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Most beautiful finish for a solid teak sole?


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#1 Mung Breath

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 02:45 AM

What is the most beautiful, flat or satin, water and stain-resistant finish for a solid plantation teak sole?
The experiment to leave our solid teak sole 'natural' has failed the spousal-approavel test after it's first season. Mainly because it just can't be kept clean...water and grease spots, swelling, etc. So it is now freshly sanded, looking gorgeous and ready for....what?! The thing I like about the light, natural finish is its warm, 'wooden boat' complement to the Herreshoff interior of satin urethane teak trim, white raised bulkheads and ash ceilings/headliner. Hell, it's solid wood so it doesn't need to be varnished! But it apparently needs to be protected from water and grime.

Ideas I've heard:


  • 50/50 (or 40/60) boiled linseed and turpentine solution rubbed in
  • Simple household Thompson's deck sealant
  • urethane or polyurethane (which will darken the wood)
  • standard varnish
  • standard harwood floor finish
I really want to preserve the wooden boat feel below and not have a typical varnished sole. Suggestions?

#2 Soņadora

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 02:58 AM

GOB had a pretty good article on this a few issues ago (Sept/Oct 2011). The author used Defthane from Home Depot. This is the route I intend to take as well.

#3 Amati

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 04:22 AM

Cetol light.

We get more thumbs up with that stuff. From classic boat types even! And if you have the discipline to dab on the stuff as needed it looks better and better.

It seems every 6 or 7 years you have to start over though....... Last time it was 15 BOAT UNIT$$$$!!!!

Bob was right! Aluminum toerails!!!!

We didnt listen! "Oh the teak will be sooooooo pretty!"

But inside, works well. Epoxy looks nice too.

Paul

#4 Soņadora

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 05:55 AM

after all the work on my exterior teak (and I'm only 2/3 done), the thought of INTERIOR teak makes me giddy. You can cover that stuff with ANYTHING and it will last. That evil, nasty sun won't be able to touch it.

Personally, whatever they put on basketball courts is what I'd like on my teak sole. I think it's some kind of PU stuff or maybe Epoxy of some kind. You want TOUGH whatever it is.

#5 rattus32

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 06:10 AM

Watch out with that stuff... a girl on my daughter's v-ball team tore her ACL slipping on a spill on what I think was a form of PU.

Got a nice butt bruise myself when I slipped on our dry (I think it's lacquer) finished floor while wearing sport socks - and that was just a semi-gloss finish.

I know a lot of T&H (teak and holly) soles are finished in gloss, but damn, is it worth the traction cost?

Mike

#6 Fleetwood

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 09:05 AM

The guy who replaced my teak decks and is one of the better craftsmen around here recommends Synteko (a part of Akzo-Nobel, owners of Interlux, etc).
They do industrial floor finishes, 1 and 2 pack urethanes, water and solvent based, all gloss levels.
I plan to redo my cabin soles with their water based 2 pack matte finish real soon now!

#7 Tom Ray

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 10:34 AM

I know a lot of T&H (teak and holly) soles are finished in gloss, but damn, is it worth the traction cost?

Mike


I made mine teak and sandy.

Posted Image

#8 Tom Ray

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 10:38 AM

The guy who replaced my teak decks and is one of the better craftsmen around here recommends Synteko (a part of Akzo-Nobel, owners of Interlux, etc).
They do industrial floor finishes, 1 and 2 pack urethanes, water and solvent based, all gloss levels.
I plan to redo my cabin soles with their water based 2 pack matte finish real soon now!


You have been around a month now and should know the welcoming routine.

#9 Mung Breath

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 12:00 PM

Cetol light.

We get more thumbs up with that stuff. From classic boat types even! And if you have the discipline to dab on the stuff as needed it looks better and better.

It seems every 6 or 7 years you have to start over though....... Last time it was 15 BOAT UNIT$$!!!!

Bob was right! Aluminum toerails!!!!

