If you have spent the time building your own boat, then you will want to make sure that the boat finishing is done properly, first to protect all that hard work and effort you put into building it and also to make it look great for your maiden voyage.
Before applying any coating to the wood, it will need to be sanded down first. This will give it a smooth surface to start from. Then all the loose material and dust should be removed, so it doesn't ruin the finish. A quick once over with a vacuum or a good sweep with a brush will do this job perfectly.
Once this is done, there are various different ways that you could choose to finish you boat. Painting is one of these, but for some this is less desirable as it covers the natural beauty of the wood itself. If this is the case, there are a few other options available.
A coating of oil is probably the easiest finish to apply and the most traditional way of treating the wood, but there are some drawbacks to this method. The oil has to be reapplied regularly to maintain it's look and to maximize it's protective capabilities. However, general upkeep of the boat should be done regularly too anyway, so this shouldn't be too much bother. It is also possible to purchase oils that contain wax, which prolong it's useful life and this can also add a slight waterproofing to the wood too, so this is something to look for when buying marine oils.
Varnish is another popular way to finish the wood. It looks great, is easy to clean and offers resistance to UV rays which will protect it from over exposure to the sun. Two part varnishes can also be used in areas where there is likely to be wear and abrasion, such as on the deck, where people will be walking on it and anchors are dropped on it for example. Personally, I love the look of varnished wood, so this is my regular choice
Finally and as mentioned earlier, wax can be used in oils, but it can also be a way of finishing your boat in itself. These work well when applied to the wood as it seals the surface, creating a barrier which will help to avoid water getting in and rot taking hold and come in various forms from beeswax, to liquid solvent based products.
A good boat finishing will mean less boat fixing, which means less time in the workshop and more time on the water. It will also help to grab the eyes of those around as they admire your beautiful craftsmanship, which has been finished to the highest degree.
If you enjoyed this article or found it useful, please take a moment to leave a comment and let me know. I would love to know your thoughts, so just drop me a line. For more information on boat finishing, or for similar boat building topics, also please feel free to visit my website, you're always welcome aboard. Just click on the links below.