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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 09-28-2011
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Teak finish

I have searched the archives and after reading them and other sources I decided to refinish the exterior teak with Starbright Teak Oil, Natural Light. I have refinished some other woods that are exposed to the elements with Marine varnish and also poly urethane and neither held up for more than a couple of years. I have sanded the exterior of the drop in panels and hope to get to the other wood items on the exterior in the next few days. Some of them I haven't determined how to remove them. Also I have to build one new peice to replace a broken one. They are mostly gray and some orange finish left. This being new to us any comments will be appriciated.
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Old 09-28-2011
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Just keep in mind that if you use Teak Oil, you will need to clean and reapply it several times a year. The advantage is that it is pretty easy to clean and reapply it.
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Ditto dhays' comments. I love the look and ease of oiled teak, but the darkening overtime with exposure to sunlight and multiple applications per year just isn't practical for us. We went with a Cetol product and have been happy. I don't think it looks as good as oil or varnish, but the application is quick and easy and it still looks good after a full season.
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Old 09-29-2011
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Starbright Teak Oil, Natural Light does look nice but it is, unfortunately, not very enduring and particularly your locale. And redoing it is a real pain in the neck. We use it on the cockpit teak on the seats and deck as they cannot be finished with something that will make them slippery when wet but they must be striped and redone often. For an enduring, nice finish on Drop/Wash Boards, try Cetol Natural Teak with 3 gloss coats. It's enduring and adding a follow-up gloss coat is quick and easy.
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How often do you have to re-do the cetol finish. Removing the wood sanding and finishing is very time consuming and I would rather not have to do it every year

H & E
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Old 09-29-2011
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I understand that Cetol, depending on exposure, can be a 2 year finish (or maybe more). I'm really wishing I had gone that route instead of the Spar Urethane after the stain ritual that I chose. I do agree about the Teak Oil being lovely, but it's a lot more "labor intensive" needing reapplication quite often it seems. You'd think in the year 2011 someone would come up with a 10 year finish, but alas I don't think the profit margins would allow it.
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My experience with Cetol in the Great Lakes is that it will last at least 3 years, with touch ups each spring. I first stripped and applied Cetol 3 seasons ago and haven't sanded since. The finish is still looking very nice, though I do apply a new top coat each spring and touch up scuffs, but it's easy and not very time consuming.
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Old 09-29-2011
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H and E,
I agree with the Cetol Natural Teak approach. After two seasons with teak oil, I removed most of the teak brightwork from the exterior, sanded it, and went with four coats of Cetol (no clear final coat, as I don't particularly like the super-shiny look).

Here's the important part: keep on board a nail-polish bottle filled with Cetol and touch up dings as soon as you notice them. You don't want water underneath the finish. Also, plan on annual top coats (easy to do), and the stuff does wear, even though you may not notice it.

On removing the trim for sanding (and sealing the bottom surfaces w/Cetol): it's pretty straightforward. Eyebrow trim comes off easily. For the cabintop hand rails you'll have to dig/drill out the teak plugs to get to the screw/bolt tops; ditto for the sliding-hatch rails. Reinstall plugs with a drop of waterproof wood glue after re-fastening. I got teak plugs of the right diameter from a local woodworkers shop, but they're available from mail-order chandleries.

Once you have the pieces off, you've got holes in your cabin top that must be properly potted w/epoxy and re-drilled before you reinstall the wood. Otherwise water gets into the balsa core that's sandwiched between fiberglass layers, and rot inevitably follows. Lots of comments on this site tell you how to do that; search fellow SailNetter 'Maine Sail' for the Best step-by-step instructions.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H and E View Post
How often do you have to re-do the cetol finish. Removing the wood sanding and finishing is very time consuming and I would rather not have to do it every year

H & E
As we're located in southwest Florida and UV radiation is pretty intense, we have to do a "re-coat" about every 9 months or so. This involves roughening the surfaces a bit with a Scotch-Bright pad, wiping them down with some 90% alcohol on a pad of cheese-cloth and, once that dries--which only takes a moment or so--re-coating with a thin coat of clear gloss applied with a good brush. (I have a good Badger hair brush that I maintain for the teak only!) Friends of ours in Maine report that they do their boat about once every 1-1/2 to 2 years unless the finish is damaged.

If necessary, old Cetol can easily be removed from hardwood with a good furniture scraper with a sharp blade. I did so in less than a day when we switched from Cetol Light to the Natural Teak finish, which is much more appealing.

FWIW...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
Starbright Teak Oil, Natural Light does look nice but it is, unfortunately, not very enduring and particularly your locale. And redoing it is a real pain in the neck. We use it on the cockpit teak on the seats and deck as they cannot be finished with something that will make them slippery when wet but they must be striped and redone often. For an enduring, nice finish on Drop/Wash Boards, try Cetol Natural Teak with 3 gloss coats. It's enduring and adding a follow-up gloss coat is quick and easy.
You might think about Sunbrella covers on the exterior teak to protect against UV. Not sure about the Cetol but for ordinary spar varnish the life expectancy uncovered is about 2 years, but if you cover it when not sailing that can go up to 8-10 years.

A cover over the drop boards is particularly easy to make, just a rectangle of cloth with fabric snaps in the right places.
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