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Old 06-08-2011
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Wink Teak Sealers ?

I recently moved my boat to freshwater (Great Lakes) from a lifetime in saltwater. I have stripped and cleaned my teak and I am wondering what to do next (no teak decking, just lots of trim). I am not interested in varnish or Cetol. I am curous about teal sealers such Star Brite's Tropical teak oil/sealer or other teak sealers. It appear to me that even though it requires periodic maintenance. It is far less work than varnish or cetol and will last longer than just teak oil. What I do not know is the consequences of a sealer if I later want to put something else on it, such as Cetol. or let it go natural Any advice is welcome. Please don't tell me to paint it.
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Old 06-08-2011
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Several Options on sealers:
Semco, Teak Wonder, etc.
I use a mix of equal parts of Semco (tinted or 'natural') + Teak Wonder + Thompsons Water Seal (tinted Carmel) when in fresh water for long term (for teak deck sealing).

Sealers only protect from UV damage (the grey's), allow water to penetrate into the wood surface so that the advantages unsurpassable 'wet traction' of teak decks are preserved, etc.

Sealers will last almost an entire season in fresh water. The more 'coats' the longer the protection. Sealers will be quickly stripped by green salt water coming onto a deck; youre in fresh water so this should be a problem.
Are EASY to apply, no need to 'mask' as they easily wipe-off of gelcoat. They are easily strippable via TSP when the section needs to be 'refinished'.

With teak costs approaching $45/ board ft. I think one needs to protect that investment. Teak that is left to go grey and erode, to me, is economic waste.
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Old 06-09-2011
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Yet allowing it to go gray is not synonymous with letting it rot.

Here in my part of Florida, almost all boats have graying teak. The only boats bright and shiny are the ones owned by newbies, or monster yachts with crew. They find out fast enough how long it takes the Florida sun to strip their brand new varnish off the teak, and lose interest in sanding and varnishing every 6 months or paying north of $1000 for a DIY multi year Bristol finish.

It's Teak .... Let it Gray
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Old 06-09-2011
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This might sound heretical, but after years of trying to keep up with the varnish - sand - revarnish cycle, I finally gave up and now I use Watco teak oil, available in Lowe's/Home Depot type stores.

I allowed the sun to finish the job of destroying most of my varnish. Then sanded what remained. I had to mask around the teak trim for the first application last Summer, but this Spring I just followed the directions, careful not to get sloppy. A soap and water cleansing, a light sanding, and then one coat rubbed on. Wait 30 minutes, and wipe off the excess. The whole process took about 1 hour on my small boat.

The result is teak that is 'conditioned' for lack of a better word. The teak oil penetrates the wood, doesn't sit on top of it. It leaves the wood looking like brand new, unfinished teak, but with some protection against the ravages of the southern sun. I'll do another coat in the fall and maintain a 6 month cycle of teak treatment. Let's go sailing!
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Old 06-09-2011
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Practical Sailor did a run up of varnishes, oils and sealers last year. One of the things they mentioned was the Semco sealer did not leave any scaly residue if left on for too long. It just kind of fades away.

I like that feature because I may be inconsistent with my maintenance. Not having to re-sand if I let it go too long is a big plus. I applied some this spring, easy to apply and looks good so far, but I'm in Connecticut so the sun hasn't been too tough yet. In any case, re-application will be pretty easy.
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I have heard good things about Semco and I certainly like the fact that it fades away in time with no flaking. They have one called natural, do you know if it is tinted? I would prefer to go clear. I feel the great lakes are not that severe and that a coat a year after the intial 2 coats might be suffucuent.
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Semco natural doesnt have the needed UV filters as would be afforded by their 'slightly pigmented' offerings. Their "Goldtone" seems to last longer and longer protects against the inevitable UV 'burn' of the teak. ... my impression.

One downside to Semco for teak decks ... is that it seems to transfer to deck shoe soles over time ... making the shoe soles slippery and causing a need to sand the soles occasionally - just conjecture on my part but I do sand down my deckshoe soles often.
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Old 06-09-2011
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I did my toe rails and hand rails this Spring with Semco Natural. When they say Natural, they mean it. The resulting teak looks like raw teak. I would like a little color in mine--sounds like Goldtone might be my answer. BTW, I can't speak for longevity--it's only been on there for two months, but so far so good. Interestingly, someone approached me at the marina and asked if we had put in a brand new toerail.
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I used starbrite oil my first season on Lake Michigan, Chicago and it held up for about three months.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elkbanner View Post
I have heard good things about Semco and I certainly like the fact that it fades away in time with no flaking. They have one called natural, do you know if it is tinted? I would prefer to go clear. I feel the great lakes are not that severe and that a coat a year after the intial 2 coats might be suffucuent.
I did the Goldtone, since that is what Defender had on the shelf. There is a little pigment in it, but it's not overbearing. As another poster pointed out, I think the natural is truly natural, just the base and no filler. I think the natural requires more coats and may not last as long due to no UV inhibiting fillers in the pigment.
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