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Jessie Rogers works for the Jeremy Rogers boat yard in Lymington, England.  They restore all types of boats, and can build a new Contessa 32 if you want.

Like other boatbuilders, they use teak.  So Jessie tried to get it from sustainable sources, as is required by law.  However, this seems to be almost impossible: suppliers were either dissembling or greenwashing, and massively-corrupt Myanmar is leaking unlicensed teak in a flood.  Jessie's story is at ttps://www.yachtingmonthly.com/gear/the-dirty-truth-about-teak-77448

... and a report by the Environmental Investigation Agency is at https://reports.eia-international.org/stateofcorruption/

So I look at all those teak-decked yachts at boat shows, and I'm inclined to think that this fetish needs to come to an end.

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When I see teak decks, either new or old, I ‘see’  on going maintenance requirements all followed by a major refit or re-bunging job in 15-20 years.  If I were in the market for an ol..., um, more mature craft, even more than 5 or 7 years old, I know that I stand a good chance of being the ‘lucky’ guy who gets the big yard bill, or at least the guy who gets a chunk of money negotiated off my asking price when I try to sell.

2L makes a fair point regarding ethics and sustainability but then, I probably buy my own share of products made by countries with oppressive regimes be they ‘Asian’ or  N American regimes....  Once you pick one battle, you’ve got to pick ‘em all to maintain the high ground.  In someone’s book I”m probably (fill in the blank) some form of reprehensible creature but I’m past caring...

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@Veeger, I agree that teak decks are an expensive burden.  I'd not want them either.

The problem with teak is not just that it is bought from a dodgy regime, but that old-growth teak is rapidly being denuded.  Before long, there may be little remaining ... and for some uses, there is no adequate substitute.  There are many decent alternatives to teak boat decks, and they should be used now.

As to your proclaimed lack of ethical stance, I am surprised by the logic.  It seems to be like saying that just 'cos you don't always manage to keep to the speed limit, you'll not bother with any driving laws

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You can get recycled teak from e.g. https://ringlemarine.com/

(Maybe not just at the moment!) Old growth, maybe not "sustainable" but cut well before such a concept existed.

IME, a well-cared for teak deck will last many decades, and if it's on a woden boat, then probably as long as the rest of the boat....

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There seems to be an agreement here in SA that teak decks are The Evil. And indeed there are dozens of very reasonable reasons against them. But since when has sailing, or boat owning anything to do with reason? Me, I just find teak decks beautiful. I like the looks, I admire the craftsmanship, and I love the feeling of standing barefeet on a teak deck in the sun, especially when it is covered by a thin layer of dried salt. Above a certain length, say about eight meters, a yacht just looks incomplete without them. 
Now flame away. :P 

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4 hours ago, TwoLegged said:

I agree that teak decks are an expensive burden.  I'd not want them either.

Our last boat had teak decks which were 30 years old at least never leaked were easily maintained sure the odd bung here or there and some occasional Sika compound washed frequently by saltwater by way of sailing a joy to walk on both wet or dry no complaints and being a sprung deck aesthetically gazing forward whilst perched on the pulpit pretty damn stunning. 

Teak was high grade Burmese 1/2 inch quarter sawn laid on plywood glued and screwed not something that one would or could afford to attempt today given the scarcity cost of the timber politics and sustainability issues etc .

Heres my dream boat complete with new teak decks crikey what did they cost to replace and no new composite compound would look like that.

1095107417_ScreenShot2021-04-11at8_23_44PM.thumb.png.857aff9e231d488bafbe16456739ef32.png61757514_ScreenShot2021-04-11at8_24_15PM.thumb.png.da91590a3db1c41082a3e923afab340f.png

 

 

 

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What about Spirit Yachts use of Lignia, a teak substitute that is made in Wales? High expectations on it's longevity. 

https://www.classicboat.co.uk/news/spirit-yachts-replaces-teak-with-lignia-on-standard-new-builds/

The yard in town uses many teak substitutes but it's hard to know how 'sustainable' all of them are. 

These decks on REBECCA, built around 2000, are Silver Bali. 

822558482_Teaksubstitutedeck(1of1).thumb.jpg.8dbfc5094c5ebe8b95df1d6a4df5a1eb.jpg

 

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7 hours ago, TwoLegged said:

@Veeger, I agree that teak decks are an expensive burden.  I'd not want them either.

