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Old 15-12-2012, 12:12   #1
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Thoughts on Deck Strategy

Here's my dilemma: My 23-year-old, 44-foot ketch has what was no doubt once-lovely teak planking extending from the center cockpit to a few feet short of the bow with bare deck extending back to the cockpit on either side. From the cockpit to the stern, the deck is fully swathed in the same planking, including the raised platform topping the aft cabin. Trouble is, the previous owner did a piss-poor job of taking care of this wood -- it needs to be entirely refinished with a lot of re-caulking. In a perfect world, I'd rather not have to deal with this much teak on a long-term basis; frankly, I'd prefer it if most of it was just gone ... replaced by nice, low-maintenance painted deck apart from the cockpit trim and seating. (Oh, and the PO also decided it'd be cool to cut through the teak above the aft head and seal it with a thick piece of tinted acrylic. It looks atrocious and needs to go away.)

Anyway, when I broached the notion of ultimately sanding, caulking and painting over this planking with one of my neighbors, he sort of looked at me like I'd just told him I was thinking of dating a cousin. He said, yeah, I could do it that way but I'd be pissing off the next owner if I told him I'd painted over teak. That said, apart from what I assume is a potential resale issue, is there anything functionally unsound about this strategy or is my neighbor's reaction -- and unlike me he's a long-term boat-owner and sailor -- just based on what he views as a waste of good material?

If this is a stupid question, go ahead and pile on. I'm here to learn. Cheers!
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Old 15-12-2012, 12:23   #2
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Sounds like getting a haircut with a lawnmower.
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Old 15-12-2012, 12:42   #3
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Re: Thoughts on deck strategy

As a guy with teak (over plywood) decks, here's my three pieces of advice.

1) Lots of people have opinions, but you're the only one who has to live with it and do the work. Unless they will have a reefing tool in hand with you and be taping everywhere, they are just some dude with an opinion. It's easy to say "you should do x,y, and z" when they don't have to lift a finger themselves, or they paid ten grand for someone else to do it for them.

2) Painting (or cetoling, or a bunch of other coats) are not the end of the world. My previous owner cetol'd my decks because (I assume) he was too lazy to really fix the leaks and wanted to do a quick fix. A heatgun, sander, and a week's worth of work brought them back to normal.

3) If you care about doing the job well, you wouldn't paint (or coat) teak decks until you had thoroughly prepped the surface. No leaks, solid caulking, etc. And of course by the time you do that, there's no reason to paint them anymore.

I know they're a lot of work, but I dig teak decks and some part of me that is a glutton for punishment finds the work cathartic. If you sand, don't use a belt sander.
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Old 15-12-2012, 13:06   #4
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Re: Thoughts on deck strategy

As a boat owner I face a similar situation. The deck on my 30 years old Grand Soleil was beautiful hen she was launched, but today it is worn out, in many areas I can see the fiberglass deck exposed under the teak cover.
My mind is already set on removing the old teak and resurface the deck with "normal" non skid coating. It is much cheaper to do (most of it I'll do mysel) it will give same or better foot grip. It will lighten the boat. If done right it will be maintenance free.
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Old 15-12-2012, 13:08   #5
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Re: Thoughts on deck strategy

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Originally Posted by levm View Post
As a boat owner I face a similar situation. The deck on my 30 years old Grand Soleil was beautiful hen she was launched, but today it is worn out, in many areas I can see the fiberglass deck exposed under the teak cover.
My mind is already set on removing the old teak and resurface the deck with "normal" non skid coating. It is much cheaper to do (most of it I'll do mysel) it will give same or better foot grip. It will lighten the boat. If done right it will be maintenance free.
I've got a great friend with a wooden boat who yanked his teak decks and put down cloth and epoxy. Worked great for him. If the wood is shot and it's not just a caulking / screws issue, replacing is hardly practical unless you really want to spend that much.
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Old 15-12-2012, 13:30   #6
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Re: Thoughts on deck strategy

What Rebel said +1

Either re-caulk and repair the teak (big big job) or rip it off and replace with glass etc (also big big job).

The first will give you a functional teak deck which will need re-doing some time in the not so distant future while the second will give you a fibreglass deck which will be pretty much maintenance free.

Please don't try to repair / paint over the existing deck, it will remain a problem deck.
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Old 15-12-2012, 14:14   #7
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Re: Thoughts on deck strategy

When I was looking at an older Halberg Rassy for a upcoming long trip, the few that had stripped off teak, and reepoxied decks, were significantly preferrable to those with 10 year old teak, and only on par with those with new-ish teak.

Epoxy decks require much less maintenance, have much fewer leak issues, don't require replacement every 10 years, and are cooler in the midday sun.

Teak, on the other hand, is pretty if fastidiously maintained.
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Old 15-12-2012, 14:25   #8
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Re: Thoughts on deck strategy

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Originally Posted by jannw View Post
............

