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Teak Deck in Caribbean?


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Just how bad is it?

I've spent some time in the Caribbean and other warm sunny places - like the Med -  on boats with teak decks, and don't remember noticing a huge problem - either with walking on the deck, or with the temperature down below.

But maybe those days were mostly cool or cloudy.., or maybe I just forgot how hot it got...

I'm thinking of offering on a boat with teak decks.

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I built my last boat with teak decks. They were very hot underfoot in the Caribbean and other hot, sunny climates around the world, such as Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

If I were making an offer on a boat with teak decks, and thinking of cruising in hot, sunny places, I would build the cost of removing the teak decks--and repairing what's underneath them-- into my offer.

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1 minute ago, accnick said:

I built my last boat with teak decks. They were very hot underfoot in the Caribbean and other hot, sunny climates around the world, such as Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

If I were making an offer on a boat with teak decks, and thinking of cruising in hot, sunny places, I would build the cost of removing the teak decks--and repairing what's underneath them-- into my offer.

Which in many cases would be them paying you to take the boat :rolleyes:

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13 minutes ago, ghost37 said:

Fixed it! Teak deck replacement costs in the states have skyrocketed over the last 2 years. 

well - the suggestion is to remove it.., not to replace it. So, there would still be sanding.., painting.., and non-skid.., as well as probably removing all the hardware. I guess it's less than a new teak deck, but maybe not.

it's a newish boat and the deck is in fine condition. Removing it is probably doable for far less than the value of the boat - but not really something I want to get involved with

probably 95% of the nicer European boats: Swan, X-Yachts, HR.., have teak decks, and plenty of them go to the Caribbean - I've been in the Caribbean on Swan's and similar boats, so it's not impossible.

Also, the Med in summer can be hotter than the Caribbean... and high% of boats in the Med have teak decks.

Still, I am worried about it.., but if I want that kind of boat, I might just have to take the risk.

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Due to the embargo on teak with Myanmar. I have around 3,600 linear feet of S2S Burmese teak decking material waiting to go to good use. I couldn’t afford to buy it at today’s price. 

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2 hours ago, us7070 said:

Just how bad is it?

I've spent some time in the Caribbean and other warm sunny places - like the Med -  on boats with teak decks, and don't remember noticing a huge problem - either with walking on the deck, or with the temperature down below.

But maybe those days were mostly cool or cloudy.., or maybe I just forgot how hot it got...

I'm thinking of offering on a boat with teak decks.

Teak decks stay cool … if you have them shaded by a full  boat length  sun awning at anchor 

when sailing the deck gets wet . Turns a dark colour … and heats the interior 

if you are going to be a tropical type  a guy … skip teak decks 

 

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Lots of folks have cruised happily in the Caribbean for years with teak decks - they learn to live with the baggage that comes with them, and love the look. When in good shape, they're probably the nicest deck underfoot in crappy weather. Would I choose to do it? NFW. The UV in the Caribbean is dramatically stronger than in the Med, and it's year round. The maintenance involved, and not being able to walk on deck without shoes most of the day sucks. Let them "go gray" or bust your hump and keep them honey gold? Reseeming with thiokol is an awful job IMHO. Once the crew head bungs start popping out you're basically hosed. YMMV

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1 hour ago, Elegua said:

Removing teak decks ain't cheap nor easy either. 

It depends a lot on the age of the decks, and how they were installed. I've seen screw-fastened teak decks from the 1970s that are eager to pop off, but of course all the bedding is left behind to grind off, and all the screw holes are left to fill, with the possibility of damaged core to sort out.

When I did the teak decks on my last boat, they were glued on using Teak Decking Systems adhesive. They were piece-built, without fastenings except in margin boards, king planks, and similar areas. Those fastenings were mostly removed once the glue had set up, and extra-deep bungs installed in their place. The individual planks were pulled into place with custom-made clamps, with temporary screws with fender washers driven through the caulking seam to apply vertical pressure.

Once the glue had set, those fastenings were pulled and the holes individually epoxy-filled. This was on a mahogany  BS 1088 plywood subdeck that had been sheathed in light glass.

Between me and my wife, we probably had 1500 hours in the teak part of the decks by the time they were done. They were--and still are--beautiful, and great underfoot.

But I would not do it again, nor would I seek out a boat with teak decks.

They still look good 25 years later, but need to be re-caulked. Fortunately, they are no longer my responsibility.

 

 

decks1.jpg

decks2.jpg

Photo_2021-11-09_132711 (2).jpg

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5 minutes ago, Zonker said:

They are fucking hot on bare feet in the tropics.

That means they heat up the interior too.

They are stupid on boats in the tropics.

I have spoken.

Can't disagree with that.

We had two custom awnings that covered the boat almost completely from bow to stern.

And we used them if we were anchored for more than a night or so in one place.

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5 minutes ago, accnick said:

It depends a lot on the age of the decks, and how they were installed. I've seen screw-fastened teak decks from the 1970s that are eager to pop off, but of course all the bedding is left behind to grind off, and all the screw holes are left to fill, with the possibility of damaged core to sort out.

When I did the teak decks on my last boat, they were glued on using Teak Decking Systems adhesive. They were piece-built, without fastenings except in margin boards, king planks, and similar areas. Those fastenings were mostly removed once the glue had set up, and extra-deep bungs installed in their place. The individual planks were pulled into place with custom-made clamps, with temporary screws with fender washers driven through the caulking seam to apply vertical pressure.

