When we bought our yacht, our aim was no teak. We liked the look of it, but not the thought of the maintenance and the cost of eventual replacement (modern teak decks being only a 10mm veneer in effect). However due to circumstances beyond our control, the boat came with teak decks, so we researched various ways of looking after it.
Now - five years later, we are still very glad we have teak decks (our boat is in the Mediterranean
by the way), and the maintenance is minimal. Here goes with our views and experience:
1. Far better to have a warmer deck (wear deck shoes if it is too hot for you) than that dreadful glare off a white deck, that needs washing
often to stay white.
2. If we did end up with a white deck as planned, then we would have looked at painting (two-pack deck paint) in grey or cream - done well, with delineation, that can also look smart, but not as smart as well-cared for teak.
3. Most teak decks we see look the worse for wear - at least grey, and often with cupping, 'tram-lines' and sometimes, caulking coming away.
4. Our decks look effectively new - we like the new teak look, and we like to keep the timber as new. Think about it - no timber is going to stand up indefinitely to the harsh weathering of sun, water, heat, UV. Teak is good, (and don't assume they are still using teak these days - many are not), but it is still timber. We cleaned our decks and applied a product that seals
the timber from the elements, but still looks close to that natural, fresh-sanded appearance (we often get people asking if the boat is new).
5. Maintenance for us is a wash at the beginning of the season, a touch up here or there where a line has been rubbing the toe-rail etc, then a full coat of the sealer. On a 15 metre yacht this takes two people in their sixties, about an hour and a half. From then on the deck is washed when we need to wash the cabin
top etc and that is it.
At the end of the season, we put the Winter cover on and walk away.
That's us, but everyone has their own ideas.