In this guide we’ll look at the best yacht varnishes for the UK market.
We’ve compared tin size, coverage per litre, recoat time and cost
to give you our top recommendations.

What is the Best Yacht Varnish?

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  • Tin size: 500 ml
  • Coverage per litre: 14 m²
  • Recoat time: 24 hours
  • Tin size: 250 ml
  • Coverage per litre: 16 m²
  • Recoat time: 8 hours
  • Tin size: 2.5 litres
  • Coverage per litre: 13 m²
  • Recoat time: 12 hours
  • Tin size: 750 ml
  • Coverage per litre: 16 m²
  • Recoat time: 16-24 hours
  • Tin size: 1 litre
  • Coverage per litre: 8 m²
  • Recoat time: 12 hours

More Detailed Yacht Varnish Reviews

Epifanes Clear High Gloss Yacht Varnish

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  • Tin size: 500 ml
  • Coverage per litre: 14 m²
  • Recoat time: 24 hours
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Epifanes Clear High Gloss Yacht Varnish Review

With a strong tradition of boat building and high expectations from their protective coatings, you can count on Dutch specialist paint manufacturer Epifanes to create the best yacht varnish. And they’ve been doing so since 1902.

We really like their High Gloss Clear Varnish, it’s not the cheapest option but you certainly get what you pay for. Designed for use on boats, it uses a blend of tung oil and resins to build up an ultra-tough and glossy surface that will protect your wood surfaces for years, whatever the weather. It’s easily the best clear yacht varnish on this list.

Ronseal Satin Exterior Yacht Varnish

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  • Tin size: 250 ml
  • Coverage per litre: 16 m²
  • Recoat time: 8 hours
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Ronseal Satin Exterior Yacht Varnish Review

British protective coatings brand Ronseal have made a name for themselves by producing products that do exactly what they say on the tin. This solvent-based weatherproofing varnish is the perfect solution for exterior timbers like windowsills that need the best outdoor varnish on them.

Ronseal’s Yacht Varnish promises the best coverage on the list, so when we tested it out, we were happy to agree that a little goes a long way. Once several coats had been applied to prepared timber, it cured to a handsome satin finish that looked great.

Rustins Satin Yacht Varnish

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  • Tin size: 2.5 litres
  • Coverage per litre: 13 m²
  • Recoat time: 12 hours
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Rustins Satin Yacht Varnish Review

Originally based in London’s Shoreditch area in the heart of the furniture making industry, Rustins know a thing or two about making the best exterior varnish for wood. We knew we had to try out their yacht varnish, so we got hold of a tin and put it through its paces.

It’s developed to give a durable finish to exterior timbers, with added tung oil that dries to a high shine. We love the almost wet look you get from this product, it’s the best satin yacht varnish we’ve used so far.

Johnstone's Woodcare Outdoor Yacht Varnish

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  • Tin size: 750 ml
  • Coverage per litre: 16 m²
  • Recoat time: 16-24 hours
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Johnstone's Woodcare Outdoor Yacht Varnish Review

British paint giants Johnstone’s have a history dating back to 1890 and make some of the most trusted and best exterior wood varnish products available right now. We’re familiar with their amazing range of colours and finishes, so it made sense to test out their Woodcare Outdoor Yacht Varnish.

It’s another yacht varnish with excellent coverage per litre, even though it goes on quite thick. If you key each coat with wire wool or an exceptionally fine grit sandpaper once it’s dry, you’ll get as good a finish as possible. We got on well with this varnish, it cures to a smart finish that is hard and clear.

Paintmaster Trade Yacht Varnish

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  • Tin size: 1 litre
  • Coverage per litre: 8 m²
  • Recoat time: 12 hours
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Paintmaster Trade Yacht Varnish Review

Paintmaster offer great savings to trade customers and savvy DIYers by cutting out the middleman when it comes to buying the best yacht varnish, available in tins up to a whopping 205 litres. You might not need that much to treat the woodwork around your home, even if the coverage isn’t quite as impressive as some of the others on the list.

This no-nonsense yacht varnish has a super-quick touch dry time of just an hour, and the solvent based formulation promises to expand and contract with the wood underneath it, to minimise cracking and bubbling. It goes on well with a brush and looks great once cured.

Conclusion

You don’t have to be a ship’s captain to appreciate the benefits of using the best yacht varnish on your woodwork in and around your home. Our winner today is the unrivalled Epifanes High Gloss Clear Varnish, it cures to a crystal-clear finish that is as durable as it is attractive.

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