Couple of questions I need help with - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 19 Old 08-21-2010 Thread Starter
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Couple of questions I need help with


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post #2 of 19 Old 08-22-2010
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hi there: teak doesn't need to be varnished! It just needs to be treated with a special oil for teak, after you clean the surface with soft sandpaper (the softest and just a little, don't do that to deep). I'm starting to treat the teak this way, and once you do that, it keeps perfectly for another year, so you just have to do this every 12 months.
Do you cover your boat completely when you don't sail? This is very important. I attach a pic of my boat, totally covered even when I'm living in the boat:

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post #3 of 19 Old 08-22-2010
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Originally Posted by chrisncate View Post
Couple of questions I need help with in deciding on a boat I am looking at:

1- Teak decks - A bung here and there is popping out, some of the black rubber caulk is cracked, teak is gray, a "barely" loose board or two on the port side, amidships. No evidence of leaking into cabin under decks, no mold or mildew smell in storage around fasteners or chainplates. I know the decks will need to be replaced/recored at some point, I estimate that catching it now I can probably get another 5 to 7 years (or more) out of these before replacement is needed. They look pretty good right now.

My question is what to do with the decks at this point to seal them as best I can. Fill the caulked areas that are cracked right now, and then varnish? Is there anything else that will seal them? I realize the hassle of varnish (and its non skid properties), but my thinking is a thick plasticy coating would probably be best from this point forward to create a good barrier? The boat has been on the hard for two years so it's pretty dry overall right now. Any recommendations?

2- The Volvo Diesel. It can be hand cranked ( ), neat motor. Scary though. Is it a hard engine to maintain/work on? Are parts expensive/available?

3- Bow sprit already rebuilt and refinished (looks great), rest of exterior teak in good shape but 100% gray right now. Can it be varnished while gray, or does it (the gray) need to be sanded off first?

You need a survey to really know what's going on with your decks... a quick hint is to look around the chainplates and fill caps to see how much wear the deck has, i.e., how much teak is there left. If it's down to 1/4", you're looking at replacing the decks... this is VERY expensive. Bungs need to be redone as an ongoing task. Buy a Fein multi-master and start pulling up old caulk, then re-caulk. DON'T ever varnish a teak deck, ever... . There's a ton of info out there about oils, etc... that might work very well, but many will say leave the teak deck grey. I would never sand a teak deck, but rather carefully scrub it with a soft bristle brush across the grain, not with, using just enough pressure to do the necessary cleaning.

Engine... which Volvo? How's the access? How many hours? Need more info before anyone can be of much help to you.

Teak brightwork... emphasis on 'work'.... Look up Rebecca Wittman's books:

The Brightwork Companion : Tried-and-True Methods and Strongly Held Opinions in Thirteen and One-Half Chapters


Brightwork: The Art of Finishing Wood

Friends with lot's of teak/brightwork swear by them.
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post #4 of 19 Old 08-22-2010
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Is the underlying deck cored? If it is, you may be in for a really rude awakening. It sounds like the teak deck was not properly maintained—bungs coming loose, caulking lifting, etc., and that may mean that water has penetrated beyond the teak deck and into the underlying fiberglass deck's core. If that is the case, you're in for a very, very expensive repair. If some of the boards are loose, this is pretty much guaranteed—and it isn't something that you can wait 5-7 years on.

Second what Puddinlegs said about the engine... without more information, it is hard to say. How many hours are on the engine? Is it a saildrive or a conventional installation? Have you had it surveyed? How did the oil on the dipstick look? etc.

I would leave any teak that you will be walking on GREY and not finish it in any way. Things that you might grab or such can be varnished, oiled or left natural.


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post #5 of 19 Old 08-22-2010
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Volvo parts arn't just expensive they are outrageously expensive.

But the good news is if a diesel is in good nick just feed it clean fuel, change the oil twice a year and make sure it is getting cooling water and most run forever. Lots of Volvos out there with 8000 + hours on them.

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post #6 of 19 Old 08-22-2010
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As an owner of a 30 year old boat with teak decks that originally had a volvo diesel I think I'm pretty qualified to answer your questions.

Teak deck. Pretty to look at and no better non skid available but don't even think about varnish and think about sanding a bit only if there is a terribly rough spot that you just can't live with. It's supposed to be rough. It's what makes it a solid footing when wet. You can oil them once a year but it's really not necessary to use the marine (expensive) store version of teak oil. Just use any good grade of exterior oil. Maintaining it's weather seal is another matter. Replacing a bung or two every now and then isn't a problem at all. What is a problem is keeping the seams sealed. Teak is oily and that makes it hard for any seam seal to stick properly. The absolutely best sealant available is made by Teak Decking Systems and I've tried them all over the 12 years I've owned my boat. Preparation is 90% of the job. This last summer (2009) I spent a couple of months routing out my seams to 1/4 inch deep since some were very shallow due to wear, and recaulking them. I am now confident my deck is sealed. As far as worrying about a cored deck, etc. Don't give it a lot of thought unless you have a spot that is truly soft when you stand on it. Just seal up what you have and prevent any further damage.

Volvo engines. YES, PARTS ARE EXPENSIVE!!!!! The major problem with the old Volvo engines was that they were raw water cooled and after years of use the internal passages are probably encrusted resulting in an engine that runs hot and is just waiting to fail. My engine decided to fail with no warning but fortunately it was at my dock at the time. If you really want the boat then factor in a new engine in the next few years.

My bottom line: I love my teak deck and now love my new Beta engine.

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post #7 of 19 Old 08-22-2010
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If you thought your alberg was too much work, you definitely don't want lifting teak decks and a volvo engine. Run.
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post #8 of 19 Old 08-22-2010 Thread Starter
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Last edited by chrisncate; 05-20-2011 at 12:58 AM.
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post #9 of 19 Old 08-24-2010
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A varnished deck would make a good foundation for a skating rink....

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post #10 of 19 Old 08-24-2010
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if you remove the top layer of your glass deck then you will have a very rough & odd shaped deck after you glass over the new core.
Think std approach is to tackle it from below inside the cabin
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