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RE: Bright Work Recommendations  PBl-@ODStrategies.Org
 Aug 14, 2007 22:57 PDT 

When we started with CSY 33 Shadowfax the Cetol was pretty new and held up a
few years with touchup and regular coats. It did however eventually turn
dark and had to be removed all the way. You can expect that with any product
as nothing last forever or even all that long no matter what it is unless
you can keep the sun off it. I have since switched to a two part solution. I
did the toe rail with Teaqua and the rest in Cetaol. Here in VA you need to
repeat application twice a year so in southern tropics I would expect that
to be maybe 4 times per year. It is a water based product so clean up and
application is a snap. Wash it down and apply it. With even a CSY 33 you can
do 2 coats by starting at one spot and going around twice since it dries
that fast. It is however not a high gloss varnish finish. If that is what
you really want then this is not it. It does show the wood grain and color
well and has I think a more natural color. It looks more gray on weathered
teak than the redish color of good new Asian teak. So long as it is clean
and free of other finishes it is the easiest to apply, clean up and lasts
far longer than any teak oil. To reapply just wash and brush.

For everything else I still prefer Cetol. Here in VA you can get 5 years if
you maintain it and 2 years if you don't before it starts to lose its
luster. Pain for the quality look you can maintain it still works well and
holds up, but needs regular attention. Anything with polyurethane will look
great for a longer initial period of time and then be your worst nightmare
to remove. There is no such thing as a onetime application and being done
for a prolonged period of time. The CSY toe rail even on a 33 is a serious
job to refinish. The 20 extra feet on a CSY 44 adds some considerable extra
effort. The toe tail easily takes the most abuse of all the teak on the boat
so needs the most upkeep. Teaqua has shown to be the easiest product to
apply and clean up so you can reapply it more often easily. I did two coats
to the cap rail in 2 hours but spend 25 hours removing the old Cetol to
prepare it. Spending time on a gloss finish in the cockpit area where you
see it all the time seems worth the extra effort. I won't say I don't like a
nice gloss finish, but I'm not willing to put in that much effort for a toe

As far as using a heat gun goes. I used one to remove all the Cetol on the
cap rail. I found no problem with bubbling paint or and ill effects. I used
a basic Sears Craftsman heat Gun and a flexible putty knife It takes a
little bit of practice but I find you can scrape and work the gun in a
continuous operation then come back for some much lighter sanding. You don't
want to burn up the wood either and if you camp out in one spot you'll see
smoke before it's too late. Sanding off a varnish or Cetol from the start is
a really nasty job because it gums up the paper so fast and becomes
tediously slow. Chemical strippers I think take even longer with perhaps
more damaging results than a heat gun and you still have to sand it. If you
don't have 120 volts on the boat the heat gun of course is quite worthless.

I would be more concerned with how much effort it takes to remove whatever
it is you decide you use. This isn't a game you can win. A few years from
now and it's a lot of work. UV damage will destroy anything you use with
enough time so you have start with the idea that it will have to all come
off sooner or later. Minimizing the sanding prolongs the life of the teak.

We have a contract on Shadowfax and the new boat has a lot of teak as well.
I'll be moving it to Teaqua as I start removing the Cetol. Bright work is
all about work and the look you want as well as the look you can maintain
over time. Anyone can do a great job once with most any product. Having done
bright work on two boats since last fall I'm more convinced. You need
something you can manage over time not how well it looks the day you finish.
All the compound product finishes take the right humidity, temperature, not
in the sun and time to cure between coats. So do you want to spend a week
and half getting the application alone done every 2 years? Make your effort
based on the longer term not a one time job. Cetol can look pretty trashy
before it all comes off on it's own.

Paul Blais
Hayes, VA
804 642-3538
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