We didnt listen! "Oh the teak will be sooooooo pretty!"

But inside, works well. Epoxy looks nice too.

Paul


Paul - I don't believe Cetol recommends it's products for sole applications as it is a relatively soft finish.

#10 Mung Breath

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 12:16 PM

Watch out with that stuff... a girl on my daughter's v-ball team tore her ACL slipping on a spill on what I think was a form of PU.

Got a nice butt bruise myself when I slipped on our dry (I think it's lacquer) finished floor while wearing sport socks - and that was just a semi-gloss finish.

I know a lot of T&H (teak and holly) soles are finished in gloss, but damn, is it worth the traction cost?

Mike


Mike - this an important point. I doubt a glossy finish is any more slippery than a satin finish but some products are slipperier than others. Thus we enter the trade-offs along the line of the oil vs. varnish 'hardness' spectrum. Natural teak is the best non-skid which is another reason I like it 'natural'. The flat finishes offered by linseed (tung)/turpentine (rubbed on varnishes) are beautiful, still offer excellent non-skid quality and easily renewed - just wash and rag on some more. But I'm not sure how water-resistant they are. I guess the more turpentine, the harder the finish.

Somewhere, lost in my house, is the bible of such things, The Art of Brightwork by Rebecca Whitman. Did I get that right? I'm sure she has an answer for me if I could only find her! Meanwhile, the sole awaits and has to be done before the mast is installed in a week or so.

#11 DrewR

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 12:49 PM

I did my new plywood Teak and Holly sole with 4 coats of MAS Epoxy on all 4 side and squeegeed on the top layers with 6 coats of gloss Captains Varnish on top of that. Hinckley uses some sort of variation of that on their sole, allegedly. 3 seasons later there are spots where the varnish is lifting, but otherwise looked fantastic. But a whole lotta work...

It's not too slippery, but was a little when brand new. Normal traffic etc has 'satined' it down some.

#12 Mung Breath

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 01:25 PM

I found the book. She recommends a stew of Tung, possibly mixed with boiled linseed....

#13 Gatekeeper

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 01:59 PM

I used Ultimate Sole 5 years ago...very shiny, but not slippery. Even wet. (I can't figure that out).

I found it very easy to use and got a lot of "wow"s from other owners.

#14 6924

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 03:23 PM

6-8 coats of Captain's - and note most important to get good coverage on underside and edges than topside of sole. underside and edges have limited air circulation.

#15 deadbeatracer

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 07:23 PM

The guy who replaced my teak decks and is one of the better craftsmen around here recommends Synteko (a part of Akzo-Nobel, owners of Interlux, etc).
They do industrial floor finishes, 1 and 2 pack urethanes, water and solvent based, all gloss levels.
I plan to redo my cabin soles with their water based 2 pack matte finish real soon now!

We used this finish in our house. Ten years old, raising 3 kids, looks remarkably good still. Used some leftover product on the new teak and holly floor I cut for our J24. Put it on both sides and all the edges. Lightly sanded the top and put an extra coat on the top. It still looks great and is not slippery.

#16 Jerry Cann

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 07:24 PM

For a solid planked teak sole, I have always used Daly's Sea Fin. www.dalyspaint.com/catalog_seafin.html. Nordic Yachts and Valiant (Bellingham,WA) both used it for their interiors (I previously owned a V-40 and a N-44).

Working from bare, well sanded wood, apply several (2-3) coats of Ship and Shore Sealer, let dry between coats. Then wet-sand the sole with Sea Fin teak oil using 320 W&D sandpaper. Wipe down with terry cloth and allow to dry well. Repeat the wet-sand process several times or until the grain appears full. You will then have a finish that appears much like a satin varnish, except one with a rather decent non-skid property.

If the finish later needs some cleanup (water stains or cooking grease) simply wet-sand that area with the Sea Fin Teak oil and wipe with terry cloth rags. You won't believe how it all blends in with the old finish. As a practice I did the wet-sand bit about annually.

