Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Bristol, Rhode Island
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
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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.
Joe - s/v Assignment, Catalina 320