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Old 09-02-2015, 19:28   #1
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What's Your Take On These Deck Pics?

I was asked what I thought of the teak deck in the pics below. I thought I'd bring that question here...





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Old 09-02-2015, 19:32   #2
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Re: What's Your Take On These Deck Pics?

They look like a lot of work to me, but I bet they will be pretty once finished.
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Old 09-02-2015, 19:38   #3
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Re: What's Your Take On These Deck Pics?

They have been let go to natural. There is some black polysulfide caulking in some seams and something else in the others. When teak is left natural it's grain is exaggerated and then where takes away the material a bit faster. If the teak decks in the photo do not leak then they are ok. It is a matter of time before they leak but eventually they will leak. It takes a lot of work to take out the screw plugs, remove the screws, rebed the teak and reinstall it. Most folks remove the teak and then glass over.

What other questions?
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Old 09-02-2015, 19:41   #4
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Re: What's Your Take On These Deck Pics?

We have teak decks and replaced teak decks on our previous boat. The teak on the deck in the photos is old and needs to be re-caulked. They are also screwed down instead of epoxied down which means they are probably at least 20 years old. Nobody screws teak down anymore as epoxy is superior and there is no chance of leaks. I would not be surprised if there are a few spots under the screws on that deck that do leak.

Without being there and just looking at the photos I would say the teak looks salvageable but they must be recaulked.

This will probably start a war with others who have strong (and in my view incorrect) opinions on deck care but you should never, and I mean never, scrub teak with a brush. When you see teak decks that have little grooves running down the wood it means the soft pith in the wood has been eroded or brushed away. This kills the deck. We are careful to not even hose them down with any water pressure. Sometimes I will take a VERY soft brush and WIPE the deck cross grains to remove the green algae we get here in the winter but that is it. My decks are 13 years old and look new. Show me another boat like that with an owner who scrubs his decks.

Cheers.

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Old 09-02-2015, 20:02   #5
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Re: What's Your Take On These Deck Pics?

These decks look shot.
They have been scrubbed with a brush and maybe a cleaner.
Would be a lot of work to possibly refinish them.
Could glass the deck as previously stated or replace entire deck.
If you are going cruising run down to Trinidad and have them replaced there.....much cheaper.
Teak is a combination of soft and hard wood so when you scrub teak you get those ridges like you see in your pictures by removing all the soft wood.
Have owned a boat with teak decks for over 15 years and my decks are great.
The only thing that has touched then is saltwater and a mop......sometimes just a little light sanding across the grain.
Teak decks were met to be gray.
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Old 09-02-2015, 20:42   #6
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Re: What's Your Take On These Deck Pics?

They're definitely old, & have seen some treatment of which they weren't deserving. Including some of that oil spotting, which, if even possible, is a PITA to get out (and often thins things more).

Also, re-caulking's been mentioned, & there may or may not be sufficient wood thickness to pull this off one more time.
I say as much, as post caulking, you have to do at minimum, a moderate degree of sanding, in order to get the caulk & teak all smooth & fair. And if the current teak's too thin, then as you're doing this, screw bungs will begin coming out due to there being too little material left to hold them in place.... Which kind of ruins the point in trying to re-caulk one more time.

Without hands & eyes on things live, I hesitate to mention this. But a few bungs can be pulled in spots to see how much thickness of the decking remains (and bung thickness too). That, & or pull a few screws & bolts out of hardware which has obviously only been sanded around. And thus has enough wood depth left to tell the full story, plus allow for a bit of "tuning" if necessary when said fasteners are replaced.

If/when you pull some fasteners on hardware, as well as bungs, & fasteners underneath of the bungs, it'd be a good opportunity to check the type, & condition of the substrata. Especially with regard to moisture, & possible rot.
Between that info, & getting a fix on how thick the teak which is in place is, it'll give you a better idea of what options to consider pursuing from here.

Ah, & not to be a contrarian, but I've seen plenty of decks put in/on, as recently as within the last few years, with things other than epoxy. So such isn't a proof positive test of age.
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Old 09-02-2015, 20:57   #7
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Re: What's Your Take On These Deck Pics?

Julie,

There by the forestay, has that worn away a full 3/8"? If so, then that deck has had a lot of wear! Truly, if you like the looks of a fine guitar finish on decks, don't plan ever to walk on them! and protect them from the elements. Plus, if they have been coated (like varnish), then they're slippery like glass.

To me, not practical for cruising, especially in warm areas, where the timber can get so hot your feet can't stand it, plus the heat travels below. Which is why we have flat white non-skid on light greyish white deck paint.

There were many varnished teak decks at the wooden boat festival this past weekend, but not on any of the boats that were in regular use. Most of them are painted, and only have varnish on select bits. Many of the show boats were varnished, and beautiful works of art that looked as if they lived in an air conditioned museum.

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Old 09-02-2015, 21:11   #8
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Re: What's Your Take On These Deck Pics?

They have been scrubbed to stupid ruination! Why do boat zellots work their butts off when the stuff is meant to be left alone?

When teak is scrubbed with a brush, especially along the grain, it removes the softer grains and leaves the harder grains.

Now for the good news: there is plenty of teak left!

You can sand it down a bit, but only a bit, and take the hard ridges off, dont go down as far as the soft grains. Dont sand down till there is an even suface or even color. It will be striped till it all goes even silver gray again. The areas like the middle photo will always be like that unless replaced, a crazy expensive thing to do.

I don't know if you can shave the caulking thats raised, but I think you can. Someone here will tell you.
Then when its a bit flatter, recaulk the missing bits.

