Friday, August 19, 2011

Things that . . . Work: Cetol

Ask anyone who has had their boat out for any length of time what they use on their external bright work and the smart ones will say "Bright work???"  The rest of us will say Cetol.  This is a love / hate position, especially for those with wood boats that have lots of interior woodwork - like us.  See, a proper Varnish job really does look fabulous.  And even if one is a 5-coat type of guy (like me) as opposed to the purest 12+ coater, Varnished wood really does look great.   Cetol is more of a paint, and just does not have that same look and depth to it.

The difference is very easy to see in Viking Star as all the interior cabin work is varnished while all the exterior bright work has Cetol on it.  Sorry, I know, Sell Out for those Classic Wood Boat Guys.  But here it is the bottom line:  External Varnish takes too much work to keep up.  Sure, if you have a Boat House or are one of those folks who make canvas slip-covers to protect all the nice exterior varnished wood, then varnished exterior bright work can be great.  However, if you actually want to SEE the bright work, and you tend to be outside say 365 days a year then Varnish takes a beating.  I am told here in the PNW one needs to do maintenance coats every year with varnish, and in places like Mexico and Florida plan on 4 times a year.  Just to keep it up.

Cetol on the other hand needs a maintenance coat every 2-3 years (my experience), and am told once a year will work in sunnier areas.  Re-coating is easy, just 3M Green Pad it to clean and take the shine off, wipe it down with Acetone and one quick coat of Cetol Clear to make it look nice and fresh again.  So ya  - I am a Cetol Guy.

Today was re-coat day on Viking Star.  A few weeks ago I went around and marked all the dinged areas, sanded them to bare wood, and put on three base coats.  Yesterday I washed all the bright work to remove salt and dirt, this morning 3M padded it, quick wipe down, and put on a new top coat of Cetol Clear!  One side effect: as the cap rail extends all around the decks we are in effect Painted In until this dries.    But that is OK, we made a trip this morning for Coffee and fresh baked doughnuts.  And the Crab Pots do not need to be checked until tomorrow morning.  So we are set for a while.

A few hints on Cetol:  I did not use the original formula (the really ORANGE stuff).  Instead I used 3 coats of Cetol Light, toped with 2 coats of Cetol Clear.  Then a single coat every other year of Clear for maintenance.  The end result does not look that bad!  Today there is a new base coat called Natural Teak which I understand looks even better then the Light.   But in any case, the key here is 3 coats of the base and 2 of the clear.  And make sure to keep up on the re-coats.  Leave even Cetol too long and you will have to wood the finish and start over again.

I use a proper brush (mid-priced one from a Big Box Store), Foam brushes just did not work for me.  When applying the base coats do not put it on too thick.  This will leave a very dramatic orange streak.  Top coats are not as fussy.

One final hint:  The new cans (printed by the new company) calls out the new company's Special Thinner to be used while prepping the surface.  The original manufactures cans just called out acetone.  And the Propane trick works great for this product.  I am still using a can marked 2006 for touching up dings and such.  Things That Work:  Keeping paints etc


No comments:

Post a Comment