Once the glue had set, those fastenings were pulled and the holes individually epoxy-filled. This was on a mahogany  BS 1088 plywood subdeck that had been sheathed in light glass.

Between me and my wife, we probably had 1500 hours in the teak part of the decks by the time they were done. They were--and still are--beautiful, and great underfoot.

But I would not do it again, nor would I seek out a boat with teak decks.

They still look good 25 years later, but need to be re-caulked. Fortunately, they are no longer my responsibility.

 

 

decks1.jpg

decks2.jpg

Photo_2021-11-09_132711 (2).jpg

Wow. Really pretty. 

Mine were screwed and glued with some kind of 5200 substance. The gel coat came off with the wood. There was some hydrolysis / dry laminate that needed to be addressed, so two layers of 1708, awlfair, awlgrip and Kiwigrip non-skid.   I was happy that the core turned out dry.  

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Teak decks look lovely. 

Discerning boat owners have no problems, they stay in the shady areas and wear expensive Yachting Shoes. Down below the aircon is permanently chilly, and the paid crew keep up the maintenance.

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2 hours ago, Elegua said:

Wow. Really pretty. 

Mine were screwed and glued with some kind of 5200 substance. The gel coat came off with the wood. There was some hydrolysis / dry laminate that needed to be addressed, so two layers of 1708, awlfair, awlgrip and Kiwigrip non-skid.   I was happy that the core turned out dry.  

Think of all the weight you saved. I figure the teak decks added 600 pounds on my boat. Of course, if I hadn't put them on there would have been one or two more layers of glass, plus non-skid and paint. Probably a net difference of about 500 pounds in the wrong place.

Of course, that was peanuts as part of the departure weight of about 30,000 pounds.

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7 hours ago, us7070 said:

Just how bad is it?

I've spent some time in the Caribbean and other warm sunny places - like the Med -  on boats with teak decks, and don't remember noticing a huge problem - either with walking on the deck, or with the temperature down below.

But maybe those days were mostly cool or cloudy.., or maybe I just forgot how hot it got...

I'm thinking of offering on a boat with teak decks.

Cedar decks for the Caribbean? These I shot this am are Alaskan Cedar (and yes, that's frost!) I checked and sure enough Tripp (the designer), spec'd Cedar because of the owners concern with heat (I've no idea if Cedar will be cooler once weathered/grayed?).

Softwood decks have been around longer than baseball and used on old work boats. Pine was often used on old schooners and fishing boats. 

524676623_MISTcloseup.thumb.jpg.0d7e235ba6c762a9ec78bae816a4ce23.jpg

BOLERO had a cedar deck installed. 1879384630_Bolerodeckshatches(1of1).thumb.jpg.529e3dde55a1460fa27a7f9703fbdcf1.jpg

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Kris Cringle said:

Cedar decks for the Caribbean? These I shot this am are Alaskan Cedar (and yes, that's frost!) I checked and sure enough Tripp (the designer), spec'd Cedar because of the owners concern with heat (I've no idea if Cedar will be cooler once weathered/grayed?).

Softwood decks have been around longer than baseball and used on old work boats. Pine was often used on old schooners and fishing boats. 

524676623_MISTcloseup.thumb.jpg.0d7e235ba6c762a9ec78bae816a4ce23.jpg

BOLERO had a cedar deck installed. 1879384630_Bolerodeckshatches(1of1).thumb.jpg.529e3dde55a1460fa27a7f9703fbdcf1.jpg

 

 

 

I honestly don't understand why you would put cedar decks on anything other than a daysailer, unless you are obsessed with saving weight. It is very soft compared to a denser wood like teak, and will almost inevitably wear far more quickly.

Watch what happens when you drop a winch handle on it...

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3 minutes ago, accnick said:

I honestly don't understand why you would put cedar decks on anything other than a daysailer, unless you are obsessed with saving weight. It is very soft compared to a denser wood like teak, and will almost inevitably wear far more quickly.

Watch what happens when you drop a winch handle on it...

These are the pine decks on the William Underwood. A sardine carrier from the 30's. They're new decks today but the owner wanted to use what the original had.

I asked what about the softness and he said (owner/builder) pine was a favorite for work boats that got hard use. 

image.thumb.png.44a9cea8307a77d9677491288156015c.png

With his experience, I'm convinced. :) Mind you, these are real decks though, like 3" thick. Real wooden decks (not veneer) last a long time. The better part of a century I believe. Veneer, not even half that. 

image.thumb.png.07df16d46649d81555c6296040406e09.png

 

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31 minutes ago, Kris Cringle said:

These are the pine decks on the William Underwood. A sardine carrier from the 30's. They're new decks today but the owner wanted to use what the original had.

I asked what about the softness and he said (owner/builder) pine was a favorite for work boats that got hard use. 

image.thumb.png.44a9cea8307a77d9677491288156015c.png

With his experience, I'm convinced. :) Mind you, these are real decks though, like 3" thick. Real wooden decks (not veneer) last a long time. The better part of a century I believe. Veneer, not even half that. 

image.thumb.png.07df16d46649d81555c6296040406e09.png

 

Depending on the pine species, it can be quite hard and dense. Long-leaf yellow pine has a density similar to teak, and is very hard. It was a favorite planking wood even on yachts, and makes all the sense in the world as a deck on a working boat.

I had a Lawley-built boat from the early 1920s--a real racing yacht--that was double planked of long-leaf yellow pine over cedar, copper rivet fastened. Garboard and first broad strake were single planked of LLYP, bronze screw fastened.

