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Old 19-11-2020, 10:18   #1
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Teak on cockpit seats

I have a Beneteau 473 and I want to take off the varnish that is on the cockpit seats and put oil on it.
This is on my list of things I want to do while the boat is covered for the winter. Need tips on how I should remove the old varnish. Also, I will be doing the table.
The black caulking looks like itís in good shape. Or should I be removing and replace it as well? Or just remove the varnish and oil it. Then next year do the caulking?
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Old 19-11-2020, 10:31   #2
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Re: Teak on cockpit seats

you can buy a solvent at any hardware store that will remove the varnish...just paint it on and let the solvent do it's thing.....you may have to do this once or twice....the solvent will soften the varnish, you can then use a scraper to remove the varnish...

then lightly sand the teak to get the last remnants off..

that teak is just glued onto the Beneteau cockpits seats....I don't think you need to do anything with the caulking between the teak slats.......I know, as I have the same type seats.....

you can oil the teak with any of a variety of teak oils available.....but the seats will tend to get darker over time...I'd suggest getting the lightest color teak oil you can find...
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Old 19-11-2020, 10:36   #3
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Re: Teak on cockpit seats

oh, I forgot to add....you can also use a heat gun to remove the varnish.....the heat gun will have a scraper attachment you can mount to the bottom of the heat gun.....it works well, but don't touch that scraper as it will be very hot....

or maybe a combo of solvent and heat gun....depends on how thick the varnish is....

I have always tended to use the solvent first and come behind it with the heat gun/scraper...and then sand it...
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Old 19-11-2020, 13:40   #4
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Re: Teak on cockpit seats

Advice above all sounds good for removing the varnish. A couple of points from my experience with two Beneteaus that have teak on the cockpit seats.

I don't like oil - it tends to be "sticky" with respect to dust and the normal amount of dirt that ends up in a cockpit. But I agree that it is much better than varnish for a large number of reasons.

After a few years in Mexico where we continued to do nothing for the teak other than clean it with boat wash from time to time and then drench it in clean salt water so that the residual salt would draw moisture form the air, some of the teak was starting to degrade. We accepted advice from a local marine teak specialist to use Semco two part cleaner and sealant. We continue to use it and very much like the tone and grain of the teak and the sun induced degradation has pretty much stopped (the boat is now in Tahiti). We used Semco "natural".

BTW, on both Beneteaus (one 1985 and one 1990) the teak is screwed and plugged, not glued.

I can provide pics if you are interested.
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Old 19-11-2020, 14:32   #5
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Re: Teak on cockpit seats

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Originally Posted by MicHughV View Post
oh, I forgot to add....you can also use a heat gun to remove the varnish.....the heat gun will have a scraper attachment you can mount to the bottom of the heat gun.....it works well, but don't touch that scraper as it will be very hot....

or maybe a combo of solvent and heat gun....depends on how thick the varnish is....

I have always tended to use the solvent first and come behind it with the heat gun/scraper...and then sand it...

Are u sure its solid teak or is it veneer? I would remove it and put cork
Seacork or Marnine deck 2000. You can eliminate cushions as well with the cork as it is very comfortable without the cushions. Cannot be stained and will keep like new. It will grey but when washed with soap and water it returns to its original installed color.
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Old 19-11-2020, 14:53   #6
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Re: Teak on cockpit seats

my Beneteau, late 2006/7 model...has....as far as I can tell.....the teak glued to the cockpit seat. It is just inside a rim of sorts, so that the top of the teak is flush with the fiberglass.There is no sign of any bolts or screws protruding thru' the bottom of the seat, and no bung holes on top.......so I am assuming it is glued in there or affixed in some manner.

It could well be a piece of teak veneer, inlaid with the caulking strips and the whole thing just glued in there...it is after all a Beneteau....if there is a cheaper way to do something....they will....in fact, the more I think about it, the more I'm thinking it is likely a veneer.....the lack of bungholes should have alerted me to that...I don't think that teak is more than 3/16-1/4" thick....

I agree with the above poster, the oil tends to make the teak sticky....it takes a long time to dry...it will attract dirt and other odds and ends..and it will get quite dark....

a cleaner and a sealant, I agree, will give a better product.
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Old 20-11-2020, 11:35   #7
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Re: Teak on cockpit seats

I have a beneteau oceanis 45 and have done what you are proposing. I used the semco product to remove the old stain. The hardest part is scraping the stain off the black caulking. It turned out good. I don't put anything on the teak...not even oil. I like the look and feel of it being left unfinished. I usually clean it with the semco product once per year to get it looking bristol.
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Old 20-11-2020, 12:08   #8
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Re: Teak on cockpit seats

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Originally Posted by khuber View Post
I have a beneteau oceanis 45 and have done what you are proposing. I used the semco product to remove the old stain. The hardest part is scraping the stain off the black caulking. It turned out good. I don't put anything on the teak...not even oil. I like the look and feel of it being left unfinished. I usually clean it with the semco product once per year to get it looking bristol.
As I noted above, I am also a fan of Semco products. The cleaner works really well as you have discovered. I also agree that the look and feel of unfinished but clean teak is hard to beat. That approach worked well here in British Columbia but in Mexico the summer sun was very destructive so we started using both components of the Semco system - the cleaner plus the sealant. We chose natural but when I get around to doing it again (the boat is stuck in Tahiti at the moment), I will try "clear".

