Non-oil based finisher


Curious about Wooden Canoes
I have been building strippers with my students at school for quite a few years. However, some-one at the school has been identified with an allergy to oil based paints. We were requested to turn in all of our MSD sheets for approval. The cheap oil based marine varnish I have been using for a long time has now been banned. However, the shop teacher is allowed to use an acrylic based finisher.

Any thoughts on an acceptable substitute?
Both Varathane and Minwax make water-based spar varnishes that contain UV absorbers. I used the Varathane on some stuff and it worked OK, though I might dunk a varnished test piece in water for a few hours to see how it does before painting a boat with it. Like most water-based finishes, it dries pretty quickly and you have less time to level it out than you would with oil-based, but the fumes are mild and it might be worth a try.
Thanks for that, pretty sure I can get the varathane here, so I'll probably give it a try. Thanks again!
Well, just finished using the water based stuff on two new cedar strips...certainly was nice to work with, very low odour...however, it seems to work very differently than oil based....very little penetration on wood, just seems to lay on top of it....both canoes will be used on a 10 day wilderness trip, starting Monday, so I'll be able to give an appropriate evaluation after that.
The verdict is in...well, at least my humble opinion...the water based varnish is bunk. For anyone who has not used it, it goes on with a creamy colour and then hardens clear. After a few days of paddling, the varnish began to resume its creamy appearance. I'm no chemist, but it seemed to me that it was re-absorbing water. Anyway, should sand off easily...
Was it completely cured?

I've used a number of brands on the inside of the cabin and there they work well, I've never tried them on a canoe though.

What about one of those products for finishing floors?