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I think your biggest mistake was using a urethane on a fence, especially water based. A film finish just isn't going to be durable in that application. If it were me when the weather warms up use a chemical paint and varnish remover and take it off. Then use a deck finishing oil. This is something that is easily re-treated when ever it becomes dry.

If you do decide to use a spar varnish again there are much better spar varnishes than Helmsman. The best is Epifanes. It's available at places that sell boat supplies.
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