The problem with teak is not just that it is bought from a dodgy regime, but that old-growth teak is rapidly being denuded.  Before long, there may be little remaining ... and for some uses, there is no adequate substitute.  There are many decent alternatives to teak boat decks, and they should be used now.

As to your proclaimed lack of ethical stance, I am surprised by the logic.  It seems to be like saying that just 'cos you don't always manage to keep to the speed limit, you'll not bother with any driving laws

I’m puzzled by the ‘...and for some uses, there is no adequate substitute’ statement.  Of course there’s always something that can be used in lieu thereof.  See KC’s post above

As for your misunderstanding of my lack of ethical stance.  I’ll just say this.  We all have things that we do or don’t do for our own reasons, and things that are no go areas.  My point is that many seem to take a ‘moral high ground’ stance, or judgement on those who don’t seem to think perfectly like them.  If I speed occasionally, but always stop at stop signs, I cannot proclaim myself more thoughtful nor more considerate, nor more law abiding than someone who never speeds but occasionally runs a stop sign.  It’s the selective judgement from others who may not be so pure themselves, upon my choices that I’m past caring about.

Back to teak, there actually are plenty of great decking alternatives that are better, longer lasting and look just fine.  If preservation of teak if the motivation to choose an alternative, awesome. If maintenance saving is the motivation, good on ya.

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Many old plank on frame boats had solid decks that can last more than 70 years. I know that because the teak decks on the schooner BRILLIANT were 75 years old when replaced, and that boat was sailed year round for most of those years. Some are still re-done this way. There's no comparison in life span to this old method vs modern teak veneer decks. 

1469575861_Brillaint75yearolddeck(1of1).thumb.jpg.e9f8f405b5e5353560a883444d64e141.jpg

Even these old classics are getting modern composite treatments. BOLERO was relaunched in 2015 after an extensive rebuild here.  

"The deck is framed with laminated white oak glued up with G/flex for the main beams. The smaller frames are laminated spruce glued up with 105/205. The deck is a 4-layer composite to allow for a traditional looking overhead on the inside of the boat and a traditional looking planked deck on the top side. The first layer is tongue and groove
Alaskan white cedar laid fore and aft and glued up with 105/206. Then two plies of ¼” (6.3 mm) Meranti plywood are laminated with 105/206 and vacuum bagged onto that. The final layer is planked fore and aft with Alaskan white cedar and left natural on the top surface for a very traditional look and feel."

335016463_Bolerodeckshatches(1of1).thumb.jpg.ab24601e97f9909ea334016ca4d9d32b.jpg

 

After just one season exposed to weather and it's hard to tell what's teak and what's not. 

 

 

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There is enough teak in Burma to serve the world’s needs.  We can’t get it because the US has had an ongoing embargo against the military Junta in “Myanmar” for decades. The trees grow well in their natural environment and are harvested in a sustainable manner. I have several tons that were imported years back and it is all high quality, straight grained lumber.

I like the idea of teak decks, as they are naturally non skid when wet and the look is classic. However, with solid fiberglass boat construction or plywood with epoxy sheathing, teak is merely a cosmetic effect and I don’t feel it is worth the extra effort since decks aren’t planked and sealed with teak and seam compound to keep water out. 
 

I’ve had the desire to deck my wooden cutter with teak-I have 650 pre-cut decking boards of various lengths just waiting for me to be dumb enough to lay them...I’m not going to be dumb this particular time.

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That’s Bolero?!

With Alaskan Cedar decking?!

My boat is planked with it, but I wouldn’t think it tough enough for decking

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1 minute ago, Sail4beer said:

That’s Bolero?!

With Alaskan Cedar decking?!

My boat is planked with it, but I wouldn’t think it tough enough for decking

The owner of Rockport Marine just finished rebuilding his old sardine carrier. I don't have photos but he showed me around.

He redecked that work boat (now converted to yacht) in pine decking.

I know, I know,...I thought 'pine,...what'! 

 He said the original deck was pine as were many of the work boats in that era like the lumber schooners that are now a century old.

They suffered far more wear and tear than any pleasure boats. But not just any pine, this deck was something like 2 1/2" thick and not Home Depot lumber. It was an old growth supply he found. 

It has some knots in it but other than than, it looks like a typical teak deck. 

TL's point is a good one and many boat builders have moved away from teak I think, for the sustainability reasons. 

 

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I get the availability issue, not the sustainability issue. There is a lot of teak in that part of Asia. 
 

