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Old 01-07-2013, 06:04 AM   #21
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The frequent method of creating a teak overlay for a TT was to use wide planks , and simply route groves in the plank.

The plugs would be shop installed , and then the plank would be fitted to the boat.

Only a few screws would hold the plank down and only the plank seam needs calking.

MY start in outfitting was to work for the boat importers and find the few screws that went into wiring .

Great fun!
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:37 AM   #22
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Marin,

Great advice. Thanks. After discussing with the wife we are going to repair the seams and just let the CeTOL wear off We are gonna let it age gracefully. The deck is in great shape.

How do you maintain a grey deck? Salt water scrub against the grain?
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:42 AM   #23
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Marin,

Great advice. Thanks. After discussing with the wife we are going to repair the seams and just let the CeTOL wear off We are gonna let it age gracefully. The deck is in great shape.

How do you maintain a grey deck? Salt water scrub against the grain?
You have a pretty boat and you are going to have ugly grey decks? You might want to think twice especially if itís the stern deck that is protected.

I agree if you are going to let if go UGLY grey then there is not reason to clean/power/wash/sand. You do not want to due very often. When you clean/power wash/sand, the reason is to bring out the beauty of the wood and to apply some coating/protection. In 15 years I have only initially power washed/sand the decks once. The yearly wet sand scrubbing is to get the dirt off and prepare decks for another coating.

I would much rather tear up the teak deck than let it go grey. Yuck!
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:57 PM   #24
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Marin,

Great advice. Thanks. After discussing with the wife we are going to repair the seams and just let the CeTOL wear off We are gonna let it age gracefully. The deck is in great shape.

How do you maintain a grey deck? Salt water scrub against the grain?
You don't want to "scrub" the decks in any direction unless absolutely necessary. Scrubbing will wear away the soft teak fibers.
We use a saltwater washdown and that does a good job of keeping the decks clean. If we have to do anything else we gently brush the area with a soft brush or a broom.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:14 PM   #25
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Marin,

Great advice. Thanks. After discussing with the wife we are going to repair the seams and just let the CeTOL wear off We are gonna let it age gracefully. The deck is in great shape.

How do you maintain a grey deck? Salt water scrub against the grain?
First of all, it's not gray, it's silver. I have never found the color ugly at all. In fact when I see a brown teak deck on anything but a new or covered boat, I think, "There is a teak deck that's going to have a shorter life than it should have" So to me, brown is an ugly color for a teak deck (other than the two exceptions I mentioned above) because I know what's happening to the teak and it ain't pretty.

Caring for a teak deck is actually no more difficult or time consuming than caring for a fiberglass deck. You simply need to keep it clean. The best way to do this is to wash it periodically--- the period being determined by how dirty your marina is--- with salt water and something like Lemon Joy. Lemon Joy is often recommended because it suds up very nicely in cold water.

We use a basic string mop on our our deck. This is gentle on the wood and does a great job of getting the surface dirt up.

Our marina is not the cleanest in the world because it holds a lot of boats, 2000-plus including a fairly active commercial fishing fleet. Also there is a small railyard next to the marina with one to three switch engines idling or operating every day, plus frequent--- every hour or so-- freight trains running past the marina on their way to or from the Vancouver, BC area. All of this stuff is putting soot into the air.

Boats do not turn black in a week or anything like that, but it doesn't take too long before a boat no longer passes the white glove test. Walking on the deck works this dirt down in the upper grain and the basic mopping may not get it out.

So a few times a year--- two or three at the most--- we "scrub" the deck using a "doodlebug" as it's called here, one of those woven fiber pads. This is when it's important to clean across the grain instead of with it except where deck hardware makes it impossible.

As we learned early on from teak experts, the reason is this:

Teak, perhaps like all woods, is composed of linear "runs" of soft and hard wood cells. The soft wood cells are quite soft and so are removed from the surface of the plank easier and faster than the runs of hard wood cells. Scrubbing with the grain with anything at all abrasive, even the doodle bug, will over time wear away the softer cells faster than the harder cells. The result will be a microscopic "valley" as the soft runs are worn away faster than the harder "ridges."

At first, this will be totally unnoticeable. But once this wear starts, it accelerates. Even the weather, if the boat is outside, will start wearing away softer cells. It will happen anyway over a lot of time, but you helping simply accelerates the wear.

Eventually this will result in visible grooves, or crevicing as the teak people call it. And this will get deeper and deeper with time. I'm sure you've probably seen this in older or weathered teak. We have some fairly severe crevicing in the teak platform of our bow pulpit and in a few of the boards on our port side deck. The only way to get rid of it is to sand the surrounding wood down and this is worse in the long run than living with and trying to minimize the continuation of the crevicing.

