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Discussion Starter #1
We're in the third day of stripping failed Epiphanes off our teak. (Also had bad luck 9 years ago with Cetol, though I understand their formulation has changed in the interim.) After we're done we are reluctant to put another synthetic on. We're thinking this time of using oil (Star Brite's Tropical formula) and would appreciate some feedback from people who've used it. Part of our reasoning is (a) our wood is older and imperfect, some spilts and dings and frankly we're not inclined to make it perfect, but those sharp corners can provide entree for water to eventually get under a varnish or synthetic finish; (b) oil is supposed to nourish dry cracking wood; (c) philosopically, we're more likely to do moderate regular maintenance every few months than the multi-day, multi-layer marathon varnish/synthetics seem to require in the tropics; (d) we want the boat to look reasonably good and well maintained but don't need the boat to have teak that sparkles. Frankly, if it doesn't make the boat safer or sail faster, it goes WAAAY down the priority list.

Headed south in less than 2 months! Woo-hoo!
 

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I oil my teak decks and cockpit gratings once a year. I use a Tung oil / linseed oil / UV blocker mixture, I forget the name; I have seen the Tropical oil, but I have not used it specifically. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it is also mostly Tung oil, with UV blockers. I try not to think about how many baby Tungs had to die to make that stuff...

I have found that you must have clean teak before applying the oil. You don't have to use those "teak cleaners" and acids and bleach and two-part whiteners, which are just going to eat away the surface of the wood. Before I apply the oil I scrub the deck with a soft brush and 5pic 'n Span, rinse really well, let it dry in the sun. Two coats with a cheap brush makes the teak look really great.

If you put the oil over dirty teak it turns very dark and muddy looking, trust me.

By the end of the season (great lakes) the sun has oxidized the oil back to the natural grey teak look.

I use Cetol on everything else (original Cetol) and it holds up very well; I just touch it up every once in a while. The bowsprit gets Captain's varnish, and I'm lucky if it lasts three months in the tropical Ohio sun.

Best Regards,


e

.::.
 

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Teak treatment

The deck gets nothing but a wash every now and then. The brightwork around the cockpit was varnished with Deks Olje for 10 years and began to lift in a few places so off it came. Sounds easy but wasn't too bad with a heat gun and scraper it only took a few hours. I used a high grade deck and fence oil from Loes all last year and just wasn't satisfied with it. It looked good for a week or two after a fresh coat but quickly went dull. The worst thing was the finish was very suseptable to scratching by any little thing.

So I revarnished with Deks Olje this Spring and it looks great again. Unfortunately you can't get Deks Olje anymore but I had a fresh quart in my locker.

Good Luck!!
 

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Forget about oiling the teak if you're headed to the tropics. It is extremely hot underfoot, attracts dirt, and won't help the teak. Note that the three responses above are all from folks in northern climes, not the tropics. My boat was in the BVI for eleven years, and I've watched the trials of teak-decked boats there for over 30 years. Not pleasant :-(

The only real solution for aging/splitting teak in the tropics is to remove it. I had my teak tecks removed some 8 years ago, and couldn't be happier. I did put new teak in the cockpit -- by a master shipwright, using epoxy and no fasteners -- and leave it bare. It still looks like new when I scrub it periodically.

Sounds like you don't want to do any major work on the decks, so about the best you can do is sand them a bit, try to patch the worst parts, and live with it. IMHO.


Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanx, all. Bill, I realize now that my initial note didn't specify, but this is trim I'm concerned about, the decks are painted with sanded Brightside and we're very satisfied with it.
 

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Eryka...I've tried oil in the past and find that it starts looking ugly and holding dirt quite quickly. I'd vote for either natural (with regulat sea-water washdowns) or sanding things down and going with Cetol Natural coats followed by Cetol Gloss coats. I think you will like that look a whole lot better than the original Cetol and since you just touch up with gloss, you don't add more darkening color each year. In the tropics, just go around every 90 days or so with a scotch brite pad and some gloss and do touch ups wherever you being to see wear. The trick is to stay ahead of the deterioration. Lack of simple maintenance causes major work later.
 

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For teak decks I use a mixture of 1/3 Teak Wonder, 1/3 Semco Natural, 1/3 Olympic Deck (carmel). For prep I wash/etch with TSP, then bleach with Oxalic Acid then Clorox to bring the teak to a 'light' color. The 'mix' prevents the 'ugly greys', isnt slippery when wet, seals the seams and bungs, is light in color so it doesnt soak all that much 'heat'. 2-3 coats followed by a coat every 6 mos. is all that it takes; although burying the bow under green water on long passages will lessen the 6 mos. requirement. Teak is expensive nowadays (~$35.00/ bd. ft.) so its probably a good idea to protect it.