My old catboat that will never see a rebuild is Atlantic white cedar on white oak frames and 1”x1” yellow pine. The decking outlasted the galvanized fasteners and the cedar is still solid after 90 years. So there are many other woods that can be used for decking, it’s just that not many wooden yacht owners want to say “That’s yellow pine decking there! Much nicer than teak.”

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3 hours ago, Sail4beer said:

There is enough teak in Burma to serve the world’s needs.  We can’t get it because the US has had an ongoing embargo against the military Junta in “Myanmar” for decades. The trees grow well in their natural environment and are harvested in a sustainable manner. I have several tons that were imported years back and it is all high quality, straight grained lumber.

I like the idea of teak decks, as they are naturally non skid when wet and the look is classic. However, with solid fiberglass boat construction or plywood with epoxy sheathing, teak is merely a cosmetic effect and I don’t feel it is worth the extra effort since decks aren’t planked and sealed with teak and seam compound to keep water out. 
 

I’ve had the desire to deck my wooden cutter with teak-I have 650 pre-cut decking boards of various lengths just waiting for me to be dumb enough to lay them...I’m not going to be dumb this particular time.

Friend of mine has just put an offer on a 50+ year old Cheoy Lee...apparently well cared for.  (Owned by waterfront property owners so they likely didn’t scrimp on upkeep, and it appears to be in good shape - I’ve been aboard it.)  But who really knows - it’s over 50 years old.  I haven’t the heart to send him this brutal article... https://www.cruisingworld.com/replacing-teak-decks-is-monumental-job/

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IMO Beiser said it best.

"A freshly scrubbed teak deck is absolutely gorgeous, one of man's happiest creations."

That said and having personally laid one I wouldn't have another.

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39 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Friend of mine has just put an offer on a 50+ year old Cheoy Lee...apparently well cared for.  (Owned by waterfront property owners so they likely didn’t scrimp on upkeep, and it appears to be in good shape - I’ve been aboard it.)  But who really knows - it’s over 50 years old.  I haven’t the heart to send him this brutal article... https://www.cruisingworld.com/replacing-teak-decks-is-monumental-job/

 

3 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

IMO Beiser said it best.

"A freshly scrubbed teak deck is absolutely gorgeous, one of man's happiest creations."

That said and having personally laid one I wouldn't have another.

Having laid a teak deck on my flush-deck 40' cutter--glued down, not screw-fastened--I can safely say I have no desire to do another, or to own another boat with teak decks.

Having said that, the decks I laid 25 years ago, and which traveled about 40,000 miles in the the seven years after launch, still look pretty good. 

Between those decks and working on a number of teak-decked Swans over the years--including being part of a re-decking of one--I know more than I really wanted to know about teak decks, for better and for worse.

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1 hour ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Friend of mine has just put an offer on a 50+ year old Cheoy Lee...apparently well cared for.  (Owned by waterfront property owners so they likely didn’t scrimp on upkeep, and it appears to be in good shape - I’ve been aboard it.)  But who really knows - it’s over 50 years old.  I haven’t the heart to send him this brutal article... https://www.cruisingworld.com/replacing-teak-decks-is-monumental-job/

Hopefully your friend has looked into the boats history. 50 years on a veneer deck, I don't think it's possible that they would be in good condition.

 

And if the deck was laid on a cored deck, even worse because the old methods of that were not good.

 

But a survey would pick up that. Good chance the deck has been replaced? 

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10 hours ago, 10thTonner said:

There seems to be an agreement here in SA that teak decks are The Evil. And indeed there are dozens of very reasonable reasons against them. But since when has sailing, or boat owning anything to do with reason? Me, I just find teak decks beautiful. I like the looks, I admire the craftsmanship, and I love the feeling of standing barefeet on a teak deck in the sun, especially when it is covered by a thin layer of dried salt. Above a certain length, say about eight meters, a yacht just looks incomplete without them. 
Now flame away. :P 

A larger older boat with a teak deck is going to - at some point and maybe soon - need a repair that will be about 60%-90% of what you paid for the boat :o

* if you buy an old Grand Banks with original teak decks and original black iron fuel tanks, your $80K boat is headed for a $60K yard bill.

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8 minutes ago, Kris Cringle said:

Hopefully your friend has looked into the boats history. 50 years on a veneer deck, I don't think it's possible that they would be in good condition.

 

And if the deck was laid on a cored deck, even worse because the old methods of that were not good.

