Hey guys! First post here after spending some time snooping. Im in the early stages of my first boat. Its a MBB Guide. I have already and will continue to modify just about every element other than the floor/bottom of the boat.

Anyways, Ive decided that painting the outside for a little color would go against the beauty of the wood and the wood gods might have beef with me, SO........I will leave her natural in all her beauty!

2 questions for "yous guys".......

1. I am using Raka UV inhibited epoxy, its going over everything on the exterior and alot of the interior. On the exterior, since Im not painting should I varnish several coats? I have Last N Last Spar Varnish from Larry over at Raka. Is there a better final coat for the exterior?

2. Everything inside the boat is getting varnish up the ying-yang. Im going for the ultra gloss mirror look, thats just my thing right now. But, on the inside of the dry boxes and gear storage, I was thinking I should oil them because it would be much easier to maintain, by just oiling again vs trying to get in there and varnish.


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I guess I'd advise to continue with the epoxy on everything.  I'm an oil guy, but there will be little to maintain on those inside parts.

Josh:  I hope you are not married- if you are- expect divorce papers  soon after the varnish begins.  I have never used UV inhibited epoxy- so don't know if it really works.  With standard marine varnish you should have atleast 2-3 coats  over the epoxy.  If  epoxy is not well protected it will get a "milky" or foggy look when hit with UV for a season or two.  Then there are the muddy waders, sand trapped in the felt soles, black labs, etc. to contend with. 

Then again, if you are retired and have lots of time- go for the varnish inside and out. I would not consider  a full "monty" varnished boat.  If you do I will bet in 4-5 years you will end up going to paint.  No matter how good the varnish it is a lot of work  to maintain.

Good luck- -  Read some of the other posts on a fully varnished  boat.

you won't have any issue maintaining the varnish finish inside those boxes,they'll look great for many years...it's the rest of the varnish work that will become a major pita.A 3 1/4 # fiberglass on the outside is a must under that varnish or you will eventully get checking and a very ugly varnish mess.

Thanks guys. I do have 6oz. cloth on the outside. I planned on putting several coats of varnish on the interior. Now Im debating again....................

Oil the inside! 50/50 boiled linseed, turpentine, it looks awesome and it really works well. Very easy to take care of.

Don't forget the Japan Drier.

Josh:  If you are really going to do a lot of varnish I suggest you purchase 

BRIGHTWORK   " The art of finishing wood"  by Rebecca J.  Wittman  from  International Marine Publishing Company, Camden , Maine.  Lots of information and many pictures of her work.

Good Luck

I feel comitted to varnish because that was the plan to start and the side panels are epoxied on the inside already, therefore I cannot oil them. I think Ill stick with varnish for all my interior and go back to painting the outside for easier maintenance. I think the paint on the exterior really brings out the beauty of the wood on the interior. Maybe its just me? Building the boat is really the easy part, the tough decisions are mostly based on choosing the finishes!

Lawrence.......whats a Japan Drier? Hehhehah!

It is an addative to mix with the linseed oil/turps to accelerate the curing / drying of the  finish.  Most good paint stores have it or marine supply. 


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