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Old 11-12-2011, 12:55   #1
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Why Teak ?

Hello-
Newbie to boating & forum, please excuse my ignorance!!

I've noticed that many/most ocean capable sailboats are made with teak, which I'm guessing is expensive. Why use teak versus another less expensive wood?

Can you purchase a newer boat that uses fiberglass or another man made product in place of wood (and does this make the boat cheaper to purchase)?

By doing this, do you put yourself into a category where you are buying low quality boats?

Thanks!
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:58   #2
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Re: Why Teak?

Are you talking about exterior and interior trim and woodwork? or the actual Hull of the boat?
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Old 11-12-2011, 13:01   #3
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Re: Why Teak?

There are two things you're getting into there. One is the materials in general, of which it normally comes down to wood, steel, aluminum, fiberglass, or even titanium in some rare cases.

Amongst each one of those material families, there are various grades that have better applications than others. When talking about wood, teak is a great material for many but not all applications. You won't see any teak masts, probably won't see any teak bowsprits, or other areas where weight is critical. For decking or other areas many of its properties are prized such as durability, resistance to rot, grip while wet, and appearance. You also won't see much if any teak in the hulls of wooden boats themselves.

It's not really fair to compare fiberglass to teak anymore than dacron to titanium. They are completely different materials with completely different applications.
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Old 11-12-2011, 13:10   #4
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Re: Why Teak?

I am not sure that I know of any boats actually made of teak as the hull material, but I stand to be corrected. Teak is usually used in interior carpentry and for decking over a deck core such as ply or synthetic material which could be steel or aluminium as well as glass fibre. Many of the older "Blue water" yachts are fibreglass hulls made to look like wood planking, but with teak decks. This may be what is confusing you.
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Old 11-12-2011, 13:11   #5
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Re: Why Teak?

I was refering to the trim, etc.,

I am trying to find out if there are quality sailboats made that utilize cheaper materials, or if you are forced to buy higher ended materials to get a quality sailboat.

Can you buy a sailboat who's price tag that has the same engineering and workmanship using cheaper materials as a more expensive one? (I guess like a Toyota Camry compared to a Lexus, where they are the same parent corporation, but one has a plastic dashboard, versus the other with a wood-grain dashboard, and vastly different in price).
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Old 11-12-2011, 13:14   #6
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Re: Why Teak?

Are you looking at new or second hand?
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When I was a boy my momma would send me down to the corner store with $1 and I would come back with 5 potatoes, 2 loaves of bread, 3 bottles of milk, a hunk of cheese, a box of tea and 6 eggs. Can't do that now, too many f**kn security cameras.
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Old 11-12-2011, 13:18   #7
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Re: Why Teak?

Boats built of teak planking over oak or other frames used to be fairly common. Some are still out there, as a teak planked hull tends to really last. It's a great planking material.
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Old 11-12-2011, 13:18   #8
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Re: Why Teak?

You'll never find a boat made entirely of teak, it would cost a FORTUNE!!

However, teak is still used for trim (handrailes, etc.) and for exterior deck flooring. This is never structural, the vessel with have either a conventional wood under (marine ply being the most common) or fiberglass / aluminium / steel, etc.

There are a few reasons it's used, the main ones being,

A wooden deck covering is safer, offering a nonslip surface.
It's more resiliant to knocks and bangs, GRP can crack and the paint on a steel deck can chip, allowing rust to take hold.
Teak, as opposed to another wood like pine, is extremely good in a harsh environment and actualy benifits from having salt water on it. Most decent wooden garden furniture is made from teak for example.
Finaly, it looks GREAT!

It does have it's downsides though,

You'll need to be carefull to keep it clean, although overall, its surprisingly easy to maintain.
It's not great in really hot climates, teak can hold heat very well and in summer certainly, its impossible to walk on in bare feet!
Cost, repairs and esspecialy replacement, can be VERY expensive. On an older vessel, you can be talking half or more the boats overall value to replace!
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Old 11-12-2011, 13:21   #9
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Re: Why Teak?

Here you see Cheoy Lee used to build boats in teak-lots of em.


Vertue


There are many other examples, even in production boats like these.
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Old 11-12-2011, 13:23   #10
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Re: Why Teak?

New or next to new.
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Old 11-12-2011, 13:26   #11
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Re: Why Teak?

From classics like this-

1952 Laurent Giles yawl Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com


To little teeny boats like this-


1945 A. King Classic Teak Sloop Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

They come in all sizes. If you really look you can even find some that were actually built in the last twenty years or so.
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Old 11-12-2011, 13:32   #12
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Re: Why Teak?

On some new yachts Teak decking is offered as an option with considerable additional cost. This is cosmetic and is not part of the structure/strength. Have a look a Passport who offer it as an option however the carpentry inside is usually teak. Valiant do not mention teak as an option and their interior is Cherry with teak floor and grates. By visiting the websites of the yachts that interest you you will see what options they offer.
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Old 11-12-2011, 13:33   #13
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Re: Why Teak?

why teak?? because teak doesnt rot in salt water as do other woods. is strong and is easily cleaned with sea water and oily.
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Old 11-12-2011, 13:43   #14
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Re: Why Teak?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
There are two things you're getting into there. One is the materials in general, of which it normally comes down to wood, steel, aluminum, fiberglass, or even titanium in some rare cases.

Amongst each one of those material families, there are various grades that have better applications than others. When talking about wood, teak is a great material for many but not all applications. You won't see any teak masts, probably won't see any teak bowsprits, or other areas where weight is critical. For decking or other areas many of its properties are prized such as durability, resistance to rot, grip while wet, and appearance. You also won't see much if any teak in the hulls of wooden boats themselves.

It's not really fair to compare fiberglass to teak anymore than dacron to titanium. They are completely different materials with completely different applications.
All remarks about teak as being not used for hull material are utterly wrong.
Teak is the ultimate hull material speaking of the use of wood.
The technical properties are excellent, durability/longevity excellent too and the only problem is the availability of grade #1 quality.
There are yachts of many decades built of teak still existing in good to very good shape. See "Tai-Mo-Shan".
The built of masts, bowsprits, booms etc. has nothing to do with weight but with flexibility. A good replacement for teak is Iroko.
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Old 11-12-2011, 13:50   #15
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Re: Why Teak?

Quote:
Originally Posted by semperdog View Post
I was refering to the trim, etc.,

I am trying to find out if there are quality sailboats made that utilize cheaper materials, or if you are forced to buy higher ended materials to get a quality sailboat.

Can you buy a sailboat who's price tag that has the same engineering and workmanship using cheaper materials as a more expensive one? (I guess like a Toyota Camry compared to a Lexus, where they are the same parent corporation, but one has a plastic dashboard, versus the other with a wood-grain dashboard, and vastly different in price).
I think you'll find that even some of the most expensive boats use a crapload of fiberglass these days. It's an older style to use a lot of teak and woodwork... newer boats (more expensive) trend in the direction of weight savings, cost savings, and ease of maintenance, which all ads up to plastic

That said, most boats that have quality wood work will be using teak or similar hardwoods. I don't think the price of a boat (or the perceived 'value') is affected much by which types of wood is used. UNLESS it's fake veneers and plywoods instead of solid hardwoods.
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