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Boating Tip: Protect Your Teak

 

 

Here’s a few of the best ways to protect your teak from the harsh elements.

 

It’s a wonderful thing, teak, it’s the epitome of nautical style and it’s just plain great underfoot. BUT it needs to be maintained properly.

So, we’re talking teak-laid decking here – not the traditional style solid teak decks that are nice and sturdy but the modern version which is little more than a veneer of teak and usually only 5mm to 8mm thick, then stuck onto a fibreglass deck.

With teak-laid decking being so thin, it also means that the caulking between the timbers is likewise thin.

 

 

If you don’t start caring properly for teak-laid decking from the day it’s new, you’ll be lucky if you don’t see problems appearing within the first five years.

By caring properly for your teak, why couldn’t you get triple that time or more out of it before you need to do a full refurbishment?

 

This teak hasn’t been cared for. Even the caulking has fallen out of the grooves. Now the owner is up for the cost of total replacement unless the split and damaged timbers can be lifted out and selectively replaced.

 

Just as with the fibreglass, the combination of dirt falling with the rainwater, the heat of the sun, saltwater and general usage has the worst possible impact on your teak-laid decking.

Dirt and grit will become ingrained in the timber and it will become grey and dirty looking. In time the caulking will deteriorate and allow moisture to get under the teak causing it to separate and distort.

There’s so many different recommendations out there about how to best care for teak but you can’t go past protecting it from the harsh Australian elements by covering it up.

 

This teak is cleaned and covered after every use. (So is George, the Standen Deck Dog!)

 

If you have teak in your cockpit, protect it by covering it up with a bimini and camper-style covers or even a storm cover if that’s your preference.

If there is teak on your stern boarding platform, why not fit a custom made clip-on canvas cover to protect it when you’re not using your boat.

The best way to look after teak-laid decking is to wash it every week with water and nothing more than a mild detergent (Marine eco-friendly of course!) which will remove the dirt before it becomes a problem.

 

 

So many people think that the answer to dirty teak is to aggressively scrub away at the timber but all this will do is wear down the softer woodgrain and leave even more channels to trap that dirt!

Use nothing harder than a sponge or a soft brush and leave stain removal and protection treatments to the experts.

 

 

The secret to keeping your teak looking good, is to clean it regularly and in a non-aggressive way. Of course there’s always professionals that can take care of it for you.

 

If you would like some assistance with your teak decking care, don’t hesitate to give us a call on +61 (0)2 8880 4088 or email at marine@standengroup.com.au

Author: Steve Williams  |  Standen Marine
Video: Standen Group Marketing
Photos: Photos remain the property of their respective owners. Please contact us for acknowledgment.