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Old 09-12-2012, 07:35   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Philippines / Palau
Boat: Cape North 43
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New Member Teak Deck

Hi Folks

New member here. I just bought my first sailing vessel a Cape North 43 built in 1980. She's currently in the Philippines headed for the hard in Subic and then on to her new home in Palau. She has an original teak deck that still has decent thickness but there has been a small leak on the starboard side rail. A lot of the plugs are missing, the caulk looks decent. After the purchase my budget is limited. We're going to do the bottom, perhaps paint the hull and the house which looks bad as if brush painted.

Palau is tropical with lots of rain and I was thinking a priority was to remove the deck add some glass and non-skid but I'm having second thoughts due to budget. I'm looking for advice: is replugging and replacing some caulk going to fix the leak?

Labor is inexpensive in Subic so may be the best chance to replace the deck. Any advice is most welcome.

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Old 10-12-2012, 05:56   #2
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Re: New Member Teak Deck

Originally Posted by BriRich View Post replugging and replacing some caulk going to fix the leak?
There is absolutely no way to give a useful answer to this question, without carefully examining the boat first. Sorry, but you're just going to have to give it a try and see if it does the job.

It's a little late for you, but for anyone else reading this, if you told me that you had a limited budget for post-purchase repairs, my very first and most emphatic piece of advice would be, don't buy anything with teak decks!

Good luck.

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Old 10-12-2012, 06:34   #3
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Re: New Member Teak Deck

How about removing the teak deck and selling the teak to help bankroll the deck refinish?
*** If it ain't broke... just wait! ***
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:48   #4
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Re: New Member Teak Deck

It's perfectly feasible to repair a teak deck, assuming the teak has some thickness left. The problem is finding the leak.

You could start by buying some teak plugs and fixing all the places the plugs are missing. There is almost no cost involved in this - just some work.

You never know -you just might get lucky and catch it here - no more leak.

Otherwise, you will have to scrape the caulking out, an old-fashioned can opener works well here. Do a section at a time.

Scrape out the old. Then put masking tape on all the teak - right to the edge. Now recaulk. If you've taped off correctly, you can now run a stanley knife flat against the teak and then lift off the tape.

This will fix your leaks. If you haven't been perfect with the tape, you might need to give it a light sanding.

Caulk is expensive and there is a lot of elbow grease involved int he above. Don't let someone who has never tried it or is not the owner do it.

I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted - Elmore Leonard
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:54   #5
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Re: New Member Teak Deck

There are 3 ways to handle this job. First off, teak decks are Gorgous when in good condition, and keep your feet happy because they will not get super hot and provide a non slippery deck when wet. The bad news they can cause the deck to be ruined over time if not kept in good condition, because water eventually leaks through the teak and then into the deck causing dry rot of the sandwitched layer of wood core between the fiberglass layers underneath the teak decking. It is very hard to tell how much damage is done to the core untill the deck has been removed. If you are very lucky you may not have that much damage to the core, a good surveyer may be able to tell you where core damage is located and how extensive if he has the right moister meters and is trained on how to find it. So back to your question on what you should do?
1. If you want to get on the water, and use the boat ASAP, while not spending too much money, you can try to patch the problem and see whay happens. By this you can remove any caulk and maybe some loose teak, make sure it is super dry then re caulk, looking for any crack where water may penitrate the teak. You could get lucky and fix everything by doing this.
2. If after you examine the teak, and the decks the teak is attached to, and you find soft area's of deck, then you have a big project, Most of the time, in order to fix it right, you will need to remove all of the deck teak, fix the core then reserface the deck with teak again or leave it fiberglass with non-skid. The cost to do this is mostly labor, unless you decide to put teak back on. If you have cheap labor now, and you suspect soft decks then doing this job now may be your best option.
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