Jules

Cost Of Finishes

Recommended Posts

Practical Sailor did a test on finishes years ago and updated it periodically.  The test pieces were placed on a rack on roof of the PS building in Sarasota, FL.

I copied their speadsheet into Excel, deleted finishes I couldn't find today, and updated the prices to the best deals I found. 

From there I wanted to find the cost after two years.  So I applied a multiplier.

  • COAT INTEGRITY rated EXCELLENT after 1 YEAR and EXCELLENT at 2 YEARS was given a multiplier of 1
  • COAT INTEGRITY rated EXCELLENT after 1 YEAR and less than EXCELLENT at 2 YEARS was given a multiplier of 2 (2 coats after two years)
  • COAT INTEGRITY rated GOOD after 1 YEAR was given a multiplier of 3
  • COAT INTEGRITY rated FAIR after 1 YEAR was given a multiplier of 4

Here's the results

FinishCost_2020.jpg.d74a3d3834ba1698e94bcc2fa4a38f48.jpg

Of course there's the cost of the time and material prepping the surface, which could be pretty high, depending on how you feel about sanding and varnishing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting Jules. If you factor in the amount of work for each type of finish then there are some stand outs. Applying three coats of Cetol Marine is very easy compared to many coats of varnish, and yet it holds up very well.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, 23feet said:

Interesting Jules. If you factor in the amount of work for each type of finish then there are some stand outs. Applying three coats of Cetol Marine is very easy compared to many coats of varnish, and yet it holds up very well.

I really hate the prep work necessary for a good finish.  But I somewhat enjoy varnishing.  Somewhat.

I used the PS article as a guide for which finish would last the longest.  Interlux Perfection won the day.  It still had an excellent rating after two years.  So it could last longer.  And that was sitting on a hot Florida roof all that time, kinda like our boat does.

Interlux has since come up with their Perfection Plus product (though I don't know what they did to change the formula).  So when it came to a finish I could apply and not worry about for the longest time, IPP was the choice. 

It's initially pricey but if it really holds up for a couple of years or more and I don't have to go through all that prep work during that time, it will be cheap, at least to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is another X factor: If and when it comes time to redo it, what is the labor to remove and prepare again? If varnish is maintained it will last almost indefinitely. Many of the two part systems last several years before failing, but then you have a nasty job removing it all and redoing it. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve been using total boat LUST $38/quart. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Jules said:

I really hate the prep work necessary for a good finish.  ...

But I sure like the feeling you get when having properly done all the prep and the finish comes out amazingly good. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The list does not include AwlWood from the AwlGrip people. A fairly new product in the last three years. I used it last season and was very pleased with the result. At the end of the season it looked better than Epifains did at the beginning of the season. It is somewhat labor intensive as the old varnish needs to be stripped so that the primer can be applied.  After that it is much like applying any varnish. The one trick is that it needs to be thinned out a bit in order to flow. Not thinning results in a bumpy finish. Price was around $65 a quart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

have you ordered from them before?

A couple of times.  They are really fast with shipping but they do charge for it. 

55 minutes ago, sailorman44 said:

The list does not include AwlWood from the AwlGrip people. A fairly new product in the last three years. I used it last season and was very pleased with the result. At the end of the season it looked better than Epifains did at the beginning of the season. It is somewhat labor intensive as the old varnish needs to be stripped so that the primer can be applied.  After that it is much like applying any varnish. The one trick is that it needs to be thinned out a bit in order to flow. Not thinning results in a bumpy finish. Price was around $65 a quart.

Or Total Boat, or any of the newer finishes out there.  The initial test began in 2007.

It's probably time for PS to do another test.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've switched to hardware store coatings as we moved out of areas where we could get marine stuff.  The longevity seems to be about the same for varnish and one part paint.  The cost is around one tenth.  About the biggest difference is application and final product.  They are much more temperamental to apply and the final product is always one or two notches down from the similar marine vs.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

have you ordered from them before?

If you're going the way of IPP, buy the 2333N brush reducer with it.  You need it with the first coat over bare wood.  (IPP is not intended to be applied over one-part finishes.)  But the 2333N is also nice to add to the successive coats.  It's fairly thick and hard to spread a thin coat when using a foam brush.  I'm considering using a real brush on the final coat.

We've pushed the limits on surface temperature max (1040), occasionally exceeding it.  But I needed to add a little reducer to help the flow. 

Only problem we've had is a late in the day coat when the coaming wood temp was close to the max.  Next day certain sections were dull, some bubbles formed and some areas were chalked up.  My best guess is the hot surface met the cool night air and condensation formed.  I was able to sand everything back but it took a while. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, sailorman44 said:

The list does not include AwlWood from the AwlGrip people. A fairly new product in the last three years. I used it last season and was very pleased with the result. At the end of the season it looked better than Epifains did at the beginning of the season. It is somewhat labor intensive as the old varnish needs to be stripped so that the primer can be applied.  After that it is much like applying any varnish. The one trick is that it needs to be thinned out a bit in order to flow. Not thinning results in a bumpy finish. Price was around $65 a quart.

Here are some before, during and finish pictures using awlwood on half wishbones from a herreshoff 28.