There is pine, and then there is pine. Just like mahogany in that regard. Not all are created equal.

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1 hour ago, accnick said:

Think of all the weight you saved. I figure the teak decks added 600 pounds on my boat. Of course, if I hadn't put them on there would have been one or two more layers of glass, plus non-skid and paint. Probably a net difference of about 500 pounds in the wrong place.

Of course, that was peanuts as part of the departure weight of about 30,000 pounds.

My back of a napkin calc was about 400lbs gross, 300lbs net.  We're 22k lightships, so 26k laden? 

A friend of mine visited the old mahogany mills on Negros (Insular Lumber Mill in Fabrica). I imagine a lot of boats came from there when it was in operation. 

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14 hours ago, accnick said:

Depending on the pine species, it can be quite hard and dense. Long-leaf yellow pine has a density similar to teak, and is very hard. It was a favorite planking wood even on yachts, and makes all the sense in the world as a deck on a working boat.

I had a Lawley-built boat from the early 1920s--a real racing yacht--that was double planked of long-leaf yellow pine over cedar, copper rivet fastened. Garboard and first broad strake were single planked of LLYP, bronze screw fastened.

There is pine, and then there is pine. Just like mahogany in that regard. Not all are created equal.

True, and the owner/builder even said this was a rare cut (quarter sawn) and supply he found. In fact many of the new decks on boats I post built locally are not teak these days. There are tons of good, even better options available today. 

I used Ipe on my cockpit which is harder than teak. This year I dropped a winch handle on the sole and sure enough, it left a good ding. And I was just enjoying the fact that something slathered in olive oil that landed on the sole in the first year was finally starting to fade. I like old better anyway. :) 

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35 minutes ago, Kris Cringle said:

I like old better anyway. :) 

It's a good thing, since our boats and ourselves are aging at a similar rate, and it ain't slowing down.

I love teak, but after working with it for 50 years, I am seriously allergic to the oils in it, particularly in the sawdust. When I work with it now, I have to suit up and wear a respirator and gloves.

Once it's varnished, however, I have no problems with it, other than the fact that I have to keep varnishing it.

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On 11/10/2021 at 3:20 AM, us7070 said:

Just how bad is it?

I've spent some time in the Caribbean and other warm sunny places - like the Med -  on boats with teak decks, and don't remember noticing a huge problem - either with walking on the deck, or with the temperature down below.

But maybe those days were mostly cool or cloudy.., or maybe I just forgot how hot it got...

I'm thinking of offering on a boat with teak decks.

They get warm, but we never found it too problematic. You sometimes wear shoes, or spray the deck if you're hanging up there doing stuff.

We didn't notice a problem below.

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On 11/10/2021 at 3:51 AM, accnick said:

I built my last boat with teak decks. They were very hot underfoot in the Caribbean and other hot, sunny climates around the world, such as Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

If I were making an offer on a boat with teak decks, and thinking of cruising in hot, sunny places, I would build the cost of removing the teak decks--and repairing what's underneath them-- into my offer.

And your offer would likely be declined, because what you choose to do with the boat after I sell it to you is not sometime I need to pay for. Teak decks do not automatically devalue a boat.

Signed,

A Guy With Teak Decks

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3 hours ago, Not My Real Name said:

And your offer would likely be declined, because what you choose to do with the boat after I sell it to you is not sometime I need to pay for. Teak decks do not automatically devalue a boat.

Signed,

A Guy With Teak Decks

Of course they do not automatically de-value the boat. But they might reduce is value to you.

If you are looking at an older boat--sail or power--with teak decks, those are more likely to be a liability than an asset.

Which would you pay more for: a 1972 Swan 44 or Grand Banks 42 with original teak decks that are worn to nothing and have popping bungs everywhere, or the same boat with the teak removed, and the underlying fiberglass deck properly repaired, painted, and with nicely-done non-skid?

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5 hours ago, accnick said:

Of course they do not automatically de-value the boat. But they might reduce is value to you.

If you are looking at an older boat--sail or power--with teak decks, those are more likely to be a liability than an asset.

Which would you pay more for: a 1972 Swan 44 or Grand Banks 42 with original teak decks that are worn to nothing and have popping bungs everywhere, or the same boat with the teak removed, and the underlying fiberglass deck properly repaired, painted, and with nicely-done non-skid?

Well this is true - if you don't want a teak deck, every boat with one is of less value to you.

If one deck has a lot of deferred maintenance and another has been dealt with, of course the latter is worth more. It's no different than buying a 1972 boat with the original engine which hasn't even had it's oil changed regular and smokes and loses power versus buying a boat which has been completely re-powered.

 

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51 minutes ago, Not My Real Name said:

Well this is true - if you don't want a teak deck, every boat with one is of less value to you.

If one deck has a lot of deferred maintenance and another has been dealt with, of course the latter is worth more. It's no different than buying a 1972 boat with the original engine which hasn't even had it's oil changed regular and smokes and loses power versus buying a boat which has been completely re-powered.

 

Sort of. Teak decks are wear items the common way of installing them with 10,000 screws is pretty much designed to cause major problems sooner or later that will take a HUGE amount of work to fix. An engine swap is trivial in comparison. I cannot come close to affording a new 40 something foot boat with teak decks, any boat I did get would be a the age where the bill is going to come due on my watch and probably be between 50% and 100% of what I paid for the boat in the first place :o

I did see a Grand Banks where the teak deck was removed, the deck repaired and done in fiberglass, and then a new teak deck was epoxied on - no screws. That I could deal with.