So, the less you can encourage the softer wood cells to go away the better shape your deck will stay in over time. That is why you should never scrub the deck with the grain, always across except in those places where structure makes this impossible, and the scrubbing you do should be very light pressure. You just want to remove that stubborn dirt, not any wood cells.

With a string mop or soft sponge, the direction is not so important as there is little to no real abrasion with these things.

But now perhaps you can understand why powerwashing, even at a low-pressure setting is ultimately devastating to a teak deck because even at low pressure it will start "blasting" those soft wood cells loose.

Pressure washing is also potentially damaging to the seam sealant adhesion to the side of the grooves. Seam sealant separating from one side of a groove or the other is how moisture gets down under the planks. All seams will do this eventually at which point the seam, or the entire deck if it's gotten really bad, will have to be re-seamed. But the easier you make life on the seams the longer the sealant will stay adhered to both sides of the groove, which is also why using bond-breaking tape in the bottom of the groove is essential to maintaining the adhesion of the seam sealant to the sides of the groove as long as possible.

I don't know if they use bond-breaking tape on the glued down decks manufacturers like Grand Banks, Fleming, etc. install today. A glued-down deck is much less flexible than a screwed down deck although the wood will still expand and contract with heat and humidity. But a screwed down deck, even though the planks were bedded in a fairly adhesive compound when they were laid, is actually quite "active" according to the experts we've talked to over the years. The planks can actually "squirm" a fair amount as the boat works, you walk on it, and heat and humidity act on the wood itself. So on a screwed-down deck, bond-breaking tape is pretty critical.

BTW, the reason you should use salt water when you wash your deck has nothing to do with teak liking salt water or anything like that. Salt water should be used because if there are any separated seam sides or missing deck plugs or less-than-perfectly bedded deck hardware, moisture will get down under the planks. And with a screwed down deck, with eighty-bazillion screws penetrating the fiberglass upper layer of the typical cruiser's fiberglass-plywood-fiberglass subdeck sandwich, this moisture can migrate down along a deck screw into the wood core. If it's salt water that's migrating down, this will hold rot at bay a lot longer than if it's fresh water.

So keep the deck clean using a string mop or soft sponge, give it a little more rigorous scrubbing a few times a year using something like doodlebug (but still do it lightly) and maintain the integrity of the deck seams and plugs and there is no reason why a properly laid teak deck made of quality teak to start with should not last a long, long time. As I say, ours is now 40 years old. Had it not been improperly cared for in the past, it would probably last another 40 years.

And learn to love silver or keep the boat covered and out of the weather.

As an example, our main deck is exposed to the weather 24/7/365. And it is a nice silver color, as it should be. Our flying bridge deck, however, is kept under a full Sunbrella cover all the the time except when we remove the cover once or twice a year on longer cruises. We have washed the flying bridge deck two or three times in the past 14 years and we have scrubbed it once. I have redone a few seams up there that pulled loose from one side of the groove and replaced the occasional deck plug. Other than that it has not needed nor gotten any attention. And it is still brown. Light brown, more of a gray brown, but still "teak colored." That's what keeping a teak deck covered can do for you.

One last thing. I watched a Cetol-treated teak deck on an otherwise lovely GB36 Sedan weather away over the course of almost a year. The boat was for sale and the Cetol was starting to fail when it went on the market and it went unsold for over a year. This was in the early 2000s when the boat markets were booming. We walked beside this boat every time we went to our own boat and so got an up-close look at that deck every weekend.

Nobody would touch that boat with the Cetol on the deck unless the price was dropped enough to cover the professional removing of the Cetol which at that time the boat's broker told me would cost some $8,000 in labor. So the boat sat while buyer after buyer rejected the boat and bought some other GB.

And the Cetol got worse and worse and uglier and uglier until it was simply hideous. Finally, after most of the Cetol had weathered away, the boat sold. The owner still had to drop the price by the cost of removing the last of the Cetol, fixing seams, and truing up the deck surface but by then most of the Cetol itself was gone so the job was not nearly as big as it would have been when the boat first went on the market.

But my point is that if you elect to let as much of the Cetol on your deck weather away as you can, be prepared for things to get REALLY ugly appearance-wise. In the long run you will be way better off with the Cetol gone, but unless you elect to have it professionally removed-- or find out what the best, least wood-removing way to do it is and then do it yourself--- it will not be a pleasant visual experience for you.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:39 PM   #26
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Thanks for taking the time to give a great detailed reason and how to for the decks. Appreciate it
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:50 PM   #27
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Thanks for taking the time to give a great detailed reason and how to for the decks. Appreciate it
I hope your project goes well for you. I actually really enjoy working with wood although I am by no means a pro at it as in cabinet maker or anything. But my wife and I like finishing or refinishing wood. It's one reason we bought this generation of GB that has a rainforest of external teak on it. And I like taking care of and maintaining the deck, now that we know how to do it properly and why.

