Next, I flipped the boat over again and started varnishing the outside of the transoms. At the same time I began varnishing the rudder, daggerboard and spars. I started out by varnishing one face at a time of the rudder parts, boom and mast. I varnished them face-up. This quickly became a mess because of drips running down to the bottom face. I decided to hang them vertically and do all sides at once. The spars I hung horizontally. This made varnishing more difficult, but resulted in less clean-up work. The first time I sanded between coats, I used dry-sand paper but it seemed to leave pretty big scratches and remove most of the varnish. I then bought a bunch of wet-sand sandpaper, 330 and 400 grit. After sanding each coat, I wiped down with alcohol.
I used the rudder blade and cheeks as practice. I think I wound up with 4 coats of varnish on those before I found the finish acceptable. The daggerboard had 3 or 4 coats (I lost track with the whole varnish, sand, varnish, sand... process). I gave the tiller handle 6 coats and the boom and yard 5 coats (none of which where epoxy-coated).
After enough practice I proceeded to varnish the transoms. I gave them 3 coats and, except for one sag, I think they turned out OK. At this point I still hadn't realized the error of my ways with regard to sanding.