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Which is the best teak treatment ?

  • Teak Wonder

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Semco

    Votes: 8 50.0%
  • TeakGuard

    Votes: 1 6.3%
  • Cetol

    Votes: 5 31.3%
  • Other

    Votes: 3 18.8%

  • Total voters
    16
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

No doubt a much discussed topic, but we are about to take ownership of a new Beneteau Oceanis 50 which is fully teak decked, so a lot of teak, and the discussions I have found are a few years old now, so perhaps time to review this subject ?

I read often of the recommended 'wash once a week with salt water' treatment, but we will not be with the boat every week of its life. It will be left in the Med for 9 months of the year under covers, and we want a teak deck that is low maintenance, good looking, and lasts at least 10 years. I understand no scrubbing, no pressure washing etc, but am thinking of a pre and post season treatment with a product such as 'Teak Wonder', 'Semco' or 'TeakGuard'. Therefore, (unless there is another popular one out there I have not come across), what are your experiences of these products, and hopefully we can see which is likely to be the most durable and least work to maintain.

Thanks in anticipation,

David
 

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I used to use cryolite for the teak but just tried Semco. The difference is that Semmco is thin so it soaks in and seals from within the teak while Cetol seems to sit on top of the wood. I think that the Semco would be better for the deck and last longer under foot. Cetol is soft and tends to abrade off easier unless you apply gloss over it and there is a problem with Cetol gloss sticking to regular Cetol. Plus semco looks more natural. I think you are better off with semco for your teak deck and trim.
 

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Sadly, this poll is fatally flawed. The question involves teak treatment, and that is all I saw while taking the poll. My laptop showed only the poll as it lacks resolution to display more when at the top of the page. I then scrolled down and saw we are supposed to be answering a question about treatments for teak decks. I would not treat a deck with the same stuff I use to treat grab rails and brightwork. I'll bet I will not be the only one who answered the poll without reading the first post, so we answered incorrectly.
 

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Not sure I follow the logic. If the boat is left for nine months under a cover, why worry about a treatment?

We wash our bare teak decking at the beginning of the season with either Teakdecking Systems teak cleaner or with Tuf Enuf. During the season we scrub with salt water and a scotch brite on a pole every three weeks or so, not weekly. The deck is hosed down at least weekly. It really isn't high maintenance.

In my opinion, applying a sealer to a teak deck has some devaluing of the boat associated with it. Perhaps not much, but I think most buyers would want to get if off, which can be expensive and time consuming.
 

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I don't have teak decks so my experiences is very limited...but I couldn't understand why seal it at all, certainly not with a varnish or cetol...

That said, I have used Semco Natural on our cockpit seats and a teak grate at the helm. Its last about a season in Maryland applying three coats in the Spring. You would have to apply it at least twice a year I would think, that would get costly...have you priced a can of Semco or any of the others for that matter?
 

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I have full teak decks. I use SEMCO with outstanding results.

Letting decks go 'grey' constitutes an abandonment to Ultraviolet destruction of the surface wood cells which then easily erode. With the price of teak at now $50 per board ft., without 'sealing, etc.' you will be replacing the deck in approx. 15-20 years, or sooner.
There is absolutely NO reason to keep a laminated teak deck 'wet' with seawater, and the chemical composition of seawater accelerates the erosion of the teak surface.

SEMCO is great but is slowly lifted by 'green water' and therefore needs continuous coatings at 4-6+ month intervals. SEMCO allows the teak to become wetted and thus its usage keeps the 'footing when wet' just a bit under the characteristic unsurpassed 'non-slip when wet' characteristics of a bare deck.
Only real downside is that SEMCO eventually 'transfers' to boat shoe soles and such shoe soles will need to occasionally 'sanded' to regain their 'wet traction'.

