Teak Decks and thru deck on Hans Christian - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 02-06-2011
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Teak Decks and thru deck on Hans Christian

Hi, looking to purchase a Hans Christian 38. Considering it's built in Taiwan I worry about moisture intrusion from the deck fastenings. Someone told me today that these were actually fastened with machine screws and never penetrated fully thru the glass. I have trouble believeing this as I have never heard such a thing. Anyone with experience on this???
Is deck and house construction fiberglass on the outside, plywood as core then fiberglass on the inside???
How are all thru deck fittings attached? Are they thru bolted with backing plates and countersunk inside then covered with the beaded plywood? Or are they lagged or screwed in.
Thanks so much
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Old 02-06-2011
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I have a quite similar boat (Tayana) and indeed screwed down teak decks from this era of construction, unless meticulously maintained will be: teak screwed (about 3500 holes) into the upper FRG, sometimes even into the core, but not the FRG below the core. Core is usually a 'light weight 'end-grain'; but not 'balsa'. As others with actual/direct knowledge will testify, a screwed down teak deck will only usually last approx. 15+ years; if rigorously maintained maybe slightly more. What I mean by rigorously maintained is 're-bunged, re-screwed, re routed, and recaulked ... and then sealer applied. If its 'grey', the wood grain is erroded, more than just one or two bungs are loose, a few 'age-splits' here and there .... you probably wont need a 'moisture meter'.

From thermal expansion over all those years usually you will find that the Thiokol adhesive between the teak and upper FRG layer has lost its 'grip', the screws - especially at the butt end joints of the teak strakes - will have 'sawn' themselves loose from the FRG, and when/if you pull a few screws some will indeed come up with rot attached.
Quick inspection: With your full body weight, PUSH your foot/heel down on the butt end joint boards. if you see any up/down 'movement' of the butt ends of the strakes ...... .

Restoration can be either an expensive job or very time consuming DIY job. If you have any doubts about: the integrity of the underdeck/core; or your abilities in restoration; or expense in having the restoration done by others .... seek out a boat with 'no teak deck'.

Still, there is nothing better under a wet foot than a teak deck.
;-)

Last edited by RichH; 02-06-2011 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 02-07-2011
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Older boats, 10-15 yrs-old, with teak decks are a financial time-bomb.

Do not even think of buying unless you are on your way to Cartagena Columbia where we got ours fixed for 20% of the cost in the US.

We renovated the teak and a friend removed his and had the deck fiber glassed.

If the water has got extensively into the core the job goes from a big one to a massive one doubling or trippling the cost of the repair.

We now have a beautifully restored teak deck which cost $4,000 on a 55 ft boat. But the teak was still 6-7mm think and the core was pristine.

Phil
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Old 02-07-2011
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Go ask on Hans Christian Owners Association (HCOA). The owners org is very knowledgeable on the different HCs. On our HC 33, we don't have cored decks and although our decks needed recaulked, we haven't had any problems. Some of the HCs were built in different yards with varying results, but the folks on the HC owner's site will know.
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Old 02-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrappster View Post
Hi, looking to purchase a Hans Christian 38. Considering it's built in Taiwan I worry about moisture intrusion from the deck fastenings. Someone told me today that these were actually fastened with machine screws and never penetrated fully thru the glass. I have trouble believeing this as I have never heard such a thing. Anyone with experience on this???

Is deck and house construction fiberglass on the outside, plywood as core then fiberglass on the inside???
As said above, the teak is screwed down to the fiberglass deck underneath, but only through the top layer of the cored laminate, which consists of a layer of fiberglass, a wooden core and then another layer of fiberglass. If the teak decks are not properly maintained, the screws become a way for water to get into the wooden core and rot it out--compromising the deck's strength and integrity. This is not an inexpensive repair, especially if the core had delaminated due to rot.

Quote:
How are all thru deck fittings attached? Are they thru bolted with backing plates and countersunk inside then covered with the beaded plywood? Or are they lagged or screwed in.
Thanks so much
If they're not through-bolted, they really can't hold much of a load generally, since screws are a lousy choice for fiberglass, as the fiberglass is too brittle to hold screws well, and the lightweight wood used for the core isn't really a good choice for screws either, since it offers almost no support.
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Old 02-07-2011
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[QUOTE=
If they're not through-bolted, they really can't hold much of a load generally, since screws are a lousy choice for fiberglass, as the fiberglass is too brittle to hold screws well, and the lightweight wood used for the core isn't really a good choice for screws either, since it offers almost no support.[/QUOTE]

Actually its quite worse .... If the core is rotted/soft the core will no longer be able to 'support' the compression loads applied from the throughtbolts and the upper and lower FRG layers will flex towards one another under added strain ... which in turn you no longer have a 'stable' joint and you get LEAKS. The 'good news' in such boats the throughbolts for stancheons, etc. are usually mounted on a 'stand-off' which raises the base of the hardware an inch 'above' the deck, and due to the geometry of the 'stand off' (looks like a 'round pedestal') strengthens the upper FRG. But no matter, there WILL be leakage as the 'joint' was usually loaded with 'thiokol' type caulk ... and that usually only lasts 15 years.
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Old 02-07-2011
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Rich--

LOL...My point was that any deck hardware that wasn't through-bolted was going to be a problem, even with good decks. If the deck core has rotted, even through-bolting isn't going to help much.
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Old 02-07-2011
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Teak deck

I own a 32 year old Flying Dutchman (it's very similar to the ones described) and love it even though it does require a lot of diligence. Two summers ago I spent most of the summer replacing and resealing screws, routing out the seams and recaulking and now I'm very pleased with the overall result. I could route out the seams because the original teak laid down was 3/4 inch thick. Of course, I live in a desert like climate so water intrusion and resulting rot has never been a concern for me.

The teak just cannot be beat for a nonslip deck covering as well as insulation both from the hot sun in the summer and cold in the winter. The final choice is yours but the best way to see if you have leaking screws or seams is to wash the deck off thoroughly on a good warm, sunny day and watch it dry. Any leaking screws and seams will dry well after the rest of the deck.

Good luck!
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Old 02-07-2011
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Old 02-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DwayneSpeer View Post
I The final choice is yours but the best way to see if you have leaking screws or seams is to wash the deck off thoroughly on a good warm, sunny day and watch it dry. Any leaking screws and seams will dry well after the rest of the deck.
What Dwayne Profoundly states .... is better than a 'moisture meter' for teak decks !!!!!
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