 

But a survey would pick up that. Good chance the deck has been replaced? 

I suppose possible replace?  It’s a 53 year old boat.   
 

As to construction method, I don’t know what Cheoy Lee was doing back in 1960s Hong Kong.  They were built to Lloyds standards, so good quality.  Did they use plywood in decks then?  I’ve no idea.  Time will tell if he made a bad decision or not...or if his offer had been accepted.  He has consulted a very old surveyor who knows a lot...apparently...?!?

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1 hour ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I suppose possible replace?  It’s a 53 year old boat.   
 

As to construction method, I don’t know what Cheoy Lee was doing back in 1960s Hong Kong.  They were built to Lloyds standards, so good quality.  Did they use plywood in decks then?  I’ve no idea.  Time will tell if he made a bad decision or not...or if his offer had been accepted.  He has consulted a very old surveyor who knows a lot...apparently...?!?

I have heard it said that Cheoy Lee used compost as a deck core.

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9 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

I have heard it said that Cheoy Lee used compost as a deck core.

Actually, I have heard they really cheaped out and used used “disappeared” Chinese political dissident remains mixed in with the compost to get more bang for the buck.  Only an Internet rumour though.  :-)

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The old real teak decks were also the ceiling below. When you had a leak, it fell below.

The 'new' veneer decks leak into the substrate long before the leak shows below. If you're smart, you'd replace it before it leaks. But who does that? 

The teak decks on this W Class were new. 

1680311986_Nashuaforedeck(1of1).thumb.jpg.707b43849466c0499ae44d4724d4c294.jpg

This W-Class docked nearby, has 25 New England seasons. The installation was the same (25 years ago) in that these adhered to the substrate in epoxy, no screws left in the substrate.

Still good. Teak is no miracle: An uncoated wooden deck is sacrificial wood and wears away due to the elements. 

You don't want to be the owner when they serve notice. 

1506977603_MustangWclassdeckcrop(1of1).thumb.jpg.b0cffbf875b2323ae1194a6011944b0d.jpg

 

What's your guess looking at the weathered grain; assuming the veneer started as 3/8" thick? It's apparent that a wood loss has happened. 15%? 

Because screws are removed, the plugs are full depth and set in epoxy. I would easily give these another 25 seasons. 

If it were screwed down, I'd not give it more than 10-15 more years before the screw plugs started falling out. 

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16 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:
16 hours ago, Ishmael said:

I have heard it said that Cheoy Lee used compost as a deck core.

Actually, I have heard they really cheaped out and used used “disappeared” Chinese political dissident remains mixed in with the compost to get more bang for the buck.  Only an Internet rumour though.  :-)

I've done work (as favors for friends) on a number of Taiwan teakies. Found wadded up newspaper, sometimes mixed with all kinds other stuff, pieces of old clothing (with buttons), other forms of paper including pages from a Chinese girly magazine, and a couple of rugs including a welcome mat... With the paint off, you could read the word "Welcome" thru the fiberglass.

Our trawler was a variant of Taiwan teakie and I pulled the failing teak deck off; replaced with a layer of fiberglass. Iron fuel tanks had rust around the lower corners but were tilted just enough to never have standing water on their tops.

- DSK

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44 minutes ago, Kris Cringle said:

The old real teak decks were also the ceiling below. When you had a leak, it fell below.

The 'new' veneer decks leak into the substrate long before the leak shows below. If you're smart, you'd replace it before it leaks. But who does that? 

The teak decks on this W Class were new. 

1680311986_Nashuaforedeck(1of1).thumb.jpg.707b43849466c0499ae44d4724d4c294.jpg

This W-Class docked nearby, has 25 New England seasons. The installation was the same (25 years ago) in that these adhered to the substrate in epoxy, no screws left in the substrate.

Still good. Teak is no miracle: An uncoated wooden deck is sacrificial wood and wears away due to the elements. 

You don't want to be the owner when they serve notice. 

1506977603_MustangWclassdeckcrop(1of1).thumb.jpg.b0cffbf875b2323ae1194a6011944b0d.jpg

 

What's your guess looking at the weathered grain; assuming the veneer started as 3/8" thick? It's apparent that a wood loss has happened. 15%? 

Because screws are removed, the plugs are full depth and set in epoxy. I would easily give these another 25 seasons. 

If it were screwed down, I'd not give it more than 10-15 more years before the screw plugs started falling out. 

