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Old 05-30-2016, 02:12 PM   #1
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New railings, teak or stainless, cost/benifit?

Hello DIY'ers, woodworkers & craftsmen,

I'm switching from mechanical/electrical to fit & finish this year. The PO was merciless with the sander. See pics below. The teak railings were 1-1/4" (6/4?) but now there is less than 7/8" in some places. I've removed them so I can work on the gunnel.

I want to have railings fabricated in 1+" stainless tube, but the admiral prefers I restore the teak. There is a lot of teak, I'm a pretty good woodworker.

What do you think as far as a cost/benefit? I think stainless may be less initial cost, plus mostly maintenance free. The gunnel is teak and although also worn a bit, is saveable.





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Old 05-30-2016, 02:38 PM   #2
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Given the opportunity to replace teak with stainless, I would do it in a second. But that's me. I love the look of teak, as long as it's on someone else's boat. The maintenance just not how I want to spend my time or money. To me, zero is the right amount of exterior teak on a boat. Other of course feel differently, and I admit that I love looking at their boats.
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Old 05-30-2016, 02:58 PM   #3
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What a waste! Had the PO not adopted the "sand it down" approach, your railings would still be good. I have exactly the same bronze gate fittings you show, but the difference is that my railings are still full size, even after 36 years of life. Mine also still look great, with a good, thick protective cover of varnish. Yes, I have to keep a close eye so as to repair holes in the varnish before they cause deterioration, but with that and a re-coat when the varnish loses its shine, (every couple of years, as I keep Retreat in a shelter in the winters), I have great looking railings that folks like Twisted tree like to look at.

Your boat will look so much nicer if you can save the railings. You will ultimately have to decide just how much work you are willing to do, over and above the work of changing to SS, to preserve that beauty. If it were me, I would see how much a shaper would cost, so that I could make the 1.25" x 2.75" (approx) shape that you need. With that tool, all you need is to find a source of good quality teak and you are on your way.

For those of you tempted to "take all the finish off, down to bare wood" every couple of years, you will face the prospect of having to replace the teak when it no longer has the scantlings that it should. That approach isn't necessary, as it is easy to maintain the teak in its state of beauty without such harmful practices.
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Old 05-30-2016, 03:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
Given the opportunity to replace teak with stainless, I would do it in a second. But that's me. I love the look of teak, as long as it's on someone else's boat. The maintenance just not how I want to spend my time or money. To me, zero is the right amount of exterior teak on a boat. Other of course feel differently, and I admit that I love looking at their boats.
Me too.

However, stainless is not entirely without maintenance, particularly on some Chinese built boats like ours where the quality of the stainless is problematic (more prone to oxidation than the higher quality North American stainless in our Ocean Marine davits)) and our boat has a fair amount of stainless rail/tubing to keep up. Still, I'd rather the periodic washing and polishing than having to keep up brightwork (which we also have to do with the caprails).
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Old 05-30-2016, 03:24 PM   #5
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Hey Dave,
I would replace it with teak because that's what I like and what I know how do as a woodworker . If there is a lot of curve to the rail you could laminate the curve to save on yield . That's how we did our caprail . If you could find some rough ( not surfaced ) 5/4 teak you could probably get that profile out of 5/4 . It looks like the 1-1/4 " is at the top of the radius . They usually saw teak kinda heavy . I used 5/4 and got an 1-/8" out of it pretty easy and that was a flat rail 4-1/2" wide . I ripped it off the edge and laminated back together to get the curve .With that profile if you laminated it you could maybe get by with a mix of 4/4 and 5/4 . When it comes to the price of real teak , I have to make the yield work out .
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Old 05-30-2016, 04:04 PM   #6
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Our 42 GB has teak hand and cap rails. I would replace the hand rail with stainless without a second thought. Annual maintenance is cut in half, no small task, and docking becomes simpler. Tying a fender over a stainless rail is quicker and won't harm the finish. I end up tying lines to the stainless posts.
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Old 05-30-2016, 04:29 PM   #7
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Just before the Ballard bridge on the south side was a lumber store that has had a machine that can make new teak wood rails of assorted size and shape. They also have a good stock supply or teak.

