No matter what size the boat, a good finish on the woodwork is the ultimate goal for all boat owners and it cannot be understated just how important achieving this is.
But, it is not just the finish that you need to consider, the varnish must offer lasting protection for the wood, from water, of course, but also from the harmful rays of the sun that can bleach it turning it grey.
Wood can be unstable and will expand and contract with the smallest change in temperature and humidity making it important that you find the right varnish for your needs and one that will move with your wood. Varnishes vary in their characteristics a great deal with each manufacturer having their own ‘recipe’ for the components used.
After all, there is no point in doing vast amounts of preparation, which by the way is the most important part of any varnish work you may be planning to carry out, only to find that the varnish is not suitable for the job or even worse does not give you the marine wood finish that you were looking for.
5 Best Yacht Varnishes
We have picked out just five of the best yacht varnishes that are available on the market today with some being solvent-based and others water-based so you will be able to pick the one for you.
- The Ronseal RSLYVS500 has a Satin finish and is supplied in a re-sealable Tin.
- Ergonomic design
- This unique formula is also highly water repellent to keep your wood drier
The first of our picks is produced by a name that you will all probably recognise, yes it is Ronseal, who are renowned for their high-quality products that are readily available and very popular with the UK market.
This is a professional quality solvent-based varnish that provides not only waterproofing and UV protection for your wood but also one that will flex with the expansion and contraction during changes of temperature and humidity, making it resistant to any cracking and peeling of the varnish as the wood moves.
Available in satin or gloss finish, if you prefer the traditional shiny varnish, it is produced specifically for exterior projects, usually requiring 3 coats for the ultimate protection and has a drying time of approximately 6 hours, but this will vary depending on the ambient conditions at the time of use.
Paintmaster is one of UK’s largest suppliers and manufacturers of paints and treatments to the public, trade and companies and this has to be one of the best value for money options on our list.
Paintmasters’ Trade Range is a professional quality product that is brought to you direct, cutting out the middleman, they also have a fantastic team that can help with any problems or advise that you may need. The personal touch indeed.
Their Trade yacht varnish is solvent-based and one that will provide your wood with a tough and waterproof coating. The long-lasting finish has a unique formula that has not only water repellent qualities but one that will flex and move as your wood expands and contracts to avoid any peeling or cracking of the finish.
- The masterful yacht varnish from Goldmeister Colours is the perfect boat paint for your yacht.
- It ensures that your ship gets a beautiful colour coat and professional care.
- As your boat is exposed to high environmental influences, your ship needs special care, which is given to you with the ship's paint from Goldmeister colours.
- In addition, the colours are highly opaque, high-contrast, beautiful and weather-resistant.
- Made in Germany. If you want to dilute the colour, you can order our Lion Dilution 700 colours. As a paint set, we recommend the Lion paint set X300, which has been specially developed for our paints.
This product is brought to you from Germany and Goldmeister Farben a well-known supplier with a good reputation and although this is a clear matte varnish, not the full gloss it will give your wood the protection from the weather that it requires along with a beautiful finish.
Supplied in tins from 1ltr up to 20lts no matter how big or small your project you shouldn’t run out halfway through, this product also has a vast array of colours that you can have added to your varnish that will still have an opaque quality, so if you want to go for something a little different then this is the product for you. It is also another product that is great value for money.
- Traditional ship varnish from the Lausitzer colour works.
- It stands out thanks to its effective protection against harmful seawater and freshwater.
- Its sturdy and elastic capabilities provide long-term protection for your boat.
- The wood of your boat is sealed from the outside and dries in no time.
- Yacht varnish from the Lausitzer colour works is ideal weather protection for wood.
Another from across the channel and another reputable German company Lausitzer, this boat varnish offers protection from both seawater and freshwater with elastic qualities that allow the varnish to move with the wood giving long term protection.
This is a fast-drying, easy to use and a product that gives good results, however, I will point out that you may want to use a mask when applying as the fumes are quite srong when applying, but, will fade within a short period of time. Another that offers great value for money.
- Water-based varnish for the care and embellishment of woods in coastal areas. 100% solvent-free surface protection. It creates a coat that protects wood against sun, rain and humidity. Its finish enhances the natural beauty of wood by highlighting the wood grain. It provides a UV protector to the wood. Excellent transparency and levelling. Resistant to impact and scratching. Waterproof. Quick drying.
- Remove with Water. Dilution Ready to use. 5% max. Coverage 10-14m2/L depending on the type of wood. Drying time within 30-60 minutes. Repainted within 2-4h. Usage Exterior / Interior. Application method Brush / Roller / Spray gun.
- INSTRUCTIONS: 1. In new wood: it must be dry, clean of dust, polish or any other substances and with a moisture content not exceeding the 18-20%. If necessary, repair the defects and sand the wood in the direction of the wood grain. Homogenize the product before and during use. Apply one or more coats.
- 2. In Damaged wood with old varnish or paints: remove them completely and proceed as in new wood. 3. Apply with a room temperature between 10ºC and 35ºC and with a relative air humidity below 80%. 4. Do not apply on surfaces exposed to a strong sunlight.
- 5. Recommendation: do not store the product for more than 12 months. Keep it in its original container well closed and sheltered from the weather, under cover and with a room temperature between 5ºC and 35ºC. Variations in humidity, temperature, thickness or type of support can cause changes in drying, performance or in other properties.
This is a water-based varnish with a gloss finish that will enhance the natural colour and grain of your wood while giving the protection it needs from humidity, offering UV protection and a waterproof coating.
It is fast-drying and easy to use, a product that gives good results plus, as it is water-based there are no nasty smells or vapours to worry about.