Hello. I am new to your group & was hoping someone could help me. I just took my Dad's 1957 Crosby Runabout out of storage. It has not been in the water since 1972. It has always been in a garage + covered. Had the engine worked on 2 summers ago. 65 hp Mercury. Shop told me it runs like a top. Still have original cushions. Here is where I need help. Some of the wood's varnish is cracked. So I probably refinish all the wood or have someone do it for me. How hard is it? What is the process? What products & items do I need? I am pretty handy. Just don't want to mess this wood up. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I moved the boat from MN to CO. Plan on putting in the water at Grand Lake. Does anyone know a good shop out here that works on these types of boats?
Hi John. I too have my dad's 1957 Crosby Capri and just finished revarnishing the wood for the first time since it came out of the show room. If you get a chance, post some pictures so we can see what you're working with. I was pretty scared to start sanding away on my boat as I had no experience whatsoever in boat restoration or wood varnishing. Thank God for this site as all my questions of what to do and what not to do were answered here by super cool, generous guys.
I did not use an orbital sander. I used a big block sander and it worked well. These main materials you'll need are many packets of 3M sand paper. I used 220 and for the last two coats I used 320. Don't buy cheap sandpaper. i mistakingly bought some cheaper stuff (Norton?) at Home Depot thinking sand paper is sand paper; it was terrible. You'll need a bunch of clean rags to wipe things down with here and there, a few packs of tack cloth, a bunch of Wooster foam brushes (you can use the cheaper ones for initial coats, but not the final) and some kind of acetone/thinner to both wipe your wood down after vacuuming and sanding and to thin out your varnish. I used two kinds of marine spar varnish--Captains and Epiphanes. I did all my building coats with Captains and then finished with two coats of Epipahnes. Don't skimp on the varnish. There wasn't any to be had in my area, so I ordered it from Jamsetown Distributors. They are awesome and will answer any questions you have. They also have some advice on how to varnish on their site. You can also type it "How to varnish a wood boat" on Google and a site called Defender.com also has a really good how-to article.
Andreas is correct. Varnishing isn't hard. It's all about being clean and not having dust particles floating. He posted something funny a ways back about sneaking up on the boat early in the morning when there's less air movement and varnishing naked (as there's dust in your shirt and less chance of brushing up against something newly varnished, which I did on many occasions). I had a great time doing mine and learned a lot although it took longer than I thought it was going to. I'm not sure how much time you want to put into it, but it's much, much easier to varnish without all the deck/dash hardware, windshield, and moulding. Trying to varnish around them will only lead to drips. Also, I would take out the wood benches and work on them separately; makes it much easier. As far as how many coats, that will depend on how "deep" you want your finish to look. Your boat will probably look much better than it does now with 4 or 5 coats, but I've seen some boats with 10-12 coats that ended with a finish that were as clear as a mirror.
That's all I can think of for now. Again, post some pics and let us know how it's going. And don't be afraid to ask seemingly dumb questions. These guys got me through.
I bought a bargain box of abrasive paper.... or should I say industrial belt material. What the bargain box is: drop off pieces and roll ends that are too short to make complete belts. It's brand new, and toy can cut it to fit your sander... or hand sanding.
This stuff wears like iron ! The abrasive material does not come off, I even clean it and reuse it, that's how tough it is. I do use a quarter sheet sander to get down to 80 grit, then hand sand 120 and lower to get the small swirls out from the sander, I just cut the belt material to fit the sander.
The only draw back is: you get what grit they put in the box. BUT there is everything from fine to coarse. So you will always have any grit you could ever want. So if you find a grit in the box you like, and run out ? You can just buy that grit off of the site.
So you know.... I'm sanding my entire house with this stuff.