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2009
Keeping Costs in Control
Finding Your Boat in the Dark
Instrument Assisted Grounding
Limited Power of Attorney
Structural Adhesives for Boat Building
Lyle Hess Plans: Change of Address
Source for Bu-Ord parachutes for Para-anchor Usage
Writing and Cruising
Children and Cruising

2008
No Marina Shower
Pro-Active Insurance
Better Folding Water Jugs
Reinforced Tradewinds
Bilge Pump Outlet
Floating Plastic Waste
Mast Failure
Signing Off Before You Set Sail

2007
Ship's Library
Maintaining Varnished Surfaces
Have epoxy adhesives improved recently?
Series Drogues: Can They Work Like a Para-anchor?
Efficient Tool Drawers For Cruising Boats
Make Your Boat Unstoppable
Open Roadsteads
Storm Trysails
Lyle Hess Designs
What Does Cruising Cost?

2006
Navigation Warning
Quick Fix in Island Studded Waters
Things I've learned at sea
Winterizing Varnished Timber
Para-Anchor Source
Sea Boots
Preventing Rigging Failures at Sea
What about holding tanks?

2005
Ventilation Assisting
Companionway Board

I hate systems!
Seacocks & Through Hull Fittings
Galley Sink Cutting Board
Fail-proof Turnbuckle Lock

Special provisions
Email Contact-Beware
Folding Lifeboat Note

2004
Plated Plugs
When Radar Doesn't Work

Perfect Cruisers Cookware
Removing Stains From Wood

Ships Medical Library
WARNING:Spectra Lines

New To Oysters
More on Cookware

Storage tips
A Space Conscious Knife Rack

Double Duty Locker Door
Washing Line

2003
Life Rafts
Medical Insurance
Cash & Carry
Preserving Butter
Chilean Canals
Beeswax!
Powdered Eggs
Save Your Fingers

2002
Beware of White!
Ice Buckets

Leftover Fillet
Extra Veggie Storage
Protect Your Lines

Clink prevention
Easier Shopping

Assist Masthead Maintenance
Health Insurance
Electricians & Alloy
Affordable Security
Proper Sea-Cocks
Tips from Larry's Workshop
Travel Insurance
Variable Destination Navigation

2001
Anti-prop stop reminders
Sail Covers
Shake down sail
The Port Stick

Poor Mans A/C
Stern Anchor Stowage
Spinnaker pole storage

Water in your fuel
Egg Carriers
European Duties

2000
Natural Sandpaper
Deoderize kerosene
Waterproof adhesive
Ready Crisp Bacon

Visas
Boat Tie Shoes

Easier Screwing
Miracle Product

Swageless end fittings
Quick Hot Soup

1999
Night Vision Glasses
Marine Metal Detector
Kitchen Helpers
The "watch" watch


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March 2007

Taking Some Of The Work Out Of Maintaining Varnished Surfaces

Well cared for varnish work, be it interior or exterior, definitely spruces up even the simplest yacht. A trick we have used on all of our boats (which by today's standards have a lot of varnish work on deck) definitely makes keeping it shiny far easier.
No matter how careful you may be, varnished surfaces on a boat will get scratched or scuffed. No matter how many coats of varnish there are, any scratch that breaks the surface will eventually allow water to stain the wood beneath it. To prevent this you need to sand and touch up the scratched area. But finding, then opening a can of varnish, cleaning a brush and finding sandpaper takes time and makes a mess. So a varnish touch-up kit is a must. We have cut all but one inch of the wooden handle off a medium-sized artist brush (soft bristles). Then we clean out a spice jar, drill a small hole in the plastic top and thread a pan-headed (self-tapping) screw through the lid and into the wood of the shortened handle on the brush. We fill the jar with varnish. A rubber band secures a piece of sandpaper to the bottle and the kit is kept easily accessible in the cockpit locker.
Once a week when we are cruising, we wander around with this kit, sanding and feathering any damaged spots on our varnished hatches and spars and brushing on fresh varnish, leaving an eighth inch sanded area at the edges to help us find the spot again. Over the next several days we sand the area again, going a bit beyond the previous patch to make sure the edge feathers nicely. Then we add another coupt of touch up varnish. If it is not time to varnish the whole hatch or cabinside when we do the fourth touch up we varnish right to the edge of the sanded area. Now the patch has a good thick coating that will blend in very well when we put the half yearly fresh coat over the whole hatch or cabinside.
If we catch the scratch before the wood beneath it has had a chance to discolor, you can barely see where the varnish patch up has occurred. If not, we find there is some color difference, but one only we notice. Visitors only seem to see that over-all the varnish looks shiny and the wood beneath is a rich lovely color.
This brush in a bottle system also works fine for paintwork. But for some reason it is more difficult to seal paint into a bottle than varnish. So we keep the paint and varnish touch up kit together in a sealed plastic box on Taleisin.



 


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