Re: Window reveals refurb?

James Alton


   I have not used the two part Epifanes varnish so cannot answer that part of your question.  I have however used other two part and single part varnishes on cabin soles over the years and might have some input that could be helpful.  Awl grip makes a two part varnish called Awl-brite that is definitely more durable from a scratching perspective than any of the single part varnishes we have used.  It also has one really nice feature in that you can sand and polish the surface, removing imperfections and also patching in perfectly when required using the same process.  I don’t know if the Epifanes product has this same quality but it would be worth looking into as dings invariably occur over time.  On the downside, there seems to be a correlation between the hardness of the varnish and how slippery it is.  It seems that a softer varnish gives you a bit more traction which can make the difference between slipping and not.  With the Awlgrip we had to add glass beads to some areas of the cabin sole which were angled to to improve the grip,  this probably would not have been required with the single part.  The glass beads roughen the surface but otherwise disappear since you can see through them.  They can also be sanded down when the time comes for refinishing.  The Awl-brite varnish is very toxic to apply, requiring good ventilation and a carbon mask at a minimum.  The Awl-brite and every other 2 part varnish we have used so far tend to become cloudy over time if exposed to much UV.  This is not a problem down below but in Florida  resulted in stripping the fully exposed exterior varnishwork on a 54’ boat every 4 years or so, a huge job that could have been avoided with a good single part and regular recoating.  On the other hand the The Awl-brite did not require nearly as much recoating,  we would sometimes go 2 years between recoating.  With varnishing there does not seem to be any perfect solution.  
   I have used numerous other Epifanes products,  paints, primers and fillers and all have been top quality and worked as expected.  I would be surprised if the 2 part varnish was not also an excellent product, please let me know what you find out.



SV Sueno
Maramu #220

On Mar 2, 2019, at 12:59 PM, amel46met <onboardaphrodite@...> wrote:

Hi all has anyone tried the two part Epifanes I did the floors two years ago and they look great.
Tom S/Y Aphrodite 
1983 Maramu #125

On Mar 2, 2019, at 8:32 AM, James Alton via Groups.Io <lokiyawl2@...> wrote:


   We have revarnished the edges of some of the plywood cutouts for the ports/windows on Sueno with the Epifanes varnish and the match looks pretty good to the original varnish.  The wood was sunburnt from UV exposure but it was only superficial and a little sanding restored the original colour.  I don’t recall any delaminating wood on our boat so perhaps you had some leakage issues?  It is certainly important to keep the edges of plywood well sealed.   Epoxy would probably be the adhesive of choice to bond the layers back together.  Just sand off all of the epoxy on the face of the cutout leaving only the epoxy in the joints before you varnish.  The UV will still attack the epoxy in the glue joint but since it has some depth as compared to a thin coat it will last a long time.  You can add some carbon or aluminum powder to increase the UV resistance if you don’t mind the colour.  The plywood on Sueno is definitely a Mahogany, if I had to guess I would think is an African Mahogany but there are many different species that look similar.  I was able to order Epifanes clear varnish through in Italy.  



SV Sueno
Maramu #220

On Mar 1, 2019, at 8:32 PM, smiles bernard via Groups.Io <smilesbernard@...> wrote:

Thanks James

I’ll stick to just varnish

I like to avoid mixing up epoxy when I can anyhow. 👍

At the very edges of some of the reveals there are areas where the veneer is peeling 
I presume a good wood glue and clamping (somehow!) would be as good as anything and most likely leave a clear finish

I’ll look out for some epifanes. I believe the interior of the maramus is teak. Not sure how you choose to match but am presuming as clear as possible will be less visible vs darker will provide better UV protection ( for the reveals at least  )

Many thanks all

Maramu 162

On 1 Mar 2019, at 14:35, James Alton via Groups.Io <lokiyawl2@...> wrote:


   Selling the Loki was a difficult decision for us.  This will be our fourth season with the Amel and we are both quite happy with the boat.   Thanks to you, the two Bills and the many others that helped us in making our decision to purchase an Amel.  I am glad to make a contribution where I can.

James and Joann
SV Sueno
Maramu #220

On Mar 1, 2019, at 9:59 AM, amelforme <jfpottercys@...> wrote:

All good advice James. No wonder you got an Amel after 40 years of varnishing wooden yachts. Loki’s are a treat for the eyes and deserve varnish. I can relate as the last big boat I owned with my brother before my first Amel was a Cheoy Lee Rhodes Reliant/Offshore 40 with about ten acres of varnish. That boat only leaked when it got wet…
Another negative thing about using a base coat of epoxy is that epoxy is much harder/stiffer/more brittle than most oil based varnish. Dropping a winch handle or the like usually results in the epoxy un-attaching itself from the wood. Also, where it gets really cold, I have seen all the epoxy base coat fracture which at best is unsightly and at worse means stripping it all to bare wood. 
You need tactical nuclear weapons to get epoxy off teak. 
                                           THE  EXPERIENCED AMEL GUY
                                   Office 954-462-5869  Cell 954-812-2485
From: <> On Behalf Of James Alton via Groups.Io
Sent: Friday, March 1, 2019 9:37 AM
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Window reveals refurb?
My wife and I have restored and refinished wooden boats with lots of varnish over the past 40+ years.  We have removed a lot of varnish  was applied over epoxy by someone else.  If your base coat fails, any finish applied on top also fails no matter how many coats of varnish you apply.  The failure of the epoxy base coating starts by going milkly/opaque  looking so even if the varnish is not peeling it begins to look bad enough that it should be stripped.  My advice would be to never use epoxy under a clear finish since it does poorly with UV as compared a high quality marine varnish such as Epifanes.   The longest lasting varnish that we found is the Epifanes though there could be others the we have not tried.  The most critical part of a long lasting varnish job are the initial base coats.  Cut your first coat 50% with thinner, the second 25% to get good penetration into the wood for the best bond.  Varnish in good conditions so that the varnish cures properly, don’t rush the overcoating.  Finally, always add your maintenance coats before the varnish looks like it needs it. Once the crazing starts, you have waited too long and the varnish will never look as nice or hold up as well.  We stripped the exterior mahogany on our 1953 Loki Yawl in 1999 and refinished with Epifanes.  The varnish has been recoated with two coats per season when the boat was North in Maine and Nova Scotia and 2-3 times per year when used in the tropics.  The varnish work on the boat still looked amazing in 2018 when we sold the boat.  Best of luck. 
SV Sueno,  Maramu #220
On Mar 1, 2019, at 7:17 AM, smiles bernard via Groups.Io <smilesbernard@...> wrote:
Thanks very much guys
Yes I’ve been wondering whether to epoxy 1st or just the simpler direct varnish approach 

All the very best

On 1 Mar 2019, at 06:45, Gerhard Mueller via Groups.Io <carcode@...> wrote:


Same here with a 1982 Sharki. I sanded and cleaned it and varnished the area. First varnish was very diluted to move the varnish deep into the dry wood.
Might be done again after some time.

Best Regards
Gerhard Mueller
Amel Sharki #60
Currently Kalamata, Greece

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