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  #21  
Old 04-14-2010
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Teak has become staggeringly expensive. To cover it over with something that resembles Mississippi Mud and at this point Cetol will probably want to sue me. a teak deck should be left bare and only, lightly scrubbed with salt water to produce the finest known non skid traction surface in the world. But there is nothing, absolutely nothing, should be done to preserve a fine skylight, or hatch on a boat, but to use the finest varnish in the world to give beauty to the most beautiful and expensive boat in the world. ie: do not use cheap things on very very expensive wood.
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Old 04-15-2010
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I have posted about my adventures in teak finishing in my Old Boat Fun Means Old Boat Work topic, but here is a summary of my New To Teak experiences so far.

I am not one of those who think gray/silver teak looks great. It looks like old weathered wood rather than teak to me. But that's just me; a LOT of people love that silvery look.

I cannot speak to teak decks much; don't have 'em. I would follow the advise of others who say not to make them shiny and slippery -- that's just common sense.

For cleaning teak, I have tried Teak Cleaners and Soft Scrub (you know, the bathroom cleaner stuff) so far.

Frankly, Soft Scrub did just fine. It lightened up the wood nicely. Easy to apply too. I have finally found some wood bleach (oxalic acid) and am going to try that on the teak I didn't take off the deck yet to compare to the other two methods.

I've oiled all my teak so far with Amazon's Gold. I think it's largely linseed oil because it didn't say anything on the label about the wonders of tung oil.

It did darken the teak substantially. For the cabin sole, not a bad thing really; it's a floor. I'm a little disappointed at how dark the other bits came out there and probably won't try linseed-ish oil again.

I like the naked oil look a lot, just not the darkening. It's too dark. Part of that may be that I didn't get all the moisture out of the wood before oiling. I'm not sure.

Next time, I will try either tung oil, Cetol of some variation (I know there's Natural and something else), or teak sealer. I'm trying to avoid varnish for now.
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Old 04-15-2010
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Old 04-16-2010
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I agree that this is one subject that you will get many opinions about. If you really want to refinish your brightwork, then I suggest that you go out and get a copy of Brightwork – The Art of Finishing Wood by Rebecca Wittman. IMO, this is the best book on the subject.

We have lived aboard our HC33 for 5 years now, and there are acres of teak to take care of. When we first moved aboard, we decided to refinish all the exterior teak by scraping all the Cetol off, sanding it down, wet sanding with and applying 3 coats of teak oil, and then finishing with 10 coats of Schooners varnish. Of course this was a ton of work, but it looked beautiful.

Then reality set in. We aren’t the type of people that can meticulously keep up with that much varnished brightwork, and if you want it to stay nice, you have to be meticulous about it. Here in Florida, the weather will eat varnish like a cop with a donut. To keep it up, we had to constantly wash it down with fresh water, lightly sand it and recoat it every 3 months at least. After a year and a half, we let it go too long, and it was ruined. We opted to let the cap rail and the side rails (not sure of the name) go bare. So we scraped the remaining varnish off and have been bare on the rails for about 3 and a half years now. The rest of the brightwork is still varnished, and what isn’t covered in Sunbrella needs to be recoated once again.

If you still decide to finish your brightwork, then consider it a labor of love and enjoy!
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Last edited by remetau; 04-16-2010 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 04-16-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remetau View Post
Here in Florida, the weather will eat varnish like a cop with a donut.
What? You have something against donuts?
Just kidding. Thanks for sharing your experience. My (former Florida) boat has teak caprails that are also weathered. The last owner didn't want the maintenance either. They really need replacement, so I am postponing any treatment.
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Old 04-16-2010
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All this makes me glad I have a "Tupperware boat."

Although I have no exterior teak, I do have some interior teak that needs some work. The head enclosure, which is adjacent to the companionway, has some grey/black spots which I am sure are mildew. I believe that the wood is a thin teak laminate - about 1/8" thick over the fiberglass liner that forms the interior wall of the head. I would like to knock out the mildew, and would like advice on how best to do it. I believe that the wood is stained, so a bleach solution might harm the stain. I do not think there is a varnish. I have no objection to re-staining, but would first prefer to find a cleaning solution that could knock out the mildew with minimum possible damage to the current finish. Any suggestions of what product might be best for this? Or is there something I could mix together myself?
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Old 04-19-2010
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Basically it's better to have some small important parts of the boat carefully and beautifully varnished and let the rest of it go bare. (within the time limit that people are prepared to spend on it.)
It's better than a large acreage that you can't keep up with.
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Old 04-19-2010
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I acquired a dinghy, which I believe is a fiberglass Dyer Dhow... I'm not positive if the gunwale is made of teak or oak. My plan was to sand it and then apply some teak oil-- I'm not sure if thats the best approach though...
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Old 04-19-2010
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I think varnish is the best. It's really not all that much work! It's actually kind of pleasurable.

A respirator, gloves, chip brushes, a can of varnish, a work pot, mineral spirits, a heat gun, a scraper, some 220 grit and a sanding block.

That's all you need!
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Old 04-20-2010
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I love the look of the Cetol Natural Teak (two coats) and the Cetol High Gloss on top (three coats). It seems to be close enough to the look of varnish without loosing the grain detail.
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