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Old 15-05-2017, 18:57   #1
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teak deck

Looking at a 1993 boat with teak deck what questions should be asked?
How to tell if under deck is solid?
Inside looks well maintained. The teak toe rails are well maintained. The deak appears solid but unfinished.
Any recommendations before I consider survey?

James Cook
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Old 15-05-2017, 22:46   #2
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Re: teak deck

Hi, James,

Well, first thing to determine is if the teak is screwed down. From the picture, I couldn't really tell, I did not see any plugs to cover screw holes. If it does have plugs, look really carefully to see if there is a little smear of rust coming out around the plug. That would be an indicator of moisture underneath, and degradation of the screw.

Now, if you know the construction of the boat, if the deck is cored or not, that could help. If the teak is over plywood, and it has screws, there is a chance the plywood underneath is rotten. Proper repair is possible, but expensive, even when you do it yourself.

If it's glued, measure the thickness of the thickest and thinnest bits, and that will give you an idea of the wear, because it all started out pretty much the same thickness. If it's glued, any water intrusion into the substrate will be from screwed on deck fittings and the like, and is usually fairly easily fixable.

If you love teak decks, phone around to a couple of good boat builders and ask how much a new one would cost. Be aware that the new plantation teak is not as durable a timber as the older teak was.

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Old 15-05-2017, 22:58   #3
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Re: teak deck

It appears to be glued down. Well all of it but for the king plank, & some edge trim. Which bodes better than a fully screwed down deck.
To some degree you can sound it (the tap test), listening for differences as you go. And I'm far from an expert on the topic, but thermal imaging could probably tell you a lot about what's going on with the deck internally. Whether you do the imaging, or better yet, someone who's certified in it (or both).

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Old 16-05-2017, 01:14   #4
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Re: teak deck

Looks like deck is glued not screwed, except for king plank and covering boards, which are screwed and have been sanded enough to experience approx. 50% bung failure. Might be a good deck for another ten years at most I'd guess, I'd suggest you price a teak deck replacement now. 30 years is a good long life for most teak decks in most places. This could be the exception, but better to budget for the worst IMHO, because it's a boat...
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deck, teak, teak deck

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