Teak Decks on a NEW boat - buy or not? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 32 Old 07-30-2007 Thread Starter
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Teak Decks on a NEW boat - buy or not?

I did my homework - searched for threads on teak decks - saw the pros and cons of maintenance issues on older teak decks, but never really saw my question answered in those threads.

If you were buying a brand-new boat, and knew you were likely going to keep that boat for no more than 10-15 years, would you opt for GLUED (not screwed) teak decks? How about faux-teak (Flexiteek, etc)?

I know the basic pros (looks, nonskid) and cons (hot in the sun, stain easily, some extra weight) but if the dreaded screwed-down deck leak issues (and long-term maintenance issues) are removed, are there any really big drawbacks to a teak deck? (Cuz' darn, I think they sure do look nice).

And if they're so bad, then why do all the nice Oysters/Hylas/Baltics/Aldens/Swans/Najads/Hallberg-Rassys have them?
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post #2 of 32 Old 07-30-2007
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Teak is beautiful practical but expensive and a lot of work. Faux teak is beautiful practical and is expensive but is not a lot of work. Given the choice I would not have real teak, but you can’t always get what you want in a second hand boat. On most if not all new boats, the teak is glued not screwed. There is other forms of decking, I have seen a nice product made from cork, it is glued and has all the properties of teak but will not hold a stain, is very non slip and looks good ( I will try and find a link).

Here tis = http://www.coastlineboatworks.com/pages/decking.html


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Last edited by SimonV; 07-30-2007 at 08:47 AM.
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post #3 of 32 Old 07-30-2007 Thread Starter
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Thanks much. If it helps, the boat in question is a new Beneteau. And I'm not sure if the "teak deck option" is the real stuff or not.
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post #4 of 32 Old 07-30-2007
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I would never replace the wood siding on my home with vinyl - nor would I buy a house that had vinyl siding - especially if it had a "wood grain". . . but that's just me, since I despise faux synthetic materials made to look like a natural material.

The same is true of boat decks. I love the look of teak decks, but Never would I use, or choose, a faux wood grain plastic material in place of natural teak.

Natural teak decks are usually only found on quality, expensive yachts because of the obvious higher cost of the material and installation. The cheaper and lower maintenance alternative is for non-skid FRP - which I would select if cost was the driving factor.

The choice of one over the other is clearly personal - teak being my first preference, due to the inherent beauty and natural non-skid qualities.

Others here of course, will have their different viewpoints.

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post #5 of 32 Old 07-30-2007
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Depending on the aesthetics of the boat... a GRP deck with something like Treadmaster seems to be the most practical and economical. It's attractive because it is "honest" looking... that is, it's meant to look like a non skid surface.

My deck is GRP with a cast in non skid surface which is not especially good... At some point I will install Treadmaster... I suspect. Teak is an enormous amount of maintenance and not suitable for hot climates, they can leak, add weight. Having said that... a laid teak deck is gorgeous.

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post #6 of 32 Old 07-30-2007
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I would get a glued teak deck on a new boat in a heartbeat. It looks beautiful, and there is nothing better to walk on underway. Maintenence is easy if you just let it go natural and keep salt water on it.
The only negative is that it gets hot to walk on in tropical sun in bare feet.
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post #7 of 32 Old 07-30-2007 Thread Starter
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As far as the hot tropical sun - this boat won't stray much beyond the Chesapeake for the foreseeable future. That 10-15 year bit was until I can retire - and this won't be the boat I take down there. :-)
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post #8 of 32 Old 07-30-2007
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Even on a new boat, for me, teak decks are deal breaker. Even on the Chesapeake teak decks get unbearably hot in summer and that heat radiates into the interior for a long period after sundown.

Going natural on teak works reasonably well with full thickness teak but is not good long term option with the thin teak veneers used on production glue down decks. Going natural has a higher erosion rate than maintenance with high quality teak oils and with thin slat glue down construction there isn't that much material there. Beneteau in particular does a poor job with their glue down teak.

There is a common theme to your list of boats. Osters/ Hylas/ Baltics/ Aldens/ Swans/ Najads/ Hallberg-Rasseys are almost all boats built in cold northern climates and are aimed at a wealthy clientele who can afford the extra cost to buy and, more significantly, can afford the extra costs to maintain or replace the teak. Teak is a nice material in a northern clime where its greater heat gain and retention is welcome, and the sailing season is short and the offseason the boats is under cover and able to be maintained and so the lifespan is greatly lengthened.

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post #9 of 32 Old 07-30-2007
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Jeff...please allow me to disagree...its true the teak gets hot (on your feet) in the heat, but it works as an insulator...so my experience is that inside, a boat is cooler with the teak decks than without. How I know?? We measured the temperature differencials in two equal boats. Both Beneteaus, same model (like the one Sailortjk has).

Beneteau does not at least in europe, supply fake teak. Its either real teak or nothing.

I had the option of not installing teak (an added weight in a race boat), but opted to install it.

Its beautifull and the best anti-skid material in the World...
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post #10 of 32 Old 07-30-2007
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My experience with teak decks is a bit different than your own. In my experience, teak acts like a thermal flywheel, absorbing the energy of the sun and re-radiating it out of phase. In other words, in the morning when the boat would be warming up, the teak is absorbing heat, but due to its insulative qualities, that heat does not make to the interior immediately, but due to its density it re-radiates that heat later in the day, so early in the day, when that heat is desirable it does not make it into the interior. Later in the day, that heat is re-radiated into the interior when the boat is at its hotest. Measured in the morning teak decks would be cooler.

Since teak is darker than most deck finishes, it absorbs more heat than a boat with cored composite decks and so measured late in the day, when the boat is at its hottest, and its time to make dinner, teak decks result in a noticably hotter interior temperature.

My comment on Beneteau's teak decks is based on observations of local Bene's with teak inserts which look really beat (warping and curling loose from the glass below) after roughly 10 years of use in our climate where boats remain in use year round and are exposed to weather both winter and summer.

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