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Old 03-11-2005, 18:15   #1
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teak decks

as i work on various boat projects, one that puzzles me is how to repair damaged glass @ deck and cockpit. i have the usual assortment of heavily worn edges (past gel coat), voids that are now creating spider webs, and pretty tired gel coat in the cockpit due to over 20 years of use. i have talked with yard manager about options - fill the void with epoxy, touch up glass with new - and generally discouraged from trying to restore the entire cockpit to look new due to cost.
i was strongly opposed to any boat with teak decks due to the high cost of replacement and leak issues. i now wonder if my concern was valid, or if perhaps teak would have been easier for me (good with wood) to maintain and service.
any opinions ?

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Old 03-11-2005, 20:12   #2
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I am in the process of repairing just the type of problem you are refering. What a pain. As you grind, and fill, the cracks just seem to multiply. I have finally, after 4 months, gotten all of the obvious ones filled, and am applying an epoxy primer sealer.
I have had two boats with teak decks, of which I still have one. That one is in need of refastening after 65 years. I think the amount of labor is about equal. I considered putting teak over the glass on my Challenger, but opted for refinishing the glass. As for feel, and traction, teak is far superior. As for maintenance, I would say equal, although most would disagree. As for looks, teak wins again.
I would probably not choose to put teak on a fiberglass deck, but I would consider it preferable when purchasing a boat.
Hope this helps
Oh, and as for leaks, both my teak decks have leaked, however, so has my fiberglass deck. I guess I am cursed.
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Old 03-11-2005, 20:58   #3
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You could also look at that immitation Teak stuff.
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Old 03-11-2005, 21:13   #4
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Wheels,
when I was considering installing teak over my glass, I could not find an acceptable way to fasten the teak. The teak I located is 3/8" thick. Too thin to screw down, and epoxies do not like to stick to teak due to the oil. Any suggestions?
The faux stuff is a good option, but I prefer to lay the teak with the deck, and all of the fake stuff seems to be panels, so the only option is straight cuts.
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Old 03-11-2005, 23:31   #5
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Aye mates:

I owned and lived on a 44 foot sailing boat with teak decks for 3 years..In the tropics.

Yes, the teak decks are nice to walk on and they look good.
The maintenance however can be REALLY BAD, including deck-leaks due to 2000 screw holes into the underlying deck.

Then there is the maintenance, the weight and the re-placement cost and the leaks......

If I won the Lotto and had unlimited funds for the boat, I would sure add teak-decks to the boat, but being a working-stiff who hates working, I would not get back into teak-decks...Unless I was back North close to the Artic Circle, way up there wooden boats and teak decks will last about a 100 years or so.

So, in Norway with $20 Mill in the bank, Yup, teak deks would be the way to go....

In the tropics however I would remove the teak decks and fiberglass instead...No leaks and no maintenance...More time for sailing, diving and drinking beer.

(IF ya have teak decks in the tropics, toss a bucket of salt water over the decks every day and once a week use a soft brush to clean..No soap, no scrub, no teak-cleaner, no chemicals, no getting the yellow teak color back..Stay with the gray..
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Old 04-11-2005, 00:06   #6
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I had been folowing Bob Bitchens article in the Lats&Atts mag on hi teak deck replacement. They used a product called MAS epoxy. I am not familiar with it, but there seems to be something special about it. Not sure if it is that it will adhere to teak or not.

