Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Bright Work"
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Thread: "Bright Work"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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Bright Work

James & Jacqueline Best

I have just completed a 2 year refit of our Westsail 32 #470 "Eagle" Now to the brightwork. I am wondering if anyone has used or has advise around products. I am currently considering Cetol, they have a new light teak finish, or Coelan a German product which is sold out of the east coast. Also looking for a good product that will not react to both of the above products to put into the gooves between the slats, you know the black stuff.

Dave Kall

Don and Terri who owned Salty Dog in West Palm turned me on to Signature Finishes. http://www.signaturefinish.com/ He had a good 1-2 years between recoats. (Actually threatened to beat me with a boat hook if we were dumb enough to use something else. ) We've found one pretty good. Nice thing is you can put wet on wet and don't need to sand between recoats.

Personally I don't like all the work of Cetol and how often you have to put it on. You can see some of our work on our site: http://svelysium.com/

Fair Winds

Bud Taplin

Another good product is Armada. Similar to Cetol, but without a colorant. Clear finish, available in gloss or satin. Sold by Boaters World, but not by West Marine. I have a quart of high gloss that I would be willing to sell to anyone wanting to try it.

Tom Crank

I am curious which grooves you are referring to. If you are referring to the main and lazarete hatches you can use either polysulphide or thickened epoxy colored with graphite. The polysulphide is affected by petroleum distilates but given the quick drying time of your sealant and infrequent application it should be okay. It can be a problem with teak oils that contain petroleum distilates. If you are referring to the seams in the deck DON'T use any hard finish. I know Interlux just tells you not to use the gloss on decks but their advise won't do you any good as your boat sails away from you while you watch from the water!


I've always loved the look of oiled teak, but it requires that you recoat frequently. Cetol certainly is durable on teak, but, in my opinion, it hides the beauty of the wood.

A few years ago I tried a then new product from Epiphanes called "wood finish", formulated for teak. You don't have to sand between coats. After several coats of gloss i applied two coats of "wood finish matt". It looked very much like oiled teak and held up for two years(northern climate). I think the durability was similar to Cetol and the appearance was far better.

Traditional Epiphanes varnish is very popular with wooden boat builders for its appearance and durability.

It sounded like you were going to varnish your teak decks, which is not recomended, as it defeats the purpose of having teak decks-natural, non-skid, bare wood.

Michael Yuille and Rosemary Wilson

I also used epiphanes wood finish gloss on the exterior wood and matte on some of the interior wood. It looks fantastic, no sanding and the finish really brings out the wood grain.

James & Jacqueline Best

No Iam not doing the decks , only bright work , hatches, companionway and turtle. The grooves (seniors moment)are between the teak on the hatches . Thanks for the added advice on other products which just adds to more indecision, I was hoping for a consensus, but I guess you guys in the USA have other decisions to make as in presidential stuff, which hopeful fits in the groove and will do a good job, last and still look good after 4 years. I will look into the Epiphanes as 2 people have stated a preference, but the Colan product still seems good & possible. Here is the web site if anyone is interested http://www.premapro.com/

Tom and Dana Stiffler

Has anyone tried using Bristol clear finish? I used it on my dorade boxes and they have a beautiful deep gloss finish that is supposed to last 4 years in Northern climes and 2 years in Southern and tropical climes. Anyone have any experience with this product? It can be applied over old varnish if it is in decent condition and can be wet coated in one hour without sanding between coats or dry coated in 4hours with light sanding between coats. It is a two part coating 8:1 resin and hardener.

Fred K. Cheney

I really like the Bristol finish - I have used it extensively on my boat and it has held up really well in the Florida sun, especially when I use 12 coats of it... It's tough & long lasting, but not very flexible, so the next time I refinish my cap & rubrails I'll use Cetol or Armada as Bud recommends (and you know Bud knows what he's talking about...)

Bud Taplin

Who says I know what I'm talking about. I think I just have MOST of you fooled into thinking that I do.

Edward and Susan Crawford

I use Petit Flagship. I live in Ft. Lauderdale and have had great results. I just used Armada clear satin on my interior bullkheads and ordered two more quarts to finish the saloon(by the way follow the instuctions exactly) Sailorman carries it or can get it for a reasonable price, to bad it's not as good as the 4.95 I paid for the first two quarts. My dockmate (Perigrina another Westsail used it for exterior) although a lot better than Cetol but not nearly as nice as a good varnish. My exterior brightwork held up two years + with Flagship with a good sanding and a couple cover coats looks as good as new.(I should have done it after 6 months to a year but no time) I may be a bit predjudiced having had wood boats prior with lots of brightwork(makes the Westsail look like a clorax bottle) but there is no comparision to a nice varnish job

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