Do you know what your boat is made of? If not, a core sample is a sure way to find out. Some manufacturers keep the pieces they have cut out for thru hulls, underwater hardware, vents, etc. to be able to show the customer the quality of the boat they built. Core samples are also pulled in surveys to check a spongy area for rotten core and resulting delamination.
In the pictures above, the core sample on the left is made of many fiberglass layers whereas the sample on the right has closed cell core sandwiched in between layers of fiberglass. The sample on the right is what helps make the boat light and buoyant. The sample on the left is more reinforced. This sample was pulled from the Patriot II where the rudder goes into the boat, an area that needs to be stronger.
Many older boats have balsa (wood) core as opposed to closed cell plastic core. The pictures above show a common complication of wood core - Rot. The picture on the left shows rotten core between two layers of gel coat and glass. The picture on the right was taken in the process of removing the rotten core to replace with closed cell core. Knowing the structure of your boat is key. Water intrusion is the culprit in all rot. If you have a boat with wood core, you must be sure to follow appropriate installation procedures to avoid rot and subsequent delamination.
This is a Chesapeake Light Craft Nesting Pram that we're assembling for a customer. It will be built as one piece and then cut at a specific bulkhead so that when finished, it can separate and one side can 'nest' in the other side.
32' Eastport in the paint booth for new paint
Varnish, Varnish, Varnish
Why do you suggest varnish every year?
While the varnish is built up to 7-9 coats initially, it continually breaks down in the elements needing maintenance coats to build back up to full protection for the wood.
How many coats do you recommend if applying it yearly?
We've found that 2-4 coats applied in the spring make the varnish last through the season with little breakthrough.
Why do I need so many coats of varnish?
Pete says the UV rays will eat right through just a couple of coats. That's why we apply two coats of sealer to bare teak before building up the varnish using 7-9 coats.
Can you fix breakthrough without stripping everything down?
Yes. The area gets sanded down, spot coats of varnish get applied to build up to the thickness of the surrounding layers of varnish before a final full coat or two to bring it up to the 7-9 coats. However, when dealing with teak, the wood never fully dries and the oils continually work out of the wood causing multiple breakthroughs. Breakthroughs are also commonly found on hard edges where it is difficult to to build up varnish and where it gets chafed by lines. When there are too many breakthroughs and crazing in the varnish, it's time to strip the varnish completely and build back up to full coats.
Why use varnish?
Without varnishing, you have bare teak which turns gray and has a weathered look. The varnish protects the teak from UV rays that take the beautiful color out and make it gray.
How can I make the varnish last longer?
Keep it out of the sun - several of our customers have cockpit covers made by Price's Yacht Canvas to protect most of their varnish throughout the season.
Is there an alternative to varnish?
There are alternatives out there but a lot of our customers are not happy; often times the final result is flat and not natural looking at all. A proper varnish job requires yearly, sometimes twice-yearly attention, but the result is a beautiful natural color with a depth that only occurs with varnish.
Is there a topic you'd like us to post about? If so, email us at Mathewsbros@earthlink.net to let us know!
Get Byron Healthy!! Update:
To date, we've raised $2,765. Muchas Gracias, Thank you very much!
After 14 years, this Mathews 29 is in the paint booth for new paint.
Get Byron Healthy!! Update:
To date, we've raised $1,400 for Byron - Thanks to everyone who's donated so far!
We've created a campaign - Get Byron Healthy!! - to help raise funds to cover the many costs associated with cancer treatments. Byron has been with us for 8 1/2 years and is truly a part of our family. Please consider donating to our cause - any help would be much appreciated!
We have the opportunity for you to step into a Like - New boat at a Used Boat Price!!
With only 53 hours on her, this 2007 25' Proline Walk is ready to fish - Just Hook up and Go - Literally, the trailer comes with the boat! This boat looks brand new - it's been kept indoors when not in use. She's powered by a 2007 250hp Mercury verado. She comes with the curtain & tournament packs - Perfect for Early Fishing Season!!
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