I have been asked a lot about the finishing of my products. For rudders and tillers I usually use 3 or 4 coats of spar varnish. Depending on your use of the piece and amount of time it will be either submerged in the water or exposed to the sun, you may want to put additional coats prior to using it. Although I have used just about every brand of spar varnish in the book I am starting now to use Interlux Schooner Gold. I met with their technical rep a few weeks ago and I think this will be a great product to use. I haven’t actually used this one yet but there is some on the way to me right now that I am looking forward to trying.
For hatches I have been using one of the Cetol products for the past few years. They have a new product call Cetol Teak that I think is going to be great. It creates an appearance similar to an oiled finish but holds up much longer. 4 coats are about right for a good starting finish on this.