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Old 12-05-2013, 18:45   #1
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Exterior teak oil

Our cockpit seating is teak and seems to be dried out to the point that oil is called for. My experience with oiling teak on the outside has been bad. It looks great at first but quickly attracts dirt and turns ugly. I've also witnessed this on other's boats. I wouldn't do it except as a last resort. Any thoughts?
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Old 12-05-2013, 18:46   #2
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Re: Exterior teak oil

Lanolin !!!
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Old 12-05-2013, 18:51   #3
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Emmalina, I haven't heard of this. I'm listening...
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Old 12-05-2013, 19:52   #4
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Re: Exterior teak oil

Been around for 300 years a derivative of wool been used on boats for a long time. I use it on my bowsprit.
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Old 12-05-2013, 20:08   #5
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Re: Exterior teak oil

There are 2 reasons that I use a hard finish like varnish.
1) When the boat was manufactured, the teak was sanded smooth as a baby's butt. Those that use hard finishes still have the wood looking smooth, those that don't have the wood looking very grainy. The very grainy look is from the wood deteriorating from wind, weather and oxidation. If wood were steel, we would refer to it as rusting. The hard finish preserves the wood.
2). Physical appearance. Walk down some crowded docks and see which boats have people looking with envy and awe. it is usually the ones with shiny bright work.

There is quite a bit of myth and mysticism about how great teak is and how it don't rot. Definitely not true.

This is usually one of those hotly debated topics so I am just telling it like I see it. Others see it differently.
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Old 12-05-2013, 20:22   #6
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Re: Exterior teak oil

In my book, many 'teak oil' labelled products are known to destroy deck caulking, so ...

Otherwise, I find the look of old wood, oiled, ugly. New wood, interiors, that's another thing.

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Old 12-05-2013, 21:06   #7
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Re: Exterior teak oil

I have plenty of exterior teak. I also sail in the lower latitudes.

If I had an unlimited budget, I would pay someone to apply 7-10 coats of gloss varnish, with maintainance recoats every three to four months. But I don't and I won't!

Instead, I am currently using Starbrite Tropical Teak Oil and Sealer. This is far less labor intensive and gives me an easy 6-7 months or more between recoats.

As for its appearance, well, I can live with it. I can't say it's as attractive as a gloss finish, but I prefer it to something such as Cetol.

It also has far better non-slip qualities than varnish if you are doing seats or any other surface you might be stepping upon. It also is able to be retouched quite easily, something that isn't usually the case with varnish.
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Old 12-05-2013, 21:16   #8
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Re: Exterior teak oil

Daly's SeaFin has been my go to since 1996. I love the stuff. Harder to find than StarBrite but deals better with the dirt issue, looks good, and keeps the teak non skid as it should be. It was highly recommended to me by a boatyard and since then it has been highly recommended by me.

DALY'S : Paint and Decorating / Wood Finishes
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Old 12-05-2013, 22:42   #9
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Re: Exterior teak oil

starbrite tropical teak oil. it's a teak oil with a uv inhibitor added. just clean your teak once, then apply two coats of starbrite tropical teak oil.

i don't sit or walk on my teak (it's on the caprails and the hard dodger) so it lasts me a couple of years. then you just apply a couple of more coats. it comes in two colors - natural and light. i prefer the light.

it's the least labor intensive coating you can put on teak, imho, other than just leaving it to rot in the sun.

brob2 - i notice you're in halifax. that's probably why you won't find it locally. it's intended for use in tropical sun, and fairly popular here in florida.
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Old 13-05-2013, 11:11   #10
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Also look at Semco teak sealer. I think similar to Starbright. Soaks into wood to protect. Can be used both for decks and teak trim. I am slowly changing over to Semco from varnish on 90% of trim (toerails etc.).
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Old 13-05-2013, 11:18   #11
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Re: Exterior teak oil

wash your teak with sea water before oiling it make sure all dirt is gone so teak doesnt turn black. that black is DIRT.
after the wood is CLEAN, let it partially dry then add oil--i use a foam paintbrush for mine.

this takes me 6 hours every year to keep the caprail and taff water sealed.

i have 120 ft cap and taff together, and more with the cockpit house fascia and added teak bits formosas have.
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Old 13-05-2013, 11:36   #12
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Re: Exterior teak oil

Gracious thanks to all for your input. I should've mentioned that the boat (Cape George 34) while not a bona fide varnish farm, has plenty of exterior teak aside from the cockpit that I do keep a hard finish on. The cockpit seats and sole I think are better off not having a varnish type finish because they are areas of heavy foot traffic and would wear quickly and a glossy finish would certainly compromise safe footing.

I have applied Daly's oil in the past on other boats but only as a prep for varnish overcoating. I have friends with a Cape George sister-ship who have applied it on their cockpit teak and they are sorry that they did. My experience with other oils on the exterior have similarly been disappointing. I have not tried the Starbright product. I have seen a boat using Semco with good results though I'm not sure it's in an area with foot traffic.

Emmalina, I have worked with lanolin in the past and recall that it is very thick and gooey - awful to work with. I don't understand how you would apply it or why it would not be a complete dirt magnet.

Thanks again.
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