For 'bright' I use "Honey Teak" (Signature Finish and Honey Teak Products - Home) - if properly applied will last upwards to 10-12 years in hot sun, requires a yearly clear 'slop coat'. VERY expensive, has a high learning curve to make it last. Catalyzed 2 part base + 2 part top clear coat - can be applied wet on wet (with some time to allow catalysis) on horizontal surfaces but needs some cure time for vertical surfaces. Mfg. recommends 2 base coats but I apply three THICK coats to insure longevity. Looks like butt ugly Cetol for first month after application but then quickly fades to a clear amber hue very similar to oil based varnish. Probably the closest synthetic coating to varnish ... as its quite 'transparent' (after 30 days cure).

Can be flat sanded and hand-rubbed (or power buffed using 3M perfect-it & 3M finese-it) for the most brilliant, most glossy finish that will equate to a "hinckley type varnish job" ... (handrubbing will develop a glowing irridescent 'patina' of the surface wood cells - just like on 'prime' varnish jobs). Is a urethane/acrylic copolymer; therefore it can be 'powerbuffed'. Must be applied THICK for good service life; if applied 'thin' will quickly fail in UV exposure. Shouldn't be applied if dewpoint is rising and temp. is dropping - greatly retards the catalyizing/cure. Can be applied to hot surfaces but best is applied to COLD (45-50°degF.) so that you get good 'flow-out'. Apply with quality foam brushes or 'soft' artist brushes. Needs to be 'scuffed' with 3M purple pad between cured coats or when applying yearly maintenance coat.

Manufacturer will supply 'splits' - just the amount you need to do the job. Downside is that user must carefully mix the proper percentages of the components (HT, catalyst, thinner). Its expensive but when you amortize over the service life (including the 1-2 year maintenance coats) its probably the most economical overall. HIGH learning curve: but, If done right will make a Hinckley blush with envy and will last up to 10-12 years (with yearly quick 'maintenance' clear coat).
 

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Note that the three responses above are all from folks in northern climes, not the tropics. My boat was in the BVI for eleven years, and I've watched the trials of teak-decked boats there for over 30 years. Not pleasant :-(



Bill
Just a note, the boat I'm talking about has never been north of Charleston. It spends the winters in the Bahamas and the summers baking in the Florida sun, which, while technically not in the tropics, is as hot as you'd get anywhere in the Caribbean.
 

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Old Fart
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Note that the three responses above are all from folks in northern climes, not the tropics.

Bill
Yup, I live in a northern climate. Maybe that's why it's almost a hundred degrees outside this afternoon under a scorching sun. Sure wish I lived where it get warm now and again.

For those of you who aren't really in the know, the southeast portion of Washington State is a desert! Fortunately we are blessed with the second largest river in the Northern American continent.

If a varnish will stand up here for very long it has to be good.

;););););)
 

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It's a known fact that Ohio gets harsher sun than anywhere in the tropics. This is due to the refraction of light from fresh water, which is more direct and contains more UV rays than salt water light. Also, the angular momentum of the higher latitudes results in an apparent sun angle which is

...oh, never mind.


Best Regards,


e

.::.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It's a known fact that Ohio gets harsher sun than anywhere in the tropics. This is due to the refraction of light from fresh water, which is more direct and contains more UV rays than salt water light. Also, the angular momentum of the higher latitudes results in an apparent sun angle which is

...oh, never mind.


Best Regards,


e

.::.
:laugher :laugher :laugher Good one, e!
Here in Maryland where the water is murky and green, I suspect the opposite is true. Isn't there a special correction factor if you're using a sextant in Ohio? Or was that a Rust Belt correction factor for your compass? Meanwhile we're still stripping teak.

Just wanted to get "sex" and "strip" in the same post on a sunny Friday!
 

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I just wanted to point out that hot does not equal lots of UV. It can get over 90 for weeks straight up north, but our Wood Pro Plus (West Marine branded Epifanes synthetic) has failed after 3 months due to the UV rays of the Bahamas and southern FL. Temperatures in the Bahamas were in the 80's, but the UV level is MUCH higher than up north, and that's what causes the breakdown of the chemicals. We also had lines deteriorate, our teak deck split in a couple of places, sunbrella degradation, etc. UV is VERY tough on boats, so I understand Eryka's question. Our next trial is to use Cetol Light plus the Cetol clearcoat on top of it. The clearcoat stuff is supposed to have added UV protectorates.
 