I was a year around live-aboard for over 20 years, and this is the only way I would finish a cabin sole. BTW, after selling my Nordic 44, on which I and the family had lived for 12 years, the new owner called me and asked me what "varnish" I had used in the interior (cabin sole bulkheads, and trim were all Sea Fin). He did not believe me and swore it had to be varnish.

#17 rattus32

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 10:26 PM

I found the book. She recommends a stew of Tung, possibly mixed with boiled linseed....


Mung, I was *just* about to mention tung oil; multiple coats provide very good water resistance, keeps a nice matte finish and is a piece of cake to apply and maintain. Real, pure tung oil ain't cheap, though.

Too bad about the decomposing sea life smell as it cures.. ;-)

Mike

#18 Mung Breath

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 12:28 AM

For a solid planked teak sole, I have always used Daly's Sea Fin. www.dalyspaint.com/catalog_seafin.html. Nordic Yachts and Valiant (Bellingham,WA) both used it for their interiors (I previously owned a V-40 and a N-44).

Working from bare, well sanded wood, apply several (2-3) coats of Ship and Shore Sealer, let dry between coats. Then wet-sand the sole with Sea Fin teak oil using 320 W&D sandpaper. Wipe down with terry cloth and allow to dry well. Repeat the wet-sand process several times or until the grain appears full. You will then have a finish that appears much like a satin varnish, except one with a rather decent non-skid property.

If the finish later needs some cleanup (water stains or cooking grease) simply wet-sand that area with the Sea Fin Teak oil and wipe with terry cloth rags. You won't believe how it all blends in with the old finish. As a practice I did the wet-sand bit about annually.

I was a year around live-aboard for over 20 years, and this is the only way I would finish a cabin sole. BTW, after selling my Nordic 44, on which I and the family had lived for 12 years, the new owner called me and asked me what "varnish" I had used in the interior (cabin sole bulkheads, and trim were all Sea Fin). He did not believe me and swore it had to be varnish.


Jerry - thanks for this.

This is the product recommended by Wittman in her book as well. Looking at the boat today, I realize another benefit of oil over varnish: I don't need to worry about painting myself in at the companionway! I don't mind this labor and maintenance schedule. The key here is moisture resistance because until I cure water from draining down the inside of the mast, I'm going to get occasional puddling.

#19 JulianaLandor

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 01:05 AM

Posted ImageGOB had a pretty good article on this a few issues ago (Sept/Oct 2011).

#20 Soņadora

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 03:29 AM

1333847135[/url]' post='3663062']
Posted ImageGOB had a pretty good article on this a few issues ago (Sept/Oct 2011).


Hi Julian,
Rules on CA:
1.) all noobs must HTFU and show tits
2.) RTFT...post 4 already mentioned this

#21 Kris Cringle

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 09:59 AM

What is the most beautiful, flat or satin, water and stain-resistant finish for a solid plantation teak sole?
The experiment to leave our solid teak sole 'natural' has failed the spousal-approavel test after it's first season. Mainly because it just can't be kept clean...water and grease spots, swelling, etc. So it is now freshly sanded, looking gorgeous and ready for....what?! The thing I like about the light, natural finish is its warm, 'wooden boat' complement to the Herreshoff interior of satin urethane teak trim, white raised bulkheads and ash ceilings/headliner. Hell, it's solid wood so it doesn't need to be varnished! But it apparently needs to be protected from water and grime.

Ideas I've heard:


  • 50/50 (or 40/60) boiled linseed and turpentine solution rubbed in
  • Simple household Thompson's deck sealant
  • urethane or polyurethane (which will darken the wood)
  • standard varnish
  • standard harwood floor finish
I really want to preserve the wooden boat feel below and not have a typical varnished sole. Suggestions?


For ease, I coated my solid teak and holly sole with gloss spar varnish 10 years ago(about 4, 5 coats my guess). The uncoated sole was dark gray from use but sanded clean without too much effort(the pieces are all removable).