Other 'mixtures' Ive used, and with slightly longer 'service time': 1/3 SEMCO : 1/3 Teak Wonder : 1/3 Olympic Deck stain (w/50% carmel tint) ... but 'recoating' may involve 'splotchiness' if worn away by constant 'green water'. The eventual 'transfer' of the mix to boat shoe soles is a bit faster than with SEMCO alone, so you just need to 'sand the soles' a bit more often. Such 1/3:1/3:1/3 mixtures will typically last 2+ years with 'maintenance coats' in the 'worn-off areas'.
Info on the 'mixes': TOG Photos, Projects & Publications ---> FTP download ---> projects ---> decks ---> Teak oil Test/

The best characteristic of both SEMCO and SEMCO 'mixes' is that the teak still 'wets out' when covered with water, not as non-slip as a bare deck but 'close' to the non-slip when wet as bare teak.

All these coatings are easily stripped off with TriSodiumPhosphate (TSP) ... just dilute the TSP/water mixture so that the 'stripping' doesnt extract 'too much' of the tannins/oils of the teak, then bleach the deck with oxalic acid to restore 'color' (I like bleached teak as it keeps the deck 'cooler' on the feet, etc.).

The absolute WORST teak deck coating has to be Cetol or Teak Guard ... great for outstanding slippery-ness especially when wet AND has to be sanded deeply to repair. Cetol also cracks/crazes with age.
 

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?........Letting decks go 'grey' constitutes an abandonment to Ultraviolet destruction of the surface wood cells which then easily erode. With the price of teak at now $50 per board ft., without 'sealing, etc.' you will be replacing the deck in approx. 15-20 years, or sooner.
There is absolutely NO reason to keep a laminated teak deck 'wet' with seawater, and the chemical composition of seawater accelerates the erosion of the teak surface........
Assuming a reasonable quality deck and proper maintenance, this does not have to be the case at all. Deck failures are more likely do to allowing water underneath or between caulking, not UV erosion. Keep the caulking in good shape and be sure screw caps are solid, if applicable. Replace boards that show splintering or have that telltale waterlogged appearance after the rest of the deck is dry. Clean well annually, keep dirt away and you might do a light sanding every 10 years, but I think you can keep a teak deck going for a long long time.

I can't say how thick the boards are on the OPs boat, but thinner boards are obviously going to take less sanding over time. A poor installation is doomed anyway and there are examples of that out there, for sure.
 
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Sorry, the issue isnt 'caulking', especially on a non-screwed / laminated teak deck.

The issue is surface erosion (UV degradation) and abrasion (wear and tear + sanding/scrubbing/abrasion, etc.) which lead to premature and very costly deck replacement. You'll note that even the massive asian teak structures, that have lasted many hundreds of years, all have roofs to protect the teak from UV destruction and subsequent erosion.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sadly, this poll is fatally flawed. The question involves teak treatment, and that is all I saw while taking the poll. My laptop showed only the poll as it lacks resolution to display more when at the top of the page. I then scrolled down and saw we are supposed to be answering a question about treatments for teak decks. I would not treat a deck with the same stuff I use to treat grab rails and brightwork. I'll bet I will not be the only one who answered the poll without reading the first post, so we answered incorrectly.
Sorry - you are quite correct. I totally did not think of being more specifice in mentioning teak DECKS. Of well, so interesting replies anyway.
Thanks,

David
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have full teak decks. I use SEMCO with outstanding results.

Letting decks go 'grey' constitutes an abandonment to Ultraviolet destruction of the surface wood cells which then easily erode. With the price of teak at now $50 per board ft., without 'sealing, etc.' you will be replacing the deck in approx. 15-20 years, or sooner.
There is absolutely NO reason to keep a laminated teak deck 'wet' with seawater, and the chemical composition of seawater accelerates the erosion of the teak surface.

SEMCO is great but is slowly lifted by 'green water' and therefore needs continuous coatings at 4-6+ month intervals. SEMCO allows the teak to become wetted and thus its usage keeps the 'footing when wet' just a bit under the characteristic unsurpassed 'non-slip when wet' characteristics of a bare deck.
Only real downside is that SEMCO eventually 'transfers' to boat shoe soles and such shoe soles will need to occasionally 'sanded' to regain their 'wet traction'.