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48 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Sort of. Teak decks are wear items the common way of installing them with 10,000 screws is pretty much designed to cause major problems sooner or later that will take a HUGE amount of work to fix. An engine swap is trivial in comparison. I cannot come close to affording a new 40 something foot boat with teak decks, any boat I did get would be a the age where the bill is going to come due on my watch and probably be between 50% and 100% of what I paid for the boat in the first place :o

I did see a Grand Banks where the teak deck was removed, the deck repaired and done in fiberglass, and then a new teak deck was epoxied on - no screws. That I could deal with.

Are teak decks a maintenance issue on somewhat older glass boats?  I.e., do they have cored decks?, I wonder.  A friend very recently fell in love with and bought (never a great combination of steps...sigh) a 1968 Cheoy Lee Offshore 36.  Teak decks, of course.  Wonder if those things had cored decks?  If not, are teak decks still a potential problem (I.e., will screws let water into anywhere, or are the screws simply screwed into/dead ended into solid glass?)

I’m wondering what’s he’s going to be facing going forward (not that he’ll want to know - he’s already removed the 1968 Perkins to sort out some problems, discovered major leaking windows, realized wiring is crazy bad in some places, found a leaking diesel and water tank, wants to upgrade to furling, add a windlass, etc etc etc...)

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32 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Teak decks are wear items the common way of installing them with 10,000 screws is pretty much designed to cause major problems sooner or later that will take a HUGE amount of work to fix.

My good friend has a Lafitte 44 - a really nice Perry designed bluewater cutter. Turns out the yard's solution to bungs was simply to screw the teak decks from the bottom. So while there are no bungs popping out, screw tips are starting to poke through the almost 40 year old deck. It leaks like a sieve offshore and it's balsa cored. At least Swans were foam core. I would repower many times over before I found the mental fortitude to take that project on, and I certainly can't imagine the cost of paying someone to do it. So yeah, you have an absolute gem of a boat that is essentially untouchable to many future buyers. 

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On 11/9/2021 at 1:53 PM, accnick said:

I honestly don't understand why you would put cedar decks on anything other than a daysailer, unless you are obsessed with saving weight. It is very soft compared to a denser wood like teak, and will almost inevitably wear far more quickly.

Watch what happens when you drop a winch handle on it...

Yellow/Alaskan cedar is fairly dense - equivalent to Douglas Fir. Both traditionally used for decks out there on the west coast, albeit those were made from big solid timbers, not veneered.

I spent some time near the equator on a boat with Fir decks and don't remember bare feet being a problem, but if I had to maintain it I'd sure go non-skid.

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

I’m wondering what’s he’s going to be facing going forward (not that he’ll want to know - he’s already removed the 1968 Perkins to sort out some problems, discovered major leaking windows, realized wiring is crazy bad in some places, found a leaking diesel and water tank, wants to upgrade to furling, add a windlass, etc etc etc...)

This reminds me of the old adage about how to become a millionaire yacht owner.

A: start with two million.

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1 hour ago, andykane said:

Yellow/Alaskan cedar is fairly dense - equivalent to Douglas Fir. Both traditionally used for decks out there on the west coast, albeit those were made from big solid timbers, not veneered.

Funnily enough I just bought 2 lengths of Alaskan yellow cedar, 150 x 50 x 4.3m long. Clear close grain. Lovely wood, I'm using it for my new sail battens.

The price was horrific though. Hate to think of the cost of a laid deck.

As for teak (or any other timber) decks, I too would immediately factor in the cost of total removal, remediation and application of a decent non-skid were I looking at a boat with such decks. Even my friends who built a carvel planked custom double-ender from Huon pine and celery top pine balked at a laid timber deck. Ply covered with glass and epoxy.

FKT

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5 minutes ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Funnily enough I just bought 2 lengths of Alaskan yellow cedar, 150 x 50 x 4.3m long. Clear close grain. Lovely wood, I'm using it for my new sail battens.

The price was horrific though. Hate to think of the cost of a laid deck.

It's a wonderful wood to work. 

How much do you hate that the local price here for that piece of timber would be $70 CAD?

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What about a product like Flexiteek?  It seems that many of the European boats are offering this kind of deck.  The claims are that it is both lighter and cooler than previous versions of fake teak.  I have not ever been on a boat with these newer synthetic teak decks so I have no idea other than what I have read

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32 minutes ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Funnily enough I just bought 2 lengths of Alaskan yellow cedar, 150 x 50 x 4.3m long. Clear close grain. Lovely wood, I'm using it for my new sail battens.

The price was horrific though. Hate to think of the cost of a laid deck.

As for teak (or any other timber) decks, I too would immediately factor in the cost of total removal, remediation and application of a decent non-skid were I looking at a boat with such decks. Even my friends who built a carvel planked custom double-ender from Huon pine and celery top pine balked at a laid timber deck. Ply covered with glass and epoxy.

FKT

Alaskan yellow cedar is a nice wood. I used it for the hull ceilings  (the hull lining pieces) throughout the boat I built. You can get long, clear slabs of it and rip it into ceiling pieces pretty easily, provided you have substantial woodworking machinery.

The sawdust is a serious skin irritant for me, but so are most wood dusts.

It also has an unusual,  bitter astringent smell when you first saw it or plane it. That goes away over time, but in my case I just sealed each piece with varnish on all sides and ends.

