Dark dull interior teak
We have recently purchased a 30yr old Tayana 37 which has dark dull and water damaged interior teak. Any suggestions for brightening/cleaning the teak would be gratefully received.
Unless you're hung up on having the teak look down below and only if the timber is inherently in a good condition, consider painting the surfaces a light colour and leaving just the fiddles and other edges in varnished teak.
I have had full timber interiors in earlier boats and thought I liked them. I now have a white-and-timber-trim interior and I wouldn't swap back. This space in my boat is indicative of what I describe - the whole interior follows the principle and the boat is light and fresh down below
Do you have any pics of how bad it is? I had a lot of pretty dark and dull pieces too (actually the whole boat). I removed them and sanded the crap out of them. If there was a little stain left I would hit it with some acetone...it brightened it up a little bit more. Some of the pieces got powerwashed then sanded if the grain looked like it was holding a lot of dirt.
A buddy of mine used Teka on his but I haven't seen the boat since and can't really say if it turned out good or not.
I don't have any closer Before pics of the hanging locker...but here's a before and after.
The bulkheads to the right and left of the hanging locker in the After picture were remade with birch.
Thanks so much. What quick helpful replies. Perhaps I'll go for the paint and fiddles option (looks great) as we're keen to get sailing and the sanding option seems like a lot of work!
If you like the "Herreschoff" look (white with wood trim) you might consider applying/gluing a laminate rather than paint.. it will look more uniform, last longer and be a more durable finish - but will likely cost quite a bit more.
Interior teak goes 'dark as a cave' because it wasnt originally varnished but oiled. Its the oil that has turned to black due oxidation; but, that oxidation probably has now begun to penetrate into the teak surface. There are only one was to do this:
1. Oil removal. Wash with Trisodium Phosphate to dissolve the 'dead' oil
2. Sand back to raw teak (Caution: the teak used in Tayanas was Burmese/Thai teak and if you get it hot by sanding ... it may turn 'dark brown' in 'zones' where there are 'sap pockets' ... so sand with light pressure and 'keep the sander moving'). Totally forget the 'heat gun'.
3. Bleach the sanded teak with oxalic acid, etc. (Paint store 'wood bleach')
4. Apply 2 uniform coats of acrylic sealer (if you like 'normal-hue varnished' teak, omit this step).
5. Varnish (oil, tung oil based) - typically 5-6 'snot coats', flat sand with 400 grit, then 2 final coats. I like to apply the final coats with a roller and tip-brush (or sometimes spray it).
6. If semi-gloss finish desired then 'hand rub' (bare hand!) with rottenstone + oil; If gloss finish ... then 'rub' with rottenstone + water; if matt/satin finish ... rub with pumice + oil.
There is very little 'veneer' inside a Ty37 and where you find it it will be THICK (3/32 - 1/8"+ thick) so you can sand deeply if you must. Most of the interior of the Ty37 is solid 'stick built' teak; and, as you already know the joinery was done by 'masters'. The sole is ~1/8 - 5/32" teak veneer over ply. The amount of SOLID teak inside a Ty37 nowadays is worth a 'kings ransom' - suggest you make it 'bright', bleach it if you like 'light', and use an oil based varnish .... Not butt-ugly 'cetol', not 'urethane', not 'paint' ... real oil based varnish.
If you can, use 'hard' or 'bar top' varnish - will be difficult to find or find someone who will custom make it for you. 'Spar varnish' is too soft for inside a boat as it easily scratches and 'dings'.
BTW/FWIW- the interior portlights and frames can be 'restored' (back from 'verdigris green') by use of citric acid, sanding/polishing, then spraying with a clear urethane. I also do this on my binnacle and exterior portlights, many urethane coats for exterior.
RichH Ty37 #423
Be aware, you need to wear a proper respirator, gloves and eye protection when working with Oxalic acid.
Thanks for your help Richh. She is an elderly treasure and it would be good to give her back her dignity. The portlights tip great too. They're on the 'to do' list. We're currently cleaning out the cockpit coamings of squishy waterlogged wood to install new winches. the chainplates are new, teak decks gone. Are there any other specifically Tayana 37 type problems that we may encounter that you know about?
The 'typical' are:
• #1 - Chain plates and rotted chainplate bases and unfortunately there are lots of 'abominable' methods on the internet as to how to repair them.
• #2 - VERY inferior OEM rigging components ... and those components should be replaced IMMEDIATELY.
• bowsprit rot - fairly easy to fix if you are an ardent DIYer.
• Wet teak deck core .... Im in the laborious process of recoring and 're-laminating' the deck (using the old teak decking!). I would have lots of suggestions on how to best 'preserve' what you have so you can delay this 'drudgery'.
• Pin-stop main traveller.
• 'helm problems' because the mast location was set ~24" too far aft - but quite easy to remedy.
What's the hull# and former name on this boat?
There is/was a lot of Tayana37 info (especially concerning rebuild and refit) archived here on sailnet ... suggest you do a 'search' for "tayana" or "tayana 37". Not much new Ty37 info going on here now .. as the 'owners group' moved to 'google groups' and became quite 'narrow' and mostly a 'technically empty' group - IMHO.
In woodworking there's always more than one way to do something, and in re-doing the interior of my first boat I discovered a few shortcuts that might make life a bit easier.
SprayNine will remove the interior finish on my boat, which is a thin coat of varnish. It should remove the oil finish on your wood work as well. It's not as aggressive as TSP and not as nasty to work with, though I would make sure the boat is well ventilated.
If you have watermarks on the wood after using SprayNine to remove the old oil finish try Olympic Deck Cleaner. It's around $7/gallon at Home Depot or Lowes. It contains oxalic acid, but is not super concentrated.
I'm with Rich, I would take my time and block sand where necessary. I wouldn't use a power sander.
To recoat you could go back to an oil finish, or top coat with a wiping varnish such as minwax wiping poly. Either makes it easy to re-touch dings and scratches, and below you're not exposed to the sun and weather.
Best of luck,
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