We spend about a month onboard each season, a family of four(and often additional friends), two dogs. It quickly lost it's high gloss with foot traffic and becomes satin, then mat,... then eggshell maybe?

At any rate, it hasn't worn through, is easy to clean(simple green and a rag) and it's not slippery(our boat doesn't have a lot of space to slip). Posted Image

#22 Beer Fueled Mayhem

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 03:31 PM


Watch out with that stuff... a girl on my daughter's v-ball team tore her ACL slipping on a spill on what I think was a form of PU.

Got a nice butt bruise myself when I slipped on our dry (I think it's lacquer) finished floor while wearing sport socks - and that was just a semi-gloss finish.

I know a lot of T&H (teak and holly) soles are finished in gloss, but damn, is it worth the traction cost?

Mike


Mike - this an important point. I doubt a glossy finish is any more slippery than a satin finish but some products are slipperier than others. Thus we enter the trade-offs along the line of the oil vs. varnish 'hardness' spectrum. Natural teak is the best non-skid which is another reason I like it 'natural'. The flat finishes offered by linseed (tung)/turpentine (rubbed on varnishes) are beautiful, still offer excellent non-skid quality and easily renewed - just wash and rag on some more. But I'm not sure how water-resistant they are. I guess the more turpentine, the harder the finish.

Somewhere, lost in my house, is the bible of such things, The Art of Brightwork by Rebecca Whitman. Did I get that right? I'm sure she has an answer for me if I could only find her! Meanwhile, the sole awaits and has to be done before the mast is installed in a week or so.


You should ask Joli what they use on their exterior teak seats. Super shiny and per them, not slippery.

#23 jet 203

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 03:34 PM

+1 for ultimate sole. Looks great, little maintenance, and not slippery.

#24 Beer Fueled Mayhem

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 03:58 PM


For a solid planked teak sole, I have always used Daly's Sea Fin. www.dalyspaint.com/catalog_seafin.html. Nordic Yachts and Valiant (Bellingham,WA) both used it for their interiors (I previously owned a V-40 and a N-44).

Working from bare, well sanded wood, apply several (2-3) coats of Ship and Shore Sealer, let dry between coats. Then wet-sand the sole with Sea Fin teak oil using 320 W&D sandpaper. Wipe down with terry cloth and allow to dry well. Repeat the wet-sand process several times or until the grain appears full. You will then have a finish that appears much like a satin varnish, except one with a rather decent non-skid property.

If the finish later needs some cleanup (water stains or cooking grease) simply wet-sand that area with the Sea Fin Teak oil and wipe with terry cloth rags. You won't believe how it all blends in with the old finish. As a practice I did the wet-sand bit about annually.

I was a year around live-aboard for over 20 years, and this is the only way I would finish a cabin sole. BTW, after selling my Nordic 44, on which I and the family had lived for 12 years, the new owner called me and asked me what "varnish" I had used in the interior (cabin sole bulkheads, and trim were all Sea Fin). He did not believe me and swore it had to be varnish.


Jerry - thanks for this.

This is the product recommended by Wittman in her book as well. Looking at the boat today, I realize another benefit of oil over varnish: I don't need to worry about painting myself in at the companionway! I don't mind this labor and maintenance schedule. The key here is moisture resistance because until I cure water from draining down the inside of the mast, I'm going to get occasional puddling.


If this is the Jerry that sailed on Winds of Time, then he was the one that did the cabin sole on my new (to me) boat. He used Daley's Sea Fin. Just beautiful floor.

#25 Mung Breath

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 10:52 PM

I've ordered the SeaFin sealer and oil. Only problem is that it ships 'ground' from the West to East Coast, meaning a critical delay in getting this done. It sure would have been preferable to do this this week while it's still in a heated shed in Essex. But from everything I've read here and elsewhere, this seems to be the way to go.