But check if its leaking first... If it is then all is lost, run away

Best way would be to find an expert to teach you. Boat that I did it on had a doctors plaster cutter with the blade broken to the exact width of the planks. It made easy work of replacing part planks.

[In a close look at the photos it looks like its a nice thick deck and been put on beautifully. It looks like it can be restored 'easily'. Its just the rubber caulking is raised because the idiots scrubbed away that much wood. One quick way of estimating the quality of the work is to have a look at the plugs over the screws. If they are alligned with the grain, and color matched, it means it was a good job. You wouldnt waste that by pulling it up. You need to remove a plug or two and see how deeply the screws are set. If they are at the surface you are in deep trouble.]
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Old 10-02-2015, 00:04   #9
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Re: What's Your Take On These Deck Pics?

What is the underlying deck, if it is solid glass you might not have leaks, also it may have been screwed an glued, on our Nauticat, teak was screwed and glued into solid glass and had no leaks, a lot of bungs were coming out but as glue was still holding up we just removed screws and cleaned hole with spade bit that also cleaned screw hole in glass, we then glued new bung in minus screw with a good dob of epoxy on it that filled old screw hole, a light sand with random orbital sander and it was good for quite a few more years, if caulking seam is getting shallow using a router and guide to deepen it slightly would probably be a good idea, as there appears to be plenty of thickness left with a bit of work it will last for a few more years.
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Old 10-02-2015, 01:19   #10
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Re: What's Your Take On These Deck Pics?

This looks very similar to the deck of my (recently sold) Cheoy Lee (1966) which had new decks expertly laid in NZ in 1985. 30 years later, after continuous exposure to tropical sun, the result is the same as here. It's not about scrubbing and chemical treatment, it's the natural erosion of the wood exposed to the elements.

The loss of thickness can be readily measured from the photo showing, I think, a chainplate base surround. Before selling my Cheoy Lee, I spent a lot of time re-routing the grooves and deck caulking. On reflection, it was largely a cosmetic exercise because I don't believe there are any teak decks on GRP hulls that are actually keeping out water. Those decks still held down by screws should still rely on sealant around the screw holes to prevent water ingress to the deck sandwich, NOT expecting the surface of the teak / caulking to be watertight.

As the teak wears down to the point when the caulking groove disappears and plugs pop out, you either replace the entire deck or, if you still prefer the look and feel of teak, just let it go gradually and mind out for splinters if you don't wear deck shoes..
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Old 10-02-2015, 10:36   #11
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Re: What's Your Take On These Deck Pics?

no one ever mentions Teak oil doesn't anyone use teak oil, to keep wood from drying out, or does it cause problems of another kind?
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Old 10-02-2015, 10:47   #12
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Re: What's Your Take On These Deck Pics?

From what I can tell they look pretty flat and no buckling. What's interesting to me is the caulking doesn't seem to be very deep... almost looks decorative only....? On the teak decks I've had the caulking went down between the planks nearly to the bottom. Based on minimal pics, that looks to be a fairly easy rebuild. (recaulking is never easy really)


I see no plugs that have come out,.... If they were that would indicate they are too thin and will need rescrewed and replugged..They are well worn but I've seen a lot worse... Rescrewing and plugging is possible. Had it done on my 47. It may have already been done if none are coming out as their is a lot of deck wear indicated near the chainplate. Any plugs coming out?

It definitely needs the caulk stripped out and recaulked. When it hardens you can belt sand it all down flush and looks like new decks. You need to prime the grooves so the caulk adheres.. maybe that wasn't done it looks like.
Of course you have no idea how the deck core (if any) is.


That was a $5000+ job 15 years ago to have done...
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Old 10-02-2015, 14:43   #13
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Re: What's Your Take On These Deck Pics?

[QUOTE=SkiprJohn;1745382]They have been let go to natural. There is some black polysulfide caulking in some seams and something else in the others. When teak is left natural it's grain is exaggerated and then where takes away the material a bit faster. If the teak decks in the photo do not leak then they are ok. It is a matter of time before they leak but eventually they will leak. It takes a lot of work to take out the screw plugs, remove the screws, rebed the teak and reinstall it. Most folks remove the teak and then glass over.
QUOTE]

John
I am curious as to why you say that this deck will eventually leak? If the deck is solid core and the screws do not go completely through the deck how could it leak?
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Old 10-02-2015, 14:49   #14
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Re: What's Your Take On These Deck Pics?

[QUOTE=Cheechako;1745739]From what I can tell they look pretty flat and no buckling. What's interesting to me is the caulking doesn't seem to be very deep... almost looks decorative only....? On the teak decks I've had the caulking went down between the planks nearly to the bottom. Based on minimal pics, that looks to be a fairly easy rebuild. (recaulking is never easy really)
QUOTE]

The teak decks on my Nauticat are like that. The teak is laid down in large pieces and the caulk is only about three quarters of the thickness of the teak. Yes, it is decorative but it is also very good non-skid.
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Old 10-02-2015, 14:53   #15
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Re: What's Your Take On These Deck Pics?

The pics were sent to my SO by a broker in the EU. He said the teak is 7mm to 9mm thick. That, and the pics, are all that I know about the deck. FWIW, I'm not interested in the boat but was curious if members here saw it similar to how I did - which was

I saw something once that may apply to fixing this deck. They took a router and created a deeper groove between the battens and so the caulk had something to adhere to. I suppose if there was enough wood and you know the deck isn't wet, this might work. The boat is a '96 HR 46. I think HR has cored decks but why screw the teak down? Oyster was vacuum bagging back then. You'd think HR would have been doing the same, considering all the problems screwed down decks have caused.
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