Replacing Teak Decks - SailNet Community
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 1 Old 06-04-2001 Thread Starter
Contributing Author
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 251
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 18
Replacing Teak Decks

I have an older wooden boat and the deck is planked with teak which is fastened directly to frames. I'm tired of the battle with leaks and want to cover this deck. What would be the best material(s) and method(s) for proceeding?

Dan Dickison responds:
Thanks for your question. You've got a number of options regarding how to deal with your leaky deck. Of course wooden boat purists will tell you that the only proper thing to do is to lay a new deck using teak. I agree that this would certainly be the way to keep the boat in its traditional trim, but that process can be cost-prohibitive for some owners. Anyway, it's clear from your question that you don't want to go that route.

One other quasi-traditional option for sheathing your deck is to cover it in canvas and then paint that. It might sound strange to you, but this method was quite common prior to advent of fiberglass. You'll have to remove all deck hardware and the toerails to do this, and depending upon the shape of the teak that's there, you may need to tear it out and replace it with marine plywood, or at least sand it smooth and seal it with epoxy (we're trying to combat rot here). Then you can adhere the canvas, paint it, and rebed the hardware and the toerails. I owned a 23-foot Bear Boat (native to San Francisco Bay) aboard which the deck had been sheathed in canvas for roughly 40 years. We had the boat for five years, and with a little regular maintenance, it held up quite well.

The third option, and the one that will likely give you the longest life out of the boat, is sheathing the deck with fiberglass. Again, you'll have to remove all of the deck hardware and the toerails and any hatch fittings, so there's a fair bit of work involved. And you'll have to prep any weak or rotted teak just as you would with a canvas sheathing, but once you have done all the preparation, wetting out the fiberglass and laying it in place will go fairly quickly. Then when it's fully cured, you can paint it.

Before you get started on a big project like this, it's always best to check with someone whose gone through the process recently, or done it several times in the past. That way you can learn about most of the pitfalls in advance. I recommend you find a boatyard that works on wooden boats in your general geographic area and strike up a conversation with the workers there. In the time it takes to drink a beer (or two) on a Friday afternoon, these guys can give you most of the information you'll need to know so that you can get to work and get your boat ready for some more sailing.
Best of luck to you.

Dan Dickison is offline  
Closed Thread

Quick Reply

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is Off
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome