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Old 02-12-2020, 09:02   #1
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Teak decks

Can I have your opinions on teak decks. What to look for when purchasing a sailboat with teak decks, maintenance..... pros and cons.
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Old 02-12-2020, 09:06   #2
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Re: Teak decks

I ended up getting a boat with teak decks because of a lot of other factors, and it is one of the things that I consider a major downside that I have accepted as a necessary evil. But if you have multiple options where your other important criteria are equal, I'd go for a boat without teak decks.
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Old 02-12-2020, 09:20   #3
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Re: Teak decks

On a used, especially older boat look for screw bungs popping out, dried and split teak strips and old caulk between the planks.

Pros/Cons.

Best non skid properties of any deck.

VERY hot in the tropics as in hot enough to blister the bottom of your feet.

Heavy.

VERY expensive to replace when (not if) it goes bad. Also expensive or personally very time consuming to remove it if you go that route.

When it's time for maintenance and repair can be a lot of work.
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Old 02-12-2020, 19:43   #4
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Re: Teak decks

For us, a teak deck would be a dealbreaker in comparing two similar boats. Hot, heavy, leaky, and expensive, as others have said. Teak is not getting easier to source for repairs, nor are the woodworkers who can do the repairs properly. It can look nice. So can a fiberglass deck.
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Old 02-12-2020, 20:04   #5
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Re: Teak decks

Pick a sunny day
Hose the deck
The bits that stay wet longer need repair.
Assess and make your purchasing decision.

Owner of two teak decks; repairer of one, replacer of the other; never again!

P.S. the one I replaced looked a million $.
The sale price exceeded my expectations by a factor of 4 of what I put into the deck, gratings, trim and transom.
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Old 03-12-2020, 14:34   #6
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Re: Teak decks

You either love em or hate em.
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Old 03-12-2020, 17:54   #7
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Re: Teak decks

Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
You either love em or hate em.
I love em and hate em.
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Old 03-12-2020, 18:40   #8
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Re: Teak decks

I love mine but hated the process of redoing them. After 30 years of neglect by a previous owner, they needed replacing badly. I did it the right way. It was expensive and took quite a while to complete. Now it is all new teak with no bungs, no screws, no leaks and no regrets. Should be good for at least another 30 years with proper maintenance. Cant beat the look.
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Old 05-12-2020, 07:21   #9
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Re: Teak decks

I wonder why many of the European manufactured boats come with teak decks. I don't b elieve fiberglass is even an option. I'm looking at a couple of Swedish boats both of which have teak decks. I now have second thoughts ??
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Old 05-12-2020, 10:12   #10
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Re: Teak decks

avoid even the teak in the cockpit, if at all possible: very hot in the tropics, very!
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Old 05-12-2020, 12:49   #11
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Re: Teak decks

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Originally Posted by leveramikes View Post
I wonder why many of the European manufactured boats come with teak decks. I don't b elieve fiberglass is even an option. I'm looking at a couple of Swedish boats both of which have teak decks. I now have second thoughts ??


Scandi boats typically always have teak decks as it gives an air of being upmarket

Almost all the AWB manufacturers offer teak as an option

Given Burmese teak has been illegal in the EU for a decade I wonder what manufacturers do these days.
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Old 05-12-2020, 13:01   #12
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Re: Teak decks

I've had teak decks, and replaced them once also:
-Look for heads of screws exposed, this usually means the deck is worn down to the point where the teak bungs got too thin and came out. Some are likely still intact but wont be long. This can be a big job but very do-able, just hard on the back and knees! You may end up removing a lot of screws, redrilling 1/8" deeper and putting new shorter screws in.
-Look for how the sealer looks. is it very dry and shrunk away from the teak strips? This can also be done but a very big job.
I've had both done and it came out very nice.

-The builder matters with teak decks. I replaced them on a Hans Christian 38. I would not do it again knowing now how well it was originally done. I could have rebuilt the decks as less work. The sealer used was so tough the screws weren't really needed. I had to actually break teak boards to get the deck off! No water ingress into the fiberglass was found.
-However, there are less good builders out there including some who screw the decks into plywood, which may rot.
-you can belt sand a deck for aesthetics and it comes out looking new. The caulking sands well also.
Nothing I have found as a better surface than teak. I used Treadmaster on one boat, super grippy, but it is hard on bare feet for sure.
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Old 06-12-2020, 09:45   #13
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Re: Teak decks

There is NOTHING more beautiful that teak decks on a big sailing yachts. NOTHING.
Just admire brand new Swans or Baltics. I said brand new.


I had at some point a Swan 47. A beauty. Teak decks were generating constant maintenance problems, everything said above my post is true. Hose them and wait. When most of the deck is dry, you will see areas still wet, got to fix that ASAP.
You need to remove the teak bungs, remove the screws, lift the teak, pour acetone. Glue the teak back (epoxy), re caulk, screw back in, and make a waterproof seal with a teak bung.

Expect to do that about 100 times every year. And that is regular maintenance.
I am in San Francisco. To get good and not too expensive craftsmanship I flew two guys from Finland. Two weeks of work.
Teak gets very very hot for your feet.
Teak does not like rain, only salt water
teak does not like sun (You need a FULL cover when you don't sail).


That big Swan was my last boat with a teak deck. Same with varnish, avoid it as much as possible unless you cruise 30 days every year and your Hinckley lives under a shed the rest of the year, with brightwork maintained by a professional crew.


But if you enjoy beauty, have plenty of time (and you enjoy being on your knees) and/or money then get teak decks (but on a boat well built where it will be worth your time/money).


Good luck!
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Old 08-12-2020, 16:28   #14
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Re: Teak decks

Ive had one yacht, 32ft, with teak decks. NEVER AGAIN: for all the reasons given by other commentators.
My 40ft steel Joshua ketch had Treadmaster glued to the painted steel deck. Yes, it is a bit gnarly on bare feet, but WAY more non-skid than teak (and the point of non-skid is non-skid, yes?). You can get it in a tan colour which is not as hot in the tropical sun as the brown version and certainly not as hot as teak.
There are other brands besides Treadmaster, but I can testify that Treadmaster lasts a long long time. Id say it is also way less expensive than putting on a new teak deck these days. Much easier to do too.
The type of glue you use is very important. It must be impervious to salt water, diesel, must be able to tolerate high temperature, etc. I used a 3M product, but cant remember the name 30 years on.
My current 32ft yacht has a fibreglass deck painted with polyurethane and with non-skid added to the paint in a pattern. Its quite non-skid, looks good and easy to re-new.
On the other hand, if the teak look is what you want and you think that will impress people and you have the time and $ for maintenance, go for it.
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Old 08-12-2020, 17:54   #15
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Re: Teak decks

If you want low maintenance teak decks, find a boat that has already had the teak replaced using the epoxy method without screws and bungs or else bite the bullet and do it yourself. Once its done, its done.
Teak loves seawater. If it gets too warm, a quick dousing with the deck washdown pump and it will stay cool and wet for hours. Nothing better than the feeling of wet teak under bare feet.
I cant imagine my boat without teak decks but to each his own.
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