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New teak on plywood, veneer deck. If you look closely, you can see the single bung (wood plug) every 8-9". Screws were used to hold the decking in place until the epoxy dried. Then the screws (pan head I think) were removed, the pilot holes bored to the plug size, through the veneer (likely 1/2" I think). Plugs with epoxy glued in - full depth. No screws left.

185049918_Nashuaforedeck(1of1).thumb.jpg.a5f069b01e1c48930e672b6b2fd3dbb1.jpg

This is a sister ship built 25 years before. I took a close- up of the deck. Weathering pretty well, 25 New England seasons. I don't know how long this method will last but it isn't effected by the plugs failing (they are fake for all intents and purposes), nor are there screws to worry about and holes. 

1092930796_MustangWclassdeckcrop(1of1).thumb.jpg.c1a25784ec7743eba210cc6bc1cdec9a.jpg

Wood decks aren't going away, at least on custom boats. 

679414635_Bernicedecks2.jpg.42724c91edb11d6423d789500b82eea2.jpg

These 'teak' decks are Silver Bali (real decks I think, not veneer). 

REBECCA_.thumb.jpg.a139bd606a1a14d45c0b523feee3e288.jpg

 

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41 minutes ago, Kris Cringle said:

New teak on plywood, veneer deck. If you look closely, you can see the single bung (wood plug) every 8-9". Screws were used to hold the decking in place until the epoxy dried. Then the screws (pan head I think) were removed, the pilot holes bored to the plug size, through the veneer (likely 1/2" I think). Plugs with epoxy glued in - full depth. No screws left.

185049918_Nashuaforedeck(1of1).thumb.jpg.a5f069b01e1c48930e672b6b2fd3dbb1.jpg

This is a sister ship built 25 years before. I took a close- up of the deck. Weathering pretty well, 25 New England seasons. I don't know how long this method will last but it isn't effected by the plugs failing (they are fake for all intents and purposes), nor are there screws to worry about and holes. 

1092930796_MustangWclassdeckcrop(1of1).thumb.jpg.c1a25784ec7743eba210cc6bc1cdec9a.jpg

Wood decks aren't going away, at least on custom boats. 

679414635_Bernicedecks2.jpg.42724c91edb11d6423d789500b82eea2.jpg

These 'teak' decks are Silver Bali (real decks I think, not veneer). 

REBECCA_.thumb.jpg.a139bd606a1a14d45c0b523feee3e288.jpg

 

I wouldn't really call 1/2" thick teak planks a "veneer".  Half-inch thick teak planks over some substrate (glass over ply in my case) are pretty standard thickness for non-structural teak decks on a high-quality boat. Modern performance boats go thinner, and get closer to veneer territory.

The technique you describe on the W boats is similar to what I did on my boat, but I used TDS teak deck adhesive (a proprietary two-part adhesive), and put most of the temporary fastenings through the caulking seams to eliminate  even full-depth bungs except where absolutely necessary.

My planks started out about 9/16 thick, and were a full half-inch by the time they were sanded flush and clean after caulking, using an 9" soft pad rotary sander and 40-60 grit paper for the initial sanding on large, clear areas. Final sanding, as I recall, was either 80 grit or maybe 100 grit to keep some initial "grip" in the surface. You need patience to sand them properly rather than being overly aggressive, but "Patience" is my middle name.

Teak decks built this way, and reasonably cared for--that is, not cleaned with harsh chemical teak cleaners or scrubbed with the grain using stiff bristle brushes--can last 40 years or more and still look good and remain sound.

I just used a bit of liquid detergent, a small amount of bleach (to control mildew), and a soft deck brush, primarily across the grain, to keep them clean. They will bleach to a nice light gray if cared for this way.

Those decks are now more than 25 years old, and were still fine when I looked at the boat last summer, although they need re-caulking. It helps to use quarter-sawn planking.

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2 hours ago, accnick said:

Alaskan yellow cedar is a nice wood. I used it for the hull ceilings  (the hull lining pieces) throughout the boat I built. You can get long, clear slabs of it and rip it into ceiling pieces pretty easily, provided you have substantial woodworking machinery.

The sawdust is a serious skin irritant for me, but so are most wood dusts.

It also has an unusual,  bitter astringent smell when you first saw it or plane it. That goes away over time, but in my case I just sealed each piece with varnish on all sides and ends.

I noticed the really odd smell. And I've been wearing a dust mask - I don't like breathing dust of any type.

It is lovely stuff to work, though, and should make very good battens. The first set on the big mainsail we're replacing with a smaller one have never given any problems.

As for sealing, I'm running uni-directional f/g in epoxy on both sides of the battens and rubbing strips. Both chafe protection and increases resistance to breaking quite substantially.

Locally, 4X the price quoted above. But - shrug.

FKT

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14 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Teak decks are wear items the common way of installing them with 10,000 screws is pretty much designed to cause major problems sooner or later that will take a HUGE amount of work to fix.

15 Years with a Hallberg-Rassy...I understand this better than most. I believe we've replaced about 2,200 bungs over the last year, and re-seamed the deck a few years after I bought it.

Most boats a few years newer than mine no longer even use the screws, and they aren't needed on mine to hold the deck on, only to fix it in pace during installation.

But whether it's teak deck or an engine, huge amounts of deferred maintenance will cost you.

