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How to keep Varnish looking shiny when on the water

One part science, five parts experimentation. Every wood boat veteran has their secret recipe for a showy finish. Share your trials and triumphs.

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Markhondru
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How to keep Varnish looking shiny when on the water

Post by Markhondru » Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:40 pm

Having barrelback revarnished. Any advice on how to keep it shiny looking like new when out on the lake? Thank you, Mark

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Bilge Rat
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Re: How to keep Varnish looking shiny when on the water

Post by Bilge Rat » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:12 am

Keeping it from banging the dock and having people walking on the varnish with sneakers covered in pebbles is of course mandatory. The other enemy of varnish is sunlight. Although your varnish should have some UV inhibitors, it is not impervious to the affects of the sun. Enjoy it as it was designed for; cruising on a sunny day but keep it covered when not in use.
1966 Lyman Cruisette 25 foot "Serenity Now!"
1953 Chris Craft Sportsman 22 foot "Summerwind"

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JimF
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Re: How to keep Varnish looking shiny when on the water

Post by JimF » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:11 am

Another important thing is to dry the boat off after every use to avoid build up of water spots. I use a mop with micro fiber threads. That makes it easier to do the sides. I am fortunate that my boat is kept on a lift and I can walk on both sides but any thing you can do will help.
1930 Chris-Craft Model 100 20' "MOXIE"
1935 Chris-Craft Deluxe Utility 18' "ALICE K II"
1938 Old Town canoe
1940 Chris-Craft Red and White 25' "Old Paint"
1942 Chris-Craft Deluxe Utility 18' "Blue Moon II"
1946 Chris-Craft Sportsman 25' "CinCity"

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mfine
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Re: How to keep Varnish looking shiny when on the water

Post by mfine » Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:02 pm

Sunscreen and bug spray can ruin varnish too. Other than that and the advice above, clean soft towels for wipe downs.

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tkhersom
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Re: How to keep Varnish looking shiny when on the water

Post by tkhersom » Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:18 am

The best way to clean off water spots, sun screen, and bug spray that I have found is a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water. I like to use white vinegar myself as it seems to have a little less residue. If you really want to get fussy about it you can use distilled water in your mix, but in my opinion it is more about using your boat out on the water than it is about keeping the varnish shining.

Happy Boating! :D
Troy in ANE - President CCABC

1957 CC 21' Continental "Yorktown" (Mom's boat)
https://www.chris-craft.org/boats/22625/
1958 CC 38' Connie "American Beauty"
https://www.chris-craft.org/boats/22607/
1985 Formula 242LS "Gottago"
1991 Formula 36PC "Band Aids"

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Markhondru
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Re: How to keep Varnish looking shiny when on the water

Post by Markhondru » Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:39 pm

Thanks everyone for the advice. It will be at the dockslip on The Weekends then back on the trailer in a garage during the weeks. How about standard furniture spray polish/cleaner to shine it up when on the water?

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drrot
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Re: How to keep Varnish looking shiny when on the water

Post by drrot » Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:42 pm

NO, NO, NO. Most contain silicone which will mess up future varnish work.
Jim Staib
www.finewoodboats.com

1931 Chris-Craft 26' #898 "Ashes"
1929 Chris-Craft 28' #3107 http://www.finewoodboats.com/1929%20Chris28.htm
1947 Penn Yan 12' Cartopper WXH474611
1950 Chris-Craft 22' Sportsman U-22-1532
1957 Chris-Craft 26' Sea Skiff SK-26-515
1968 Century 17' Resorter FG-68-174

Markhondru
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Re: How to keep Varnish looking shiny when on the water

Post by Markhondru » Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:14 pm

Ok thanks Jim

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