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Old 27-09-2012, 17:40   #1
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How Do You Fix A Leaking Teak Deck?

There's a really nice boat for sale that would be great to have for some serious cruising. My friend that owns it told me that the deck leaks badly when there is some bad weather. We had the tail end of a hurricane - lots of rain- awhile back and he said it was really dripping below decks.

What's the easiest solution without breaking the babk? Rhis is a 36' boat...
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Old 27-09-2012, 18:06   #2
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Re: How Do You Fix A Leaking Teak Deck?

Slightly different depending on whether its an all wood boat or glass boat with teak on top of a glass deck.

Also depends on how bad the decks are.

Worst case scenario the teak is screwed into fiberglass, all the plugs over the screw heads are popped out, ends of the planks are warped up and split, all the seams leaking. Really bad decks have to replace the teak or pull it up and stick with glass decks.

Fix involves reaming the old caulk out all the seams between the planks and recaulking. Fix any plugs, splits and leaks.
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Old 27-09-2012, 18:37   #3
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It's a glass boat with teak decks. My friend, Mike, thinks the whole deck should come up and be replaced with new teak or glassed over. That would be an expensive fix, I would guess.

Sealing plugs and recaulking sounds a lot better.

Maybe I should consider buying it from him. It's a good price.

Something to think about over the winter.
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Old 27-09-2012, 18:52   #4
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Re: How Do You Fix A Leaking Teak Deck?

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Originally Posted by Muscongus View Post
It's a glass boat with teak decks. My friend, Mike, thinks the whole deck should come up and be replaced with new teak or glassed over. That would be an expensive fix, I would guess.

Sealing plugs and recaulking sounds a lot better.

Maybe I should consider buying it from him. It's a good price.

Something to think about over the winter.
Is the deck cored, cause if it is then you will have water damage to the core. Even if it is not then you would need to consider damage to bulkheads, liners and fitout.
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Old 27-09-2012, 19:01   #5
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Re: How Do You Fix A Leaking Teak Deck?

You need to confirm whether the deck is glass or wood before the forum can give meaningful help on this one.
Wooden decks quite often require replacing once leakage is observed inside the boat.

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Old 27-09-2012, 19:03   #6
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Re: How Do You Fix A Leaking Teak Deck?

Pull the teak deck, Fix the soft spots if any, plug all the screw holes with epoxy, glass over and add non skid. Theres no other way ! If ya try to fix the teak now you will be doing it again in just a few yrs!( Don't ask how I know!) The other way is to remove the teak fix the soft spots, fix the screw holes and GLUE New Teak decking down! That would be the nice looking but the most expensive way !! Been there done that !! Just saying
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Old 27-09-2012, 19:04   #7
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I'm in no rush to buy a bigger boat right now - just know that is the direction I am headed.

Actually, before I go spending a fairly large amount on one, I should build a nice barn to winter the boat(s) in and be able to work on them more liesurely. There's a perfect spot for one on our property.
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Old 27-09-2012, 20:12   #8
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I looked at an older Swan 42 that needed a new deck. Estimates were in the 60 to 75k range to remove the teak and either repair the glass or replace the teak. I guesstimated there were 4000 screws!
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Old 27-09-2012, 23:14   #9
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Re: How Do You Fix A Leaking Teak Deck?

Jesus guys... it might just be a few screw heads or some old caulking.

The repairs could be that simple: no reason to freak out and say a little bit of water coming through a teak deck means you need to scrap the whole damn thing.
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Old 27-09-2012, 23:55   #10
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Re: How Do You Fix A Leaking Teak Deck?

It really chaps my hide that mfg use traditional woods to spiff up a plastic boat. Oooo look honey it has teak n holly sole...Oh the teak deck makes me feel like a real sailor! Where's me wooden bucket matey!

Mating teak to fiberglass deck is the epitomy of absurd. So I guess the screws fully penetrate into the overhead? How else does it rain inside when the deck gets wet?