That's essentially the way I did the teak decks on my last boat. It was a fiberglass hull but built traditionally other than that, with mahogany marine ply laid on  mahogany deck beams, the deck glassed over (including the deck structures, which were built the same way), then 1/2" teak glued with Teak Decking Systems adhesive. There were a few temporary fastenings in the king plank and covering boards, and an occasional one when it was hard to get some strakes to lie flat. 

Any fastenings were removed after the glue set, the holes counterbored and near full-depth bungs glued in with epoxy. Any temporary clamping screws were always set in a seam, removed after use, and the holes injected with epoxy before final routing of the seams prior to caulking.

After initial sanding (which was after the seams were caulked with what my wife called Black Death), we probably had at least 7/16" (11mm) of teak left.

The grain in teak is not uniformly hard, and even with quarter-saw decking, softer grain will wear more quickly than harder grain.

We never sanded those decks after the initial sanding, and never used any teak cleaner or sealer on them. They periodically got scrubbed lightly across the grain with detergent and a little bleach, using a very soft long-bristle brush, just to remove dirt and any mildew.

I last inspected those decks in 2014, when they had been in use for almost 20 years. They still looked really good, but were getting due for a sanding.

During the six years we cruised on the boat, it was never out of commission except for normal haulouts, and was sailed hard: some 40,000 miles, including a circumnavigation.

The mistake most people make with teak decks is trying to make them look like freshly-sanded teak all the time. The cycle of chemical cleaning and dressing will destroy many teak-veneer decks in a few years, and is equally hard on traditional solid laid-teak decks. It breaks my heart to see classic yachts from the 1950s (or earlier or later) whose solid teak decks have been glassed over by frustrated owners tired of chasing leaks.

I've seen Swans less than 10 years old that already look like they need new decks. Don't even mention the scads of teak-decked Asian-built trawlers and cruising sailboats built in the 1970s through 1980s, whose decks now are falling apart, reducing the value of the boats dramatically. I wouldn't touch most of those with a 10-foot pole.

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4 hours ago, Kris Cringle said:

1506977603_MustangWclassdeckcrop(1of1).thumb.jpg.b0cffbf875b2323ae1194a6011944b0d.jpg

 

What's your guess looking at the weathered grain; assuming the veneer started as 3/8" thick? It's apparent that a wood loss has happened. 15%?

The way to check the wood loss on a teak deck is to check the thickness under hardware.

After a long time everything will be sitting on a raised pad the height of which corresponds to the wear on the deck.

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3 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

I've done work (as favors for friends) on a number of Taiwan teakies. Found wadded up newspaper, sometimes mixed with all kinds other stuff, pieces of old clothing (with buttons), other forms of paper including pages from a Chinese girly magazine, and a couple of rugs including a welcome mat... With the paint off, you could read the word "Welcome" thru the fiberglass.

Our trawler was a variant of Taiwan teakie and I pulled the failing teak deck off; replaced with a layer of fiberglass. Iron fuel tanks had rust around the lower corners but were tilted just enough to never have standing water on their tops.

- DSK

Cheoy's were built in Hong Kong in a very old yard and were built to Lloyds specs - quite different from the early Taiwan boats.

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13 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Cheoy's were built in Hong Kong in a very old yard and were built to Lloyds specs - quite different from the early Taiwan boats.

It's all a mixed bag. I have not poked around inside enough Cheoy Lees to get a solid impression one way or the other. Grand Banks have a sterling pedigree too but I've seen some real bullshit built into a few of them.

It's also true that most of the boats I've worked on were old enough that lack of basic care was a much bigger issue than original build.

FB- Doug

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This looks like a very nice boat:

https://www.apolloduck.com/boat/hallberg-rassy-38-for-sale/657514

 ..but those decks have an alarming amount of teak, that's presumably been there for 35 years.

 What would a buyer be letting themselves in for with something like this?

For clarity, I'm not shopping and couldn't afford it if I was; anyway, this one has electric winches and in-mast furling. I'm just asking out of curiosity and the negligible possibility of some future windfall! :-)

Cheers,

              W. 

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Many of these older Rassy's have just removed the teak, and painted decks, it's a good look, and saves some trees/$/lbs.  Whats not to like.  

Racing boats in the uk had pine decks, covered with canvas, then painted.  Light, dry, cheap, Fife would have been disappointed to see so many of his racing boats weighed down with a hardwood deck.

There is something restful and tactile about all wood deck and spars though.

