Sick of looking at your faded teak?

How to keep your teak deck looking like new!

Like you, I drool over nice teak. And you must agree: nice teak on a boat makes me want to dance on it! (Ideally without shoes..)

So you bought a new or used boat with teak, how do you keep it in ‘dancing condition’? Because of the sanding, scrubbing, sealing, and labor, I advise yacht owners to first consider the pros. Even so, here is a DIY run through.

Used/Visibly Worn Condition: Sand the Teak

Are you walking on caulk lines or teak wood? Caulk lines are key to determine when to work on the teak. Caulk lines hold the teak pieces together, of which were laid flush with the teak on the deck when new. But when the caulk feels raised above the teak surface, it is time to sand! Nobody wants an impromptu and painful foot pain while walking on your teak deck. And it looks bad. So get your activewear and/or teenage son ready for exercise.

Sanding the deck yields the best results. Start with a stronger-grit paper, 60 or 80. Next, you’ll grab the orbital sander of your choice, preferably with the shop-vac attachment for dust. (For the neighbors). Your goal: sand until the teak and caulk look and feels flush, while conserving as much teak as possible. The less you sand, the better. For the teak and your back. BEFORE you put that sander away, go over it again with the lighter-grit 220 paper. Then, take up the sacred Floridian pastime of hosing it down!

Done yet? Depends who you ask.

Seal the Teak?

Music says yes. Seal’s 1996 grammy-winning hit, “Kiss from a Rose,” applies to teak. And I agree. But, others prefer teak “au natural.”

Sealing the teak can contribute to a hotter surface, depending on what products you use. Because product quality varies, I strongly recommend Semco Teak Sealer Natural because you protect the teak from casual wetness n such, and prolong the Teak’s life. Best of both worlds!

Meanwhile, natural teak is pretty is pretty, but it more easily molds than does a sealed teak deck does over time. And here is how you see it ://

Greying or Molding Condition: Acid Wash the Teak

Use with caution because acid washing abrades the teak. So, apply annually depending on how active your program is.

Supplies needed: “Snappy Teak Steps 1&2,” a Shurhold Handle, a Shurhold Swivel Pad Base, and a Shurhold Medium Scrubber Pad.

Procedure: Dump Snappy Teak Step One into a 5-gallon bucket (*Buyer be ware, this stuff is expensive and abrasive! So I dilute the solution by adding 25-35% of the solution in water..But the more you dilute the harder you scrub!) And, Wear boots to protect your feet. With socks please. Then, connect your Shurhold Set, and hose down the deck & surrounding areas with fresh water. Hosing down, go figure, is very important in protecting your gloss paint & finished stainless steal. You may even apply tape to your gloss paints & finished metals to prevent damage.

Next, there is always a good excuse to wax! And/or metal polis.

Scrub the deck at a 45-degree angle “because it works” as my first yacht captain said. And it really does work!

Then, after you see discoloration around the working area, rinse thoroughly with water before starting STEP 2! Don’t get too excited, you really should carefully rinse to remove acid and prevent etch marks in the haul.

Light Greying Condition: Scrub With Teak Crystals

Use the same supplies as above (You will still need a Shurhold Handle, Shurhold Swivel Pad Base, and Shurhold Medium Scrubber Pad) but with “Tip Top Teak Crystal Cleaner” because it is less-abrasive than the acid.

So again, saturate the deck with fresh water. This time nice and easy… Then, sprinkle the crystals evenly on the deck & get to scrubbing! Once you see an even coating of crystals on the wood, hose down the area. Do you clean it up or seal it!? TO SEAL OR NOT TO SEAL.

“A Guide to Fun & Unnecessary Expenses”

Paul Denton Jr

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