My son's college fund really likes teak decks. Our personal boats have always been racer
k decks certainly require more maintenance
than a painted nonskid, they cost more, they deplete the worlds forests. They are very beautiful when well maintained. In The old days the decks were maintained with holy stones. These were pumice blocks that were used to sand the decks to keep them clean and smooth.
There are many sailboats and trawlers around now that have teak decks that are 15-25 years old that were installed with screws and bungs and the bedding runs the gamut from tar to bedding compound to polyurethanes and epoxies. These decks have served their useful life. Once the bungs start leaking and the caulk starts to deteriorate water
will begin to intrude. Most of these boats have cored decks and water intrusion can cause very expensive repairs
We also remove many teak decks that are in bad shape and replace them with painted nonskid. This is considerably less expensive than a new teak deck
One factor to keep in mind about replacing a teak deck with either new teak or paint
is that many sailboats have a lot of hardware
bolted down through the deck. Removing this hardware
and reinstalling it can involve removing headliner panels
as well as dis-assembling interior
cabinetry. Then all of this hardware must be cleaned and reinstalled. This will add considerably to the cost of the job.
All of this means if you are considering a boat with an older worn out teak deck that replacing or repairing them is a pricey affair.
Newer decks that are glued down with epoxy
without fasteners are much better. Routine maintenance
consists of washing
with a solution of Simple Green and bleach and water (1-1-2) and sanding to keep the grain flat. As the soft grain wears away the grain will hold moisture and dirt which amounts to an abrasive slurry and when walked on will wear away the soft grain which will hold water and dirt....... On the best maintained yachts we sand the decks every 1-3 years depending upon what level of perfection is desired.