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Old 17-11-2014, 06:38   #1
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Am I Crazy?

Teak Decks -

I've read countless pieces of advice, most from sailors who have forgotten more than I'll ever know about boats, that tell you to run away from any boat with teak decks, especially if they are screwed down. And I have. Until now.

We've just now reached the point where my SO is seriously considering living on a boat while still working. That means the equity in the house can go towards a boat instead of another house. Last weekend we began looking for a live aboard that makes us both happy.

Saturday we saw an Oyster 485. And it has a teak deck. On the plus side, if there is one: it's glued down and there is no sign of water intrusion below. But it's long past wondering if the deck needs replacing. The broker suggested synthetic teak and felt that would increase the value of the boat. From what I've read about synthetics, it seems they haven't created anything that comes close to real teak yet.

So that means replace the teak deck - probably about $60K. Or find a yard that will do a decent job of installing a fiberglass non-skid deck. I have no idea what that might cost.

Has anyone removed a teak deck and replaced it with non-skid? What do they do about making up the thickness of the now absent teak? How does that compare with the cost of replacing an existing teak deck with a new one?

Or should I just run away?
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Old 17-11-2014, 06:51   #2
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Re: Am I Crazy?

If they're glued and not screwed, and not lifting anywhere, you're fine. Dont' worry about it.
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Old 17-11-2014, 07:04   #3
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Re: Am I Crazy?

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Originally Posted by SVNeko View Post
If they're glued and not screwed, and not lifting anywhere, you're fine. Dont' worry about it.
WE have this line from the OP

But it's long past wondering if the deck needs replacing.

Suggesting leaving it in place isn't an option...

Julie ... What's the scoop???
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Old 17-11-2014, 07:12   #4
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Re: Am I Crazy?

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Originally Posted by HappyMdRSailor View Post
WE have this line from the OP

But it's long past wondering if the deck needs replacing.

Suggesting leaving it in place isn't an option...

Julie ... What's the scoop???
Yes. More info. What is it about the deck that says it absolutely needs replacing? If glued and not screwed then are the ends pulling up? How thick is the teak? Maybe some pictures?
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Old 17-11-2014, 07:30   #5
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Re: Am I Crazy?

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Originally Posted by Julie Mor View Post

Has anyone removed a teak deck and replaced it with non-skid? What do they do about making up the thickness of the now absent teak? How does that compare with the cost of replacing an existing teak deck with a new one?

Or should I just run away?
Putting $60k into an older boat would be way beyond my comprehension.

Here is an old thread on a teak deck replacement with anti-skid. The good news is that you are glued not screwed and it should be pretty straightforward.

Teak Deck Removal Project

There are a couple of other threads around on this I am sure but my brain cells are fading with old age...

OTOH - Unless I was a fanatic over the boat I would run away. Big jobs like this scare the pants offa me. If you put teak on for $60k I doubt the boat would be worth anywhere near $60k more. If you replace with anti-skid it may be a reasonable cost benefit depending on the labor costs.
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Old 17-11-2014, 07:46   #6
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Re: Am I Crazy?

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
Putting $60k into an older boat would be way beyond my comprehension.

Here is an old thread on a teak deck replacement with anti-skid. The good news is that you are glued not screwed and it should be pretty straightforward.

Teak Deck Removal Project

There are a couple of other threads around on this I am sure but my brain cells are fading with old age...

OTOH - Unless I was a fanatic over the boat I would run away. Big jobs like this scare the pants offa me. If you put teak on for $60k I doubt the boat would be worth anywhere near $60k more. If you replace with anti-skid it may be a reasonable cost benefit depending on the labor costs.
I might say this on a lesser boat but you are talking about an Oyster 48 here. Probably selling in the low/mid six figures. If you're spending $400K for a boat another $60 to get new teak decks isn't so much.

I do agree about the synthetic teak. Have looked at a few samples and checked out the displays at boat shows. So far everything I've seen looked like plastic wood unless you were at least 30-40' away.
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Old 17-11-2014, 08:37   #7
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Re: Am I Crazy?

