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Old 11-09-2015, 06:58 PM   #1
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Tired teak deck: Different Question/Different Solution?

I just purchased a 1986 Oceania 42 and it has a reasonably intact but tired teak deck. It would seem the previous owner(s) used a pressure washer to clean it. The deck is between 1/4" - 3/8" thick with the softer wood portion of the wood grain noticeably recessed. Some of the bungs (~5%) are missing and there are some of gaps in the caulking and wood. At this time fortunately the sub deck is sound with moisture readings revealing acceptable levels.

I am not particularly interested in having to be ever vigilant in maintaining this somewhat fragile deck situation.

I am interested to know if anyone has taken a similar situation as mine and prepared/sealed the teak deck to receive a synthetic teak deck overlay. I do not see any upside in disturbing the currently intact, albeit fragile teak deck. That said, I am a newbie to owning a boat... is my thinking reasonable? Happy to learn of your opinions, suggestions, recommendations. Thanks.
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Old 11-09-2015, 07:54 PM   #2
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Although I would probably be in the minority, If the substrate is not full of water (as you have stated) I would remove the entire teak deck mess and get the screw holes filled with epoxy, and skim coat the deck with a layer of glass and new non skid pattern.

Or just leave the deck alone, use teak oil, and enjoy the boat 'as is'.
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Old 11-09-2015, 08:05 PM   #3
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It is not advisable to put anything over an existing teak deck. The underlying teak will still work and flex and this can eventually damage the bond between the teak and whatever you put on top and moisture will then be able to get underneath and you'll have the same situation you're trying to avoid or cure with the overlay.

The correct way to replace an original teak deck is to replace it.

One way is to remove the original teak, prep the subdeck, which on a fiberglass boat is usually a fiberglass-plywood-fiberglass sandwich, and then add sufficient layers of fiberglass to restore the stiffness lost when the teak was removed. Two layers are generally sufficient but you should get knowledgeable, credible guidance on this because every boat is different. The final step is to apply a non-skid surface to the top of the new fiberglass.

Another way is to remove the original teak, prep the subdeck surface, and then install a synthetic teak deck. I have seen photos--- not seen in person--- of this kind of deck on a couple of Grand Banks boats and it looked very nice.

A third way is to remove the original teak, prep the subdeck surface, and then have new teak decking installed on the subdeck. An advantage of doing this sort of thing today is that there are products available now that allow the new teak to be glued to the subdeck, not screwed down with a bazilliion screws that penetrate the subdeck.

Given the cost of labor and good teak these days, this is an extremely expensive option. For example we looked into having this done to our 1973 Grand Banks 36 back in the very early 2000s and the estimated cost to re-plank the main deck was about $30,000. The cost of labor and teak has only been going up since then.

So most people who elect to replace the original teak decking on their boat use the first method, replacing the planks with fiberglass and non-skid. This can be done by a yard, or if one understand the process, has the tools, and does the job correctly it can be done by an owner very successfully. An acquaintance with an Island Gypsy did this a few years ago and the end result is stronger and looks better than if the manufacturer had done it; the quality of this guy's work is very, very high. I've also seen it done very badly by an owner.

There are instances of people or yards installing a new surface of some kind over an original teak deck. While they have claimed success with this, the consensus of the people I'm aware of or acquainted with who have a lot of professional experience dealing with the replacement of a teak deck all recommend against this for the reasons I stated at the outset.

The teak deck on our boat is now 43 years old. It has been over-sanded or had applications of teak cleaner/restorer (or both) by previous owners so it is now at its minimal thickness. A couple of years after acquiring the boat in 1998 we had the main deck regrooved and re-seamed. It has held up okay but now needs a lot of repair work to the seams. There is a much better sealant on the market now than there was when the re-grooving and re-seaming was done.

It's not difficult work and I actually rather enjoy doing it, but it can be tedious and the deck has to be bone dry at the time. Hard to find these conditions in our climate but I'm hoping next summer to have the time and the weather to do the work properly.

We do not like fiberglass decks and bought the boat we did in part because it has a teak deck albeit a rather tired one. So we will continue to keep it clean and maintain it properly and see how many more years we can get out of it.
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Old 11-10-2015, 06:34 AM   #4
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I have yet to see a TT with actual teak decks.

2x2 teak with calking between planks.

An added teak overlay i to a plywood deck is most common , a paint job option mostly for looks.

Since it is an option the deck stiffness is designed to function without thousands of pounds of wood screwed on.

The usual hassle is the screws holding the wood in place leak into the plywood , and it rots big time.

With out a repair to the plywood the strength of the deck is compromised.

I have seen windlasses lift as the boat backs an anchor in place.