Teak decking is a real delema. To oil or not to oil, to scrub or not to scrub, to allow it to bleach or not to bleach and so on and so on. From what I have seen over the years, there are several problems with the teak deck of today. Mainly the thickness. The old ships have several inches thick timber as the deck. The chore the old sailors had every Sunday morning was to scrub the deck. This was done with blocks of Sandstone. The blocks were called the Sailors prayer book and the scrubing session was Sunday morning prayers. This work kept the decks clean and bright. Today the cost of teak is o expensive, that we see a thin vineer over a substrate. I have seen from 3/4" thick down to only 1/4". The thinner decks tend to have the greater problem with the timber lifting and warping and allowing water to seep under and run distances.
Cleaning teak is a real issue as well. You can use brightners, but they etch away the surface. Never use stiff brissle brushes and always scrub along the grain. Otherwise the fine hair like fibres get lifted. The best thing to do with teak is to preserve and protect it with oil. It will make the teak look good and last for many many years. However, the oiling is a pain in the neck. It becomes expensive and time consuming. It needs to be done at minimum, every three months, with best results every 6 weeks or so. Of course, you can see what an ass of a job that is. Although, itf you oil real regular, you don't have to prepare much each time and you just mop the oil on. Personaly, the dury is still out. Do you use a cheap oil and put it on regular or an expensive oil and do it less.
In the end, the overall picture is this. The ultimate life of the teak is determined on thickness and maintanance. In the end, it is still a perishable item, just like any other material out in the marine environment, whether it be gelcoat or paint, and eventually it will have to be replaced.
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Old 04-11-2005, 01:29   #7
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I did light maintenance on a 106 Ft Aluminum Motoryacht in the Bahamas, including a weekly oiling of the teak decks. Yes, I said weekly. Only took about 5 hours to salt-wash/fresh-rinse & oil all 106 Ft.
They used a very light oil - sorry donít recall the name or brand.
Looked fabulous. It was a real pain, keeping the oil away from the aluminum bulwarks.

Had I teak decks, I'd go with CSYMan's advice, and stay grey.
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Old 04-11-2005, 05:08   #8
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We got rid of our teak decks, they were at end of life after being scrubbed and sanded a few too many times.

Liked the look however teak is very warm down south in the tropics - we even noticed an immediate difference in the Chesapeake once they were off.

There are ways of fastening without screws now, in fact when we redid the deck I did put teak back in the cockpit and they were installed with just epoxy.

Not sure what the right answer is but I think it has to do with where you are sailing, budget and level of effort you want to put forth. BTW I did not have to wash the decks as often cause could not see all the dirt. Oh well...
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Old 04-11-2005, 05:10   #9
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http://www.tek-dek.co.uk/

Lar, I would encourage you to investigate Tek-Dek. I've seen this being used in Holland, many places in the UK (where it was developed), Spain & Portugal, and I have to believe (tho' haven't checked) there is a North American distributor.

The developer/owner of this business sets up yards to apply this product but is very supportive of owners tackling their own jobs with the material. He's stopped taking jobs from private owners simply because he thinks, in the end, it's not a reasonable approach for the owner. From what I've seen and learned, I think it is well within the average owner's capabilities. The 'fit' issues you think might exist with a faux product have been addressed with accessory pieces. Walk thru the website to get a feel for what's possible.

I don't know how this costs out WRT paint or topical materials like Treadmaster, and this wouldn't address vertical surface refinishing issues. I've repainted both a deck and a hull, by hand, using 2-part International products and honestly didn't find that difficult to do, either. Demanding of patience, a learning curve and a few re-do's, a fair amount of time...but not difficult per se. However, Tek-Dek offers some things not available from paint: no upkeep, superb traction, a 'yachtie' appearance, and long wear. If you plan to cruise your boat full-time, you might be surprised at how quickly non-skid surfaces degrade and paint begins to lose its even sheen and finish in high-wear areas, even when using high-quality 2-part products.

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Old 04-11-2005, 05:25   #10
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I have a 42 footer that has teak decks also.

Cleaning is easy. I first use sudsy ammonia to get rid of the grime and them I will use a slurry of Zud to bring the wood back to its red color. I use a white srubby pad and work gently.