I say strip it off, resale the wood at a good price, glass over your deck.
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Old 28-09-2012, 06:53   #11
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Re: How Do You Fix A Leaking Teak Deck?

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no reason to freak out and say a little bit of water coming through a teak deck means you need to scrap the whole damn thing.
Well, he did say that it leaks "badly," and that it was "really dripping" below. That doesn't sound to me like a minor problem that's going to be solved with a little caulk.

Personally, I wouldn't even consider a boat with teak decks. Too many problems. Too much work. Yes, they look nice if they are properly cared for, but it seems like none of them ever are. To me, just not worth the hassles.
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Old 28-09-2012, 19:36   #12
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Re: How Do You Fix A Leaking Teak Deck?

I bought a boat with teak decks that had some minor leaks. When I started taking up the teak where the leaks occured I found that there wasn't a good place to stop. I wound up taking all of the teak off and plugging the screw holes. There were more screw holes than I could count. There was also a lot of adhesive that had to be removed. It stuck to everything. The deck was cored but I was lucky and there were only a few areas that hade to be replaced. Once everything was clean I could see the original non-skid pattern. It had been sanded and abrated so that the adhesive would bond. There was enough of the pattern that I could make a patern and install a new non-skid material. I bought a non-skid vinyl from Defender and cut it to match the paterns. I then used epoxy to attach the new non-skid. One thing this did was seal any and all holes in the deck. The biggest problems with the deck occured around the deck fills. I did this in 2002 and still don't have any leaks. If I had it to do all over again I would buy a differnt boat.
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Old 29-09-2012, 00:11   #13
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Re: How Do You Fix A Leaking Teak Deck?

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It really chaps my hide that mfg use traditional woods to spiff up a plastic boat. Oooo look honey it has teak n holly sole...Oh the teak deck makes me feel like a real sailor! Where's me wooden bucket matey!

Mating teak to fiberglass deck is the epitomy of absurd. So I guess the screws fully penetrate into the overhead? How else does it rain inside when the deck gets wet?

I say strip it off, resale the wood at a good price, glass over your deck.
I agree with your philosophy about teak decks. But let me tell you that no one wants teak decking with a screw-hole every 12"s. Not unless they want to make thousands of knife handles.

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Jesus guys... it might just be a few screw heads or some old caulking.

The repairs could be that simple: no reason to freak out and say a little bit of water coming through a teak deck means you need to scrap the whole damn thing.
Ummm...The OP did leave me with the impression that when it rained outside, it rained inside. So I'm wondering if you can stop a leak with 4200 or the like, how do you know there is no core penetration? I've fix 2 of my past boats deck problems and a friends also.
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Old 29-09-2012, 00:29   #14
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Re: How Do You Fix A Leaking Teak Deck?

Because the entire problem, or problems, could be isolated to a rather small area of the boat. Maybe I'm weird because I live with teak decks (over plywood), but I just don't see them as being that unmanageable. Certainly more complicated than just fiberglass alone, but really how much work is it to pull planks, cut away caulking, lay glass, put planks down, and recaulk? It's work, but it's not like you're going to be doing it for six months straight all day long.

If you compare teak decks to the rather maintenance free aspect of modern full fiberglass boats then yeah, they are a pain in the ass. I have wood everywhere but the hull itself, and I usually compare myself to full wooden boats.

It's just not that big of a deal. Personally I think the carpentry skills are good to have onboard. It's forced me to be a much better craftsman than I otherwise would have been.
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Old 29-09-2012, 00:31   #15
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Re: How Do You Fix A Leaking Teak Deck?

And if you really want to be lazy, just cetol them, go sailing, and deal with it when the cetol starts to fail in a couple of years. I know this stuff sounds like crazy talk to plastic-fantastic boat owners but I manage to go sailing too and don't really need to work the decks all that often. I see people futzing with their electronics and appliances way more than I'm on my decks.
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