It's funny, I approached varnish with a lot of trepidation. I imagine part of it was unfamiliarity, but a lot was expectation. Being around boats quite a bit, I have seen some truly varnished pieces of work, and I had this feeling I could never live up to that sort of goal. Today, I cannot claim to be an expert in varnish, but I can admit to enjoying the process.
Spark's transom, being solid mahogany, is a wonderful place to play with varnish. The warm reddish hues really jump out in the light with a slick coating of varnish over the wood. Thus far I am on my third coat, lightly sanded between. Already the finished product is teasing me. If it looks this good now, what will it look like under another five coats?
Obviously the first coat barely came up at all, the mahogany drew most of it deep into it's pores, cracks, and crevices, the Second looked better, and now the third, is turning out wonderfully. I just wish she was not stern in so I could back up further to get a better view.
There is an unfortunate side effect to all this... I really want to sand down and varnish Spark's deck. I promised myself I would not touch it or her topsides till after St. Michaels in October, but the urge gnaws at me as it grows