But, that said they are a PIA. THey are very hot her in FL and the bahamas. I am starting the reasearch on what to replace them with. The conventional wisdom is treadmaster. I have also found the spray/roll on truck bed liner that would be cost effective.
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Old 04-11-2005, 11:25   #11
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Stormy Monday, stay away fromt he Truckbed liner. I have a lot of experiance with that stuff and it won't stay down for a long period. It will start to lift.
Heat is an uissue, especially the darker the timber, like as in when it is oiled and a whiote gelocoat being the coolest. However, in saying that, timber has one of the best insulative properties. So heat transfer is not as much and ofcourse this is in either direction, so the interior can be kept warmer or cooler than the outside ambient temp easier.
As for cost, real teak is going to be the most expensive. Here in NZ, teak is now NZ$9500 a cubic metre and the time and expertese to lay is high.
The imitation stuff is next in price. I was quoted NZ$750 a square metre to have it proffesional done. The NZ installers would not sell just the product to me.
Paint on deck coatings are by far the cheapest and are at the extreme opposite end price wise, when compared to teak.
I have gone for a rubberised coating and it has lasted very well so far. Touch up is simple with little prep required. The imitation teak would look fantastic, but I just couldn't consider affording it.
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Old 04-11-2005, 19:31   #12
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I have seen the Tek-Dek stuff, and I do not like it. Of course, that is just an opinion. The deck on Kittiwake is 1" teak with no subdeck. I have tried bleach, sandstone, and brushes. what I found works best is the composite sanding blocks sold at hardware stores. It does remove some surface, but does a great job. As for treating the deck, I use boiled linseed and turpentine. a 50/50 mixture. It is a bit sticky for the first week, but it lasts for 6 months or more, and gives almost a varnish gloss for the first few months without being slippery. It also swells the wood, and helps with leaks. This is a day long project to scrub and oil the decks. The scrub the deck of my glass boat is about half a day. I can live with the extra labor. Admitedly, all my wood boat sailing has been PNW and Northern Ca, so I have not dealt with teak in the tropics, but it is substantially warmer than glass in cold climates.
Poor or rich, I would still choose teak decks, but if I had 20 mil, I would have allot more time to keep them bristol.
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Old 05-11-2005, 00:27   #13
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Kai, mix in some Penatrol and/or WD40 with that Linseed terps mix.
Actually another very good product for oiling timber, use WD40. It's great as a timber oil. Infact the uses for WD40 are endless. It is a true wonder product, although I don't find it superior in some applications, it does a very good job in a hugely wide variaty. I even use it for handcleaner, especially with tar based products.
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Old 05-11-2005, 04:04   #14
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More on recovering one's deck...

Re: Treadmaster, it's a wonderful non-skid surface and I'm using it now in several select ways...but after five years, I've come to find it has a series of disadvantages:
1. It wears and sooner than I expected; in high traffic areas the 'nubs' will begin to break off and the edges wear down (even if the adhesive holds like iron)
2. It's hot
3. It's uncomfortable to sit/lie on
4. The newer 'swirl' patterns (developed in part to make it more 'bum' friendly) gather grime amazingly fast; if choosing a lighter color (to deal with the heat build up), this grime quickly shows
5. It's not cheap, relatively heavy and, in the USA, somewhat difficult to source in a variety of sheet sizes (if you only plan on small applications).

Paint is no doubt the cheapest alternative. One reason is that, if you look at it from the standpoint of how much 'surface mass' you are you placing on top of your old surface, paint is the least in volume or mass. Another reason is that it's all about sweat equity; the cost of the paint and the time it takes to apply it is a small portion of the entire job (if we include labor); and as we know, painting is not so much about painting as about prep.

On our last boat, we had great service from the paint job we did on our deck; it looked great and the microballoon non-skid changed an ice rink into a functional deck at sea. However, after one year of cruising the non-skid in high traffic areas was clearly disappearing. I'm now thinking about recovering WHOOSH's deck (27 year old GRP surface) and paint is the most likely choice because I can do the work and so the cost is small. But I probably won't use a typical 2-part paint because the non-skid options with that thin, thin paint layer simply don't hold up. Unfortunately, the products specifically made for marine non-skid functions (e.g. as used on pilot boats and coast guard vessels) are typically dark (and so hot) and have aesthetic issues.

IMO Lar's task is not a simple one to solve...

BTW WD 40 is almost enitrely kerosene (which is why, when used for lubrication, it doesn't last) so, if planning to use it as an additive, save yourself some money and buy a quart/liter of kero instead.

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Old 05-11-2005, 11:24   #15
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Wheels, I may have been misinformed, but as I understand it, WD40 has silicone in it. Slicone is bad for wood. I will try the Penetrol, as it is time to do my deck, and I have a can of the stuff around.
Jack, I will try the Kero on a small area, I am curios how it will look. A small kero spill on my deck some time back while filling a lamp, has still stained the deck, so I am a bit hesitant.
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