Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Narragansett Bay
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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.