I recommend Ready Seal. I have a approx 1200 sqft deck decked with dark marrantti. I've used Ready Seal on it since day one. Dark Mahogany lasts the longest as does most darker stains as compared to lighter. Penetrating oil stain with no film build up equals fast and easy restaining.@AaronD You're correct. I read the links to the System 3 site posted by @weekendrken excited that this might be a solution for me but then found out you basically need to remove the wood to encapsulate it in epoxy.
This might work on some pieces of trim but removing the sprit requires taking down the mast. Not a solution for me.
@Fly By Night
I plan on oiling the sprit and will try the epoxy/varnish on things like the companionway boards and other easily removed pieces.
This is one of the main reasons for my question. Being over an hour from the boat, and not wanting to remove the sprit, I question my ability to get enough coats of varnish on.1) Fewer coats, and shorter curing time - ~2-3 coats of epoxy + ~2 coats of varnish is reputed to get a finish that compares to ~8-12 coats of varnish. And you can apply the 2-3 coats of epoxy in a day, whereas most varnishes need ~24 hours between coats (some might be shorter in theory, but most are also pretty sensitive to temperature, so it sounds like it's hard to find a day when you can get 2 coats on)
You might be able to remove your forestay as suggested by @All U Get and @garymalmgren, backing it up temporarily with a halyard, and then perhaps anchoring the forestay semi-permanently to a forward cleat. And then you could take your bowsprit home for a few days of epoxy and varnish.This is one of the main reasons for my question. Being over an hour from the boat, and not wanting to remove the sprit, I question my ability to get enough coats of varnish on.
I tried it for the first time on my Philippine mahogany bow sprit and floor grates. Its been about 8 months and I've been really impressed. I went against my rule of "no film generating products" but haven't seen any failure yet, especially with the floor grate that gets beat up.How about Sikkens Cetol Marine?