Paint or varnish.......

Posted by Ken Leffert on Oct 5, 2006

"Why did you enjoy it more? What difference did the paint make vs. the varnish?"

I was wanting to write a thorough answer to that question, but it just aint working. I'll try to just hit the high points instead...

I like the way that I can touchup paint. It gets scratched, you see the scratches, you touchup the scratches and go out and scratch it up again.

Varnish tends to conceal minor scratches and damage. That's not a good thing, in my opinion. I took up fishing out of my boat this year, it gets a lot more bonks and kerthonks than it would if I were just going someplace. I can easily asses the damages after each outing, they show up as either scuffs or scratches.....generally I don't worry about the scuffs or smaller scratches, touchup the larger ones.

I've got options with my recreational time, I do a lot of motorcycle sight-seeing also. If I'm sitting in my living room looking at my gorgeous varnished boat (I'd probably keep my motorcycle in my living room too, but it has trouble getting up the stairs) and I sez to myself "One thing about going kayaking, you might scratch it" a lot of times would tip the scales in favor of going for a ride instead. Now I literally laugh at scratches, and I haven't been on a decent ride all year.

Regarding fellow boaters..... everybody that has a nicely finished wooden boat of any kind knows the impact it has on other boaters. You aint likely to get from your car/truck to the water without several conversations about your boat. Sometimes I just want to go boating..... and another thing, you're not likely to get a fellow boater (especially if they're paddling tupperware, less true but still true if they're glass/kevlar) much in the mood to talk about their boat if your boats in the immediate vicinity. Wooden boats just aren't happy if they're not being the center of attention.

Now, what I've figured out with paint, number one... if I don't draw attention to myself, I can sneak right into the water and be off paddling completely unnoticed. And when I actually want to interact with my fellow boaters, if I can get them started talking about their boats, they're liable to go on for a good long while before they ever even figure out that my boat isn't just some multi-thousand dollar off-the-shelf composite job. I like that. I want to know what people like about their boats, don't like, why they chose them, etc. I already know most there is to know about my boat......

Just one more thing.... the paint actually, in my opinion, shows off the boats curves, lines, shape MUCH better than varnish. The woodgrain, beautiful though it is, subtracts from those things. When I painted my boat, I was accepting that it wouldn't be as nice-looking as it was varnished. On that point, I was wrong in a BIG way..... its actually looks better now, and it was nice under varnish. Anyway, thats enough for now.

In Response to: thats a long answer.... by Ken Leffert on Oct 4, 2006