Actually, in my opinion, teak
is very easy to work with because it's so dimensionally stable... it machines a lot like aluminum
, in that it stays where you put it in when you do something to it. It doesn't check or warp or twist very much at all, making it an excellent material to work with. And you need sharp tools anyway, so what if you have to sharpen them a little more often? I've never had a problem epoxying it together, and I like it's strength. And beauty is in the eye and all that... I think it has as attractive a grain as any, and more attractive than most.
However, I was reading in one of the super yacht magazines last month of a new 400 footer built for one of those new russian industrialists... they calculated that a 8 full acres of teak
were cleared just to do the decks. Obviously that's ridiculous and what's left won't last long at that rate.
I bought all my teak in the early eighties, for an average of under $3/board foot, and still have a little left. I think that today it's appropriate for smaller amounts of exterior trim, especially if you can pick through plantation grown, because although most of the plantation stuff is junk (too young) you do occassionally find good pieces in the mix.
If I were to do another boat, I'd seriously consider cherry for the interior
. I couldn't afford teak in the volumes necessary anyway now, and wouldn't feel right about using so much of it. But were I rebuilding a boat that already had a teak interior
, I'd look for good plantation stuff, if I could find it.
Best, Bob S/V Restless