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Old 08-12-2012, 07:52   #1
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To Teak or Not to Teak

That is the question for this rainy Saturday. So help us please! My wife and I are planning to buy a new sailboat this spring and as we debate choices and options we are stuck on one in particular.

Teak decks or Non - Skid?

We each have been in search for supporting evidence but to date we are split. Still no compelling evidence so the jury is hung!
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:06   #2
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Re: To Teak or Not to Teak

You say "new". If that is the case I think I would go without. We have teak decks on our boat, circa 1985, and resealing them is a kneebreaker! A well known yacht broker told us the best thing we could do to increase the re-sale value of our boat would be to take the teak decks off and resurface. We don't intend to do that any time soon as there has been no damage to the decks from leaks but the OLD Wauquiez built boats were built with glued decks, then screwed down with Dolphinite sealed holes and with the core divided into smaller sections so if there was a leak it wouldn't spread.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:09   #3
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Re: To Teak or Not to Teak

unless you want the weight, heat, labor, and expensive the answer is easy:

not to teak!
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:13   #4
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Thumbs up Re: To Teak or Not to Teak

Score 2 for me and none for the other!!!!! HA, thanks
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:14   #5
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Re: To Teak or Not to Teak

I was in the "no teak, not ever" boat , but then we found Pachina Mia, a wonderful Rafiki-37. She has lovely teak decks that are in very good, but not perfect, condition. That means I have added maintenance issues, and more importantly, I have a real concern for future deck deterioration. But guess what? Anyone with a cored-deck (which includes most fibreglass boats) faces this problem. With a screwed-in teak deck, my challenges are greater, but that's all ... just greater.

At this point, I love my deck! It's warm and soft on the feet. It adds structural strength to the boat, and its non-skid never lets me down. It is lovely to look at, easy to maintain, and ensures I never have to worry about having nothing to do. If I've run out of varnishing all the rest of the teak on this boat, there is always some re-caulking to do .
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:30   #6
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Re: To Teak or Not to Teak

Quote:
Originally Posted by KDH View Post
A well known yacht broker told us the best thing we could do to increase the re-sale value of our boat would be to take the teak decks off and resurface.
Opinions are one of the many things we all have. There are new ways of installation that minimise the old problems. Teak is gorgeous and great non-skid.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:32   #7
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Re: To Teak or Not to Teak

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
I was in the "no teak, not ever" boat , but then we found Pachina Mia, a wonderful Rafiki-37. She has lovely teak decks that are in very good, but not perfect, condition. That means I have added maintenance issues, and more importantly, I have a real concern for future deck deterioration. But guess what? Anyone with a cored-deck (which includes most fibreglass boats) faces this problem. With a screwed-in teak deck, my challenges are greater, but that's all ... just greater.

At this point, I love my deck! It's warm and soft on the feet. It adds structural strength to the boat, and its non-skid never lets me down. It is lovely to look at, easy to maintain, and ensures I never have to worry about having nothing to do. If I've run out of varnishing all the rest of the teak on this boat, there is always some re-caulking to do .
OK, for those keeping score at home this one won't be scored. Mike makes some great points that support both positions...

too hot (warm in Thunder Bay = scorching in Tortola) and too much maintenance...

vs

soft under feet and looks great..

Any guesses as to which gender in our household is on which side of this argument?
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:50   #8
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Re: To Teak or Not to Teak

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OK, for those keeping score at home this one won't be scored. Mike makes some great points that support both positions...
Fair enough NC . I tend to see the world in shades of gray. There is rarely one right answer for everyone, especially when it comes to the world of cruising.

But to be serious, my actual vote is that teak deck should not be the deciding factor when considering a boat. There are a lot more important issues to consider. A teak deck is one of many considerations, and certainly not the most important.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:51   #9
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Re: To Teak or Not to Teak

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Originally Posted by Blue Crab View Post
Opinions are one of the many things we all have. There are new ways of installation that minimise the old problems. Teak is gorgeous and great non-skid.

