Expert Finishing

Different types of boats require a different approach to finishing, and Tumbehome Boatshop is experienced in a range of finishes and finishing technique.

Finishing Booth

We have a state of the art finishing booth in the shop, able to accommodate boats up to 45’. We can apply by spray, brush, and roller. We commonly apply varnish, polyurethanes, enamels, epoxy paints, and acrylic urethanes.

Today’s Finishing Standards vs. Historic Norms

Today’s finishing standards are pretty different from 100 years ago.

  • In the 1920s, Fay and Bowen catalogs claim the boats were shipped with ‘two coats of the finest spar varnish.’
  • In the 1930s, Gar Wood boats were given as many as eight coats, and polished with a rotten stone to give a satin effect.
  • Today, our paints and varnishes tend to be higher gloss, and on some boats we are stacking 14 or more coats of varnish on the decks and sides. Sometimes, we’re polishing that varnish, as well.

The role of the varnish, of course, is to look nice but also protect the wood. But different boats, different owners, have different requirements.

A heavy stack of varnish can easily be damaged, and difficult to repair. Also that high-gloss finish may highlight flaws in the boat. While our modern glossy finishes are more protective, in many cases a satin, or even a flat finish, ends up being easier to live with—and is often more traditionally correct on an older boat.