resin. If I got this stuff do you think the pint size resin with the 1/2 pint hardener would be enough for this foil wing size. With some to spare?

                    Don't think I will go for the VC17 as it seems it is more for sail boats and keeping marine life from growing. I'm sure it works well to reduce drag but I should be fine sanding it down to 400 grit after resins on. As discussed in this forum, very interesting stuff worth a read IMO.
                    https://www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/...er--?page=1#29

                    Going above 600 grit the water cannot grip the wing so you are closer the the hydrophobic scenario then the attached flow theory.

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                    • #11

                      Re: Best marine varnish?

                      I live northwest of Kingston and shop at Marine Outfitters regularly, thats where I get it from. I recommend the pumps (also half the price of west's pumps) they make life so much nicer. the 5:1 hardner uses less hardener, 5 parts resin to 1 part hardnener (if you get pumps make sure they are for the corresponding hardenener ratio)

                      whereabouts in ontario are you?

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                      • #12

                        Re: Best marine varnish?

                        I'm an hour north east of Toronto.

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                        • #13

                          Re: Best marine varnish?

                          ahh, I was going to say I'm heading to ottawa and I could pick up up some. I would get a quart with the fast hardnener and the pumps. do a coat, sand it smooth, wash it down and do another coat and wetsand to desired smoothness. Epoxy is great stuff and you'll find uses for it, especially if you have a boat. You'd rather have a little too much than not enough.

                          I'm pretty certain marine outfitters does mail order...not sure if chemicals can be mailed though.

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