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Old 11-01-2007, 11:39   #1
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Teak Deck Care

What is the best way to care for teak decks?
I would like to leave them natural. If I do this how should I care for them? keeping it clean, new looking, protected and such.

Is there a stain or oil that fades out of teak naturally? Is oil a better way to go keep teak protected or is it just for looks?

The boat is headed for salt water, if that makes a difference.

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Old 11-01-2007, 14:26   #2
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A good bucket or two of salt water and a brush every single day will do a fine job. You need the salt water to keep the wood from cracking. The brush is used with the salt water to wash the bird poop off. It's the every day part that makes the real difference.

The fading takes care of itself over time. You could use a teak bleach cleaner product but I don't see the point. You might care to use it if you get a serious stain at some point but no need to force it to happen now. Teak has oils that act as a preservative so all you are doing it just conditioning the surface.

Doing nothing at all is not a good idea. Various teak products will maintain a suface treatment. Oils work but require reapplication often. If you like the silver look salt water is cheap and is a very effective treatment if repeated very regualrly.

If you want the "honey" look a product called Teaqua works well. You can get it over the Internet with a Google search. I use it on non deck teak elements on my own boat and like it.

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Old 11-01-2007, 17:40   #3
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Mega-Yachts used to use a compound similar to "scotchguard" ... too bad the manufacturer 3M has essentially obsoleted this product due to grave environmental concerns. It did keep bare teak looking like new & freshly-sanded and without any change to the anti-slip ability, etc.

I use a mix of 1/3 Olympic deck (carmel), 1/3 Teak wonder, 1/3 Semco natural ... must be stirred before each 'brush-dip'; since the Olympic has some carmel pigment, you have to brush-out carefully. Two coats will last a year. I scrub the hell out the decks with a extra soft bristle brush (just dishwashing detergent). Some folk using the same 'mix' have experienced the coating to last almost 3 yrs. No change in anti-slip characteristics and it seals the bungs and faulty but still relatively tight seams. Decks stay 'beautiful', have almost the same anti-slip as freshly sanded bare teak.
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Old 11-01-2007, 19:38   #4
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Old 11-01-2007, 21:24   #5
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I'd go with Dana-Tenacitys advice - once you've got it clean.

IMHO keeping it natural and not using using any form of oil looks the business. It is what all the huge teak decked mega yachts do, and what's good enough for them, should be good enough for us mere mortals........

If the deck you have is dirty getting it clean does take some work - but if you always remember teak is relatively soft so you should avoid any form of pressure, even from a hose, or a brush, if you want to preserve the soft tissue twix the wood grains.

Even rain can damamge teak if it comes down in volume.

Even a soft brush is risk, although we've found it's usually a neccessity when cleaning off lots of gunk or you'll be at it for days.

We one purchased a 6 year old Grand Soliel which had been left unattended for maybe 3 seasons in the northern hemisphere - and the decks (along with lots more) were positively green with growth. Where the deck was not green - it was BLACK.

We got it back to new by using first a proprietory cleaning fluid (suspect similar products can be sourced in US but ours was made in UK by a firm called Wessex Chemicals). Our product was diluted and the liquid applied by using a window wiper to spread it evenly over over an already wet deck. Once left for 5 minutes, then with gentle agitation with a cloth or a VERY soft brush (and NEVER with the grain), it brought off most of the gunge. You could actually see the dirt balling onto the surface ready to be flushed away.

We had to be gentle as our product did appear to open the pores (to allow this dirt to lift out) and one does not want to brush away soft teak tissue with the bad stuff.

So gentle water flow (remember even a regular water hose pressure is TOO much) saw the dirt flushed away, and a second treatment was applied to remove any gunge missed first time round, leaving us with a clean - but still grey deck.

So then on the still damp surface, we chose to use a teak brightener to bleach the dark grey teak back towards a light silvery brown - and thereafter apart for when cleaning up after silly dirt footfalls (usually by visitng engineers) or spillage (oops - too much red wine my dear) - we relied on salt water only.

And even then - did not use a brush - but rather a mop.

Appreciate this level of care may not suit everyone as it does take time - but for me, I still find cleaning a teak deck is as theraputic as cleaning a swimming pool use to be.

Just shows what a sad git I am, eh?

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Old 11-01-2007, 21:34   #6
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In the tropics ya want to go with the salt water bucket once or twice a day.
A soft brush applied gently will get the gunk off.

The salt water will keep the teak from drying and shrinking. Keep it swelled up and ya will have less leaks and problems.

Did that for 3 years on my old boat, she was all teak and mahogny and a handful to maintain in the tropics.

Love the idea of a woody, but no 'mo...Except in Latitude 65 or above: Up there the wooden boats live to be a hundred or more. In the Caribe they die pretty fast.
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Old 16-01-2007, 16:08   #7
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Semco doubt.
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Old 21-06-2007, 05:52   #8
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Teak decks restoration.......

I am in the Caribbean and have painstakingly restored the teak decks in my Bene-Frers-First 456. Now its time to decide, which product to apply, if any. From what I have read SEMCO seems to be a good option. Will it react with the black caulking? How long does it last? Does it turn black or grey? Does it fade away eventually or does it require removal?.................Thanks in advance…
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Old 27-06-2007, 06:28   #9
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Teak left naturaly hold up very well but algae and mold can appear and darken the wood to a nearly black color. Pollution will settle and also discolors the deck. Furthermore the caulking will be affected due to loose of adhesion at the oxidised zone. These are very slow processes but can be expensive and time consuming to fix.

If you after a protection to stop the oxidation from UV radiation have a look at Lignol Teak Guard. Quite amazing how it holds up.
It is using a Nanotechnology to protect the wood.

It is completly clear no stain or dye and the deck look quite amazing. Seems expensive but it got a very high coverage rate. Worth a trial.

We used Semco before but not going back. Semco reacts with the black caulking and smears black all over the place. It also needs 3 to 4 coats which makes it more expensive than Lignol.
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Old 27-06-2007, 08:32   #10
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How long will it last????Does it need to be removed, how?
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Old 27-06-2007, 19:47   #11
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Teak Deck

Have not long finished teak decks on my project.

Used all the Sika products for priming, gluing and seams. They market a Teak Oil that, according to the blurb, "is formulated to be compatible with their system....."

I found it worked OK, doesn't react or smear the black seam sikaflex.

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Old 28-06-2007, 15:46   #12
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After trying varnish, then oil, we finally settled on salt water and nothing else.

People would admire it and say, "Nice silvery finish! What do you use?"

Another benefit of natural finish vs. oil is that it isn't as hot underfoot when you're in the tropics.

I'd never go back to any other way of doing it.

Steve B.
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Old 28-06-2007, 16:12   #13
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Another vote for Semco

Converted half our teak to Semco this year as a test. Like it a lot, looks great and you just wipe on another coat when it doesn't bead water anymore.
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Old 16-08-2007, 04:20   #14
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Semco results.............

I had applied SEMCO Natural to the cockpit area a few moths ago and it held up very nicely. It fades very slowly and the teak becomes lighter in color as time goes by. I was so satisfied with the result that after washing my teak decks with Cascade and #2 I applied two coats of Semco Natural to the whole boat, carefully cleaning the excess from the black caulking lines with a rag. It looks AWESOME for a 23 yr old deck......everyone at the Marina stops to take a look at my German Frers First 456 Bene.
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Old 16-08-2007, 05:10   #15
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From what I've seen Semco doesn't last very long in the tropics. There's only one way to keep teak decks looking great - holy stone and salt water. But I'm a bit old to get on my knees with a holy stone so I have no teak whatsoever. Nothing like the clean bleach bottle look!

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