My wife will not let me paint of get rid of any of her teak. Got keep the wife happy.
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Old 05-30-2016, 06:16 PM   #8
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This is the same as any other teak or not discussion. Personal preference. The only thing I'd add is that, while you can't undo what a previous owner has done, correctly maintained teak is a lot less work than you might think. No, I don't personally do the maintenance on a regular basis, but I definitely know what is required and I have done it.
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Old 05-30-2016, 07:34 PM   #9
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This is the same as any other teak or not discussion. Personal preference. The only thing I'd add is that, while you can't undo what a previous owner has done, correctly maintained teak is a lot less work than you might think. No, I don't personally do the maintenance on a regular basis, but I definitely know what is required and I have done it.
Yes, the on-going maintenance is no big deal. You just need some dry weather and an hour or two over several days, and you can cover a big area. Keep on top of it so you don't have to go back to bare wood for maintenance of the finish.

To the PO, if you get a quote for good SS work I suspect your choice will be very simple and you will be able to keep the Admiral happy as well.
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Old 05-30-2016, 07:42 PM   #10
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Stainless steel has lots less maintenance. Spray fresh water and wipe down to eliminate salt.



While the "industrial" appeal of SS is consistent with my boat, it may not be consistent to the "warmth" often desired of a "recreational" boat. (Thank goodness my rails don't wiggle.)
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:18 PM   #11
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Dave: I have read the posts after mine and I agree with bnoft that losing the teak rails on a GB to SS is an improvement. I have been rafted to GBs recently, and even well maintained, their rails are no match to what yours will be again if you go with teak. The GBs use of thinner, narrower material was unfortunate.
I disagree with Packmule's suggestion to use 5/4 material, as that gets you the same thinner rails as on the GBs.
Fill's suggestion is worth checking out, as you may get there much quicker than previously thought.
As usual, BandB is bang on. Personal preference is what drives it all. Especially the personal preferences of your wife, SWMBO.
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:18 PM   #12
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I agree koliver on using 6 /4 material . It would give you a lot more to work with . If you can get rough 6/4 that would be even better . I bought 5/4 and I bought all 5" wide and got a better price than buying random width . I paid $15.00 a board ft for 5/4 rough Bermese teak .
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:51 PM   #13
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I have a few boards left over . This is rough 5/4 . It was sawn heavy and is close to 1-1/2" thick in the rough .
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Old 05-30-2016, 10:16 PM   #14
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Teak!

However, consider some of the wood decking materials available. Ipe, is one. Some of the wood sold as Meranti is good enough, too.

Us woodchucks gotta' stick together!
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Old 05-31-2016, 01:05 AM   #15
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Personaly I think it should be a felony to put any wood on the outside of a boat. Put all you want on the inside, just not on the outside. I might be a bit biased at the moment though as my Defever has kept me very busy the last few weeks re-finishing exterior wood, and there is no end in sight. I do like the look of a boat with well finished wood, I just would prefer to spend my free time doing things like using my boat instead. I vote Stainless
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Old 05-31-2016, 01:30 AM   #16
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Thanks for all the responses fellas. I'll be researching costs and material availability. For teak railings, I've got +/- 36 feet to do, and at the stern, about 12ft would need to be steam bent. Also would need to somehow color match to the old teak that has darkened over the years.

I'll try to get a few local shops to give me a quote on stainless railings. I do think there is still enough wood trim left on the exterior to give the boot a nice classic look.

Cheers
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Old 05-31-2016, 06:52 AM   #17
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SS railing on a wooden or plastic boat can be wire into your anti trespass setup.
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Old 05-31-2016, 10:47 PM   #18
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Woodworkers & shipwrights, any thoughts on Brazilian teak (Camaru)?

Cumaru Lumber

Looks to be less than 1/2 the cost
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Old 05-31-2016, 11:08 PM   #19
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Dave:
Colour matching new teak to old teak is done by the calendar. ie: wait a year and you won't be able to tell where the old ends and the new begins. Much of the ageing is in the varnish. I have replaced a bit of outside trim and some inside paneling and trim on my teak, so I have proof.
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Old 06-01-2016, 04:25 AM   #20
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Replaced teak rails on Bay Pelican 17 years ago with stainless. Only mistake was stopping there. Having some of the teak trim painted as I write this.
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