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Old 02-18-2020, 10:08 PM   #1
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Teak Deck ????

Evening Gentlemen, I am in search of my first Trawler. Went and looked at a 1984 De Fever 41 over the weekend, the interior is in excellent shape no signs of leaks around the windows or from the decks. The decks feel solid while walking around the boat. My question is about the Teak deck (I know nothing other than what I've read ) its self . The planks appear to be about 1/2" - 5/8" thick from what I could measure but hey need some love. Caulking needs to be re done in a lot of areas and re grooved in a few small areas. Screws reset and new bungs in some areas. Question is how many years or sand and caulk good I get? Hope the pictures show up.
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Old 02-18-2020, 10:12 PM   #2
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Old 02-18-2020, 10:52 PM   #3
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Well, I have nothing good to say about teak decks... They look nice when in good condition but require too much maintenance IMO. If the caulk needs work then the core may be wet. Or if the caulk needs work then the core is probably wet. If the core is wet then you may need to replace the core material. Before I would refinish all the teak decks I would replace the teak with fiberglass and paint it. I have teak decks on our covered sundeck and wish it was fiberglass instead. We just recaulked them and the caulk was just beginning to go bad so the core was not wet. It was a huge job to recaulk and refinish the teak. If the boat is in good condition otherwise then I would not be afraid of the boat but would plan on replacing the teak with fiberglass.
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:37 PM   #4
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Teak decks were once loved and a must have. Now with tupperware boats not so much.
IF you do not love teak, do not buy a boat that has a teak deck, or any on the exterior as you will come to regret.
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Old 02-19-2020, 12:16 AM   #5
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BTW, walking on the decks is not a good method to find out if they have moisture issues. With a glass deck you can use a hammer and do percussion testing, have not tried it with teak decks so not sure how well it would work. Probably have to use a moisture meter and someone who knows how to use it. Our boat has lots of teak trim on the exterior that is going to paint as I get around to it. Tired of varnish.
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Old 02-19-2020, 12:24 AM   #6
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I agree with Comodave I love my boat but can not stand my teak decks I always wanted to look great and that takes a great deal of work
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Old 02-19-2020, 12:28 AM   #7
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Every one of those holes you see is a potential area for leaks into your core, probably plywood. And in some areas, probably mooshy plywood.
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Old 02-19-2020, 01:46 AM   #8
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The revamp is a big job. You`ve got cracks,wear thinned planks so the bungs are gone, and all those screws go into the real deck underneath and may be introducing water to the core of the fibreglass sandwich deck.Salvation would be if the core is foam not wood(less likely to be).
You could check underneath for water intrusion. Check fuel & water tank tops for rust. If none, good. I still think removal and replacement with painted non slip fibreglass, usually 2 layers,is a better solution than trying to fix the teak.
I had mine all removed, painted non slip on the bow, fresh teak sides and cockpit over 1 layer of f/g, expensive but looks good. Lucky foam core, made it doable.
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Old 02-19-2020, 01:57 AM   #9
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Our current boat has fiberglass decks on the bow and sides and teak on the sundeck. President put the gel coat on way too thick so it had stress cracks all over the decks including through out the non skid. We sanded off the non skid and painted the decks with Kiwigrip. Kiwigrip covered the stress cracks and has worn very well. If the teak decks are in tough shape, I would remove the teak and lay down a couple of layers of 1708 glass and then paint with Kiwigrip. If the core is wet and rotten that would be the time to replace it also. Big job but fairly inexpensive if you do it yourself.
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Old 02-19-2020, 12:52 PM   #10
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To the OP,
I am in agreement with Comodave and the others. When I was boat shopping, screwed down teak decks were on my DO NOT WANT list!!!
As stated, you will have hundreds (or more) screws penetrating your deck and eventually (without regular maintenance) allowing water to leak into your deck's core. For your era of boat, that core is most likely wood and will (unless all previous owners really looked after this - not likely IMHO) require replacement at least in some areas. If you are not capable or willing to do this yourself, it could be VERY expensive.