 

 

20190414_111827.jpg

20190414_111001.jpg

20190421_160733.jpg

20190428_165933.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Orange Cetol is a thing of the past.  It now comes in three other tasty colors.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One other data point on the longevity of Perfection:


One of our boats. A 35’ glass cruising boat, circa 1962, was painted with Interthane, the earlier version of Perfection, about 25 years ago.   THe paint has lost its gloss, but it’s still white, isn’t chalking and remains firmly attached.
It was applied directly over some Interthane which was applied ten years earlier and just sanded.  No primer. 
Maybe for the boat’s sixtieth year, we’ll sand it out and roll on some more.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, sailorman44 said:

The list does not include AwlWood from the AwlGrip people. A fairly new product in the last three years. I used it last season and was very pleased with the result. At the end of the season it looked better than Epifains did at the beginning of the season. It is somewhat labor intensive as the old varnish needs to be stripped so that the primer can be applied.  After that it is much like applying any varnish. The one trick is that it needs to be thinned out a bit in order to flow. Not thinning results in a bumpy finish. Price was around $65 a quart.

Here's a pic of test pieces I did a couple of years ago, Alwood vs International Goldspar (6 coats each (+primer)). After 2 years in full sun the Goldspar (left) is starting to degrade badly but the Alwood (right) is like new. I use it now. Goes on easily with foam brushes or rollers; its a real pain to clean off brushes, similar to 2-pack.

Alwood vs Goldspar.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used Honey Teak with considerable success. It is not cheap but the application is very easy. You apply a couple of coats of the tinted stuff and then two or three coats of clear. You do not have to wait a day between coats and no need to sand between coats. If you are finicky you can give the final coat a rub down with 600 paper, 1200 paper, 2000 paper and 3M Finesse-It to get a really nice result. All four steps takes no time at all. Every year in the tropics you rough it up with a 3M red pad and add one coat of clear.

On my Bristol, which had a rain forest of teak on it, I did 13 coats of Epifanes and could barely walk with all the time on my knees. Looked great but Caribbean sun killed it even with new coats every year. The Honey Teak was much, much better. You could do the job, after prepping the surface in one day rather than two weeks.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I'm wondering is how people in the tropics varnish their boats while in the water.  Unless you tent the area you're working on, it's almost impossible to keep the conditions within manufacturer's recommendations. 

This morning we had the coaming covered, right up to the time we began applying the varnish, air temp was in the high 70s and surface temp of the wood was around 85.  By the time the varnishing was done the surface temperature of the varnished wood was as high as 1350

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Jules said:

One thing I'm wondering is how people in the tropics varnish their boats while in the water.  Unless you tent the area you're working on, it's almost impossible to keep the conditions within manufacturer's recommendations. 

This morning we had the coaming covered, right up to the time we began applying the varnish, air temp was in the high 70s and surface temp of the wood was around 85.  By the time the varnishing was done the surface temperature of the varnished wood was as high as 1350

i did a brightwork job in St. Thomas for a friend...worked from 5:30am-10am then stopped 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, dacapo said:

i did a brightwork job in St. Thomas for a friend...worked from 5:30am-10am then stopped 

Early this morning the air was thick with humidity so we waited until the sun burned it off.  By that time the wood was quickly heating up.  So I covered it with blankets and mixed up a batch of varnish.  Waited the required 10 minutes and it seemed like the temps jumped 10 degrees.  We were done long before 10AM but the coaming wood just baked after the blankets came off.  I was pulling the blankets back as my SO varnished.  All we could say was, "We should be doing this in New England!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I sit up here in the north east I keep thinking I should be doing it down in the hot weather as I had  1 1/2 inches of snow on my boat this morning and I was unable to varnished today with 44° weather right now and 25 knot wins

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/7/2020 at 1:54 PM, hdra said:

Unfortunately it is also orange

Yes, but the non-orange Cetols are about the next best thing, longevity-wise.

The orange comes from iron oxide that's used as a UV shield. And it works, but it is ugly.

On 5/7/2020 at 4:18 PM, DDW said:

There is another X factor: If and when it comes time to redo it, what is the labor to remove and prepare again? If varnish is maintained it will last almost indefinitely. Many of the two part systems last several years before failing, but then you have a nasty job removing it all and redoing it. 

So true. 

Cetol is really hard, and a pain to remove too, compared to conventional varnish.

Some conventional varnishes may look "better" here. But they need multiple coats, while Cetol can be glooped on in three.

It won't win you any Bristol Condition trophies but it's shipshape enough for a boat that's actually used, and can be scratched and patched for several years.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/9/2020 at 3:54 PM, Jules said:

Early this morning the air was thick with humidity so we waited until the sun burned it off.  By that time the wood was quickly heating up.  So I covered it with blankets and mixed up a batch of varnish.  Waited the required 10 minutes and it seemed like the temps jumped 10 degrees.  We were done long before 10AM but the coaming wood just baked after the blankets came off.  I was pulling the blankets back as my SO varnished.  All we could say was, "We should be doing this in New England!"

I talked to a guy from Antigua who is a professional varnisher. He works/worked? in the winter in Antigua and in the summer in Toronto. He said he didn't worry very much about the weather when he was working, just went ahead and did it. His work was lovely.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/9/2020 at 12:50 AM, Fleetwood said:

Here's a pic of test pieces I did a couple of years ago, Alwood vs International Goldspar (6 coats each (+primer)). After 2 years in full sun the Goldspar (left) is starting to degrade badly but the Alwood (right) is like new. I use it now. Goes on easily with foam brushes or rollers; its a real pain to clean off brushes, similar to 2-pack.

 

I don't think Goldspar is to be used outside.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

International (in Oz at least) makes Goldspar in Satin, for internal use only, and Gloss, for o/s use. I've been using it for many years (until I began using Awlwod.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now