What is best to do with a worn teak deck?

by Alan Jowitt
(Auckland, New Zealand)

I have a boat with a teak deck on which so much material has worn away that the grooves are no longer deep enough to hold the caulking.

I understand the options are:

1. Cut the grooves deeper and recaulk

2. Remove the teak completely and replace

3. Fill the grooves and apply some surface, e.g. fiberglass and or paint

Option 1 is not my favourite since it requires skills that I do not possess, and, in places, there is probably not enough thickness in the remaining material to allow a groove to be cut.

Option 2 is ruthless, hard work but probably the best in the opinion of a pedant.

For my purposes option 3 seems a good compromise.

If anyone has carried out a similar procedure I would be grateful for any knowledge you may wish to share.

Advice thus far suggests fairing the surface, filling grooves with epoxy/micro balloon mixture, sanding, then glassing with West system epoxy.

The suggested hardener is 207 which apparently offers some UV resistance.

Having got the glass down, there is an option to paint the surface, or to apply a clear two-pot polyurethane which offers good UV protection if maintained properly.

Thanks in advance for any comments, suggestions or tips.

Comments for What is best to do with a worn teak deck?

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How did option 3 work out
by: Anonymous

Hi there, I am also in the same back and considering option 3.

How did yours turn out in the end?

Job (half) done!
by: Anonymous

Thank you for comments and suggestions received.

I have elected to apply fiberglass to the deck, using West system epoxy 105 with 207 hardener.

That hardener has some UV resistance, and should be coated with another material with UV resistance for increased life. I have been recommended International Perfection, a 2-pot polyurethane.

The result thus far is interesting and generally pleasing - I made a few mistakes, such as applying the second epoxy coat late in the afternoon.
Condensation formed before curing to the extent that the condensate formed little rivers that cut grooves in the epoxy.
In some places the surface is dull, and in others orange peel is present.
The epoxy was very milky in the morning but fortuitously the milkiness cleared as the sun rose.
Most of these defects should be minimised by sanding and applying another coat at a more sensible time of day.

Overall the result is very pleasing and should be improved with further coating of epoxy and polyuretahne.

Above all it is watertight!

A Possible cheapo way out ?
by: Graeme

I have a 40 foot power boat with teak decks.

The fore deck is in really bad shape, but the side decks and cockpit are fine.

My first thought is to remove the teak by splitting the boards with a chisel and then cutting the screws off with an angle grinder.

Clean it all up and fibreglass with a good non skid finish.

I had another thought which might get me a few more years before I have to bite the bullet.

If you were to sand the entire deck flat and then have a vinyl layer to cut heavy duty rubber sheet or vinyl etc and glue it to the deck in one piece sealing the edges with a good quality sealant.

When that was complete you could have a marine carpet glued to it.

There is a good looking one which looks like teak deck.

I think Riviera have it.

Do you think that would work with the right choice of material for underneath the carpet?.

Teak deck replacement options
by: Peter

I agree that cutting new grooves etc. would be too difficult to attempt.

Even if you manage it there are many things that can go wrong, and it will be a big expense for a mediocre (not long lasting) result.

Replacing the deck with the same would be the nicest but would require a lot of expense, time and need good care after if it is to last.

I hate to say it but epoxy and glassing the deck are probably your best solution.

As long is it is done properly it can last a long time.

Epoxy doesn't last in the sun, you will need to paint it with non-skid paint or something at least to protect from UV.

That is what I would do anyway.

Good luck!!

Teak deck
by: Teak Marine

You really are wasting time trying to fix it. The caulk seams are so thin that it is doubtful that they will stay in place. The reality is like a lot of things teak decks have a life cycle. Your is unfortunately at the end. Sorry to have to be the one to say you are best to either sell the boat as is or replace the deck.

Paul Tufts


Teak Deck Wear.
by: Sam

Hi Alan,

I'm afraid that your ‘pedantic friend’s’ solution would ultimately be the best but as you say one hellofa job.

On the other hand you could just replace the most badly worn planks.

I'm assuming that this is a proper aid deck, not a veneer and that the wear is just on the heavy traffic areas.

Epoxy despite the advertising hype is best kept away from wooden boats, in the long term it can cause more problems than it purports to cure.

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