A Volvo D3-150I / HS-45AE , probably the closest new replacement for my 145HP TAMD41H-A runs about $19K for the engine alone, probably also needs a transmission. Labor...will vary wildly, but I doubt on my boat you're getting away for much less than $30K. While you can't replace a teak deck for that, you likely can reseam and refinish it.

Though you probably could do a full rebuild of the TAMD41H-A for 1/3 to to 1/2 that.

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12 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Funnily enough I just bought 2 lengths of Alaskan yellow cedar, 150 x 50 x 4.3m long. Clear close grain. Lovely wood, I'm using it for my new sail battens.

The price was horrific though. Hate to think of the cost of a laid deck.

As for teak (or any other timber) decks, I too would immediately factor in the cost of total removal, remediation and application of a decent non-skid were I looking at a boat with such decks. Even my friends who built a carvel planked custom double-ender from Huon pine and celery top pine balked at a laid timber deck. Ply covered with glass and epoxy.

FKT

Last year I bought a two-meter 2x10 (I think) teak plank. It cost almost $200 NZD.

We cut all the bung we needed from it and several hundred spares, then gave the scrap pile to another cruiser. Still some 5-800 bungs left in that, though I got a bit sloppy at the end.

20211106_160511-001.thumb.jpg.57bbbce06628f7a3b515f5d8e0a3a002.jpg

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1 hour ago, Not My Real Name said:

Last year I bought a two-meter 2x10 (I think) teak plank. It cost almost $200 NZD.

We cut all the bung we needed from it and several hundred spares, then gave the scrap pile to another cruiser. Still some 5-800 bungs left in that, though I got a bit sloppy at the end.

20211106_160511-001.thumb.jpg.57bbbce06628f7a3b515f5d8e0a3a002.jpg

Here's a time-saving tip for you the next time you make bungs. Use strips of teak that are narrow enough so that your table saw can cut through them when they are set on edge. That typically means no more than 3" wide for a 10" saw, and 2" is better for safety purposes.

Bore your bungs on the face of the plank, then tip the plank on its side and run it through your table saw on edge to free all the bungs, rather then having to pop them out of the plank one by one.

I never wasted teak off-cuts when I was building my boat. Still have a barrel of them for small projects, as well as a few big planks I have lugged around from place to place for the last 25 years.

Unfortunately, you can't burn teak scraps. The smoke is a major irritant as well as a pollutant, of course. Almost every week while I was building my boat, a big bag of teak sawdust would go out into the trash.

Generally speaking, my boatbuilding was an exercise in turning expensive, endangered tropical hardwoods into worthless sawdust.

When we were in Thailand about 20 years ago, I went to a sawmill that specialized in teak. The planks they had were mind-boggling.

 

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12 hours ago, accnick said:

I wouldn't really call 1/2" thick teak planks a "veneer".  Half-inch thick teak planks over some substrate (glass over ply in my case) are pretty standard thickness for non-structural teak decks on a high-quality boat. Modern performance boats go thinner, and get closer to veneer territory.

The technique you describe on the W boats is similar to what I did on my boat, but I used TDS teak deck adhesive (a proprietary two-part adhesive), and put most of the temporary fastenings through the caulking seams to eliminate  even full-depth bungs except where absolutely necessary.

My planks started out about 9/16 thick, and were a full half-inch by the time they were sanded flush and clean after caulking, using an 9" soft pad rotary sander and 40-60 grit paper for the initial sanding on large, clear areas. Final sanding, as I recall, was either 80 grit or maybe 100 grit to keep some initial "grip" in the surface. You need patience to sand them properly rather than being overly aggressive, but "Patience" is my middle name.

Teak decks built this way, and reasonably cared for--that is, not cleaned with harsh chemical teak cleaners or scrubbed with the grain using stiff bristle brushes--can last 40 years or more and still look good and remain sound.

I just used a bit of liquid detergent, a small amount of bleach (to control mildew), and a soft deck brush, primarily across the grain, to keep them clean. They will bleach to a nice light gray if cared for this way.

Those decks are now more than 25 years old, and were still fine when I looked at the boat last summer, although they need re-caulking. It helps to use quarter-sawn planking.

You're not alone. The boat industry call these 'teak decks'. But I don't and I don't think many boat builders do either. 

This would be the minimum thickness of what I would consider a 'Teak deck'. These decks were on the schooner BRILLIANT. At this point, they had seen 75 years of hard, year-round use and were still over an inch thick. But they were used up. Wear, re-caulking and sanding had finally exhausted the missing original 3/4"(?) thickness that was likely 2 -2 1/2" material that formed the structural deck over the deck beams. This was also the ceiling below, as well.

This is decking in the term I'm familiar with that is a support system. Often when we refer to decking, it is the substrate that is designed to support a load. 

As you know once you near the bottom of the screw pilot holes you also reach the bottom of the rabbet recess for the caulking(I think I can see cottom caulking in the bottom of the recesses?). 

We're not going to see many real teak decks except on traditionally built wooden boats. But we will see a few. 

 

1214426350_Brillaint75yearolddeck(1of1).thumb.jpg.3afa8d1e3861fbb634caeb154da23774.jpg

Enter the 'new' fiberglass boats 'teak decking': These are the ones we're often dealing with today. Teak strips having no structural function on a substrate that is structural (balsa or other type of sandwiched fiberglass construction). These are fine but short lived  in comparison to the above because of the fasteners. Once they fail they do so catastrophically by destroying the substrate, the 'deck' below. 

