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Old 11-25-2011, 07:27 PM   #1
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Surveying teak decks?

How can a surveyor check teak decks for underlying water intrusion and/or rot?* I wouldnt think a moisture meter would work since it has to read through teak and fiberglass to get to the core.*** Im looking at a 1983 Albin 36-DC and I can see that the caulking on the teak decks is old and has lost its adhesion between the planks.* Id like to be able to develop more information prior to making an offer and having a survey done.
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:05 PM   #2
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RE: Surveying teak decks?

Teak decks, if previous owners didn't over-sand it or use chemical teak cleaners periodically, which does the same thing as sanding--- it removes the uppoer wood cells. are simple to maintain. So even if the seams between the planks is pulling loose from one side or both sides of the seams, or deck plugs over the screws are missing, it's easy to repair. It's time consuming to repair, but the work itself is very simple.

If there are seams pulled away from the groove sides, it's a pretty sure bet that water has been getting down under the planking. Whether it has been getting down into the subdeck core is more difficult to determine. If in walking around on the deck you feel softer spots or more give under your feet, the chances are good that the subdeck core is suffering from rot. The typical deck construction had the teak planks laid over the subdeck, which is generally a fiberglass-plywood-fiberglass sandwich, with the bottom layer of glass much thinner than the upper layer. If you can get to the underside of the deck, a moisture meter will have a lot less material to "shoot" through than if you try it from above.

I don't know if there is a "tap test" that can be done on a deck to reliably indicate problem with the subdeck.* You'd need to talk to a shipwright or surveyor to find that out.

The three photos are from the Grand Banks owners forum. The first shot is a plug that a fellow took out of his deck to install a new fuel fill. While this is a Grand Banks, the deck construction is probably typical of what you'll find on most cruisers with teak decks. How the thicknesses of the fiberglass and plywood core layers of a GB compare to other boats I have no idea.

The other two photos I included for interest. This deck is actually a synthetic product from England called Tek Dek. According to the person who redid the deck on his late '70s GB using this stuff, it's holding up very well, looks great (if you like the look) but is very, very expensive. Almost as expensive as using new teak he said.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:24 AM   #3
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Surveying teak decks?

When we had our GB surveyed prior to purchase, the surveyor held his moisture meter to the underside of the decks. That way he was not shooting thru the teak. He found some moisture around the deck fillls,which was corrected by re-seating the fittings; he also found considerable moisture in the pulpit and the laz hatches which we rebuilt. My guess is his method worked.
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-- Edited by bnoft on Saturday 26th of November 2011 06:25:09 AM
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Old 11-26-2011, 06:10 AM   #4
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RE: Surveying teak decks?

Thank you, that was the information I was looking for.
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:01 PM   #5
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RE: Surveying teak decks?

If you live in a hot climate beware the synthetic Teak decks, they can get very hot underfoot.
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:52 AM   #6
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RE: Surveying teak decks?

So can teak! We were watching a floating concert on July 4th weekend and I had to just let my salt water washdown run to cool the people and the decks. I am planning on installing Tek-Dek or similar over my existing teak deck at some point. Sand it down, soak it with CPES, then apply the synthetic deck. When the budget allows it, probably a year or so from now.
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Old 11-27-2011, 03:11 PM   #7
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RE: Surveying teak decks?

Quote:
Keith wrote:
So can teak! We were watching a floating concert on July 4th weekend and I had to just let my salt water washdown run to cool the people and the decks. I am planning on installing Tek-Dek or similar over my existing teak deck at some point. Sand it down, soak it with CPES, then apply the synthetic deck. When the budget allows it, probably a year or so from now.
*True, however we have found that some water over Teak brings the temp down pretty quickly, whereas*a neighbours boat with the Synthetic Teak,* seems for more impervious and the water just washes off.

Can you lay a synthetic deck over Teak? Not flamilar with CPES, a sealing compound I guess.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:26 PM   #8
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RE: Surveying teak decks?

I'm betting it will. CPES = Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer. http://www.rotdoc.com/

One of the synthetic companies said I can't glue their product directly to teak, so I came up with the idea of encapsulating with CPES.
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:46 PM   #9
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Surveying teak decks?

Quote:
Keith wrote:
I am planning on installing Tek-Dek or similar over my existing teak deck at some point.
Not a good idea.* The notion of putting anything over existing teak is a very bad one because the teak will continue to expand and contract with temperature and moisture underneath your new coating and eventually your new surface will fail.* Painting the existing teak with CPES will not help at all.* CPES only penetrates the top few layers of cells.* The wood continues to expand and contract with temperature and moisture.

This is* not my theory, but is something that has been discussed at great length for years on the GB Owners forum as it comes up with regularity.* The very experienced shipwrights on that forum like Bob Lowe all say the same thing--- the only way to replace a teak deck with something that lasts is to first remove the existing teak planking.

Putting something on top of the existing teak--- truck bed liner, fiberglass, artificial planking like Tek Deck, etc. will fail every time, and usually sooner rather than later.* Depending on how the teak decking was originally put down,* removing it can be a monumental task and a huge pain in the butt but it's the only way to guarantee that the new deck surface, whatever it may be, will maintain its integrity.






-- Edited by Marin on Sunday 27th of November 2011 11:51:11 PM
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:06 AM   #10
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RE: Surveying teak decks?

Go on an old wooden boat and sniff.

You should quickly learn the aroma of ROT .

Then simply sniff on board the boats you are interested in.

If you can smell the ROT , the price should be grand , and it might /might not be worth a survey.
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