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post #3 of Old 02-11-2002
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Teak deck Q

While looking for the boat that I currently own, I looked at several boats with teak decks and, as such, did a fair bit of research on the care, maintenance, and expense of teak. Teak wood has been used successfully as decking on boats for hundreds of years. The wood itself is naturally oily and has alternating strips of hard and soft fibers. Use of aggressive cleaning solvents and the like has the tendency to remove the soft fibers and leave the hard ones given the appearance you currently see. The only way to rememdy this is to sand down the boards or replace them. While I would not put alot of faith in what the broker says, he is, indeed, correct about NOT "treating" the wood. Any paint, stain, etc. would cause the deck to be slippery and your wallet to get quite a bit lighter as it simply will not last. The whole point of teak decking is that it is a natural non-skid when left to its own merits. Grey IS the natural color of teak. Why not use teak oil? Well, the sun heats the teak oil, an organic oil, and microscopic organisms are attracted en mass for a free lunch. Thus causing the teak to turn black. There is some sort of non-organic teak oil out there that you might try as it supposedly does not attract these creatures. The people that I spoke with suggested a DAILY washing with a little soap and salt water. That''s it. No paint, stain, oil, etc. I would call Jimmy at the Jamestown (RI) Boat Yard. He and his crew have done numerous deck replacements on Swans and he can offer some good advice. The biggest problem with teak decks is that they all end up leaking eventually. The water gets trapped between the bottom of the wood and the fiberglass and casuses damage to both. Jimmy quoted me a price of $20K-$25K to replace the deck and fix the fiberglass on a boat that I was looking at. I posted my questions on and got responses from folks who own boats with teak decks. Good luck.

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