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Old 19-02-2010, 18:06   #1
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Alternatives to Using Teak

I an starting the process of refinishing my sailboat. The PO did not maintain the woodwork on the deck very well and most of it is in need of replacement.

I would like to use teak, but it is kinda hard to source around me and the cost is huge.

What other alternatives are people using? I need something that will deal with the elements well but not break the bank.
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Old 19-02-2010, 18:54   #2
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google 'teak deck alternative' - you will get many teak-alike things and some may suit you, most of them are rubbery lookalikes and I like them

a GRP deck is not bad though, maybe you can convert,

b.
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Old 19-02-2010, 18:55   #3
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The price of teak is ridiculous these days,it is however really nice to work with, i have made some 4 loop handrails out of IPE and also a laid cockpit sole,the results were great and i expect them to outlast the teak,the sole will be left bare ,the handrails are varnished and are gorgeous,the wood was very difficult to work,like sanding a piece of rock,i will probably use it again on my own projects only.IPE is a south american jungle wood that is used for outdoor project that you want to last forever, we have a boardwalk along the lakefront that is several miles long and sees a lot of foot traffic I have seen a similar wood sold as Brasilian teak at the local Menards (like Lowes and Home Depot}as a alternative to Redwood or treated lumber for decks and it is very reasonable.I should say i have no idea how the varnish will hold up over time but left raw Ipe will go a nice silver grey just like teak but if you scrub it it will hold up much better than teak as it is much more dense,i doubt if it floats.
Steve.
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Old 19-02-2010, 19:03   #4
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I should clarify that this is only for toe rails, handrails and trim type things. Not the deck itself. The deck is fiberglass.
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Old 25-02-2010, 07:50   #5
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Captin Kirk, you should try Iroko. It is very similar in appearance to Teak, but harder; it also has a very high natural oil content. In a test conducted by a UK publication some years back, it was found to be every bit as good as teak in the marine environment. Suppliers are somewhat limited, but it is available in Ontario and at less than half the price of teak.

Good luck!

Brad
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Old 25-02-2010, 08:27   #6
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IROKA

I agree that for toe rails iroka is one of the available substitutes for teak, but, choose your timber well!! Iroka has a alternating grain so you will need sharp planers for working this wood. Choose as straight a grain as possible and avoid wavey grain patterns for easier working.
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Old 25-02-2010, 08:50   #7
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I saw some work being done on an old fishing trawler in "Half Moon Bay" a year or so ago.. they were making a rail for the side.. when I asked the guy where they got teak in that size, a 4x6 about 30 feet long, he told me it wasn't teak but a wood called "Oppa" and comes from central america.. He also mentioned you would need a carbide bit to drill throu it...
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