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Old 21-10-2013, 21:05   #1
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Teak maintenance

I have a Col26Mk2

It has teak handles, teak trim on the outside. Its not much wood like a deck would be but I'm thinking of taking the plunge and making it look nice.

It's pretty weathered, but the handles still have strength. A chunk of the teak where the slider above the companionway slides back broke off. I saved the chunk and havent touched it.

I've heard a variety of different ways to deal with exterior teak. One is to wash it with salt water... I beleive that this has been done for about 30 years now (not as maintenance but being an ocean boat) and I think that technology is probably past it's prime for this wood. Another is to sand and treat with Sea-Tol (or however its spelled) which is what I'm leaning towards as a winter project.

When I bought the boat a few years back the prev owner grabbed a small pocketknife and shaved a mm off to show me that the teak underneath was good. I did a pressurewash of the boat and was amazed at how the teak went like wood again. It is today again back to grey.

I apologize as this question probably gets asked over and over again.

Whats the best way to restore the exterior teak and make it look nice. The tiller is treated with seatol it looks great. None of these peice of wood are grip surfaces like decks. The handles probably would be nicer to grab if smooth. I mostly want to prevent deterioration of the wood as the boat is actually remarkably original after 40 years. After that chunk popped off I think that it may be time for a sand and seal as I dont have the skills nor the cash to go replacing teak and I like the look.

Also wood glue. I am figuring standard wood glue and some C clamps to reattach the little chunk that popped off will work. Please give me any guidance if this is a really bad idea with teak. I've never worked with teak before only fir, pine and cedar and never on a boat.
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Old 21-10-2013, 21:21   #2
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Location: Careel Bay, NSW Australia
Boat: Sparkman & Stephens Deb 33 - Design 1873 MkII deep keel - 1974 UK/Dutch built version Tartan 34C
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I have Teak interior and exterior on my yacht. The interior is varnished, the exterior just natural.

I'm not familiar with "Sea-Tol" but asked similar questions of experienced boat owners when I took possession of mine. Standard response for exterior Teak was, "just wash it regularly with saltwater and don't use any products!" I was told, whatever you do don't treat or varnish, as that means you have to keep doing more work with that treatment. The saltwater brings out the natural oil in the timber and prevents dry rot (apparently caused by fresh water).

I've found a scrub with a hard brush, saltwater and a bit of biodegradable detergent (natural orange citrus based) takes back to a nice tone and removes the soft dark gunge. I reckon this is good for the wood.
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Old 21-10-2013, 21:24   #3
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Re: Teak maintenance

i live in a very humid climate (vancouver bc area) where it will rain approximately 600-1000mm during the winter, sometimes more. So freshwater is a regular everyday thing. I have the boat tarped over in the offseason, but fresh water moisture is a huge deal. Probably why it is so grey.
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Old 21-10-2013, 21:45   #4
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Hmm, if I were you I've try the saltwater, hard brush and a little bit detergent first. See how it comes up and keep washing down every week with saltwater to eliminate the freshwater dry rot problem.

Keep asking seasoned locals, as climate may play a big part and experience and local knowledge always beats the Internets every time!
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Old 21-10-2013, 21:47   #5
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Re: Teak maintenance

locals mostly use Sea Tol
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Old 21-10-2013, 22:15   #6
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Re: Teak maintenance

The product you're looking for is Sikkens Cetol:

Sikkens Cetol Marine

or

Sikkens Cetol Marine Natural Teak

Lots of different flavors of Cetol depending on what you're looking for.

Personally, I prefer to scrub with a 3M pad (Brillo/Scotch-Brite) or similar scrubber pad. It will bring up a nice golden color that slowly silvers. If it gets too silver for you scrub again. One thing to be careful of is too aggressive cleaning (pressure washer, scrubbing too hard...). Very easy to pull out the soft wood and leave a bumpy surface.
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