My advice would be to avoid this boat. However, if you really like the boat and it fits your wants and needs otherwise, if you can get it at the right price, remove the teak decks and replace with fibreglass and non-skid as suggested by Dave. That option is not without risk. Other items (some mentioned above) will require careful checking as well.
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Old 02-19-2020, 01:39 PM   #11
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Mine are being removed as we type!
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Old 02-19-2020, 01:54 PM   #12
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My teak decks are in good shape. I have done quite a bit of re-caulking, and taken in small doses not too bad a job in reality.
Teak is nice to walk on and softer and cooler than fiberglass.
But if the core is wet, all bets are off. If not, then you can make them look good again.
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Old 02-19-2020, 01:55 PM   #13
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Agree with others here, teak decks are a no go for me. I used to think they were pretty when in perfect condition, but now that I know more about them my attraction to them has worn off. Now they just look dingy and out of date to me, though I know other people love them and respect that.


Just a guess here, but I would say that teak decks probably knock a significant percentage off of the value of a used boat.
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Old 02-19-2020, 03:17 PM   #14
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I did a teak deck 25 years ago using the West System method where 5/16 thick teak slats are glued down using blackened/thickened epoxy which becomes the "caulking". I took a lot of ribbing at the dock for the non-conventional method at the time.
Now 25 yrs later, still going strong after kids, fishing, dogs, grandkids.
This method precludes any water getting into the deck through the screw holes and cuts the teak bill by 2/3. Ipe might be the wood to use today.
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Old 02-19-2020, 04:10 PM   #15
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We are in the process of finding a larger trawler to use into retirement. Probably #1 "priority" on the list? No teak decks. Don't want the headaches nor the maintenance. I hate any work that involves me being on my knees. 4 knee surgeries, including a blown ACL & torn meniscus. One reason we eliminated Grand Banks from our list of boats to consider. Most, if not all, have teak decks.



We live in the PNW which, if you didn't know, rains a "little". I've never had an issue with walking on fiberglass decks & non-skid. Most times on board, I'm bare-foot. I'm sure somewhere like Florida, with it's sun, may make the decks hot. But up here, it's not an issue.
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Old 02-19-2020, 04:39 PM   #16
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If you find the boat you want that checks all the boxes but has teak decks, they can be removed. If the decks needed to be renewed, negotiate with the seller. This has been done more than once and the finished decks look factory new and no bungs or caulking to deal with.

Ted of O C Diver removed teak decks as apart of his refit is one example.

https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...tml#post313657
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Old 02-19-2020, 04:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougcole View Post
Now they just look dingy and out of date to me
An 80's or 90's trawler with teak decks looks out of date. Totally agree with you. They are also significantly cheaper than a new boat. It's not just the teak decks, the whole design and all the systems are out of date. I think Taiwan trawlers will see the end of their useful life at the 50 year mark. Spending thousands to get a few more years out of a very dated design is just flushing money down the pipe.

A deck with 1/2" thick planks can be easily sanded at very low cost. Recaulked and oiled annually they will last at least another decade.
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Old 02-19-2020, 05:49 PM   #18
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Though the Op`s decks are secured with the numerous troublesome water wicking screws, it`s worth distinguishing newer teak decks which are glued not screwed. It`s how my(part)replacement teak was attached,and a slow process.
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Old 02-19-2020, 06:18 PM   #19
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Though the Op`s decks are secured with the numerous troublesome water wicking screws, it`s worth distinguishing newer teak decks which are glued not screwed. It`s how my(part)replacement teak was attached,and a slow process.
Agree totally. That's why in my earlier post I specifically stated "screwed down" teak decks as a DO NOT WANT. Due to there being a fairly large number of boat shoppers who agree, I would think that at the very least having screwed down teak decks would limit it's market and probably result in a price reduction compared to comparable boats without them.

For those who don't mind the work, teak decks can be attractive and provide good, comfortable footing.
For me personally, a boat requires enough work to keep up with maintenance and repairs, so I would not want the extra work needed with a lot of exterior wood or screwed down teak decks. I am sure there are some out there who would disagree and actually enjoy that type of work. Well, enjoy
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Old 02-19-2020, 07:02 PM   #20
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For a 35+ year old boat, I would budget in the cost of removing a teak deck and probably replacement of the tanks (fuel, water, and waste) if they are all still original and made of metal. Unfortunately, neither of these are cheap repairs, but they may be necessary.

Many Grand Banks owners love the teak on their boats. So much that some of them have spent many 10's of thousands of dollars on replacing teak decks.

Although it is a very tedious event, I don't think that it is a difficult (time consuming, yes) job for a DIYer. If you can get the old teak off a boat, you could always have a pro do any repairs, and painting afterwards.


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