What's particularly fun is to work on the wood when we're out. I'm not much for sitting around doing nothing or reading or whatever on a boat, although I don't fault the people who can do that. And since I work full time and am away some of that time, we take advantage of whatever time we have to work on the exterior wood. I long ago learned that it's quite pleasant to be in a nice anchorage or marine park or whatever on a nice day and do things like work on the teak trim or replace deck plugs or whatever. It's quiet, it's relaxing, and the surroundings are terrific.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:12 PM   #28
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Marin,

I too appreciate all your effort to educate on the care and maintenance of teak decks. I too am a lover of fine wood and that was a prime motivator to buy an older "teaked" boat, over a much simpler to maintain tuperware. I have a very long road to travel to attempt to recover my long abused / neglected decks.(if at all possible)
The Bow, Transom entry and aft Bridge deck are in especially bad shape. Fortunately, I moved and keep her under cover from the time of purchase over 2 years ago.

While we are on the subject of teak, would you please share with us briefly what you use, if anything, on the rest of your rainforest of teak, especially railings and window frames.

Thank you.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:40 PM   #29
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Fortunately, I moved and keep her under cover from the time of purchase over 2 years ago.

While we are on the subject of teak, would you please share with us briefly what you use, if anything, on the rest of your rainforest of teak, especially railings and window frames.

Keeping your boat under cover will be a wonderful thing for maintaining the condition of your teak, or preventing it from deteriorating any further until you can get to it. It's why we keep our exterior teak covers on the boat since we still have a lot of wood that needs refinishing.

We tried various varnishes on our brightwork but when my wife read about a then-new product called Bristol we decided to give it try. That was some 12 years ago and we still use it today.

The one thing we have done fairly recently on the advice of the top shipwright on the GB owners forum is to put several coats of CPES on raw teak trim prior to the application of Bristol and to apply the first coat of Bristol when the last coat of CPES is still tacky. This adheres the first coat of finish really well. This same technique works with any brightwork finish--- varnish, etc.--- except Cetol.

The CPES thing does zero good on top of existing finish. It's only a technique for wood that's been taken back to raw. We do not sand existing finish off because that always removes more wood than we want. So we always use a heat gun (my wife's specialty) and scrapers to remove the old finish be it varnish or Bristol. So the only sanding the wood gets is a very fine finish sanding to smooth the surface.

The window frames on a GB are not teak, they are mahogany (usually) and they are painted, not finished bright. So when we refinish a frame we remove it, take it home, strip it, finish sand it, and give it several coats of CPES to seal it.

We then take it back to the boat, install it using Dolfinite for the bedding, install new plugs over the frame screws, sand them fair, put several coats of CPES over the faired plug and surrounding wood, mask and prime the frame using Interlux Pre-Coat (primer), then mask and finish paint the frame using Interlux Brightside.

The last step is to run a narrow finger-faired bead of white Polyseamseal around the outside joint where the frame meets the cabin side. This prevents the edge of the Dolfinite bedding from drying out. Another technique from the GB owners forum.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:53 PM   #30
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Marin's 3000 word post settles it for me, I'm astro turfing the whole boat. Just hose it down when muddy, sweep it when dusty, and break out the blower when leafy.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:22 PM   #31
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:25 PM   #32
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Teak decks: what a pain. Glad you folks talked me out of them in 2010 when purchasing my boat (originally ordered with teak decks). I don't mind gray decks. That's what I have, but that's non-skid paint.
Having just redone my decks in a combination of finishes, non slip on the bow, fresh teak on the side decks and cockpit, I can tell you the non slip often gets too hot for bare feet, and the teak looks great, at present. But in terms of practicality I am comfortable with my decision, even if my feet are not.
Agree in principle with not sanding or adding finishes to teak, but it is interesting Phil has done it for years with success.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:36 PM   #33
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Thanks Marin,

Not clear on your impression of Cetol. Seems folks either swear by it or at it.

I think not long before I acquired Satori, the PO had someone remove all finishes (except cabin windows) in favor of bare teak.(not to careful around the windows with the power sander either)
Not sure how long she had been naked, but I suspect less than 2 years. His recommendation was much like yours, just wash with saltwater.

From the best advice previously, I have already Cetol'd the center Pilot window and had intended to do the other 2 the same. This would pretty much match the cabin windows.
The bare rails were molding black, so based on another GB owner, I cleaned them well and applied teak oil. This took about a year, part time, as I found a lot of the previous finish had not been removed on the undersides as well as under the Bow Pulpit. I was, and still am of the opinion that I do not currently have the time to do and maintain a varnish / cetol finish on the rails, but the oil would make the rails easier to clean and give me a more desirable look, which it has. Seemed to control the molding as well. I have used the oil in several other places as well with satisfying results.(so far)
In my mind, I would prefer a "varnished" teak boat, but I do not have the time for it now - there are many more pressing priorities on this old boat.

