I spoke with John Harris with regard to the clear coat and UV protection. He says that it provides the nessessary UV protection just fine. Among the reasons to do clear coat is that the resultant finish is considerably harder than varnish and more resistant to abrasion (rock dings, and trade show wear in CLC’s case). Another is that it being an outsourced step, it’s a one day in the shop and done thing, not an insignificant thing. Downside is that it’s expensive. Retail at a typical auto body shop is probably pushing $1000. Me, I have a “hook up” (to use an old Navy term) and it’s going to be about a hundred bucks and a case of beer.
One still has to sand to a fair thee well! Clear coat will not substitute for inadequate surface preparation. I will go down to 320 with the DA sander and wet sand with 400 on the outside. I will be having it shot before I install the door latches, windows, and mushroom vents; and I will have the galley hatch off. We’ll clear coat inside and out!