Today, there are better methods. I used this one in my cockpit because I liked the idea of the veneer adhered to the deck (3/4" fir marine ply) in a complete bed of epoxy. The clamps (pan head screws) were tightened just enough to get a good squeeze out of epoxy all around the 1/2" 'decking',...  :). Then of course the bungs were set through the 1/2" to the nearly the bottom making, also in epoxy, making the plug and the piece, one. In some ways, the 'caulking' (also a bit of a misnomer), is  gratuitous in this application. You're method is even cleaner but I found the the pilot hole method a sure way to re-fit the pieces in the slippery epoxy when it was time and I wanted the pilot holes filled with epoxy. 

172942842_Decking-Expoxyset-screwsremoved-fulldepthplugsinepoxy(1of1).thumb.jpg.2158f6cea366068671bee5116f809021.jpg

So the newer methods will give a longer life to 'teak decks'. You will get nearly the full depth of the veneer for wear, re-caulking and light sanding. Does that mean 30 to 40 years? Leaving a sliver of material? Certainly that will work as long as the epoxy endures. And then what? Will we sand these flat and add another 'deck'? 

Back to the past: Methods that have been around for centuries, not decades, have dealt with the future. An old solid hardwood deck that lasted 75 years can be replaced the same way. Or we can do it a faster, easier way, that doesn't last nearly as long. 

982325452_Rhodesdecks(1of1).thumb.jpg.21c4c9acd85d26678d56f1eec11af915.jpg

 

 

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1 hour ago, Kris Cringle said:

You're not alone. The boat industry call these 'teak decks'. But I don't and I don't think many boat builders do either. 

This would be the minimum thickness of what I would consider a 'Teak deck'. These decks were on the schooner BRILLIANT. At this point, they had seen 75 years of hard, year-round use and were still over an inch thick. But they were used up. Wear, re-caulking and sanding had finally exhausted the missing original 3/4"(?) thickness that was likely 2 -2 1/2" material that formed the structural deck over the deck beams. This was also the ceiling below, as well.

This is decking in the term I'm familiar with that is a support system. Often when we refer to decking, it is the substrate that is designed to support a load. 

As you know once you near the bottom of the screw pilot holes you also reach the bottom of the rabbet recess for the caulking(I think I can see cottom caulking in the bottom of the recesses?). 

We're not going to see many real teak decks except on traditionally built wooden boats. But we will see a few. 

 

1214426350_Brillaint75yearolddeck(1of1).thumb.jpg.3afa8d1e3861fbb634caeb154da23774.jpg

Enter the 'new' fiberglass boats 'teak decking': These are the ones we're often dealing with today. Teak strips having no structural function on a substrate that is structural (balsa or other type of sandwiched fiberglass construction). These are fine but short lived  in comparison to the above because of the fasteners. Once they fail they do so catastrophically by destroying the substrate, the 'deck' below. 

Today, there are better methods. I used this one in my cockpit because I liked the idea of the veneer adhered to the deck (3/4" fir marine ply) in a complete bed of epoxy. The clamps (pan head screws) were tightened just enough to get a good squeeze out of epoxy all around the 1/2" 'decking',...  :). Then of course the bungs were set through the 1/2" to the nearly the bottom making, also in epoxy, making the plug and the piece, one. In some ways, the 'caulking' (also a bit of a misnomer), is  gratuitous in this application. You're method is even cleaner but I found the the pilot hole method a sure way to re-fit the pieces in the slippery epoxy when it was time and I wanted the pilot holes filled with epoxy. 

172942842_Decking-Expoxyset-screwsremoved-fulldepthplugsinepoxy(1of1).thumb.jpg.2158f6cea366068671bee5116f809021.jpg

So the newer methods will give a longer life to 'teak decks'. You will get nearly the full depth of the veneer for wear, re-caulking and light sanding. Does that mean 30 to 40 years? Leaving a sliver of material? Certainly that will work as long as the epoxy endures. And then what? Will we sand these flat and add another 'deck'? 

Back to the past: Methods that have been around for centuries, not decades, have dealt with the future. An old solid hardwood deck that lasted 75 years can be replaced the same way. Or we can do it a faster, easier way, that doesn't last nearly as long. 

982325452_Rhodesdecks(1of1).thumb.jpg.21c4c9acd85d26678d56f1eec11af915.jpg

 

 

The disadvantage of a traditional, structural teak deck is that you have about a mile of true caulking seam, with every inch of that a potential for a leak over time.

I have friends that had a big, Paul Luke built cutter many years ago that not only had teak decks, but the top of the long deckhouse was also laid as a solid teak deck. They were forever chasing leaks.

The current owner has glassed over the cabin tops, and I believe has done the same thing to the decks. Sad, but understandable.

Teak decks can be great when they are new. But 40 years later...? This goes for both traditional laid structural decks and modern, teak-over-substrate decks,

 

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6 minutes ago, accnick said:

The disadvantage of a traditional, structural teak deck is that you have about a mile of true caulking seam, with every inch of that a potential for a leak over time.

I have friends that had a big, Paul Luke built cutter many years ago that not only had teak decks, but the top of the long deckhouse was also laid as a solid teak deck. They were forever chasing leaks.

The current owner has glassed over the cabin tops, and I believe has done the same thing to the decks. Sad, but understandable.

Teak decks can be great when they are new. But 40 years later...? This goes for both traditional laid structural decks and modern, teak-over-substrate decks,

 

One thing is for sure, composite wooden decks are not going away! You see them everywhere in total phony wood and natural materials. I'm still waiting for reports on the Lignia (sustainable treated wood grown in Wales) decking that Spirit Yachts is using.

