Historic schooner re-varnished with Awlwood Multi-Climate Gloss

Monday, September 9, 2019


Shenandoah is a commercially chartered classic schooner with a steel hull, built in New York in 1902. The vessel has changed owners and names many times, surviving both world wars and being taken on a Dutch oceanographic expedition before becoming returning to a charter vessel in 1972 and receiving an award for ‘Best Classic Yacht Restoration’ in 1997.


This year, the vessel required re-varnishing, and in the words of the vessel’s captain Russell Potter: “Shenandoah is arguably the most famous classic sailing yacht in the world, and Awlgrip is a market leading product. It seemed like a good match! We chose Awlgrip for its quality and familiarity.”

The areas to be varnished included all the spars, the three masts, three topmast, three gaffs and booms, as well as some areas of the deck, including the helm station, lazarette hatch and engine order telegraph. On a 177 ft schooner, this represents a significant task and an expanse of surface area. The varnish application was done by brush only, using the latest addition to the Awlwood range of high-performance varnishes: Awlwood Multi-Climate Gloss.


“We found Awlwood Multi-Climate Gloss to be a complete evolution in terms of application properties and surface quality,” continued the captain. “The crew loved the product, especially the application process. The challenges of practicing with a new product and adapting to the differences were far outweighed by the time-saving benefits. Both the fore and mizzen lower masts were completely built up and final coated in under two weeks, which definitely wouldn’t have been possible with the old system. Time is always a huge factor in a refit of this size, and the fact that we saved in this area gives Awlwood Multi-Climate Gloss a significant edge over the old system.”


Newly formulated, Awlwood Multi-Climate Gloss combines the high build, fast curing, abrasion resistance and color options of Awlwood with easy application even in hot tropical climates and colder temperatures. This makes it easier than ever to achieve the benefits of excellent gloss retention and DOI (Distinction of Image), for a mirror-like finish. The visual results speak for themselves!


Supporting Awlwood Multi-Climate gloss are the primers from the Awlwood varnish range, each of which promotes adhesion by penetrating deeply into the grain and contains high performance colorants that mimic the natural color of the wood, helping the varnished surface to keep its color for longer. This was especially important for a vessel like the Shenandoah, with large masts that are exposed to the elements 365 days a year. For more information about Awlwood Multi-Climate Gloss and the Awlgrip varnish range, visit

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