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Rudder blade and centreboard maintenance

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: General
Forum Name: Repair & maintenance
Forum Discription: Questions & tips on the subject
Printed Date: 21 Jun 18 at 4:47am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y -

Topic: Rudder blade and centreboard maintenance
Posted By: Palinurus
Subject: Rudder blade and centreboard maintenance
Date Posted: 17 Jul 17 at 5:20pm
I have recently acquired an Escape Captiva dinghy that I am touching up with a few small, routine maintenance jobs. I have disassembled the rudder and (wooden) tiller from the metal attachments and am about to strip off the old and partly degraded varnish using a chemical compound, hot-air gun, scraper and assortment of electric sanders as required. The wood itself is in excellent condition and undamaged. The rudder blade appears to be a hardwood with a good grain and very few nicks and blemishes. Likewise the wooden tiller. Can your readers advise how I should treat the wooden parts when I have sanded them to the best possible finish I can achieve? Polyeurathane varnish? Expoxy? Or just a suitable oil?

Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 17 Jul 17 at 5:57pm
I always paint foils white, helps to see weed wrapped round.

Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 17 Jul 17 at 6:09pm
I wouldn't strip off the old varnish if possibly avoidable, since you'll stir up the grain and make a lot of extra work. Just sand back to good varnish, don't use chemicals or heat unless varnish comletely shot.
I reckon Polyurethane varnish is as good as anything. Epoxy needs to be coated with varnish to protect from UV so little point in using that you're just spending more money.

Posted By: Palinurus
Date Posted: 17 Jul 17 at 7:31pm
Thank you for your comments. The varnish is shot, as you put it: down to the bare wood in parts, flaky in others and apparently sound elsewhere. I take your point about chemicals and heat. in the first instance I will attack it 'dry' with my orbital sander and some heavy grit paper. Thank you for the tip about polyurethane vs. epoxy and for your interest. 

Posted By: Ardea
Date Posted: 18 Jul 17 at 12:39pm
A coat of epoxy before you start varnishing will help stabilise the wood and probably add a bit to the life of the varnish.  Not sure if this is cost effective in the long run, but for a some extra work now you can probably add a couple of years to the re-varnishing interval.

Posted By: Palinurus
Date Posted: 18 Jul 17 at 2:45pm
Thank you, Ardea, for this suggestion and for your interest in my query.

Posted By: jeffers
Date Posted: 18 Jul 17 at 2:49pm
Just be aware that epoxy can react with some varnishes so unless you know what is on the blade be careful as you may end up making more work for yourself.

When I did my daughter Mirror I used 2 thinned coats of varnish (really thin, around 50%) so it soaked in and helped seal the surface before the final topcoats were applied. 

D-Zero GBR188
Ex Rooster 8.1 '11'
Ex Laser 167534
Ex Blaze 655

Posted By: Palinurus
Date Posted: 18 Jul 17 at 3:57pm
Thank you a very helpful qualification to an earlier suggestion. It occurred to me that there might be a compatibility issue between different kinds of coatings. The existing varnish is so patchy that I think I will be removing it all and starting from scratch. Thank you for your interest. 

Posted By: Paramedic
Date Posted: 25 Jul 17 at 11:09pm
If its been on for ages its probably inert and you could put practically anything on it. Ive had reactions with two pack paints but never, ever varnish in 20 years of messing around with boats.

I think you could have an issue if you put two pack over relatively recently applied one pack varnish but like i dont think varnishes are anything like as finicky as paints can be. Maybe because it dries harder? I dont know, just my experience :)

(I wont be held accountable if you put three coats of Blake's Diamond over the B&Q Yacht varnish you put on last week and it all falls off!!)

Posted By: Palinurus
Date Posted: 26 Jul 17 at 11:17pm
Hello, and thank for taking the trouble to reply to my enquiry. Since posting it, I have sanded off the old varnish and got most of the water-marks out where the old varnish had degraded, It looked as if there had been some patching of the original varnish. I am in the process of moving from coarse to fine sanding sheets and am quite pleased at how well the components look in their stripped down state. I have purchased Ronseal Yacht Varnish (gloss) to restore the bits to what I think was approximately the original finish: how many coats remains to be seen.

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