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post #1 of 20 Old 03-22-2012 Thread Starter
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Teak Decks

Ok, here's the story:
To start, I have a very good buddy that's accustomed to commercial fish boats only. He's sold his current vessel and migrating his way into pleasure type vessels and wants to get a yachtieee type trawler (I know it's not a sailboat but so be it). I have my opinion on older teak decks and I let him know that I would personally stay away from them and I explained in great detail why. He's getting information from a surveyor we both know and a few others that are encouraging him to be very very careful in this area, but others are saying it shouldn't be a problem so he's both worried and a little confused by the various opinions. Almost all the vessels he's interested in have teak decks and are from the 80s in the under $100,000 range.

I'm heading down to the Seattle area on April 3rd with him to view/pre-survey some boats. So I told him I would post here and get some opinions so we have a little extra knowledge under our belt.

So, I would like to see if I can get some information on this subject so I can share these opinions with him. I would particularly like to hear from those that have pulled the teak and re-done the deck without replacing the core, but obviously all info is greatly appreciated. By the way, the one particular boat he's interested in has plywood core.

Thanks in advance...Steve


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post #2 of 20 Old 03-22-2012
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Re: Teak Decks

Steve - you may or may not know that John and Laurie went through all that with Laurie Anne... I expect he'll weigh in soon.

I suspect it's a big, messy job and getting the old off is only the start. But it's going to be real hard to find a trawler type without, I'll bet. I guess try to look for one with glued down decks rather than screwed down?
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post #3 of 20 Old 03-22-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Teak Decks

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Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Steve - you may or may not know that John and Laurie went through all that with Laurie Anne... I expect he'll weigh in soon.

I suspect it's a big, messy job and getting the old off is only the start. But it's going to be real hard to find a trawler type without, I'll bet. I guess try to look for one with glued down decks rather than screwed down?
OK thanks Ron, I forgot they did that. I can only imagine it's a huge job and I know the process to some degree from reading other posts like this post but just thinking about the logistics has me scratching my head. You know how much rain we get up here...Once the decks pulled, there's a lot of prep work and even if it's tarped real good, rain will get in and pretty much soak the core I would guess. Maybe it has to be shrinkwrapped? or maybe it must be done on the hard under cover.

I would not touch one of these...is this being over cautious?


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post #4 of 20 Old 03-23-2012
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Re: Teak Decks

I have known my teak decks to be leaking for 20 years, and were leaking when I bought the boat.

I have learned to live with it.

I did once get tempted to pull them up and glass them, but never got round to it.
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post #5 of 20 Old 03-23-2012
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Re: Teak Decks

Weighing in. Sounds like your friend has been sufficiently warned Steve (goodonya), sometimes people just won't listen to sound advice. Perhaps in this case a few pictures will be worth more than just words (see below). You might mention to your friend that our job was easy compared to a boat that has a wet core (and being in the PNW you can bet that there is some), there are some horror threads here on SN of core replacement projects that I can't bear to even look at. Surely there must be some trawlers that have glass decks? I've always (after learning about wet cores) thought of teak decks as a combination of the worst of both wooden and fiberglass boats. Would your friend have wanted wooden decks on his fish boat? Good luck Steve, remember the old adage about horses being led to water...






I may have more pictures if he needs further convincing.
Any chance you can stop for a visit on your trip down here?
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post #6 of 20 Old 03-23-2012
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Re: Teak Decks

There are few things as satisfying as working with wood. I just rebuilt the swimstep on the yacht club Grand Banks, and haven't had as much fun in years. Got to use a lot of different tools, and made a lot of sawdust. The only issue is that teak is up to $28/board ft...
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post #7 of 20 Old 03-23-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Teak Decks

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Originally Posted by Rockter View Post
I have known my teak decks to be leaking for 20 years, and were leaking when I bought the boat.

I have learned to live with it.

I did once get tempted to pull them up and glass them, but never got round to it.
Thanks for the input Rockter, knowing my friend he wont want to live with any leaks. But it is interesting that you've learned to live with it for such a long time with no major damage I would guess.


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post #8 of 20 Old 03-23-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Teak Decks

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Weighing in. Sounds like your friend has been sufficiently warned Steve (goodonya), sometimes people just won't listen to sound advice. Perhaps in this case a few pictures will be worth more than just words (see below). You might mention to your friend that our job was easy compared to a boat that has a wet core (and being in the PNW you can bet that there is some), there are some horror threads here on SN of core replacement projects that I can't bear to even look at. Surely there must be some trawlers that have glass decks? I've always (after learning about wet cores) thought of teak decks as a combination of the worst of both wooden and fiberglass boats. Would your friend have wanted wooden decks on his fish boat? Good luck Steve, remember the old adage about horses being led to water..
Thanks John, The problem is, he's specific about purchasing a single engine trawler (I would be the same in this regard) so it drastically shortens the list of available vessels. Those photos speak volumes. I actually thought pulling up the teak would be the easy part but it looks like it comes up in small chunks and leaves behind lots of tar. When all was done, would you do it again given a heafty discount. Did you have any issues getting your deck hardware off? Much of your interior must have come off...no. Also, when you re-installed all your deck hardware, were there any issues given the deck thickness difference?

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Any chance you can stop for a visit on your trip down here?
Thanks, it would be good to stop by and visit. We're going the Vancouver way down from the Sunshine Coast. I'll get back to you on that. You may want to come with us back in the boat on a different trip (we would have to fly down), we can pick you up on Blakely Island and I can drive you back to Victoria, but again I'll have to get back to you.


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post #9 of 20 Old 03-23-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Teak Decks

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Originally Posted by donradclife View Post
There are few things as satisfying as working with wood. I just rebuilt the swimstep on the yacht club Grand Banks, and haven't had as much fun in years. Got to use a lot of different tools, and made a lot of sawdust. The only issue is that teak is up to $28/board ft...
Thanks for the reply Don. I like teak as well and I like working with wood. I actually love the look of a grey teak deck and as Faster points out, a glued down deck would work but I think in that era, they were generally screwed down. It's really the thousand screw holes into the core that scare the heck out of me.


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post #10 of 20 Old 03-23-2012
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Re: Teak Decks

Steve- the teak probably would have come up much easier if it wasn't January in an unheated tent :-(( The whole project was about six months, and no, I would not do it again (and don't even ask Laurie if she would do it again) even though we enjoyed it for the most part. Pulling all of the deck hardware including the chain plates was a lot of work but putting it all back on as well as potting every stinking screw and bolt hole with epoxy was almost the proverbial straw. It was all worth it, to me anyway, because now I never have to worry about a wet core issue. The decks ended up a bit thinner (we added two layers of cloth and then gelcoat/nonskid) but we were able to use all of the original hardware and most of the fasteners that looked good. If I were to contemplate buying another boat with teak decks with the thought of removing them the "discount" necessary to entice me would probably have to include a cash payment, as well as the boat for free:-))

ps, I'm always up for a boat trip
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Last edited by jrd22; 03-23-2012 at 02:50 PM.
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