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post #1 of 10 Old 04-26-2010 Thread Starter
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Oil teak cockpit grate?

Our boat has a teak cockpit grate, which to my knowledge has never had any oil or other sealer/protectant applied. It currently has the gray weathered looked look of natural, uncoated teak. It's great underfoot, with a smooth natural non-slip feel.

Is there any reason to apply a couple coats of teak oil to the grate? I realized weathered teak provides excellent non-skid and the gray color doesn't bother me at all. However, I was thinking the oil might make the grate last longer...but then again, the oil might also make the grate slippery. Any thoughts or opinions?

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post #2 of 10 Old 04-26-2010
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Oil?

Leave it alone. It will last very long without the addition of any oil. Just don't let it sit in water for long periods, that is, make sure your cockpit drains are working well.


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post #3 of 10 Old 04-26-2010
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Don't apply oil. It will turn black.

That being said I just stripped and varnished mine... but I enjoy punishment.
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-26-2010 Thread Starter
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Doesn't the varnish make it more slippery, particularly when wet?

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post #5 of 10 Old 04-26-2010
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You put on a real thick finish coat, and add salt or sugar on top of it.

Never tried it, but have seen it done. I showed up just as the rock salt was being rinsed off the deck. It was nicely nonskid.
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-26-2010
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Quote:
uncoated teak. It's great underfoot, with a smooth natural non-slip feel.
For the cockpit or any decking, leave it untreated.


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post #7 of 10 Old 04-26-2010
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Wow! Since everyone else has expressed their opinions on teak oil above I will express mine which are derived from working on the too-much-exterior teak on my boat.
- teak oil does not turn the wood black.
there is a fungus that can attack the wood when it gets dried out (of oil) and the fungus can grow. This is why some people swear by using just salt water on their teak as the residual salt kills it. Fresh water would not provide the same protection. Black spots can be bleached out. Perhaps a solution of water and sea salt (or any salt) would act as a good brine or pickling solution for the teak if you want to stay with the silver/gray look (haven't tried this yet but you GL sailors might try it).
- teak oil will not be slippery like varnish.
the oil will seep into the wood and the surface can be wiped down with alcohol to pick up any remaining moisture. Oiling the wood can even make the grain stand up a little giving you more traction while varnishing tends to flatten and smooth out the finish making it more slippery. I know, as I sanded, oiled and varnished our cockpit gratings and even though they still look pretty good 6 years later I still kind of hate using them. The sheets and other lines can get between the slats and they are slippery when wet.
- teak is known to be an oily wood. Giving it more oil can't be a bad thing for it if it is clean and I do believe that it is good for the wood in the long run.
- I also agree with the other posters in that leaving the wood alone, untreated (or salted as I am advocating) is the easiest way to go as the maintenance seems minimal. I am just not sure what this does to the wood on a cellular level if it dries out. I happen to like the look of oiled teak so I get the tyranny of the teak.

I say go with salt water solution rinses periodically if you want to stay gray; go with teak oil if you want the rich ruddy teak color.

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post #8 of 10 Old 04-26-2010
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Teak oil makes teak attract dirt, and looks terrible. I don't know about anyone else, but that is my experience with it. It makes the teak dark and muddy. Ugly.
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-26-2010
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Wow! Since everyone else has expressed their opinions on teak oil above I will express mine which are derived from working on the too-much-exterior teak on my boat.
- teak oil does not turn the wood black.
there is a fungus that can attack the wood when it gets dried out (of oil) and the fungus can grow. This is why some people swear by using just salt water on their teak as the residual salt kills it. Fresh water would not provide the same protection. Black spots can be bleached out. Perhaps a solution of water and sea salt (or any salt) would act as a good brine or pickling solution for the teak if you want to stay with the silver/gray look (haven't tried this yet but you GL sailors might try it).
- teak oil will not be slippery like varnish.
the oil will seep into the wood and the surface can be wiped down with alcohol to pick up any remaining moisture. Oiling the wood can even make the grain stand up a little giving you more traction while varnishing tends to flatten and smooth out the finish making it more slippery. I know, as I sanded, oiled and varnished our cockpit gratings and even though they still look pretty good 6 years later I still kind of hate using them. The sheets and other lines can get between the slats and they are slippery when wet.
- teak is known to be an oily wood. Giving it more oil can't be a bad thing for it if it is clean and I do believe that it is good for the wood in the long run.
- I also agree with the other posters in that leaving the wood alone, untreated (or salted as I am advocating) is the easiest way to go as the maintenance seems minimal. I am just not sure what this does to the wood on a cellular level if it dries out. I happen to like the look of oiled teak so I get the tyranny of the teak.

I say go with salt water solution rinses periodically if you want to stay gray; go with teak oil if you want the rich ruddy teak color.

"The cure for anything is salt water~ sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Denesen

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post #10 of 10 Old 04-27-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaltersmi View Post
Our boat has a teak cockpit grate, which to my knowledge has never had any oil or other sealer/protectant applied. It currently has the gray weathered looked look of natural, uncoated teak. It's great underfoot, with a smooth natural non-slip feel.

Is there any reason to apply a couple coats of teak oil to the grate? I realized weathered teak provides excellent non-skid and the gray color doesn't bother me at all. However, I was thinking the oil might make the grate last longer...but then again, the oil might also make the grate slippery. Any thoughts or opinions?
Teak that has become grey has been UV burned ... destroying the topmost wood cells. In several years of UV exposure the teak surface will become badly eroded. Teak is now costing .... approaching $40 per board foot; so, protecting it is very prudent IMHO.

Teak Oil usually doesnt have sufficient UV retardants and if applied 'thick' will oxidize and eventually turn dark; plus, it can get quite slippery when wetted.

Your situation is probably best served by an application of a TEAK SEALER. Many have pigmentation additives that help to retard the inevitabale UV destruction. For high wear, high traffic areas I prefer SEMCO (goldtone).... for other areas I prefer a 50:50 mix of Semco goldtone and Teak Wonder. Such (minimum of 2 wet coats) will last about one full season .... less if the sealer is constantly washed by boarding 'green waves'.

Rx: Etch/scrub the grate with TSP to get rid of the UV damage ('grey'), then bleach with Oxalic Acid, and then apply a minimum of 2 coats of Teak Sealer. :-)
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