Tell Us About Your Varnish


If you’re like most boat owners – somewhere on your boat you have some varnish to maintain. And it’s either a very rewarding experience looking at your beautifully finished wood pieces or it’s a boon. We sell the best varnishes out there and with TotalBoat, we also make some, too. We want to know which varnish is your favorite. We want to know how many coats and what kind of brush you use and how often you touch it up and add coats. Our Varnish Survey asks you 12 short questions that might take you 2 minutes to answer. CLICK HERE to take the VARNISH SURVEY Continue reading

‘Lusting’ for a New Bureau

Melanie Dresser

For a few winters and many more shop nights, TotalBoat Call Center and Tech Help Manager, Melanie Curley, slaved over her formerly unsightly bureau. It originally was many old layers of peeling paint, proof of another’s efforts to breathe life into the nicely made bureau. And Melanie could see through those layers of paint to sweet looking chestnut base that had, luckily, been preserved for years under the layers of paint. Continue reading

Total Restoration Riva Aquarama Lamborghini 278

Have a look at this video from one of our most popular blog posts ever. Must be all the wood and varnish and that sweet Italian craftmasnship. Happy Sundaying! Enjoy!

Carlo Riva and Ferruccio Lamborghini, both full of passion and extremely driven to create the best in their field, joined forces in early 1968 when Ferruccio ordered a new Riva Aquarama. This Aquarama would be fitted with a pair of Lamborghini V12’s modified for marine use by the Lamborghini Factory, starting a second career for these fantastic engines. Continue reading

Video of the Week: How to Use Teak Oil

If you have recently cleaned teak that you’d rather not varnish, but want to protect, teak oil is a great option. In just one application you can see the wood absorbing the oil, protecting the grain from salt, sun and other harmful exposure. Teak oil is easy to apply with just a rag and needs little upkeep, other than a few coats every few months to keep it’s bright appearance.
See how easy it is to transform your teak with TotalBoat Teak Oil.

See you on the water!


Video Of the Week: How to Use Teak Cleaner


Teak can be a showpiece or an eyesore and it doesn’t have to take 8 coats of varnish to have smart looking teak. A 2-part teak cleaner can brighten and protect teak that is in vulnerable places on your boat and save you time and money. It’s easy to use and every boater wants their boat to look sharp so if you have teak aboard, it means you must have some sort of upkeep and regimen to maintain nice looking wood trim.

TotalBoat’s 2-Part Teak Cleaner is a great solution for those who don’t want to varnish. And varnish is not the right solution for all the teak on your boat, like this swim platform that is often under water. Teak cleaner can brighten and protect even the nastiest teak, removing stains, mildew and unsightly marks. It’s easy to use and in minutes improves the condition and appearance of your teak.

See how easy it can be to use the TotalBoat Teak Cleaner. Within minutes you’ll be a happy customer. Happy boating!


Customer Story: My Favorite Stripper

My Favorite Stripper

We came across this post on the blog of the SV Ramble On, a Tayana 37. This young couple has big dreams about what they hope to do with their boat and their life savings – and they are documenting their every step on their great blog here. They have great detailed TO-DO lists broken down by category, advice and awe about budgeting a big overhaul and what it really takes to do it all yourself. They are great customers and we thank them for grabbing some of the TotalBoat Stripper and TotalFair fairing compound, and reviewing it here. They liked it so much, of course we had to share with you. Here is what they wrote – or head over to RambleOn’s blog and read it for yourself. (or click above/ read below)

From RambleOn: This weekend I finally started working on stripping the coachroof paint.  Back at the beginning of Spring, I scraped off the top layer of paint.  It seriously took me only a couple of hours because the paint was such shit.  It was so bad I could no longer hose off the boat without hosing off the dock and any neighboring boats because the paint was flaking so badly it looked like it had snowed.  This boat has about four or five layers of paint on it.  The top layer was dingy white color with a gray primer.  Below those are two or three stronger layers of tan, lighter tan and darker tan.

A year or more ago Rich, using a heat gun and scraper, started scraping off all layers of paint and non-skid at the back of the coachroof where the mainsail and staysail winches are located.  I continued this effort with little effect.  I cleared about 12 square inches in an hour.  The original paint and non-skid are really tough.  Those Taiwanese probably used some super industrial and toxic paint that was banned in the U.S. before it was even invented.  Anyway, I told Rich if he wanted the coachroof scraped down to bare gelcoat, he was more than welcome to have at it.  Actually what I did was convince him that we could paint over the old paint and non-skid and it would look just fine.

TotalStrip and bubbled paint

So Rich did a solvent test on the three remaining layers of paint and the top layer appears to be a one-part paint.  We’re planning to use a two-part paint so we have to remove the one-part paint before we can do that.  I’ve been procrastinating this project because I’m tired of scraping (see previous scraping endeavors here, here, and here).  Then a couple of weeks ago Rich sent me a link to Jamestown Distributors for their TotalBoat TotalStrip paint stripper.  I originally didn’t want to use a chemical stripper because my experience with them is that strippers are smelly and messy; plus I didn’t want chemicals running into to the slough (obviously.)  There were no reviews of it and I couldn’t find anything about it on a web search.  But because I’m so done with scraping I said buy it and I’ll try it. Continue reading

Video of the Week: Using Penetrating Epoxy – Tips from A Shipwright

If you ever wondered about when and why to use Penetrating Epoxy, Lou Sauzedde will help explain about some of the benefits. In this video, Lou removes a bench seat from a nice tender and discovers the varnish job from last season did not prevent checking in the wood, making large, discolored and unsightly gaps in an otherwise nice varnish job. By first stripping the varnish with a scraper (or try out TotalStrip) and then putting a nice smooth finish on with a planer, Lou coats the raw wood with a few coats of the Penetrating Epoxy.

The epoxy is very thin and clear and doesn’t require an expert application, as it is almost immediately absorbed into the dry, checked wood. It will fill in those gaps and checks and make the wood impenetrable by water (which causes the checking) and lay down a great foundation for 4-5 coats of varnish with UV protection. Using Total Boat Penetrating Epoxy is a great foundation for a lasting finish on your wood surfaces aboard.

Come meet Lou and ask him first hand about his tips and techniques. He will be at our Tent Sale tomorrow, 4/16 from 8am-4pm. Info on the huge clearance deals and other cool displays and events can be found here! See you there!