New Solvent Regulations

I order a fair amount of stuff for boat maintenance and other projects from Jamestown Distributors. I like their Total Boat products. I was recently impressed by their water based varnish for outdoor use. It’s not meant for long term submersion like the bottom of a boat, but works well for other stuff that often gets wet. I think I will shift over to using their Eco Solvent in the future. I thought I would post this for those here that aren’t familiar with the company, or would like a more environmentally friendly and efficient solvent to replace solvents like Acetone, Xylene, Toluene, Lacquer thinner, Mineral spirits, MEK, and other solvents. Here is a photo of a severely weathered companionway hatch cover on my sailboat that I sanded down, did a couple of wood burnings on, and used the semi gloss water based varnish on.


[VOC Rant]
I’m all for carbon regulation, but here in CA they have banned even consumer quantity (quarts and 1 gallons) of almost all solvents worth a damn under the CARB regulations.

I understand a VOC is a VOC regardless of where it comes from, but really? I cant buy a gallon of denatured alcohol? pretty dumb.

Now I stock up on solvents and good lacquer when I go to vegas or drive out of state. I tried some Low VOC (~250g/L) lacquer from Sherwin and im not impressed. I spilled a couple drops of Denatured alcohol on the table and wiped them up 30 seconds later. In that short time the lacquer permanently clouded over. Junk! Real lacquer (600+g/L VOC) would laugh at all but the worst solvents (toluene, xylene, acetone MEK, etc).

Im all for Low VOC, but when it significantly affects the performance of the product, im out. Give me my 80% VOC lacquer! its nasty stuff but is beautiful and almost invincible to chemical attack/staining.
[/VOC rant]

But thanks for the heads up on this product. I will give it a try next time I need a spar varnish!

Ahhh! Nothing like the smell of aromatic hydrocarbons in the workshop!

Denatured alcohol? What do folks in Smoggy Bottom use for hand sanitizer?

Huh? If this is a real question I dont understand…

DNA is extremely useful around the house and garage to clean and dilute things (thinning shellac, prepping a hull before a repair, removing some types of sticker residue, etc) as well as fuel an alcohol stove. Not sure what sanitizer has to do with DNA. (yes you can make sanitizer out of any 70%+ alcohol, but im specifically talking about using it as a solvent and lamenting it in that regard)

Your post doesn’t say anything about UV protection. If it isn’t stated on the package, you have to assume that there isn’t any.

I have tried some of the spar varnishes with low VOC counts. They are worthless as UV protection. That is why I only use specialized boat varnishes. Z-Spar, Petit, or Epiphanes are all VOC products, but you need those to carry the UV protectants.

Would you update this post after this summer and let us know if it does protect against UV? I am environmentally conscious, but some things can’t be environmental and useful at the same time.

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Nothing to prevent someone (not you of course, you are law abiding) from thinning with 70% regardless of what the bottle’s label says it is for. To prevent that the regulation would have prohibit the sale of sanitizer.