If there was a cheap simple solution the TT would be priced higher .

Even if the chemists created a goop that could sink in and seal all the
leaks , it would probably not restore deck stiffness.

IF you wish to keep the boat , long term some repair is required.

Glue down the next teak paint job , rather than screw it down for long lasting results.
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Old 11-10-2015, 09:12 AM   #5
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Dedcison Made

Thanks for everyone's contribution of knowledge and experience to my "tired teak deck" question. I have been checking in with synthetic teak deck suppliers/installers... although possible, they too recommend removing the old teak deck.

At the end of the day, like most things in life, pay now or pay (more) later. We hope to live aboard for many years, so if this fore deck re-fiberglassing project is the only major foreseeable maintenance job, then the piece of mind derived, when it is done correctly from the outset, will be money well spent.
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Old 11-10-2015, 09:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catan man View Post
I am interested to know if anyone has taken a similar situation as mine and prepared/sealed the teak deck to receive a synthetic teak deck overlay.Thanks.
I have no experience w/ teak decks but agree w/ others - I would not apply anything to the existing. If they are still repairable probably best to do that.

If you haven't seen it...The best description of the removal & reglass I've seen is Ted's thread My Short Haul Refit starting at post #48 Note: the whole thread is well done and extremely interesting reading

I have added Synthetic teak to our Mainships aft / side decks and have a write-up w/ a few pics on a website "Bacchus" look at the projects section.
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Old 11-10-2015, 09:22 AM   #7
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The is an old adage that applies here...."cheap is expensive"
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Old 11-10-2015, 09:43 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bacchus View Post
I have no experience w/ teak decks but agree w/ others - I would not apply anything to the existing. If they are still repairable probably best to do that.

If you haven't seen it...The best description of the removal & reglass I've seen is Ted's thread My Short Haul Refit starting at post #48 Note: the whole thread is well done and extremely interesting reading

I have added Synthetic teak to our Mainships aft / side decks and have a write-up w/ a few pics on a website "Bacchus" look at the projects section.
Don, Thanks for the suggesting Ted's thread. Also I thoroughly enjoyed your website. I suspect there is a synthetic teak DIY project in my future and appreciate the PlasDeck recommendation. Eric
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Old 11-10-2015, 09:43 AM   #9
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I was taught that you need a minimum of 3/8" of teak deck to be considered serviceable. Based on the thickness of your decks I'd be thinking about removing them and looking at what modern options are out there. Assuming the boats under cover, you have the winter to work on it. Several years ago I looked at a boat of similar size but with more teak decks where the owner hired out the work. The teak was removed, all the prep, marine ply and then glass and non-skid was ~$10k. The job looked like a factory finish.
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Old 11-10-2015, 09:58 AM   #10
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The Eagles teak decks are 37 years old, but my wife bought and likes the teak decks and trim. Teak decks fail because the ower did not repair and take care of them. Teak decks give plenty of signs and warning, and they do require some yearly maintenance. The Eagles deck where in poor shape when we bought her, but we elected to re fasten and calk. Ok, my wife decided I should.

Each year the deck is scrubbed down with 60 grit sanding blocks to get the dirt and while doing look for areas the need refastening and calking. But the most important is a new application of Daily Seafin treak sealing that is thin enough to get down into the tiny cracks as it dries hard, in the winter I do cover it which keeps 9 months or rain off.

So the cheapest and easiest is repairing and maintaining the old teak deck. Especially if you wife likes wants a teak deck
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Old 07-22-2017, 12:33 PM   #11
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Teak Deck Dilemma?

We too struggled with what to do about failing teak decks on Sea Haven. After careful research we contacted a company called SaniTread and spoke to their technician. They were extremely helpful and supportive so we made the leap and have just completed applying their product to our entire deck, including flybridge. It is completely sealed and has non-skid in all the walking areas.

We heard that removal can affect structural issues with the fiberglass so opted to cover. Product bonds molecularly with the wood. We felt it was our best option.

We live in rainy Alaska and exposed teak is a non-stop maintenance issue with no weather to actually accomplish much. We cover our boat every winter with a shrink wrap structure to keep out the snow and ice. Circumstances made it so we had the cover on for two years in a row and knew the decks would never be dryer than they were.

The most important thing we did was remove the large fiberglass dual sided seat on the flybridge. We found rotten teak boards that were letting in water to the core. Fortunately we think we got it before it could do extensive damage. The product we used is a curing product that becomes as durable as a tire. It should be used by experienced and capable DIYers. It's not too fussy but you must follow instructions. You can contact the company anytime and they are very helpful with technical info. I don't want to go on too long so feel free to ask questions. Thanks.
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