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Old 01-17-2006
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teak decks

Considering 2 boats with teak decks. Both are mid 80''s vintgage. What can I look at to assess condition of these decks? And if worse case senario, what does it cost to replace teak decks properly in a 35'' boat?
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Old 01-17-2006
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teak decks

It is almost imposible to do a thorough assessment of the condition of a teak deck. leaks into the core can result in rot but the adhesives used can often mask the problem until it is extremely serious. You can remove some plugs to see how much wood exists above the core and some remove some screws, which may or may not show whether is rot in the deck. If core damage is extensive the screws will feel stripped on removal or on reinsertion. It is something of an educated crap shoot as to whether the screws that you are removed are in a damaged area or not.

While the cost of replacing a teak deck will vary depending on the design of the deck and where you are having the work done, discussions of this topic on other bulletin boards suggest that the cost could be in a range between $20,000 and $40,000 depending on the grade of teak and extent of the damage to the core.

The lifespan of teak decks are generally cited as being 20 to 30 years depending on maintenance, sailing venue, and original construction.

For me, teak decks are a deal killer, especially on a boat of this age. If I had to restore a boat with teak decks, I would remove the teak decks, repair the sub-decking and go back with a fiberglass non-skid deck. There is no way that I would consider going back with teak decks.

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Old 01-17-2006
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teak decks

Some of the worlds best boats have teak decks, also some of the worlds worst. Either way they will eventually need replacing. Hardly anyone actually replaces with teak however. Teak decks are heavy and expensive. Teak decks of this era were screwed down, lots of screws that have probably allowed water into the sub deck. Expect rot under the teak. That needs to be repaired before the deck can be resurfaced. Probably with fiberglass. If you do all the work yourself you could probably spend 3-4k, have a yard do it and expect 10-20k.
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Old 01-18-2006
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teak decks

If you truly love teak decks like me, then ignore the words of those who bash boats that have them. Teak decks do not require much more effort to maintain, beyond what is necessary to maintain glass decks. In fact, simply leave them natural, never brush with the grain and flush with seawater occasionally and the decks should last more than 30 years. Do not apply any chemicals or stains . . . this may degrade the caulking.

What I would look for if examining teak decks on prospective boats, are signs that the above was not adhered to by previous owners. The signs will be obvious - worn soft grain from excessive brushing, caulking bonds released from planks by caustic cleaners/oils, and loose, spongy decks.

Most all overlay deck planking on modern boats is applied to cored decks. If the integrity of bungs or caulking is breeched, water will seep beneath the fiberglass upper skin, rotting the core material. If the deck has been allowed to deteriorate to this level, an expensive restoration is required. Otherwise, simply recaulk areas that may be needed with black polysulphide and replace/reinsert teak bungs with epoxy glue.

If the boat you are inspecting is a Nauticat, such as my boat, you have very little to worry about. All Nauticats are constructed with SOLID fiberglass decks. Teak planks are screwed & bunged over the solid decks. Therefore, no leaks should develop, compared to cored deck boats. The teak is not a structural component, but functionally, is the best non-skid material used and aesthetically, the nicest looking.

Best, Steve
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Old 01-19-2006
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teak decks

Thanks for the input. I think there is nothing like teak decks under foot. I will still be looking at the boats with the teak, but will be even more cautious after Jeffs comments. My feeling is that I have ten years left in me for sailing. After that, I won''t care. And I am not so foolish to think of a boat as an investment.

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