I didn't take any pictures. And the pics online don't show the bad stuff. Some of the "planks" are gone. Some have lifted. At the deck fittings, you can see roughly 1/4" difference between the height of the wood under the fitting and the height of the wood around the fitting. The broker said the owner sanded the decks "when needed".

Yesterday we looked at a 2002 Sabre 452 that looked like it just came off the production line. It was almost as nice as the 2013 Sabre 456 we saw at the Annapolis Boat Show. Pretty much flawless. The 452 was in Washington state until recently when the owner shipped it to south Florida. My SO fell in love with it. As weird as this may seem, it was too perfect for me.

I can't help thinking that for the price of that boat, we could buy the Oyster and probably replace the deck and repaint the hull and still have some change left over. The Oyster is six years older but after replacing the deck and painting the hull, she'd be near perfect and a better liveaboard and long term cruiser. Though my SO complained about the headroom.

I'm a woodworker because I love the look of real wood and get great pleasure creating things out of wood. Part of me thinks if I can build guitars from scratch I should be able to do teak decks. But I have to admit, outside of making the planks, I really don't know what else is involved or if it's at all a reasonable project for one person to tackle and on such a big boat.

I'm thinking we'll be in Florida for at least a couple of years before we do any serious cruising. Even if the deck project took me a year, I'd be fine with that. I just don't know if the work can be done in small sections. Anyway, that's where I was originally going when I saw the boat. After some thought, my biggest concern was all the other things involved after I made the deck planks. I'd want it to look factory installed.

But if we decided to replace the teak with non-skid, I'd hire someone to do it. I'd just hate to lose that beauty.

skipmac, you're pretty much of the same mindset I am. And the more I think about it, the more I think synthetic teak would devalue the boat.

The broker said patch the bad spots but I can't see that working. You'd have to lay in planks half the original thickness.
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Old 17-11-2014, 08:53   #8
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Re: Am I Crazy?

Planks gone? As in nothing there but deck? If the rest of the deck is comparable and very thin then it's time to do something.

I've had teak decks and love'em hate'em. They are by far the best non skid and the look is beautiful. Other than the cost and maintenance they have one big negative. In the tropics they are HOT!!!. Sunny day in August you will scorch your feet. Almost like walking across an asphalt street.
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Old 17-11-2014, 09:42   #9
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Re: Am I Crazy?

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Planks gone? As in nothing there but deck? If the rest of the deck is comparable and very thin then it's time to do something.

I've had teak decks and love'em hate'em. They are by far the best non skid and the look is beautiful. Other than the cost and maintenance they have one big negative. In the tropics they are HOT!!!. Sunny day in August you will scorch your feet. Almost like walking across an asphalt street.
When I said planks were gone, what I saw was what looked like a veneer was all that was left. I didn't explore it further because I was afraid the owner would come running out of his house screaming at me.

The broker said Oyster used a laminate product instead of solid wood. I was thinking what I saw was what was what was left of solid wood, still adhering to the adhesive. But yes, anyone looking at it would see a noticeable depression in certain areas and probably describe it as the plank was gone.

I have heard about the hot foot issue but haven't personally experienced it. Is this only a problem after the teak greys?
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Old 17-11-2014, 10:43   #10
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Re: Am I Crazy?

Julie,

I love working with wood as well, and have made a good bit of furniture in the house, and done a lot of wood work on boats over the years. But the idea of making teak decks boggles my mind. Besides the cost, there is currently a real problem even buying that much teak. The worlds supply has been cut in half in the last 8 months which, even ignoring price, has made sourcing high quality boards difficult.

Even once it's down there are thermal issues. In New England it probably helps keep things warm, but as you head south the wood adds to heat load during the day, and insulates the boat at night. Meaning more and larger air conditioners to make the boat livable. Plus the pain when walking on them. Not to mention the amount of labor needed to keep them varnished and in good condition. For a large boat with teak decks it is almost a continuious process to keep them in good repair.