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The clearcoat stuff is supposed to have added UV protectorates.
Where did you hear this?

I've always just used the cetrol without the clearcoat thinking that the clearcoat was the weaker of the two products?? After about 10 years of the regular cetrol and the subsequent darker appearance with time and coat build up, I removed all the old cetol and switched to cetol natural and it is looking good. As time goes on we'll see if coat build up and uv exposure darkens the teak. It's been 2 years and counting.
 

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Cetol Marine,the original, wonderful, stuff, contains iron oxide (rust) as UV absorber. Iron oxide is absolutely excellent for UV protection over a wide frequency and for long duration. It imparts a characteristic "rust" color, for some unknown reason, if you build up a lot of coats, and can get quite dark. Some people don't like this, so new formulations of Cetol, "Light" and "clear" and "whatever" are available.

TANSTAAFL, as the great Robert Heinlein used to say: "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch" The great thing about Cetol Marine is it lasts a very long time, especially if you maintain it and fix scrapes and dings right away. The new flavors do not last as long; they can't - they don't have as much UV protection.

Personally, I'd rather be sailing, or drinking at anchor, than varnishing. =)


Best Regards,

e


.::.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Personally, I'd rather be sailing, or drinking at anchor, than varnishing. =)
By that (very wise) logic we should just allow the teak to gray naturally, and pour a rum! I like it!

It fascinates me to look at the boats on our dock. They alternate, we have two with gleaming immaculate wood, and two that are a bit rough-looking. The sad part is that the two with gleaming wood, we've only seen one owner twice and the other for one week. Both must be too busy working to afford to pay the guys who maintain the teak, etc etc. One has been taped off ready to varnish for a MONTH, he hasn't started the job yet, and I'd hate to think about getting the tape back off after its baked in the sun (even though it's the green stuff that's supposed to release for <60 days). The slightly rough-looking ones are away from their slips almost every weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Cetol Marine,the original, wonderful, stuff, contains iron oxide (rust) as UV absorber. Iron oxide is absolutely excellent for UV protection over a wide frequency and for long duration. It imparts a characteristic "rust" color, for some unknown reason, if you build up a lot of coats, and can get quite dark. Some people don't like this, so new formulations of Cetol, "Light" and "clear" and "whatever" are available.
We used the original rusty Cetol stuff on our cockpit table, 8 or 9 years ago. It has needed no maintenance at all, and the finish is still just like it was the day we put it on. But that's because I find it so ugly that we never use it - if I wanted an orange cockpit table I could've used plastic. I also found the finish to be slightly soft. Maybe that's a side effect of the formulation they did to avoid having brush strokes show? Anyway, I was underwhelmed with the whole thing.
 

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Lance/Eolon...Cetol GLOSS DOES provide UV protection. From the Sikkens website...

"Cetol Marine Gloss

Cetol® Marine Gloss is a durable, clear gloss protective wood finished that has been formulated specifically for use as a topcoat for the Cetol® Marine range of wood treatments whenever a gloss finish is desired.
Application

The Cetol Marine range can be used on exterior and interior wood, including hardwoods like teak, mahogany and oak. Cetol products should only be applied to wood surfaces above the waterline.It provides a high gloss, hard wearing and easy to clean finish with UV protection. Due to the level of gloss it is not suitable for use on decks neither is it recommended for use direct to wood as a clear varnish."

**********

The REASONS to use gloss is:
1. NO buildup of darkening color coats over time.
2. Looks MUCH better than any of the other Cetol finishes in flat...a more varnished look.
3. Touch up and renewal requires no sanding/soft scrub brush and more gloss is all that is needed and a decent foam brush works fine.

Eryka...the NATURAL TEAK undercoat with gloss on top looks NOTHING like the original.
 

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The problem is the various offered formulations of Cetol is that when it, eventually over years, builds to a thick coating, ... it will CRACK/craze. Its a hard alkyd base that doesnt flex. like "spar' varnish nor the other softer or flexible 'modern' coating systems. If you've ever had the 'pleasure' of removing/stripping broken/cracked Cetol you'll rue the day you ever put this 'stuff' on your brightwork.
 
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