Mid-season maintenance

Varnishing seems to be an inherent part of boat ownership and I usually find myself varnishing either pre- or post-season. Since we’re not taking a long trip on Aurora this summer, she’s been in the pig shed for a few weeks and I thought some TLC was called for before she goes onto her mooring.

I’ve been indecisive about the exterior woodwork for several years. I don’t like varnish on the rubbing strakes, as they get knocked so often. I’ve tried proprietary products such as Deks Ojlie but I don’t like the look of them much. I ended up leaving the wood naked, having removed the aforementioned, but it just looked unloved. I noticed some of the wood degrading on the grab rails, so I decided to act.

In the end I’ve opted for varnish on the grab rails and Samson post, as these dong get badly knocked about. I took the chance to varnish a few other parts (I bodged the varnish on the tiller last winter, and the wash boards always benefit from a fresh coat).

I was given a tip by Nick Scroggs of Cape Cutter Marine, to use disposable foam brushes. They work really well- don’t drop hairs and don’t need cleaning. Finish looks good too.

I chose natural linseed for the strakes, applied 50:50 with turpentine. Easy to apply but did leave streaks on the hull which needed cleaning off after. Time will tell. Hopefully I can do a quick top-up with a cloth, a couple of times a season.

Anyway, Aurora looks spick and span, ready to go on her summer mooring in a week or two.

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