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Old 11-02-2014, 13:07   #1
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Age old question, Teak Maintenance

This (among others) seems to be the perpetual discussion among boat owners with boats that have traditional material. I have a 25 year old traditional cutter design custom build boat. The hull is West epoxy and fiberglass, the decks are 1.5" teak, the inside is all oak and teak. There are 3 hatches on the boat that are teak stripped and I have never found a suitable way to keep them clean and looking good with minimal maintenance. I have the boat out of the water for an extended TLC refit and though it was time to try and find a solution to the hatches so I conducted an experiment which involved taking 4 teak scraps and treating them and leaving them outside by the boat for 6 months.
The teak oil and the lemon oil developed unsightly mold within 8 weeks and it has remained and increased throughout the experimental period. The antique oil finish has less mold but the surface finish has started to break down and would require application every 2 months or so. To my surprise the best performer was Thompsons water seal with no mold developing and the only ill effect after 6 months is that the surface has dried and bleached a little.
The next step is to continue with the Thompsons, applying a re-coat each quarter and see how we go.
Any comments on alternate solutions would be most welcome.
The experiment was conducted on the Texas Gulf Coast near Galveston.
Image key, clockwise from top left Teak Oil, Antique oil finish, Lemon Oil, Thompsons Water Seal
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Old 12-02-2014, 01:08   #2
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Re: Age old question, Teak Maintenance

Hit an mis S2S 4 quater through 8/4 Teak is about $28-33..00 USD per board foot here in the NW. 1/4 to 1/2, S4S is about $22 to 26.00 USD per sq ft.

Skilled marine carpenters are $95.00 USD per hour.

A pro full time marine varnisher is $35 to 75.00 USD per hour.

If you can't do the varnish yourself, and won't pay a pro, then I suggest you lay a couple of coats of varnish, and then just paint it.

The only way oil and teak work is if you give it a once a week salt water wash down. And stay ahead on the oil.And don't mis a salt water wash down.

If you want a yacht finish, then be prepared to replace the teak at the above mentioned rates, about every 10 years.

A proper Varnish job can make the teak last 70 to 100++++ years, maybe more.

My boat has about 90% of her original Teak, and she's approaching 80 years young.

Lloyd


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Originally Posted by dark star View Post
This (among others) seems to be the perpetual discussion among boat owners with boats that have traditional material. I have a 25 year old traditional cutter design custom build boat. The hull is West epoxy and fiberglass, the decks are 1.5" teak, the inside is all oak and teak. There are 3 hatches on the boat that are teak stripped and I have never found a suitable way to keep them clean and looking good with minimal maintenance. I have the boat out of the water for an extended TLC refit and though it was time to try and find a solution to the hatches so I conducted an experiment which involved taking 4 teak scraps and treating them and leaving them outside by the boat for 6 months.
The teak oil and the lemon oil developed unsightly mold within 8 weeks and it has remained and increased throughout the experimental period. The antique oil finish has less mold but the surface finish has started to break down and would require application every 2 months or so. To my surprise the best performer was Thompsons water seal with no mold developing and the only ill effect after 6 months is that the surface has dried and bleached a little.
The next step is to continue with the Thompsons, applying a re-coat each quarter and see how we go.
Any comments on alternate solutions would be most welcome.
The experiment was conducted on the Texas Gulf Coast near Galveston.
Image key, clockwise from top left Teak Oil, Antique oil finish, Lemon Oil, Thompsons Water Seal
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Old 12-02-2014, 03:00   #3
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Re: Age old question, Teak Maintenance

I don't know if you can buy it in the States, but the product I swear by is Burgess Marine Woodsealer. It's a water-based stain which can be applied on either wet or dry wood and dries within half an hour to a clear, matt protective finish. Most importantly, it has excellent UV protection, which most ordinary woodsealers lack (not being intended for marine applications).

I've used it for years on my teak decks (which are now 26 years old and still going strong) and people often ask me if they are new(!). I find that one generous coat lasts a season in the Mediterranean and I then just clean the decks off and reapply at the start of the next season.

GORDON
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Old 12-02-2014, 03:36   #4
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Re: Age old question, Teak Maintenance

Are you saying that you want the teak to be a tan color or is it OK for it to turn grey ?
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Old 12-02-2014, 06:27   #5
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Re: Age old question, Teak Maintenance

I have certain areas on the boat where the teak is left to turn the natural grey but the hatch covers I would like to retain some colour. The main structure of the hatches is varnished with Awlspar and looks great with 6 monthly recoat in the Spring and Autumn. The Burgess product sounds interesting to compare with Thompsons which is a sealer used for house decks here in the US. I have had the boat for 20 years and am not looking for a wonder solution but a combination of systems that preserves the teak and provides a good looking boat, not necessarily a yacht finish.
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Old 14-02-2014, 01:44   #6
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Re: Age old question, Teak Maintenance

Gordon, this sounds interesting and I think I will give it a try. Burgess Marine Woodsealer does not seem to be distributed in France where I live, but I can buy it from UK webmerchants, (seemingly 60£/5 ltrs). My next question would be : what do you use for cleaning your teak deck prior to woodsealer application ? I have used a variety of products, including dishwasher liquid, diluted oxalic acid, or even Kärcher high pressure spray (don't shoot at me ! I won't do it again it digs into wood lines). Also 2 step cleaners like Teakwonder or similar (rather expensive stuff btw). Thanks, Pierre
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Old 03-03-2014, 21:40   #7
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Re: Age old question, Teak Maintenance

Try 100% pure tung oil diluted with 30 % mineral spirits. Apply evenly with cotton cloth. Let dry for 12 hours and then buff lightly to drop the raised fibers. Add another coating or two. Usually two coats are good for decks. For brightwork use 3 coats of above mixture and then add successive coats of pure tung for desired shiny or matt finish. DO NOT apply tung oil on bright sunny days...however the above mixture applied thinly is forgiving. When Tung is dry it is naturally resistant to UV. If you screw up in the bright sunlight the tung will polymerize and have a rough texture. No problem. Hand sand lightly to smooth out and then apply the tung oil again. Thin coats on cloudy days are best. Don't put on anything on teak that you have to sand off and apply oil before it needs it. Applying oil is easy...sanding is not. Always oil your teak in the spring for beauty and in the fall for protection. (Northern climes).
Teak oil aint teak oil... most popular U.S brands are 70 % kerosene and 30% linseed oil. That is why teak oil attracts dirt and goes black.

Regards...Ken
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:11   #8
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Re: Age old question, Teak Maintenance

Many thanks for your very detailed explanations Ken.
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