Henrys are a really smart, cool couple who circumnavigated their own
boat around the world. We met them a few months before we left on
our cruise, and Alicia mentioned in passing that she was getting ready
to varnish all of SARABANDE’s exterior teak, an intensive and
grueling labor of love. Flawlessly varnished teak is the hallmark
of a well-cared for classic sailboat, and we were excited about what
the varnish would do to restore SARABANDE’s good looks.
“Don’t do it,” they cautioned, suggesting that we
abandon the idea of 12 beautiful coats of Z-Spar Flagship Varnish
and instead apply Cetol, a low-maintenance teak sealer much maligned
for the orangey tint it imparts to wood.
“The sun in the tropics will peel that varnish off so fast
you’ll find yourself re-applying every three months, and
you’ll hate it. It’ll look like crap,” the
Wantonly, foolishly, we still chose to go with the varnish. Well,
guess what? It’s peeling, it looks like crap, and
there’s enough work to do maintaining an old cruising boat
without sanding yourself silly under the hot sun all the time. This
winter, we’re stripping off what’s left of it and slapping
on some Cetol. Apparently now there’s a formula that
doesn’t look as orange.
dark side, here we come!