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43 minutes ago, WGWarburton said:

This looks like a very nice boat:

https://www.apolloduck.com/boat/hallberg-rassy-38-for-sale/657514

 ..but those decks have an alarming amount of teak, that's presumably been there for 35 years.

 What would a buyer be letting themselves in for with something like this?

For clarity, I'm not shopping and couldn't afford it if I was; anyway, this one has electric winches and in-mast furling. I'm just asking out of curiosity and the negligible possibility of some future windfall! :-)

Cheers,

              W. 

Judging from the one pretty mediocre picture and the age of the boat, the decks are probably past due for replacement. My guess would be close to half the asking price of the boat for new teak decks.

If I bought it, I would remove the teak decks, repair the underlying fiberglass, and do a nice non-skid in a panel layout. You'd take a  100kg out of the boat, and get rid of a lot of headache in the process. That job might set you back $10,000 US or so if you do much of the work yourself, assuming the underlying deck is sound. If there is any evidence of moisture penetration in the deck, however, I would just walk away. Proper repair would not be worth it on a boat of this age and value.

H-Rs are nicely built boats, and the newer Frers designs are good sailors as well.

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41 minutes ago, accnick said:

If I bought it, I would remove the teak decks, repair the underlying fiberglass, and do a nice non-skid in a panel layout. You'd take a  100kg out of the boat, and get rid of a lot of headache in the process. That job might set you back $10,000 US or so if you do much of the work yourself, assuming the underlying deck is sound. If there is any evidence of moisture penetration in the deck, however, I would just walk away. Proper repair would not be worth it on a boat of this age and value.

I have never understood the notion of paneled non-slip.  Basically, that amounts to omitting non-skid in places where it is needed ... which is not a good idea in principle, and is made worse by the fact that the omission is often in crucial areas like the near the edge of the coachroof top.

As to replacing the core, I was impressed by Mads Dahlke's recoring of the deck of his Warrior 38.  A big job, but not the nightmare I had expected.  If you have the time and a shed and are handy, then a HR is one of the boats worth doing that to.

 

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Mmm?? It takes about 5 min on google, even if you have never looked into it, to find out there is plenty of sustainable farmed teak out there as well as plenty of substitute woods.  Central America is full of teak reforestation projects to reclaim clearcut cattle land. You can even use it to get citizenship in Panama, it's one of the incentives.  Evil lumber smugglers supplying the nefarious boat building trade, so I guess boats made of wood, would be out by this questionable logic? Make everything out of plastic because that's working out so good.

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Plantation teak is a waste of time - colorless, wide rings from being grown fast.

It ain't your fathers teak.

IMO you're better off using the "near teak" substitutes.

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16 minutes ago, low bum said:

Purpleheart.  Very sustainable.  Purpleheart decks would be the panty dropper.

And heavy. About 20% higher mass/unit compared to teak.

Also very hot underfoot because of the dark color.

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On 4/12/2021 at 4:06 AM, Kris Cringle said:

The installation was the same (25 years ago) in that these adhered to the substrate in epoxy, no screws left in the substrate.

Yes, if I was thinking of teak decks I'd only use one bedded in thickened epoxy AND vacuum bagged in place. No screws left after installation.

Cruise ships do it right. They use 12" thick teak that is bolted down with studs welded to the deck (counterbored). Every 6-12 months they just run a floor sander over it to renew. You can do this for 25 years during the life of the vessel. It also gradually takes tons off the weight up the vessel up high, which is good because as ships age they get heavier.

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10 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

Plantation teak is a waste of time - colorless, wide rings from being grown fast.

It ain't your fathers teak.

IMO you're better off using the "near teak" substitutes.

The furniture stuff is definitely not suitable for a boat, but there are well managed farms with 25-50 year plus wood.  The boat market is small and there are specialty sawyer outfits.  Your dealing with 100's of board feet vs. 100,000.  We poked around and were able to get a 40' can of Silver Bali from a reputable source. I can pretty much guarantee if you get on the phone or walk into Eden Saw they can find you what you need and meet any sustainable needs without ethical concerns.

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On 4/12/2021 at 8:59 AM, SloopJonB said:

Cheoy's were built in Hong Kong in a very old yard and were built to Lloyds specs - quite different from the early Taiwan boats.

Let’s hope so.  My friend is now the owner of a 53 year old 36’ Cheoy Lee with teak decks (and wooden spars).  Yikes!!

