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Old 02-24-2010
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Soft spots under teak decks.

concerning boats with fiberglass decks with teak runners? on top, would one be able to feel soft spots in the fiberglass by walking on the teak portion or some other way, particularly if the teak is solid and shows no indication of rot? Would a surveyor be able to tell during his inspection? I'm mainly referring to the portion of the deck between the rail and the raised portion of the cabin that runs continously from the stern to the bow. Sorry, don't know all the terminology, yet.
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Old 02-24-2010
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Yes, teak decks are an issue. On most boats, the teak is fastened using screws and the screws go into the cored deck underneath. If the teak caulking isn't properly maintained, there is often (almost always in fact) a leak of water into the cored deck. This leads to a very expensive deck re-coring job. While I love the way teak decks look, I'd never buy a boat with one. They're a huge maintenance issue and have a lot of problems with core delamination of the deck underneath them.
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Old 03-02-2010
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Thank you SD for the reply. you affirmed my suspicions, but how can one tell if a teak deck that appears to be solid be hiding soft spots or the compromising of a core deck underneath? I'm thinking of the scenario where someone refinishes and/or replaces some partially rotted deck planks? but skips on the potentially bigger issue of repairing a saturated core and then tries to sell it. Any thoughts?
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Old 03-02-2010
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Just Google "teak deck leaks"
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Old 03-02-2010
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If there is no overhead liner, you can sometimes check the underside of the deck from inside the cabin—either by tapping or by using a moisture meter. If there is an overhead liner, you're basically SOL

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Thank you SD for the reply. you affirmed my suspicions, but how can one tell if a teak deck that appears to be solid be hiding soft spots or the compromising of a core deck underneath? I'm thinking of the scenario where someone refinishes and/or replaces some partially rotted deck planks? but skips on the potentially bigger issue of repairing a saturated core and then tries to sell it. Any thoughts?
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Old 03-02-2010
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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.
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Old 03-02-2010
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Architeuthis, good points.

Maybe this is a segway for another thread. With the advances of sealants and adhesives and float/semi-floating flooring (thinking home applications), what about a tongue-n-groove type teak deck with an adhesive backing, which wouldn't require being attached to the deck with fasterners, thereby eliminating leaking holes?

Sounds like an idea, though I think Jeff H or someone mentioned wood decks radiate/reflect more heat than just a fiberglass deck.

I too absolutely love the look of a stained and sealed teak deck, but I don't love it so much to want such a huge heatache. Hmmm, sounds like some women I've seen. LOL
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Well, apparently I'm not the first to think of glueing teak planks to decks. Story of my life. I found a thread here from 2006. Sailingdog posted, as well as Jeff H. Jeff mentioned the various installation methods of installing, as well as a thorough explanation of how teak oxidizes, deteriorates, along with the pros and cons of how to maintain it. Of course, I can't find the name of the thread now, but the contributors were very informative even back then as they are now.
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Old 04-19-2010
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how is cost determined for repair of teaky leakies.
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Old 04-19-2010
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By the square foot.. Also, depends on how much damage has been done to the underlying deck
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how is cost determined for repair of teaky leakies.
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