Teak Maintenance Finished! But Is It Soon Enough?

Two maintenance coats … finished!

2 more coats of varnish ... done!

2 more coats of varnish … done!

Day 1:  5 hours times 2 people, blue taping, sanding, wiping down, washing down…

Day 2:  2 1/2 hours, just me, tack cloth, varnish, clean up

Day 3:  2 hours for David, 3 hours for me … wet sanding with 400 grit sandpaper, rinsing, washing down, let dry, tack cloth, varnish …  oh yes, extra half hour to strip blue tape at the end of the day.

Fancy blue tape racing stripes .... gone!

Fancy blue tape racing stripes …. gone!

Done by 11:45 AM

Started raining at 7 PM — 10 hours earlier than forecast.  The varnish should be dry enough, we’ll see tomorrow.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Total Maintenance Project:  18 hours between the two of us, plus a new brush, 1 1/2 rolls of blue tape, a quart of Flagship Varnish, a couple splashes of Interlux 333 brushing thinner, several sheets of 400 grit sandpaper and a half tin of turpentine….

Time to celebrate!  Cheers!  Jan



  1. Jan have you folks ever considered using a sunbrella cover strip over your cap rail when the boat is laid up, for us in the PNW it would be during winter Do your expert mentors have any thoughts about the usefulness of protecting the varnish from sun and elements ?

    • Hi Tom. Lots of folks use canvas covers on their caprail. The reason we haven’t is because David doesn’t want snaps installed on the boat hull. Our experience is that if the canvas covers aren’t fastened sufficiently, they’ll move in the wind which does more damage to the varnish than the UV rays. Every year we debate the merits. We’ve also seen people take drain pipe, cut it in 2″ sections and open one side, use shadecloth you can get at Home Depot to cover the caprails and then clamp it every few feet with the drain pipe … we have the same issue with this system – if the wind moves the shadecloth chafing on the varnish, it won’t help. We’ve seen varnish pretty roughed up after being under either shadecloth or the more expensive sunbrella covers. So the debate goes on. Our varnish artist friend recommends covering with sunbrella covers ONLY if they can be attached securely enough (aka snaps every foot/2 feet) to insure the canvas doesn’t abraid the varnish. Other than that, he recommends adding the two coats every six months which compensates for the varnish “burnt” away by the UV Rays. We’re up to a total of 26 coats since we started 4 years ago — 10 original coats and 2 coats every six months. But some of it’s “burned” away so there’s not really 26 coats, we figure we lose a couple coats every 6 months in the intense sun, so we’re just staying even. 🙂 Cheers! Jan

  2. Bill Dixon says:

    So, tell us was it dry enuff?

    • YES! It was dry enough. The only caveat is that I have a few alligators that appeared after the rain on the starboard side … if it ever warms up to 70! Not sure if the rain cooling the varnish quicker than optimal helped in creating the alligators, but I’m just glad we didn’t have white spots and have to resand and redo the entire rail/eyebrow and handholds! 🙂

  3. Was it warm enough to dry? Brrr. Saw wind chill warnings for Miami today!!! In Southern Ontario it is -29C not counting windchill. But it’s sunny!

    • Hi Carleen – saw your facebook post – glad we’re in the “tropics” – or as close as you can get in the US. The “hard freeze” they had in Punta Gorda last night was a low of 50 degrees here in Key West. There’s a very good reason we moved south and that’s the best one!

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