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12 hours ago, low bum said:

Purpleheart.  Very sustainable.  Purpleheart decks would be the panty dropper.

clearly you have not attempted to use tools on that stuff.  It is a joy to work with... (damn, where is that sarcastic font?)

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1 minute ago, sculpin said:

clearly you have not attempted to use tools on that stuff.  It is a joy to work with... (damn, where is that sarcastic font?)

No Idea

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On 4/11/2021 at 3:48 AM, 10thTonner said:

*snip* Me, I just find teak decks beautiful *snip*

I gotta agree with you: teak decks are beautiful... on Someone Else's Boat. I do so love looking at other people's boats, and admiring them from afar.

My boat? Some prior owner laid down heavy fiberglass, without filling the weave completely, then painted over it. Makes it look like a work boat, but it's a great platform to admire other people's boats from.

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14 hours ago, The Lucky One said:

I gotta agree with you: teak decks are beautiful... on Someone Else's Boat. I do so love looking at other people's boats, and admiring them from afar.

My boat? Some prior owner laid down heavy fiberglass, without filling the weave completely, then painted over it. Makes it look like a work boat, but it's a great platform to admire other people's boats from.

You are a wise man. :) 

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On 4/13/2021 at 8:25 PM, sculpin said:

clearly you have not attempted to use tools on that stuff.  It is a joy to work with... (damn, where is that sarcastic font?)

Aw, I bet a table saw and a planer would make it say calf rope...

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1 hour ago, low bum said:

Aw, I bet a table saw and a planer would make it say calf rope...

Provided you have the right carbide saw blades, thickness planer knives, and jointer knives. Even then, those would be shot by the time you finished a purpleheart deck.

However, you still have to use a lot of hand tools like chisels and hand planes when you are building almost anything out of wood on a boat.  There aren't a lot of straight lines and square corners. A dense  wood like purpleheart eats those tool edges alive, not to mention requiring more physical effort.

As far as tropical heat goes, you might as well paint your decks black as use purpleheart. At least teak bleaches out almost pale silver if you manage it properly. It's still hot underfoot in the tropics.

The best use for purpleheart is probably structural backbone timbers in a conventional wooden boat, assuming price is no object. It probably costs five times as much as an analogous white oak timber,  but of course material cost is only half the equation.

The sawdust of purpleheart is a major skin and lung irritant. After decades of woodworking, I am so sensitized to all wood dust (not to mention carbon fiber, epoxies, and solvents)  that I can't even run a piece of teak through a tablesaw without suiting up and using a respirator.

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Purple heart is actually pretty cheap in the PNW, 2or3 something a bf available in huge sizes.  Definitely not a great choice for anything other than structure or to be beat up.  We used it for guards had them run at a mill shop.  We made it about 5 years with them bright.  It looks great varnished but is a ton of work and immediately turns black when bare.

IMG_00132.jpg

IMG_00124.jpg

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IMG_0011.JPG.4213a93d3c9784ab6ca1be017ac7c571.JPG

Teak is an intangible. Like a lot of other aesthetic choices that might veer from the practical, either you dig the intangible qualities enough, or you don't. 

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Purpleheart is a beautiful wood, but frickin hard.  I turned a bowl on the lathe, had to resharpen the chisels often, should'a put it on the metal lathe...

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The US Navy decked capitol ships (BBs, and CA's) with teak through the end of WWII.  It had several advantages that kept it in use.  It acted as an insulator, esp in the tropics, which was key for keeping ships "cool" (less hot) before air conditioning.  It's oils actually help keep the main deck from rusting.  It absorbed damage from HE shells better than plain steel decks.  And it was a great non-skid surface.  If you've ever fallen on a modern naval ship, with it's painted on non-skid treatment, you'll really appreciate teak decks!

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On 4/13/2021 at 9:10 PM, The Lucky One said:

I gotta agree with you: teak decks are beautiful... on Someone Else's Boat. I do so love looking at other people's boats, and admiring them from afar.

My boat? Some prior owner laid down heavy fiberglass, without filling the weave completely, then painted over it. Makes it look like a work boat, but it's a great platform to admire other people's boats from.

Would some hi-build primer have your deck looking smooth?

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On 4/11/2021 at 11:58 AM, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I suppose possible replace?  It’s a 53 year old boat.   
 