Other 'mixtures' Ive used, and with slightly longer 'service time': 1/3 SEMCO : 1/3 Teak Wonder : 1/3 Olympic Deck stain (w/50% carmel tint) ... but 'recoating' may involve 'splotchiness' if worn away by constant 'green water'. The eventual 'transfer' of the mix to boat shoe soles is a bit faster than with SEMCO alone, so you just need to 'sand the soles' a bit more often. Such 1/3:1/3:1/3 mixtures will typically last 2+ years with 'maintenance coats' in the 'worn-off areas'.
Info on the 'mixes': TOG Photos, Projects & Publications ---> FTP download ---> projects ---> decks ---> Teak oil Test/

The best characteristic of both SEMCO and SEMCO 'mixes' is that the teak still 'wets out' when covered with water, not as non-slip as a bare deck but 'close' to the non-slip when wet as bare teak.

All these coatings are easily stripped off with TriSodiumPhosphate (TSP) ... just dilute the TSP/water mixture so that the 'stripping' doesnt extract 'too much' of the tannins/oils of the teak, then bleach the deck with oxalic acid to restore 'color' (I like bleached teak as it keeps the deck 'cooler' on the feet, etc.).

The absolute WORST teak deck coating has to be Cetol or Teak Guard ... great for outstanding slippery-ness especially when wet AND has to be sanded deeply to repair. Cetol also cracks/crazes with age.
Thanks for your detailed reply - I really appreciate it. So I am now wondering about Teak Wonder by itself - what are your experiences ?

Thanks,

David
 

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Teak Wonder doesnt seem to have any UV blocker, probably why SEMCO (pigmented), or a mix of Teak Wonder + Semco, does a better job in protecting against 'the greys'.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
OK, thanks for that - makes sense, but interestin that addition of Teak Wonder seems to extend the life of Semco
 

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We use Semco but avoid pigmentation which seems to build up unevenly and requires sanding to remove. However, re-treatment seems more frequent, but easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes, that makes sense too. We have seen one yacht where the pigmented version was used, and it was very obvious over the black caulking. We wondered if applying with a pad rather than brush would avoid this problem (wipe on, wipe off - except where the teak absorbs it). By the way, what is the difference between 'Clear' and 'Natural' ?

Thanks,

David
 

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When we bought this boat, the teak cockpit sole and seats were sealed with Cetol. Gross!! Not only did it look fake, it would flake off in little dust particles. You reminded me of this, because the black caulking was indeed covered as well. We had it all scraped and sanded down, but it never fully came off the indented caulking. We have been waiting for years for it to just fall off, which it continues to do.

The idea also has me wonderng if, over time, you will sand or use caustic two part teak cleaners more often on a sealed deck, in order to clean it up for reapplication. That has to have as much, if not more, impact than UV.

If you don't like the look of silver weathered teak, that's definitely a fielders choice.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
It would look gross - brightwork OK, but the sole - no thanks.
Motivation for sealing is partly to retain the 'fresh sanded' look as much as practical, and partly to keep in as good a conditon as possible for as long as possible.

From the comments, I think we will go for clear Semco, and see.

Thanks for your input.

David
 

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We have always used a foam applicator rather than a brush. ClearTone has no pigmentation, and Natural has the least pigmentation. We have started with GoldTone and over the years worked our way down to ClearTone.

Semco Products

Before applying Semco, very occasionally we sand. We usually prepare the teak with Amazon's Teak Prep which seems to darken the teak a bit.

MD Amazon

We use Amazon's Lemon Oil for the interior wood but which is not teak.

Formerly we used teak oil on the exterior teak which became severely mildewed. The best product, which means works and is mild, we've found is Pink Solution that we discovered at a boat show in UK but that is marketed there under a different brand that I don't recall.

Pink Solution
 

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From the comments, I think we will go for clear Semco, and see.
Clear Semco has no pigment, thus no UV protection and you'll wind up stripping it much sooner. The 'natural' has some pigment and better prevents (UV damage) greying, not as good for UV as the goldtone, needs more frequent application but does 'blend' with the prior coats for a 'decent' color match.

All my caulking (TDS single part oxime cure) seams are slightly 'proud' (purposely) so that when coating the decks with any sealant its quite easy to wipe it off the caulking lines with a rag
 

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......All my caulking (TDS single part oxime cure) seams are slightly 'proud' (purposely)........
Doesn't that retain some water run off and dirt and make the decks harder to clean?
 
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