Another thing that is making a return in high end composite boat building: Ribs. For a while the cold moulded one off hulls seemed to be getting away from them. Now ribs are returning presumably for building ease but maybe appearance as well. 

Back to the future. 

image.png.c5137f93e9dece941b9802d7c6768c07.png

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5 hours ago, accnick said:

Here's a time-saving tip for you the next time you make bungs. Use strips of teak that are narrow enough so that your table saw can cut through them when they are set on edge. That typically means no more than 3" wide for a 10" saw, and 2" is better for safety purposes.

Bore your bungs on the face of the plank, then tip the plank on its side and run it through your table saw on edge to free all the bungs, rather then having to pop them out of the plank one by one.

 

 

I live on a boat...the number of table saws I have access to is zero.

My entire access to large power tools is pretty much zero. I did buy a cheap drill press to be able to cut the bungs, but we really didn't have room for it and it was rather awkward to store.

I also don't really have space to store offcuts on the chance I might need them again, so the day before I sold my drill press I sat down and made hundreds of extra bungs then gave the wood away.

It's good to know there are better ways to do this, but when you have access to the right tools there usually are!

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42 minutes ago, Not My Real Name said:

I live on a boat...the number of table saws I have access to is zero.

My entire access to large power tools is pretty much zero. I did buy a cheap drill press to be able to cut the bungs, but we really didn't have room for it and it was rather awkward to store.

I also don't really have space to store offcuts on the chance I might need them again, so the day before I sold my drill press I sat down and made hundreds of extra bungs then gave the wood away.

It's good to know there are better ways to do this, but when you have access to the right tools there usually are!

Fair enough. I've made bungs the way you did them for many years, and it worked out fine.

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Out of the large stack of teak here, most is thicker than 1/2” so aren’t really a veneer. The 2nd pic shows some thinner 1/4” pieces that would be considered veneer quantity for decking. 
 

The last 2 pics are Burmese teak veneers from the end of slab cutting big boards. 

AB1F7C28-AFB2-4F11-9AF6-C2A2A528C084.jpeg

1CD7E802-829B-4567-82DE-B08B9333587E.jpeg

EA918D21-A181-44C9-A08D-76FDF83CEBDE.jpeg

E78B12E4-E80D-4C8D-A72F-3687ECD05D24.jpeg

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On 11/12/2021 at 11:38 AM, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Are teak decks a maintenance issue on somewhat older glass boats?  I.e., do they have cored decks?, I wonder.  A friend very recently fell in love with and bought (never a great combination of steps...sigh) a 1968 Cheoy Lee Offshore 36.  Teak decks, of course.  Wonder if those things had cored decks?  If not, are teak decks still a potential problem (I.e., will screws let water into anywhere, or are the screws simply screwed into/dead ended into solid glass?)

I’m wondering what’s he’s going to be facing going forward (not that he’ll want to know - he’s already removed the 1968 Perkins to sort out some problems, discovered major leaking windows, realized wiring is crazy bad in some places, found a leaking diesel and water tank, wants to upgrade to furling, add a windlass, etc etc etc...)

my understanding of the early Cheoy Lee's is that only the hull is solid. I believe the deck a plywood sandwich - but I guess you are in a position to find out for sure.

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On 11/12/2021 at 2:38 PM, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Are teak decks a maintenance issue on somewhat older glass boats?  I.e., do they have cored decks?, I wonder.  A friend very recently fell in love with and bought (never a great combination of steps...sigh) a 1968 Cheoy Lee Offshore 36.  Teak decks, of course.  Wonder if those things had cored decks?  If not, are teak decks still a potential problem (I.e., will screws let water into anywhere, or are the screws simply screwed into/dead ended into solid glass?)

I’m wondering what’s he’s going to be facing going forward (not that he’ll want to know - he’s already removed the 1968 Perkins to sort out some problems, discovered major leaking windows, realized wiring is crazy bad in some places, found a leaking diesel and water tank, wants to upgrade to furling, add a windlass, etc etc etc...)

I'm pretty sure they would be cored (either balsa or plywood) and it's likely there will be some problems. I had a good friend with a Cheoy Lee with a teak veneer deck put on at the factory. That was a '68 and he had ripped all the strips off and repaired the deck and painted about 30 years ago. It would be hard to believe that your friends boat has been repaired and a new teak deck added in the past, but possible. 

 

I have a friend who has a boatyard and they just redid a Hinckley Pilot. Designed in the late 50's for fiberglass construction, he was ecstatic about the Pilots solid glass decks. All deck fittings were drilled and tapped into the solid glass. He made it sound like re-habing the ancient Hinckley was a breeze compared to other boats he'd worked on. 

 

But solid fiberglass decks were a short lived blip in the evolving fiberglass boat revolution. 

 

My boat has them (solid fiberglass decks) but they caused Alden problems as they weren't as stiff as traditional wooden (at the time 1959) so they needed support added beneath. 60 years later, I have no core problems in the decks but plenty of other stuff to keep me busy. A few of these Aldens had teak added above the solid decks. They in fact through bolted the teak. I don't think it lasted more than 3-4 decades before all those bolts would leak. 

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I'm thinking that other than the systems, and perhaps the wooden spars, trim, and deckhouse (the wood you can see), the biggest expected problem with a Cheoy Lee is the deck (and the wood you can't see).

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