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Old 11-09-2013, 10:51   #16
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Re: Teak Deck Question?

If you do a search on trawler forum that are previous discussion and there is a present active discussion about removing a teak deck.

Just because a boat has teak deck does not mean the teak has to be removed and/or there the under deck has to be repaired. I have helped to remove several teak decks which is mostly entry grunt labor. To remove we use flooring linoleum tile scrapers removed with of course destroyed the teak which took a day, another day to sand and prep the fiberglass deck and another day to lay down the fiber glass to make weather proof. Then several more fiber glass layers were added, and the final non skid later. So the teak deck could be removed in a couple of days. It’s the prep, fiber glassing, and finishing that takes the time.

The Eagle decks are 35 years old and in good to reasonable shape. The front deck which is out in the weather 365 day does show wear but so would a fiberglass deck. The front deck does have to a maintained and sealed each year. they look like they are vanished. Labor day week, my greandchildren helped sand and prep the front deck. I pay them 10 buck per hour. This week I am re sealing them. The stern deck is vanished, which I re varnish last week, as it covered enclosed and used year around. The Portuguese deck which is covered is in great shape and resealed it. I been think about taking them down to bare wood and varnishing it like the stern deck.

Teak decks do have to be maintained but so do fiber glass decks, and fiber glass deck are also prone to delaminating and rot also if not maintained. Being the Eagle is a dock queen she is high maintenance as all the teak trim is vanished. Shoot she almost as high maintenance as I am.

So if they were maintained and/or you maintain they will last for decades maybe a century. If you know the sign teak deck give plenty of warning they need repairing. It’s not the teak deck fualt its the owner fault they failed.
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:58   #17
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Re: Teak Deck Question?

I can't speak for all boats but no it's not all that simple.

My boat has a teak deck bedded 30 years ago with resorcinol. It's stuck so well to the deck that just as often as not the resorcinal sticks to the teak and the gel coat comes off stuck to the resorcinol. Now I have to re-glass the deck.

I didn't mention you need a small crowbar and a sledge to try to peel the teak off. I also cross cut the teak every foot or so with a circular plunge saw. A piece of wood only a foot long is easier to remove than a 30 foot piece that keeps breaking and splintering. Don't even consider saving any of the teak just throw it away.

A boat surveyor I know has been in the business over 30 years tells me that just filling the screw holes in the deck doesn't always work to keep out the water whether or not you chamfer the holes. He recommends reglassing the whole deck even if you don't pull off the gel coat like I did. :-)

On some boats they roughed up the deck with a grinder so the sealant/glue would adhere better. If so you're going to have to refinish the whole deck.

Bottom line is it's a lot of work and you have no idea exactly what work you'll have to do until you're doing it. Unless you want a project look for a boat pretty much the way you want it even if it costs more than you want to spend.

Good luck.
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Old 11-09-2013, 11:47   #18
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Re: Teak Deck Question?

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Originally Posted by kentobin View Post
I can't speak for all boats but no it's not all that simple.

My boat has a teak deck bedded 30 years ago with resorcinol. It's stuck so well to the deck that just as often as not the resorcinal sticks to the teak and the gel coat comes off stuck to the resorcinol. Now I have to re-glass the deck.

I didn't mention you need a small crowbar and a sledge to try to peel the teak off. I also cross cut the teak every foot or so with a circular plunge saw. A piece of wood only a foot long is easier to remove than a 30 foot piece that keeps breaking and splintering. Don't even consider saving any of the teak just throw it away.

A boat surveyor I know has been in the business over 30 years tells me that just filling the screw holes in the deck doesn't always work to keep out the water whether or not you chamfer the holes. He recommends reglassing the whole deck even if you don't pull off the gel coat like I did. :-)

On some boats they roughed up the deck with a grinder so the sealant/glue would adhere better. If so you're going to have to refinish the whole deck.

Bottom line is it's a lot of work and you have no idea exactly what work you'll have to do until you're doing it. Unless you want a project look for a boat pretty much the way you want it even if it costs more than you want to spend.

Good luck.


In cases like these I like to pull all fasteners and remove the teak deck using a vac attached Makita power planer set to max depth of cut and grinders for the corners and remaining adhesive. Pulling fasteners takes longer than teak removal, which is usually a one brutal day affair. Very effective with no delam or damage, just hard work. Bung/screw removal tricks are another topic.
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Old 11-09-2013, 11:59   #19
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Re: Teak Deck Question?