Teak, on the other hand, is pretty if fastidiously maintained.
And very non-skid!
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Old 15-12-2012, 14:29   #9
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Re: Thoughts on deck strategy

Good advice above. I like especially "fix it if it is servicable"

If you do decide to abandon the teak, you really must remove the old. You only beg trouble if you cover over or paint the teak. I didn't gather what is below the teak. FRP? Teak is usually screwed to the deck with thousands of flat head screws. THey may be bronze of SS but you need to remove the teak and all of the screws. You then fill and fair all of the holes. The next step is OFTEN OVERLOOKED but I highly recommend it. Sand the deck fair and lay down a single layer of epoxy & glass. This will prevent tiny cracks at many of those filled screw holes from eventually failing and letting water into your deck. Happened on ours by the PO. We fight it now constantly. There are many places to go for 'how to' new paint and non-skid. The best I have seen is in PRACTICAL SAILOR. (Jan 2012)
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Old 15-12-2012, 14:32   #10
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Re: Thoughts on deck strategy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
Good advice above. I like especially "fix it if it is servicable"

If you do decide to abandon the teak, you really must remove the old. You only beg trouble if you cover over or paint the teak. I didn't gather what is below the teak. FRP? Teak is usually screwed to the deck with thousands of flat head screws. THey may be bronze of SS but you need to remove the teak and all of the screws. You then fill and fair all of the holes. The next step is OFTEN OVERLOOKED but I highly recommend it. Sand the deck fair and lay down a single layer of epoxy & glass. This will prevent tiny cracks at many of those filled screw holes from eventually failing and letting water into your deck. Happened on ours by the PO. We fight it now constantly. There are many places to go for 'how to' new paint and non-skid. The best I have seen is in PRACTICAL SAILOR. (Jan 2012)
Exactly
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Old 15-12-2012, 15:47   #11
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Re: Thoughts on deck strategy

Either tear the teak off, fill the holes and paint with non skid additive or rout out the old caulk, recaulk and continue with it Au Naturel. Painting a teak deck will look like crap and just add another maintenance headache. Nicholson 58's advice should be followed if you are going to tear up the teak.
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Old 15-12-2012, 16:14   #12
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Re: Thoughts on deck strategy

Been there done that ! and not only decks, but the house too! Imho (and a little bias towards teak) grab the reefing hook and go for it, they actually make a smart tool to help Fein MultiMaster Teak Blades for Boat Deck Repair
After all your hard work, daily washdowns in the tropics with saltwater and you have the best non-skid
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Old 15-12-2012, 17:39   #13
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Re: Thoughts on deck strategy

I have seen a teak deck that has been glassed over - just some glass and epoxy (or polyester) (no paint). It looked very bad.

I would rather remove the wood, fill the voids and paint the deck over with some form of a non-slip paint.

Or else fix the caulking, sand, etc..

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Old 15-12-2012, 19:00   #14
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Re: Thoughts on deck strategy

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
As a guy with teak (over plywood) decks, here's my three pieces of advice.

1) Lots of people have opinions, but you're the only one who has to live with it and do the work. Unless they will have a reefing tool in hand with you and be taping everywhere, they are just some dude with an opinion. It's easy to say "you should do x,y, and z" when they don't have to lift a finger themselves, or they paid ten grand for someone else to do it for them.

2) Painting (or cetoling, or a bunch of other coats) are not the end of the world. My previous owner cetol'd my decks because (I assume) he was too lazy to really fix the leaks and wanted to do a quick fix. A heatgun, sander, and a week's worth of work brought them back to normal.

3) If you care about doing the job well, you wouldn't paint (or coat) teak decks until you had thoroughly prepped the surface. No leaks, solid caulking, etc. And of course by the time you do that, there's no reason to paint them anymore.

I know they're a lot of work, but I dig teak decks and some part of me that is a glutton for punishment finds the work cathartic. If you sand, don't use a belt sander.
+ 1
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Old 15-12-2012, 19:12   #15
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Re: Thoughts on deck strategy

Welcome to CF.... Pictures would be helpful but in general I agree with Barnakel.
If I were you I would get rid of the old teak and its probable adhesion/waterproof problems and put down a low maintenance solution.

This may not work for you as I have steel decks but when I bought SG she had deck adhesion problems. So I stripped down to bare steel and used this Rubber Compound
Marine Deck Covering, Waterproof Boat Deck Coating & Repair System

Application steps
  1. Get down to bare deck,
  2. Spot Prime and fair any deformities using product guidelines
  3. Prime whole deck in sections and liberally sprinkle on supplied Rubber Chips as non-skid on wet primer, (smoothing and pressing down as you go along).
  4. Next day, sweep/vacuum off any/all loose chips and then topcoat with finished topcoat they supplied over bonded rubber chips.
I found after a couple of months, the White Sanitread Topcoat began to stain, so I repainted with a good quality Elastomeric white paint and 5 years later, it still looks great and is easy to clean.

This rubber compound is cool on the feet in the Tropics and easy on the knees.
It is a big job, but fun if you have some nimble help!
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