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Old 07-11-2019, 16:08   #1
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Teak - checked, weathered - repair/recover advice?

I have a LOT of teak. The teak is cracked/checked, has deep fissure/splits, and the grain protrudes quite a bit. for the last 2 years i have slathered Semco onto it for protection - but with the crevasses it seems to be a mildew 'Club Med'. I am looking for knowledgable advice on what i can do to recover. i tried to leave it raw, but i'm on the Chesapeake Bay east of washington DC and we have air traffic from 3 airports and seem to get black dust and mildew - so the teak turns blackish/splotchy.

One suggestion i have heard and am considering is (after sanding down the ridges) to coat/soak the teak with a thick polyurethane that will fill the voids/crevasses and then apply UV protection (like varnish or faux varnish).

i don't need "concours" quality teak (and i'm not that far from saying ___it and painting the damn stuff). just protection and something not ugly.

any words of wisdom will be appreciated.
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Old 07-11-2019, 16:12   #2
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Re: Teak - checked, weathered - repair/recover advice?

Two routs. Clean, dry, sand.

Oil
or
Varnish. I like Epiphanes or Bristol finish.
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Old 07-11-2019, 16:24   #3
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Re: Teak - checked, weathered - repair/recover advice?

Any upclose photos?

Depending on how bad the checks and cracks are, you are likely to see any sort of hard finish fail as the weather changes and contraction/expansion occurs.
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Old 07-11-2019, 16:57   #4
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Re: Teak - checked, weathered - repair/recover advice?

"contraction expansion"
yes (and ouch) - i don't guess its possible to match the expansion properties of the teak....

i'll look for a better pic, but i will be away for about a week (sailing so that's great, but)

thanks
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:44   #5
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Re: Teak - checked, weathered - repair/recover advice?

Just clean it with a soft brush. Do not varnish or paint it it will ruin your teak.
Teak is one of the few materials that keep their natural oil and protects itself.


Teak tends to get silver-greyish ans the lingnine on top vanishes but the oil keeps it intact.

Btw. you will not avoid dirt by painting. IF it is that bad I would move my boat elsewhere.
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:29   #6
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Re: Teak - checked, weathered - repair/recover advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Ferrell View Post
I have a LOT of teak. The teak is cracked/checked, has deep fissure/splits, and the grain protrudes quite a bit. for the last 2 years i have slathered Semco onto it for protection - but with the crevasses it seems to be a mildew 'Club Med'. I am looking for knowledgable advice on what i can do to recover. i tried to leave it raw, but i'm on the Chesapeake Bay east of washington DC and we have air traffic from 3 airports and seem to get black dust and mildew - so the teak turns blackish/splotchy.

One suggestion i have heard and am considering is (after sanding down the ridges) to coat/soak the teak with a thick polyurethane that will fill the voids/crevasses and then apply UV protection (like varnish or faux varnish).

i don't need "concours" quality teak (and i'm not that far from saying ___it and painting the damn stuff). just protection and something not ugly.

any words of wisdom will be appreciated.
Hello Geoff
Nice Boat!
I'm not sure anyone has the correct answer for teak, or even if there is a correct answer for teak finish. I too, like you have a lot of teak and I certainly don't have the magical answer. This came up, as it usually does, at the meetup in Annapolis and the standard answer was "I don't know but what I do..."

However, I will convey my personal experience/preference:
  1. checks and cracks in the teak will get worse if not filled. In cold climates water in the cracks freeze and the crack expands. As mentioned expansion/contraction the crack expands. Fill all joints, checks and cracks with something, varnish, thin epoxy, Sikaflex, LifeCaulk, to keep the water out.
  2. I prefer varnish, and yes it's a life sentience, But it will preserve the life of the teak. I believe what ever you put on will flake off in one year if not recoated within one year. Light sand every 6 to 8 months and apply one new coat. Fix any nicks and scratches ASAP or it will become a bigger and bigger job.
  3. Eventual removal of all the varnish and recoating is inevitable. Just a matter of time.
Your milage will very and I will get arguments against this but at least it's not an anchor question.


I had the opportunity a few years back, for a day sail on SV When and If, George Patton's boat he commissioned before the war, late 1930's. I took this picture and you can see that the varnish has preserved the caprails nicely. The damage has been varnish over and preserved as well.
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Old 08-11-2019, 11:01   #7
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Re: Teak - checked, weathered - repair/recover advice?

