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Mahogony finish for restoring 15' sport Whaler

Discussion in 'Tenders & Dinghies' started by MeLikeCookies, Mar 28, 2011.

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  1. MeLikeCookies

    MeLikeCookies New Member

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    I have my bare Mahogony wood ready for the finish to be applied again for my 1981 restored 15' Boston Whaler Sport I did a few years ago. I have a new 4 stroke suzuki 60hp with hydrolic jack plate I just recently put on (bit of an overkill I know) so I thought I would redo the wood. I did the wood originally I used a 2 part Varnish from West Marine and frankly it held up good the first year and I was just to dam Lazy to sand and recoat every six months or every year from what I know now and I did not keep it covered even though I have a new cover? So my excuse is we use it a lot so why cover it if I am using it next weekend, right? So the question is for a Lazy SOB like me is there anything more permanent to put on Mahogony to still show off that it is Beautiful Mahagony but will last a lot longer so I do not have to refinish every six months or start over every 2years like I am doing now (as you can tell I hate to do Brite work). I have seen some whalers that have had all their wood just painted white but I don't want to go that way so I am looking for the easier softer way to do my wood and still keep that Great Whaler Look.
  2. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    everybody has a different opinion on this... personally i like Bristol Finish as you dont' have to sand between coats. so applying 6 to 8 coats doens't take very long since you can recoat quickly without sanding.

    i've done my rails with Bristol, as well as counter tops in the heads and teak/chairs on the aft deck... nice gloss.

    but you still need to add a couple of coats every year!
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    You can go with the clear Urethane from Awlgrip and it holds up really well, I think the name is Awlclear.

    I would just put 6 coats of Interlux jetspeed on, it dries very quick and you can do multiple coats in a day. Then follow it with 2-4 coats of Interlux Schooner. You will have to do 2 coats once a year when it loses a little gloss, but it's origional......or just keep the cover on it and you'll only have to do it every 3-5 years........
  4. MeLikeCookies

    MeLikeCookies New Member

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    So Bristol can sit in direct Florida Sunlight for approx 1 year and just re add j6-8 coats without sanding? Is this correct? Why I did Varnish is a mystery but that took me days of putting coats on and letting it dry then sanding in between coats and I just can't do that again so if it is just to Clean real good and apply it direct to the topside of wood while it is installed and just tape off I can handle that. I just hated the thought of sanding again after every coat and pulling all the wood off every time.
    Thanks Bristol it might be (west marine I would presume?)
  5. Loren Schweizer

    Loren Schweizer YF Associate Writer

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    I don't claim to know much about varnish, but this post brought back memories.
    Had an old style 13-foot Whaler, 1963 vintage, which had the original (by 1983, decrepit) mahogany 3 seats + side steering console + side rails (for steering cable pulleys).
    Through dubious means, I acquired enough mahogany boards to replace all the pieces and then proceeded to varnish them--six coats--in my tiny apartment's kitchen. Tung oil varnish was the choice: maybe it was Captains Varnish. Instructions required adding stuff (nuts & bolts) to bring the level of varnish up to the top of the can: no air space.
    Very old fashioned, but it smelled great and took way too long.
    BUT, when the job was done, the finish looked an inch thick and the boat was kept outside with a tarp over the wooden bits and I don't recall having to redo for the next couple of years.
    Maybe it was because the MAH was new? Just luck? Six (!) coats?

    I am a firm believer that time spent/sweat equity pays off in the long run, i.e., no short cuts.

    Still remember that great smell.
  6. MeLikeCookies

    MeLikeCookies New Member

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    Capt J thanks for the quick reply and I do love the original Mahagony Look so maybe a Clear would look better. The Varnish definately darkened it up some and I am not sure about Bristol if it would darken it up, but it may come down to cost factor but they both seem great ways to go.
  7. T.T.

    T.T. Member

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    Thanks for the opportunity to contribute to this great forum!
    Awl Grip makes a clear finish, and so does Smith's ("5 year Clear" is the product name). You need a controlled work area for Smith's. (no dew)
    If you are down to raw wood, saturate with Smith's Penetrating Epoxy Sealer
    (CPES) and in the same day, apply the first coat of finish, thereby bonding the substrate with the finish. Most failure of finish is separation at the first coat or water intrusion. The penetrating epoxy does darken the wood as if it were wet, so try a test spot to see if the color is acceptable. I have had good results with traditional varnish over the penetrating epoxy also.
  8. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    "So Bristol can sit in direct Florida Sunlight for approx 1 year and just re add j6-8 coats without sanding?"

    no... Bristol can sit in florida sunlight for about a year and then requires a LIGHT sanding to rough it up and a COUPLE of coats, not 6 to 8.

    6 to 8 without sanding between coats (excpet prior to the last one) is for initial applicatin.

    Clear Awlgrip is indeed another option, probably longer lasting. that's how my Cat boat is finished.
  9. Loren Schweizer

    Loren Schweizer YF Associate Writer

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    You have a cat boat? Any pics?
    I can recommend 'The Catboat Book' if you're into the history of these craft.
  10. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    yes, it's my tender and fits nicely on top of the hatt.! has wooden two part mast which is easy to store and, even more unusal, it's Junk rigged. construction is strip planked over foam cored glass frame...

    since you've been around so fl water for a while, you've probably heard of Dave Westphal... he built it about 5 years ago and we bought it from him a little over a year ago.

    we usually launch it and keep it behind the hatt for a few days at a time and sail it almost daily.

    i'm finalizing the design of a 25' Gaff rigged centerboard sloop that i'll start building this summer, also strip planked with foam core glass frame, and with the same wooden finish. design is inspired by the classic Herreshoffs ...

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