As to construction method, I don’t know what Cheoy Lee was doing back in 1960s Hong Kong.  They were built to Lloyds standards, so good quality.  Did they use plywood in decks then?  I’ve no idea.  Time will tell if he made a bad decision or not...or if his offer had been accepted.  He has consulted a very old surveyor who knows a lot...apparently...?!?

OK, so we own a mariner 32..  Basically the same vintage and built in the same place.  Had the boat since I was in grade school.  Replaced the deck early 90's ish and I was part of that 3 year saga.  Actually did the demo on my breaks from School.  Ummmm. They look great and are going to last longer than the wooden masts, but it took 3 frigging years...  Dad knew the builder and basically rented space to do most by himself, but the builder would step in when things got tricky.  Laying the planks and playing with the thiacol was um ....  Interesting.  No idea how much it cost, but the boat is still with us and looks fantastic. 

If I recall, it was 3/4 " maybe 1/2" ply over the planking or ribs.  Then teak screwed every frigging inch it seems.  Then don't forget the cap rail that you have to remove to get to the teak in the first place that is basically irreplaceable and a pITA to take off as the screws are buried under countless layers of Varnish...  Having flashbacks.....  Shiver....  

YMMV

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1 hour ago, kent_island_sailor said:
On 4/13/2021 at 9:10 PM, The Lucky One said:

I gotta agree with you: teak decks are beautiful... on Someone Else's Boat. I do so love looking at other people's boats, and admiring them from afar.

My boat? Some prior owner laid down heavy fiberglass, without filling the weave completely, then painted over it. Makes it look like a work boat, but it's a great platform to admire other people's boats from.

Would some hi-build primer have your deck looking smooth?

??

Why would he want a smooth deck? To reduce aerodynamic drag?

FB- Doug

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49 minutes ago, shaggy said:

OK, so we own a mariner 32..  Basically the same vintage and built in the same place.

AFAIK Mariners were built in Japan, not HK or Taiwan.

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4 hours ago, dylan winter said:

My minstrel has plastic teak in the cockpit

I really like it

Warm, grippy, slightly soft to sit on

Looks okay

Certainly nicer than the rubbery, decaying, grey grippy stuff all over the fisher

 

At least nowadays you have a shield to contain the shrapnel. Progress...

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7 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Would some hi-build primer have your deck looking smooth?

Likely so. As is now, it's got a nice grippy texture. Durable, too. May not look as pretty as a smooth deck with anti-skid paint, but I'm not horribly concerned by it. Folk want to judge me by it, I'm happy to give them something to judge :D.

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On 4/16/2021 at 9:51 AM, SloopJonB said:

AFAIK Mariners were built in Japan, not HK or Taiwan.

Not to pick Nits, but from this side of the planet that is the same general vicinity....  Apologize if if I misrepresented the area...  

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Teak decks with history.

https://www.trademe.co.nz/trade-me-motors/boats-marine/yachts/keeler/auction-2962858092.htm

HMNZS Philomel was the NZ navys first warship,built in England in 1890.When decomissioned and dismantled in the 1940s the material was used to build a 90ft coastal trader called the Coromel and also Mata Atua.The Coromel was eventually scuttled up in the islands,so to the best of my knowledge Mata Atua is the only boat afloat built from the original Philomel timber.The teak decking is 20mm thick and still appears to have plenty of life in it...

36E44229-0C9A-4EDB-BF67-315427A398B6.jpeg.f9bd4c30ca9513351e0c88ac4527f149.jpeg

36429447-E52F-4DC1-A39E-980BDF566988.jpeg.a5bf3409d2d0f282e2d06d357749ccd2.jpeg

 

8941132F-B7C0-4A06-BFBC-260944C4A37E.thumb.jpeg.0745547253b98ac3712c7e9aeb7ec336.jpeg

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My Third Class cruise as a NROTC midshipman was on a light cruiser in the mid sixties. She had six inch guns and teak decks. The latter, so we were told, were necessary to prevent the guns' buckling her steel decks. Maintaining that teak required regular applications of seawater, sand and a proprietary goop concoction of carbolic acid brewed by the Boatswains Mates called (spelling phonetically) soogie water. They'd line us mids up at one end of a section with a broomstick, a stone with a hole on one side (oddly enough called a holey stone) and spread the water, goop and sand and we'd start up the deck, grinding away with the stone on the end of the broomstick. Turn around and back the other way, rinse and repeat. On advice from the BMs, we left our shoes off because the goop supposedly would eat them up but the stuff did do wonders removing callouses and bunions. Not one of my fondest memories.

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