We had the same issue a few years ago. Plenty of teak including teak deck which had just been re caulked and refastened. Looked great. However our mooring was off City Island and near an approach to La Guardia. We immediately noticed black soot on the deck which was difficult to wash off particularly trying to avoid vigorous scrubbing which would would damage the teak.
After a year capitulated; lightly sanded the deck and coated with Cetol. Looked great of course but was very slick when wet. Eventually used some walnut (?) hull chips to provide grip on the deck. For the next 8 years we kept the cetol on the deck and had no further issues with the soot.
When we home ported the boat further east without the soot problem we quit Cetoling the deck. Getting the Cetol totally off the deck is a chore. Wouldn't do it if you don't have a soot problem.
One positive factor is you extend the life of the teak; the Cetol wears off with use not the deck.
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Old 08-11-2019, 11:04   #8
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Re: Teak - checked, weathered - repair/recover advice?

As others have said, not dogma but just what we have done ....

We had varnished teak when we first got our boat. In short order it started to get black spots under the varnish - obviously the PO had just done a top layer to make the appearance look good.

We stripped the varnish off, sanded, filled the cracks and crevices which were not large, with an epoxy mixed with some 'teak dust' added in.

Sanded again with like an 80 start then 120 finish - so not really fine. Then applied Australian Timber Oil. 2 years now and we are still pretty happy with it. Re-coat is just scratching the surface with a green scrubbie then apply.

Guess we'll see how it fares in 3 to 5 years
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Old 08-11-2019, 11:17   #9
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Re: Teak - checked, weathered - repair/recover advice?

I love my Flexiteek decking. Glued on, no screws or caulking and I can pressure wash it. The old Treadmaster was failing, its bonding was failing and I just couldn't make it "pretty". The Flexiteek cost 1/4th of what a real teak deck would.

A PO had painted the original no-skid and applied the Treadmaster, by the time I got the boat, the TM was too far gone. I tried to use the TM paints, but they just washed off. I used Interdek for a couple of years, but the adhesive used to apply the TM was failing. It all had to go.

In The Netherlands, we get a lot of "smoke shade" (pollution dust) blown from the UK and the Flexiteek is easy to clean.
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Old 08-11-2019, 14:33   #10
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Re: Teak - checked, weathered - repair/recover advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by George DuBose View Post
I love my Flexiteek decking. Glued on, no screws or caulking and I can pressure wash it. The old Treadmaster was failing, its bonding was failing and I just couldn't make it "pretty". The Flexiteek cost 1/4th of what a real teak deck would.

A PO had painted the original no-skid and applied the Treadmaster, by the time I got the boat, the TM was too far gone. I tried to use the TM paints, but they just washed off. I used Interdek for a couple of years, but the adhesive used to apply the TM was failing. It all had to go.

In The Netherlands, we get a lot of "smoke shade" (pollution dust) blown from the UK and the Flexiteek is easy to clean.
I've considered doing synthetic teak when the time comes to pull my teak decks, but looking at the boats around me I am not a fan of the stuff.

I prefer the looks of treadmaster TBH.

The fake teak to me looks way too fake and takes a plastic boat to a whole new level of fake imo. I dont want to try to replicate something that it cant ever be.

I did consider similar stuff to replace my cabin sole with but ended with the same conundrum.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:46   #11
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Re: Teak - checked, weathered - repair/recover advice?

Don't know what you are looking at as far as other boat decked with Flexiteek or similar products.

Slylark's deck has the "weathered teak" color of Flexiteek and from 2 meters away it looks real. It matches the unvarnished grey teak of the toerails and the rest of the real teak on board.

I see some boats with artificial teak decks that try to use the "new" teak look or "teak look" with white caulking. Huh?

It is clearly a good water barrier and I have it butting up directly to the toerail and caulked that seam to protect the toerail from water getting underneath it.

Skylark, a 1973 Pearson 36-1, had the problem that her original toerails were screwed with wood screws to the hull/deck seam and in 1973, silicone was used to seal the underside of the toerail. When I got Skylark she was 34 years old and the silicone seal had failed. The PO probably also used strong cleaning chemicals on the deck and that assisted the silicone fail.

Crossing the Atlantic, water pooled on deck behind the toerail, went under the toerail and down through the now unsealed screw holes causing a Niagara Falls over the inner hull liner. Needless to say all that water in the cabin was no danger, but it sure made the voyage across the north Atlantic more uncomfortable.

I also like to think that by using artificial teak, I save at least part of a tree...
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