The boat in my avatar had teak decks. I removed them and had the decks and cabin painted due to the marks etc left over. The sealant holding the teak was imbedded in the decks and very difficult to remove... only by grinding. Fortunately I was putting on Treadmaster for the non skid.... so that reduced the grinding/removal of about 75% of the area. However the remaining 25% was the non flat hard to do area. It's a big job. We could find no good evidence of core wetness so simply used a tool to make a "cone" divit at each hole and filled them in. I think it is rare to not find core wetness when removing a teak deck on most fiberglass cored deck boats. This deck had been "floated" on in sealant at the factory (somehow) which made it a nightmare to remove, but may have saved the core. (I wonder if they layed it, screwd it on loose, injected the sealant and then tightened it up allowing the sealnat to ooze under each board?)
The teak came off in 1-2 foot lengths..due to the sealant holding it..... had to just break off each piece and move on....
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Old 11-09-2013, 12:08   #20
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Re: Teak Deck Question?

This is NOT a simple task. Ask anyone who has actually done it. You are dealing with every fitting that sits on the deck, every fastening that held the deck down and whatever goop it was bedded down with. Once you get it all up you have holes to plug, moisure to dry out, the new deck to smooth out, non skid to apply and margins to outline, then finish. On the larger motor yacht that you have been looking at you could easily get into 6 figures.
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Old 11-09-2013, 12:19   #21
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Re: Teak Deck Question?

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
In cases like these I like to pull all fasteners and remove the teak deck using a vac attached Makita power planer set to max depth of cut and grinders for the corners and remaining adhesive. Pulling fasteners takes longer than teak removal, which is usually a one brutal day affair. Very effective with no delam or damage, just hard work. Bung/screw removal tricks are another topic.
Interesting. Don't know if my power planer is industrial enough to last a whole deck.

I've had mixed luck removing screws. Some came right using a power screw driver and others wouldn't move at all. All phillips screw heads. Screwdriver just ended up just rounding out the heads on the stubborn ones. Pulling them straight out with a crow bar, some pulled out easily and others took a little muscle but none caused any collateral damage, so far.

My friend in the boat business says it's not uncommon to pull up the gelcoat on these old boats when removing the deck. Unfortunately none of the blogs I ever read mentioned it and neither did he until I started whining about it.

Little did I know this refit would turn into a career. :-)
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Old 11-09-2013, 13:38   #22
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Re: Teak Deck Question?

Galaxy, is it a steel, aluminium, or fbg deck? that will help and make a big difference for the experts here to give advice (not me, I'm just pert of the peanut gallery).
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Old 11-09-2013, 13:47   #23
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Re: Teak Deck Question?

Expensive and sharp looking... more maintenance than any other deck... can be repaired bit by bit... very non skid... can be hot... adds weight... Replacement is a big expensive project.

As usually it always depends on the specific situation.
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Old 11-09-2013, 19:20   #24
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Re: Teak Deck Question?

Thanks for all the great info. Up until now, I have been avoiding boats with teak decks. My Mom talked me into going to check out this fiberglass Ka Shing in NY, and the broker was saying that the owner was removing the teak and laying laminate teak. I didn't even know that there was such a thing, and it doesn't sound good to me.
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:49   #25
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Re: Teak Deck Question?

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Originally Posted by GalaxyGirl View Post
Thanks for all the great info. Up until now, I have been avoiding boats with teak decks. My Mom talked me into going to check out this fiberglass Ka Shing in NY, and the broker was saying that the owner was removing the teak and laying laminate teak. I didn't even know that there was such a thing, and it doesn't sound good to me.
Itís great that you are starting to look at boats.

If I had to remove the teak deck I would probable replace it with imitation teak rather than actual wood, that could be epoxy/glued down with no screws. Most of the new boats have imitation teak decks rather than wood.

When looking at teak deck looked for the caulking pulled away from the teak, and bungs/plugs missing or pushed up, and water marker in the interior. However, just because there are water marks does not mean there is structural damage. Over the 17 years we have owned the Eagle we have had leaks, but most were from around deck fittings not the actual deck.

Each summer the deck dries out and shrinks which causes the caulking to pull away, so the first heavy rain the deck might leak, but when the deck gets wet if swells back up. The time to maintain them is when they are dried out just before the first heave rain. The same is true with fiber glass decks. They move and caulking dryies out.

Also boats tend to sweat have condensation which might look like leaks especially under the windows. Condensation for a live a board is a constant battle. The first winter on the Eagle we had so must moisture it rained/dripped from the ceiling inside the boat. No structural damage, but we did have to refinish some areas. I would think in high humid areas condensation would be a big problem.
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