I am a big fan of 2-part epoxy since I have begun using it a lot when the boat came along, but the thought of epoxy coating teak before varnishing just gives me the creaps! The stuff really soaks in and becomes quite Permanent. I have read of others recommending the epoxy sealer, but I have yet to come to terms with this approach.

I shall take some time to peruse the GB Forum on teak work to get a feel for how others approach it.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:46 PM   #34
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Huge difference in what happens to a teak deck when exposed in Southeast, Northeast, Southwest, Northwest....one philosophy doesn't fit all....
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:34 PM   #35
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I'm pretty much with Marin on this one. Our decks turn a beautiful silver grey color. We wash them occasionally with clean salt water and a mop. If something gets on them like diesel fuel, a little sudsy ammonia diluted in sea water works great. But basically, we do zero to them.

Every couple or three years we have them cleansed with Snappy Teak Nu, which doesn't take much off at all. We just completed taking out most of the bungs, checking the screws, re-bunging, mostly re-caulking, sanding etc. after who knows how many years, we've owned the boat for 6. When I saw how thick the wood was, I may cleanse them more often, or, not. I did again this time because we had random sanding where new bungs were installed and so evened out the look.

I personally think Cetol or any other finish on a deck is atrocious. Very hot, less non-skid performance, and a maintenace beast. I do have Cetol with some non-skid beads mixed in on my pulpit just for giggles and a design contrast and boy am I glad it is not on the decks.

We are in a marina, on a dock with many very high dollar custom sport fishermen. Teak is the cockpit decking and coaming board material of choice. These guys have big, open checkbooks when it comes to pimping their ride. Most leave all the teak natural, all leave the decks natural, some use Semco or oil on the coaming boards. If form and looks are more important to you than function, Semco seems to be the weapon of choice and looks nice without being artificial. I kind of wish I had used that on the pulpit rather than Cetol, but hey, there was a can of Cetol laying around and some beads from a painting project...

Anyway, I think our decks look pretty darn nice>>>

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Old 01-07-2013, 06:37 PM   #36
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Cetol and natural teak go together like peas and carrots.

Angelina's decks and most of her teak is natural silver with just enough trim done in Cetol so she doesn't look like a derelict.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:01 PM   #37
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This what the overall tone looks like.




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Old 01-07-2013, 09:43 PM   #38
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Thanks Marin,

Not clear on your impression of Cetol. Seems folks either swear by it or at it.
We don't care for the appearance of Cetol when used as a brightwork finish. I think it looks muddy, even their newer "clear" products, and it tends to hide the figuring in the wood, particularly if it's an older boat with good quality old-growth teak as opposed to the very plain-Jane plantation teak most builders are forced to use today.

But if one likes the look of Cetol on the rails and trim, fine. It's a totally subjective thing, no right or wrong except in the eye of the beholder.

On a teak deck, however, it's a disaster waiting to happen. But that applies to any finish--- varnish, oil, Bristol, you name it. Some finishes and cleaners will actually attack and loosen the adhesion of the seam sealer to the sides of the grooves and when that happens, it doesn't matter how nice the deck looks, you've put the integrity of the subdeck at risk. Other finishes, particularly oil, attract and hold dirt which, when combined with the oil make a wonderful cutting compound under your feet as you walk around on the deck. And so wood cells go away.

And psneeld is correct--- the environment a boat lives in will determine to a large degree what works well and what doesn't in terms of a brightwork finish. Based on what I see owners in our part of the marina doing every year, Cetol seems to be fairly short-lived in the PNW if it's out in the weather. Varnish does better, and if applied properly with sufficient coats, Bristol outlasts them all. The tricky bit up here (with any finish) is getting enough coats on given the weather and, if one has a full-time job, the available time.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:16 AM   #39
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Somebody isn't doing the prep and application right if Cetol isn't lasting outside up there. If there is one thing it is really good for, it is exterior use in exposed and wet locations. It is why I decided to use it when I tarted up my pulpit, which takes a lot of abuse from me (standing on it while anchoring) and the elements (sun, water, mud, cold). It's one reason it is popular (in my opinion unfortunately) for decks and outdoor furniture. Doesn't get that nice hard glossy finish that varnish does, but requires much less attention.

PS: I should note I am particularly referring to the Natural Teak product.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:04 AM   #40
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This what the overall tone looks like.




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My, what pretty decks you have! Do you plan on keeping them that why, or letting them go gray/silver?
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