My boat utilized such methods, no leaks or problems whatsoever. I am still pulling all that teak and replacing it though. Much too hot on the feet, not good enough non skid, and it makes it impossible to keep the boat really clean. Poly sulfide wears off and leaves black rubbery dirt on the decks. I think two tone skid looks better too. As you say, we all have one...
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:51   #10
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No teak decks. Traditionally teak was used because it is rot resistant. And boats were wood. Also if not maintained it is a great non skid. Then there is the black stuff. This has a life expectancy of maybe 20 years.imagine re blacking all that seem. A seem that is only cosmetic. Now boats are not wood. We have other materials that work quite well. Like cars that had wood paneling. They once were made of wood. Who wants wood paneling on their car? It is not more comfortable. Hours of cleaning and adding crap to keep it slippery and the add of more issues does not add to comfort. How many hours are walking the deck. And how many hours are you going to maintain the deck. The equation suggests you will spend more hours scrubbing then walking.unless it gives you comfort to maintain slippery teak decks. Best
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:09   #11
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Re: To Teak or Not to Teak

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Fair enough NC . I tend to see the world in shades of gray. There is rarely one right answer for everyone, especially when it comes to the world of cruising.

But to be serious, my actual vote is that teak deck should not be the deciding factor when considering a boat. There are a lot more important issues to consider. A teak deck is one of many considerations, and certainly not the most important.
Well put Mike, luckily we have agreed on the big stuff. This is the last of the options that we yet to decide on. Trying to decide if the cost of the option is worth when we order the boat.
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:25   #12
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Re: To Teak or Not to Teak

I was firmly in the No Teak, No way camp for several years, so with our first significant boat we went non-skid... a ridiculous description of the deck. We slid all over the place when it was wet and even scraped up our knees and feet at times on the textured surface of the Hunter.

On our present boat, I was open to the option of a glued down teak deck, but still preferred buying a boat with non-skid. Now that we have a teak deck, and although it's in need of re-caulking and some minor repair... I'd never go back to non-skid. Teak is so much nicer as a non-skid surface, easier to repair and easier on the feet. Don't listen to all the nay-sayers unless they've had both types of deck and can make an educated comparison, I was one of them. Another thought: We probably saved over $100K dollars off the purchase price of the boat because most buyers couldn't see through the dirty, somewhat worn deck and thus passed on looking closely at the boat while it was for sale. If the deck had been in great shape, it would have actually added value to the boat; so it's important to have the deck looking good if and when the boat is put up for sale.

Presently, I have about three weeks of semi-skilled work ahead of me to repair the teak deck myself, and then I'll have a beautiful non-skid surface which shouldn't need fixing for another ten years. But do take into consideration the location of where your yacht will be used prior to making a final decision on the type of deck. I've heard that going with a white or what we prefer, off-white eg. the Island Packet yachts, deck if you plan to spend nearly all your time in the tropics. The teak deck will wear much more quickly in the more intense year round heat. But if money is not an issue, definitely go with teak... and promise not to scrub it in the direction of the grain, which will wear it out much more quickly. Teak is also much easier on the eyes, since we don't get the bright white glare off it in the sunshine.

Additional note: A teak deck retains it's non-skid properties when wet, whereas a non-skid deck is slippery when wet.

This advice, coming from a convert.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:21   #13
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Re: To Teak or Not to Teak

Having once had a teak deck, we loved the look and feel of the stuff under foot but the maintenance and upkeep were problematic, at best, and unless the decking is glued, you will (not might) eventually have leaks. And, the cost is off the charts. We recently had a quote for replacing the decking in our cockpit alone that came in at over $4,000 US. Accordingly, we are now looking looking at a product know as Nu-Teak that has a good reputation and is being offered on many of the newer yachts now going into service and is, evidently, quite affordable (in relative terms).

FWIW...
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:24   #14
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Re: To Teak or Not to Teak

When I outlined to my plans to massively modify and refit my fathers old boat (Panope), Dad's one and only suggestion to the design of the project was to remove ALL wood from the exterior of the boat.

I am down to 2 pieces of wood: The wedge under the furnace smoke stack and the hatch on the fore deck. They will be soon be replaced with metal and plastic.

Make no mistake, we love wood and working with wood. It is just that the boat has been with us for 35 years and I would like it to stay another 40 years or so. My fear is that I will grow weary of boat maintenance like my father did.

Steve
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:38   #15
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Re: To Teak or Not to Teak

Had two boats with teak decks and three without.

Pro

- It's beautiful (if maintained)
- The best non-skid of anything I've ever experienced
- Comfortable to walk on if they aren't hot.

Con

- Maintenance intensive
- Hot in the tropics, as in so hot it will scorch a very tough, calloused bare foot.
- Periodically requires a major overhaul: re-seaming (huge pain), screws and maybe new bungs if it's a screwed deck.
- If you oil the decks you have to clean them fairly often. If you let them go silver you should douse it with clean ocean water daily or as often as possible.
- Replacing some of the planks will be very expensive and hard to match the old teak
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