Teak deck wear - major renovation or just clean it and live with it?

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Teak deck wear - major renovation or just clean it and live with it?

Postby rolf » Sun Oct 27, 2019 12:36 pm

As the title says. A recurring topic among boat owners, I know. A major renovation would obviously be costly but I'll do it if needed. If I can just clean and let be then I'm ready to do so too. Advice?
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Re: Teak deck wear - major renovation or just clean it and live with it?

Postby FrugalWife » Mon Oct 28, 2019 9:04 am

Looks familiar. As far as the hand rail and cap rail, clean 'em up and put some varnish/poly/whatever and they'll look great. The decks on the other hand are the real problem areas. Personally, I'd clean the decks thoroughly, identify the leaky spots (i.e. slower to dry after getting wet), reset any screws missing bungs (get rid of all those after thought round headed screws!) and glue new bungs in, andcut down the deck sealant. That's easily done with a sharp chisel or a tool like the Multimaster with a smooth cutting blade. Then I'd give the entire deck a very light sanding with a random orbital sander in order to get it smooth and looking halfway decent. From there, live with it a while and you might find it will last several more years. OK, just so you know, that simple set of tasks (and they are simple) are time consuming but it would give you an opportunity to spend some quality time on your hands & knees or perched on a boat cushion and get to know the old girl a little bit better!

Oh yeah, you might want to carefully remove all the oval half round at the deckhouse to deck joint, clean up the joints and re-bed those pieces too. They tend to leak through if not maintained every 25 years or so!

Good luck,
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Re: Teak deck wear - major renovation or just clean it and live with it?

Postby gsholz » Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:12 am

That deck does not look bad. Just needs a gentle (!) cleaning and some of the proud caulking removed to enable water to drain. A regular salt water wash down will help prevent mold growth. Sanding and two part cleaners should be used as a last resort only.
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Re: Teak deck wear - major renovation or just clean it and live with it?

Postby Cruising » Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:16 pm

Jeff Gibbs of Jeff Gibbs teak in FL emphatically says, NEVER USE two part cleaners! It will erode the bond between the caulk and teak edges.
He said if I must clean to use a very very soft bristle brush and lightly go across the grain, never with it. He recommended using Cascade dishwasher detergent. It will loosen up the dirt. I caution you to rinse with a light spray. Too much pressure will remove the dirt and a lot more wood pulp.

Afterwards light sander to bring top down the proud caulk, resist sanding the wood. While looking new and restored it will grey and you will have eroded another 50-100 mils of teak deck.

Good luck.
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Re: Teak deck wear - major renovation or just clean it and live with it?

Postby Cruising » Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:17 pm

Follow up. Salt water is absolutely the best thing to use to clean your decks. Using Cascade is plan B.
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