#26 bjkrad

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 12:32 AM

Another vote for Ultimate Sole--

#27 Ishmael

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 12:44 AM

Another vote for Ultimate Sole--


Ultimate Sole is no more, I hear. http://www.google.ca...88NqDLlUsNfPAew

#28 Jerry Cann

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 07:47 PM

If this is the Jerry that sailed on Winds of Time, then he was the one that did the cabin sole on my new (to me) boat. He used Daley's Sea Fin. Just beautiful floor.

Not so sure I am the same Jerry, but the boat name is at least half correct!

#29 tweaker

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:40 AM

I don't think you can go wrong with any of the PU finishes, water based or solvent.I like the water base ones by Flextovarathane, They don't smell, one coat dries in 1 hr ( use at least 3 coats). They are absolutely clear and tuff as nails with flexability. Why would you use anything else? Because you don't know any better. Though they have UV protection NOT recomended for exteriors. I prefer satin.

#30 maxtrim

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 05:14 AM

Recently found these products and are really happy with them. Have used their spar varnish, exterior tung oil and Murphy's 500 floor finish-all great.

http://www.sutherlandwelles.com/

Just did our new bamboo sole with the matte 500 and looks fantstic. All contain tung oil in some form and have a great reputation in the furniture world. Only bummer is I have to drive to San Marcos as it's not legal to sell it in the OC.....

#31 Anomaly2

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:00 AM

An update? How'd you make out?

A similar project lies in my future.....

I've ordered the SeaFin sealer and oil. Only problem is that it ships 'ground' from the West to East Coast, meaning a critical delay in getting this done. It sure would have been preferable to do this this week while it's still in a heated shed in Essex. But from everything I've read here and elsewhere, this seems to be the way to go.



#32 Mung Breath

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 02:20 AM

An update? How'd you make out?

A similar project lies in my future.....


I've ordered the SeaFin sealer and oil. Only problem is that it ships 'ground' from the West to East Coast, meaning a critical delay in getting this done. It sure would have been preferable to do this this week while it's still in a heated shed in Essex. But from everything I've read here and elsewhere, this seems to be the way to go.


The job is essentially finished. After applying the sealer and letting it dry 36-hours on bare wood sanded with 320-grit, she received two (2) coats of oil that dried overnight. This was followed by two (2) wet-sanded coats with 400-grit and one (1) with 600-grit. Truthfully, another 1-2 coats with 600-grit feels like the right sheen. Application was easy and not nearly as messy as anticipated. My only disappointment is that the finish is darker than hoped but I likely due to the complexion of Plantation teak. All in all, it came out very well and appears far easier to maintain than varnish.

#33 Joli

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 01:08 PM

For the seats we use the cheapo spar varnish, block it out between coats then leave orange peel on the last spray. Seems to hold up and isn't slippery.



Watch out with that stuff... a girl on my daughter's v-ball team tore her ACL slipping on a spill on what I think was a form of PU.

Got a nice butt bruise myself when I slipped on our dry (I think it's lacquer) finished floor while wearing sport socks - and that was just a semi-gloss finish.

I know a lot of T&H (teak and holly) soles are finished in gloss, but damn, is it worth the traction cost?

Mike


Mike - this an important point. I doubt a glossy finish is any more slippery than a satin finish but some products are slipperier than others. Thus we enter the trade-offs along the line of the oil vs. varnish 'hardness' spectrum. Natural teak is the best non-skid which is another reason I like it 'natural'. The flat finishes offered by linseed (tung)/turpentine (rubbed on varnishes) are beautiful, still offer excellent non-skid quality and easily renewed - just wash and rag on some more. But I'm not sure how water-resistant they are. I guess the more turpentine, the harder the finish.

Somewhere, lost in my house, is the bible of such things, The Art of Brightwork by Rebecca Whitman. Did I get that right? I'm sure she has an answer for me if I could only find her! Meanwhile, the sole awaits and has to be done before the mast is installed in a week or so.


You should ask Joli what they use on their exterior teak seats. Super shiny and per them, not slippery.






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