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Oh yeah! While shopping for boats from the Ta Shing yard I got pretty good at determining the state of those decks and what it might take to repair.
SD is IMO right, stay away from those decks unless you are up for it.
Some decks will feel soft, some will deflect when you step or jump on them, sometimes you can tell by tapping of hitting. Many will have signs of moisture. The broker will often suggest it is just condensation or minor leakage.
Also check around the portlights. These teaky boats need lots of mtce over the years. It only takes one owner to slack off. The portlights leaking make the little deck job a bigger one.
Determining the amount of leakage that has occurred over the years is very difficult. Those who claim to have done it appear more lucky than anything else as shown by the number of small deck repairs that become major projects.
But I did see some older boats, one 26yrs old, with perfect teak decks, no leakage, rock solid cores, well kept and maintained. Do not buy those boats!
Those boats sell for more than the other boats with obvious problems yet they really are not much better. To keep them in that shape you too will also have to store them inside, do regular maintenance, and not use them much.
All meaning extra time, money and labour for less use. If you slack off, then you too have a teaky that you insist is perfect but will have moisture problems preventing the resale.
IMO If you want teak decks buy a boat that does not have teak on it. Then go out buy the strips of teak and screw them down yourself. Properly installed, sealing every screw hole (there will be about 1,000) with epoxy or sealant, the deck should last a long time, at least as long as you own the boat. Of course when you sell, you’ll be trying to sell a teaky.
I think they are worth it if you are willing to pay and accept the issues. Wasn’t for me, if I was that keen on a teak deck I’d buy a wooden boat.
On the other hand, I did see several boats with very soft decks that were being sailed all over the world and the owners loved them.
Have faith that the oceans are going to rise and flood the world, that plague and pestilence brought on by Climate Change is going to punish us for not believing. Please do as they say it is our only hope. :P