Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Vancouver, BC
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Re: Teak substitutes. Why not?
A big part is cost I think, and labor required.
They share some of the issues of teak(can get hot underfoot vs a white deck, adds weight, costs a fair bit to do right)
Upsides are lower upkeep, provides some non-skid properties, looks cool(and I think makes a lot of sense for boats that have had teak deck removed especially).
Nu-teak is very dependent on the quality of the caulking. It is possible to re-finish, we've actually just refinished the decks on a 46' Meridian. However, as soon as the caulking goes, it starts to delaminate from the deck as water gets under it, and looks pretty bad after that.
We are doing a Flexiteek install right now, it is similar to Nu-teak but lasts a lot longer. First you make templates of the decks, which are sent to the Flexiteek factory. They build the whole deck in panels, what looks like caulking are actually welded seams(avoiding the de-lamination issues, and can be refinished more times as it's all one material). It is ground down with different grits, to recreate the 'grain', and it looks a lot more real, plus it seems to have a bit more grip vs the Nuteak.
Costs more though, Nuteak is essentially strips of the same material that you bed in caulking.
I'll take some photos when it's done.
other steps that add costs, all the gutters between the nonskid patches have to be faired up to match the top of the nonskid, any small cracks or chips get filled, then the whole surface is de-greased and sanded.
Not an inexpensive process, but for some areas I think it makes a lot of sense, especially high traffic areas.