Saturday, September 5, 2015

Varnish Alternative

In 2012 when I built the Nez Perce boat, I wanted to keep the inside of the boat clear and not cover up the wood.  I was not looking forward to varnishing though.  Most all who have done it realize it is a lot of work and does not last very long.  Then you have to do all over again.
I came across a blog post by Barry Long entitled "Just Say NO To Varnish".  After seeing Barry's work where he built two melonseed sailboats, you can see he has good credibility.  The boats are extraordinary.  His videos and photographs on traditional small craft boating and sailing are some of the best you will come across.  Anyway, I tried out the Le Tonkinois product he used instead of varnish and I can say it is excellent after 3 years has passed.  It is non-toxic and self-leveling so there are no brush marks.  It does take less coats to complete the work and does not need sanding between coats.  I would not use anything else on any wood project that is not painted and must be outside in the elements.   The Nez Perce boat built in 2012 has not required any interior maintenance since Le Tonk was first put on besides a few light touch ups here and there on the gunwales this summer.    It is a trailer boat and does not get the sunshine as a boat docked in a harbor all summer though.    Time will tell by checking out Barry Long's experience and seeing how my boat goes.  I don't think many people know about this product.  
I just used on my semi-dory transom and forgot how easy it is to use and how good it looks.