Wood protection and Brightwork

Dear BCC lovers,
SV Pixie BCC hull number 102 is new to us and many questions of best ownership are arising. Wood Protection esp on deck , bulwarks , and railings etx. Pixie comes with healthy wood all around in Cetal from 20 years vintage. Esp the inside bulwarks worry us having so many inside and horizontal corners.
Options include " strategic " enamel paint, canvas coverings, varnish and of course everyones favourite Cetal ( new and improved natural teak with Marine clear final coats. ) I am likely missing other options . Pllease could fellow BCCers comment ?
Yours Sincerely,
Bill and Cathy

Hi Bill and Cathy,
Have you done a “Search” of the forum? If you select the category of “Varnishing and finishing” and select “All Dates”, you see where this topic has been previously discussed over the years. Check out the posts by Roger Olson, Ben Eriksen and others in the thread “Hatch Cover Sealant, Varnish and options”. It would be great if some of the posts were updated so we’d know how the various products lasted.

Hi Bill and Cathy,
Turns out when you say, “Options include " strategic " enamel paint, canvas coverings, varnish and of course everyone’s favorite Cetal” we have all of those options on different parts of our BCC Odyssey. The cockpit area and taffrail are varnished, the exterior bulwarks are cetol, the interior bulwarks are paint, and for the winter I have made canvas covers for 80% of the wood. The secret is putting the longest lasting finishes on the hardest to maintain areas, so the white paint on the interior of the bulwarks makes sense. The varnish is the prettiest, so we enjoy it from the cockpit and it is not to hard to add a coat each year. Eventually you have to refinish and although I was not sure at first, a heat gun works great to remove old cetol and paint.
Hope this helps
BCC Odyssey

Remember once you paint this you can never go back, not that you would want to. Lyle designed this boat to have all the bulwarks painted and IMHO thats what looks the best. You could always strip all wood, and add varnish or epoxy to protect wood from the paint, then paint them, if you don’t like it you can strip it off in ten years when it starts to wear and go back to a more traditional covering. There is no amount of money you could pay me to put Cetol on my boat, its miserable stuff and no easier than varnish. I’m just saying… :slight_smile:

PS do you have teak decks? Semco Natural is the greatest invention since wood.

Thank You guys,
Yes good ideas. We like the different solution to different areas approach. WILCO in time. It is amazing Alan, how Cetal invites emotional comments such as yours. Ever been in Home Depo and seen how many variates of wood stain are out there in that market? Varnish is beautiful and ancient from the alchemist medieval days. Now in organic chemistry and patent day stains are improving as Varnish is so “particular” and having a difficult tome being superior to stains in terms of what is most important ie protecting the wood from water ,uV and trauma. Emotional appeal rather like Religion is hard to discuss fact from fiction and gospel. Boats are ancient works of art I could not agree more , however I first ( rather like why varnish was started in the first place ) want to protect my vessel’s wood and also sail her so as NOT to be on my knees working at the varnish beauty , I must explore the reality of stain ,paint and varnish solutions to this question. Varnishers have pride of vessel but also a little arrogant righteous tone to their condemnation to stain , to the new comers’ ear. One sees very little varnish on the exterior of houses even far from salt water and tropical sun. Funny how that is .

Hi Bill and Cathy,

I’ve had good luck with “BEHR PREMIUM®
Transparent Weatherproofing All-In-One Wood Finish” here in Florida. It goes on very easily, thins with water, and is recoatable after scrubbing with a 3M pad. It’s an acrylic latex finish though, and I have not had need to strip anything back to bare. It’s just on our bowsprit (douglas fir on a Westsail 32).

To me, it’s a good balance of all the products listed above. I think it’s more forgiving in all ways than Cetol, and looks a little better. I love the easy cleanup, and it really does go on nice and smooth, and gets pretty hard.

Perhaps something to consider testing out in an area, or on a board that you can leave on your deck for a while. I would recommend making this decision slowly - it’s worth taking a year to test stuff out on some surfaces. Or just go with a system that others have committed to. I do agree that, if you want to paint wood, it’s a polite move to seal everything in epoxy or varnish first. This way you can “go back”.

Best of luck!