I don't have any photos of the teak benches but here is part of my photo collection of "things that broke" during the Pacific crossing:

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Old 20-11-2020, 12:24   #9
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Re: Teak on cockpit seats

The best thing to do for teak is as little as possible. Salt water will kill the mold that blackens it and leave it silver. Alternatively lightly brush or mop with a solution of mild soap and bleach. This will also allow silver teak. Anything else you do will remove some of the teak, like sanding, scraping using harsh teak cleaners etc and eventually ruin it Oiling is a fast way to destroy teak by promoting mold. on the exterior. Teak oil should only be used on interior wood.
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Old 20-11-2020, 19:10   #10
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Re: Teak on cockpit seats

After 12 years of justing washing the cockpit teak in my 343 with boat soap and brush (I think I used teak cleaner twice) I may have caused a problem. I have lost a millimeter or so of the teak in two areas. It appears to me that the teak is attached at least in part with pointing end of tacks pointed up; I guess it might be glued as well? If you look close at pics you can sea the metal protruding above teak and the teak being below the rubber sealant.

I will likely go with artificial when the time comes to fully fix.
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Old 20-11-2020, 22:07   #11
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Re: Teak on cockpit seats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul E Wog View Post
I have a Beneteau 473 and I want to take off the varnish that is on the cockpit seats and put oil on it.
This is on my list of things I want to do while the boat is covered for the winter. Need tips on how I should remove the old varnish. Also, I will be doing the table.
The black caulking looks like itís in good shape. Or should I be removing and replace it as well? Or just remove the varnish and oil it. Then next year do the caulking?
Remove the varnish with stripper, then use Semco Teak Cleaner and Brightener (Part A cleans, Part B brightens - amazingly !).

you should then have teak that looks new again. Give it a light sand, then you need to make the decision.

Any oil will darken the teak, and at some stage need removing (along with a bit more teak .....) and starting again.

Alternatively use Semco Teak Sealer. The Natural Tone (as we use) does not darken, and retains the freshly sanded, new teak look. There are darker tones in the range too if you prefer that. We have been using the product for seven seasons now in the cockpit and the side decks. To we still get questions as to whether we have just replaced our teak, such is the appearance.
It still wets, but dries quickly, and protects the teak better than an oil in our experience (we have used both)
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Old 20-11-2020, 22:15   #12
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Re: Teak on cockpit seats

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Originally Posted by Marathon1150 View Post
As I noted above, I am also a fan of Semco products. The cleaner works really well as you have discovered. I also agree that the look and feel of unfinished but clean teak is hard to beat. That approach worked well here in British Columbia but in Mexico the summer sun was very destructive so we started using both components of the Semco system - the cleaner plus the sealant. We chose natural but when I get around to doing it again (the boat is stuck in Tahiti at the moment), I will try "clear".

I don't have any photos of the teak benches but here is part of my photo collection of "things that broke" during the Pacific crossing:

The 'Cleartone' will darken the teak, as it has a lot less pigment in it. Also because of that, it does not last as long.

For those who advocate just washing - every time you do that, a little more teak is washed over the side (as evidenced by those who have high caulking).

Far better to protect the teak and just wash the sealer (slowly) over the side. We treat once a year, or sometimes once every second year. On a fifty foot mono, fully decked, it takes around four man-hours per year to re-treat.

Interested looking at your photo, how you keep your caulking black.
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Old 21-11-2020, 03:22   #13
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Re: Teak on cockpit seats

Agree with salt water only to maintain. I replaced transom teak last year which is similar. There are some nails in but they are for "show" as there are no battens underneath. If you replace the caulking you may find that the wood has been routed so that if the teak is 6mm thick it will have a 3mm router strip so the caulking is only 3mm deep.
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Old 21-11-2020, 13:13   #14
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Re: Teak on cockpit seats

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Originally Posted by David B View Post

Interested looking at your photo, how you keep your caulking black.
Thanks for the pointer re "clear". I'll avoid it and stick with "natural". Regarding the black caulking, its a bit of photographic aberration. When I put on the Semco "natural" sealant, I paint everything - i.e. I don't mask the caulking, so it does have some brown discoloration that is not showing up in the photo. Perhaps because it is only detectable under certain lighting conditions.

The less than black parts of the caulking show up a bit better in this photo (a libation for the crew and Neptune after crossing the equator):



This shot is the companionway which gets a lot of traffic but the Semco treated teak holds up very well. To be fair however, it does not get a lot of sun - the dodger and bimini shade this area most of the time.
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Old 22-11-2020, 22:11   #15
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Re: Teak on cockpit seats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marathon1150 View Post
Thanks for the pointer re "clear". I'll avoid it and stick with "natural". Regarding the black caulking, its a bit of photographic aberration. When I put on the Semco "natural" sealant, I paint everything - i.e. I don't mask the caulking, so it does have some brown discoloration that is not showing up in the photo. Perhaps because it is only detectable under certain lighting conditions.

The less than black parts of the caulking show up a bit better in this photo (a libation for the crew and Neptune after crossing the equator):



This shot is the companionway which gets a lot of traffic but the Semco treated teak holds up very well. To be fair however, it does not get a lot of sun - the dodger and bimini shade this area most of the time.
Interesting. I still think yours is fairly black, but it depends how many times you have coated I guess. We have been treating ours since 2013 (3 coats then from memory), then another two coats the following year, and maybe the next, with just a coat a year after than, so our caulking has probably 9-10 coats on it now.

With our boat in the Med, and us in Australia until probably 2023, when we return, may be the time to completely strip with the cleaner, and start again (I always thought we would re-do every 10 years or so). Time will tell.

In the meantime, here (about 01:18 in if you can't be bothered with the start), is how we do it - very quick and easy with my 'squirt and spread' technique.
https://youtu.be/Qt0uel_v-kY
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