Sunday, March 6, 2011

Satin Doll

As I began to think about the final look of my boat, I thought on one hand of the almost museum-quality creations of many fellow PMD builders as evidenced on their blogs and on the PMD Forum. In fact, my own vessel started to look like that after the fourth coat of varnish.

On the other hand, I considered the practical aspect of sailing and found the high gloss appearance not practical for two reasons: (1) I would anticipate that on the first heavy weather day it would scuff and scratch and (2) I thought that the super-smooth gloss would be too slippery with the first splash of water.

I was not even aware of the possibility of a finish other than the high-gloss varnish until I saw this picture which I came across as I was trying to figure out how my lug-rig components was intended to work.

I called CLC and yes, they do have another varnish BUT it does not offer UV protection. Therefore, you have to apply a minimum of three coats of the hi-gloss varnish before you can put on this other stuff.

As most of you know from conversations with your favorite house painters, the opposite of glossy is matte - (and yes, there is the dreaded semi-gloss but never mind that one.)  Not so in varnish terminology. I guess, matte sounds perhaps a bit too dreary for your average shipwright, no?

So, after five coats of high-gloss Schooner varnish...

First coat of Satin - with day light

...I am now applying Interlux Goldspar Satin. This is the varnish which will provide the finished look of the bright work, i.e. the entire inside of the boat as well as the top plank of the outside. I am planning on two coats - with you-know-what in between coats.

The foils will also shine in satin but I am not sure yet whether the mast, yard and boom will receive the same treatment.

Satin coat with artificial light
Instead of a shiny reflection of the high-gloss varnish, I am aiming for the amber glow of Okume wood - from within.

Heck! With enough coats of high gloss varnish you can make almost anything look pretty and sparkly but the sumptuous satin draws the eye below the surface and will only work on something that is worth looking at.

Besides -

this seems to make for a better contrast with the shiny Hatteras White of the lower strakes and rudder head, don't you think?!

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