At the end of the day it comes down to a utilitarian versus aesthetic choice. If you really love them, and can afford them go for it. But be aware of the work involved even after paying up front for them. Years ago I worked at a boat yard while going to college, and we had one boat that came in every six months to get the decks re varnished. The yard bill for that boat was right at $5,000 a year just in the decks. Of course if you do it yourself you can avoid the bill, but it's still about 250 hours a year of varnish work.
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Old 17-11-2014, 11:28   #11
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Re: Am I Crazy?

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Julie,

I love working with wood as well, and have made a good bit of furniture in the house, and done a lot of wood work on boats over the years. But the idea of making teak decks boggles my mind. Besides the cost, there is currently a real problem even buying that much teak. The worlds supply has been cut in half in the last 8 months which, even ignoring price, has made sourcing high quality boards difficult.

Even once it's down there are thermal issues. In New England it probably helps keep things warm, but as you head south the wood adds to heat load during the day, and insulates the boat at night. Meaning more and larger air conditioners to make the boat livable. Plus the pain when walking on them. Not to mention the amount of labor needed to keep them varnished and in good condition. For a large boat with teak decks it is almost a continuious process to keep them in good repair.


At the end of the day it comes down to a utilitarian versus aesthetic choice. If you really love them, and can afford them go for it. But be aware of the work involved even after paying up front for them. Years ago I worked at a boat yard while going to college, and we had one boat that came in every six months to get the decks re varnished. The yard bill for that boat was right at $5,000 a year just in the decks. Of course if you do it yourself you can avoid the bill, but it's still about 250 hours a year of varnish work.
Varnishing a teak deck?????
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Old 17-11-2014, 11:47   #12
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Re: Am I Crazy?

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Besides the cost, there is currently a real problem even buying that much teak. The worlds supply has been cut in half in the last 8 months which, even ignoring price, has made sourcing high quality boards difficult.
I probably visit the hardwood store near me about once a month, to replenish my stock. Years ago, I remember seeing a nice selection of teak. Today it's a fraction of what it was and crazy expensive. I've seen the same thing with Honduras mahogany, though not as pricey as teak.

When I imagined milling the wood, I pictured myself standing in front of the paltry selection of teak I saw last time I was at the hardwood store. There might have been enough to cover a small part of the bow. It makes me wonder where these shops that specialize in installing new teak decks get their stock from.

This reality alone is a big part of why I asked myself if I was crazy even considering doing the project myself. And then there's all the other reasons to run away. But wood on a boat is like the Sirens, calling out and luring you in and then driving you to madness!
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Old 17-11-2014, 14:49   #13
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Re: Am I Crazy?

Just because it says Oyster on the side it doesnt mean its that much a vastly better boat than others. Especially the age it is.

My feelings have always been that buying a noat that needs a significant amount of work is nutso.

You miggt do better with amuch more modern boat, no wood on deck, no real work to be done.
It will save you money and it will save you heartache and anguish.
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Old 17-11-2014, 16:13   #14
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Re: Am I Crazy?

Instead of teak-greenheart.almost as good, much less


Sent from an undisclosed location on the high seas or from the lounge chair by the pool, you decide.
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Old 17-11-2014, 16:38   #15
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Re: Am I Crazy?

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Just because it says Oyster on the side it doesnt mean its that much a vastly better boat than others. Especially the age it is.

My feelings have always been that buying a noat that needs a significant amount of work is nutso.

You miggt do better with amuch more modern boat, no wood on deck, no real work to be done.
It will save you money and it will save you heartache and anguish.
Mark, you are talking too much common sense! You need to stop that.

I had never been on an Oyster before last Saturday. Truth is I gave up on the "cruise into the sunset" dream when my SO couldn't commit to it. So when my SO says we're going to see the 485, I just went along for the ride. I never expected to fall in love.

My dad had a Columbia 45 and we put her though the paces. I'm estimating with me at the helm, I did about 8,000 miles on her and knew her like my own child. The 485 reminded me a lot of the C45. I felt at home, but in nicer diggs.

I once claimed any boat I purchase will not be an emotional purchase. HA! Shows how much I knew back then.

If the broker was smart, she'd break out a bottle of Meyer's rum and float it on top of a few rum runners at a bar on the water when the sun is beating down on us. I'd be signing furiously on the dotted line!
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