Question on teak cleaning and sealing to deck - SailNet Community

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Old 07-01-2009
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Question on teak cleaning and sealing to deck

I have owned my first sailboat for 2 months now. I have read quite a bit on here and decided to go with a starbright teak cleaner/brightner then to the light teak oil/sealent. Looks great. Problem though. The cleaner/brightner got onto the freeboard which is a soft yellow and has discolored it. I may have taken off the wax coating as opposed to softened the paint but why would this happen for a specifically designed cleaner.

The cleaner also took off a bunch of dried black teak toe rail to hull sealant. I bought some 3M black 5200 and scraped clean a section to test it out and I made a mess with it and it seems impossible to make it look neat cuz it just goos wherever it wants and does not seem to want to get into cracks. There has to be a better way to do this. The cleaner/brightner also apparently softens 5200 so I am looking for something better/more easiliy applied sealent to get splits in the teak and soft/dried out seals replaced.

Advice please! Not just products but what is the best way to apply it! Why would be freeboard discolor?
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Old 07-01-2009
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Teak cleaning

As an owner of a 30 year old boat with a teak deck for some 12 years now I've had lots of thoughts and have taken some actions on what to do about and with the deck. While a thoroughly scrubbed deck looks terrific for a while it will revert to the more natural silvered look in a few months. If you insist on cleaning it, go with what those that seem to be real experts suggest. Just use sea water and one of those scrubbing pads (the white ones with handles). Anything else is doing more harm than good. As for me, I leave mine alone now with the exception of a thorough wash down a couple of times a year.

As far as what to use to reseal the teak seams, the absolute best, I'm told, is Detco. It's a two part material that you have to mix up and place into tubes and then squeeze into the seams. It reportedly makes a great seal and lasts forever, or so. I have a friend that used Detco to seal the deck on a boat he built some 10 years ago and it is still in great shape.

The next best is TeakDecking Systems SIS440. It is a one part material that comes in ready to use tubes. If you really need to repair/reseal some seams I'd suggest that you contact the folks at Yacht Services. They can send you detailed instructions as to how to make repairs. Their email address is yacht dot services @ teakdecking dot com. I'm currently refurbishing a large part of my deck to reseal seams and reset screws and I'm using SIS440. It's working well so far.

I've used quite a few other seam sealing materials over the years to patch seams and none of it worked well in my opinion.

In any event, welcome to the sailing community and I hope you have great luck and fun with your new boat.

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Last edited by DwayneSpeer; 07-01-2009 at 05:04 PM. Reason: Add detail
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Old 07-01-2009
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Dwayne is on the right track as far as I'm concerned. Dish soap does a nice job on teak. I use a chamois mop on my decks. On stubborn stains I'll use a scrubby, but be sure to work across the grain.

If you can get Boracol mildewcide it is useful once a year or so. The common mildews on teak decks are black and look like dirt that won't clean off.
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