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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having grown a little weary of teak maintanence, I'm thinking of reducing the amount of teak on the boat. I don't want to eliminate it all, but there are some pieces that are in disrepair and rather than replace them with teak, I thought why not replace them with something that doesn't need maintenence; at least not annual varnishing or whatever.

There are several places where teak was used that stainless or bronze could be substituted. There are 4 strips that hold in the companionway boards that could be replaced with bronze or stainless and similar strips that keep the gas can in the gas can locker. There are also the slides for the hatch. I'm considering the grab rails as well. It was the grab rails that actually made me think of bronze because I don't think stainless grab rails would look good on this boat. This boat has pretty classic lines, and I'm afraid that stainless might make for a too modern look. At the same time, I wonder if introducing several bronze components should compel me to swap out things like the lifeline stantions, pulpits and winches for bronze too. That would be a nice look, but then I'm getting over the top in cost.

What do you think - stainless or bronze??

The attached pictures illustrate the scenes of the crime.
 

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A friend of mine actually used that fake wood stuff in a lot of areas. I thought it would look terrible, but in fact, unless you are right on top of it, it doesn't look bad. From a distance, it looks like teak gone gray.

I am a big fan of brass and bronze but they both turn green. If you don't mind that I would recommend that instead of stainless. A lot easier to work with.
 

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It's entirely a matter of preference, in my opinion. Even a boat with traditional lines can still look good without the teak; it's just a matter of still having accents and grab rails, etc. that complement the lines.

We have two PSC 40s on the dock, one with teak rubrails, grabrails, toerails, the eyebrow along the edge of the cabintop, teak dorade boxes, etc. The owners of the other wanted zero teak outside the cockpit; they have stainless grabrails, a slotted aluminum toerail, fiberglass dorade boxes, you get the idea. The boat still has a beautiful, classic look and is instantly recognizable as a PSC, even without the teak.

Now don't get me wrong, there's nothing like some well-maintained brightwork to turn people's heads, but there are lots of people who have wanted to get away from teak maintenance, and it can be done attractively.

To your question, I would lean towards stainless unless there are already other bronze accents on the exterior of your boat. In the end, it's all about how the pieces are done and how they fit in with the lines.
 

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Old Fart
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Stainless - ugh

I think stainless would look very cheap in your application.

If you must replace the teak (I wouldn't. I would at least oil it a couple times a year) then use brass or bronze, polish it to a bright shine and coat it with automotive clear coat. It comes in spray cans at most automotive supply houses. It will retain its luster for quite a long time. At least as long as you don't chip off the clear coat.
 

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Splashed
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I'm with DwayneSpeer on this. With the very small amount of Teak on your boat why not keep it? Oiling it will take minutes if done regularly. Enjoy a beer and walk around doing it while you check the lines/fenders/mooring/whatever at the same time?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
"With the very small amount of Teak on your boat why not keep it?"

This is way not the only teak on the boat. There's lots left after this. I'm just trying to reduce the overall amount. Also, the parts I'm looking to replace are among the hardest to maintain because of their location or because other stuff is in the way.
 

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Need to be sure that bronze or stainless would not cause undue wear on your fiberglass hatch and companionway boards - from regular sliding and motion underway - not to mention trailering the boat (if you do that). If you're ok there then I'd favor bronze over stainless. How about Starboard (or similar) for the fuel "locker"?
 

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Señor Member
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Quickstep,

I've never seen bronze grabrails advertised anywhere -- if you have to get them custom fabricated, I think they'd been pretty expensive.

If you want to go artificial, you might consider something like PlasTeak. I've never used it, but it might fit your needs. If it's anything like StarBoard (and I guess it is) you can mill it like regular lumber to fabricate your grabrails, hatch guides and keepers, etc. It won't turn heads like varnished brightwork will, but I'm thinking that you don't mind ;)

If you want to just reduce your overall maintenance investment on your existing wood, then consider Sikkens Cetol Natural Teak. Once you've got the base coat established, then it's just a maintenance coat every year. The base coat will build up much faster than traditional varnish (3-4 coats as opposed to 6-8 coats of varnish.)
 

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overdue at Sans Souci
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It looks like you have a teak toerail as well, so I feel your pain on the maintenance front. Having said that, my C&C 27 has teak all over the place, inside and out, and I've been able to keep up with it with oil and Cetol. My only advice on making such changes is that annoying issue of "resale." A lot of people like teak, and if you ever imagine selling the boat, the balance will be in favor of prospects who like the look of your freshly maintained teak than those who balk at it. If you do decide to replace some of it, at the very least don't discard or cannibalize the pieces. You may want them for a future owner.
 
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