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From the Bilge

Teak Decks

Category: General

In our opinion, there is nothing as nice on a boat as a well maintained teak deck.

There are some important do's and don'ts.

Here's one to avoid.

We see many teak decks ruined by heavy scrubbing with a stiff broom or brush. This can destroy the softer wood between the grain and as a result, deep, rough corrugations occur. Once this has happened, the deck needs to be sanded to restore a smooth surface. Unfortunately, this can only be done a limited amount of times as modern teak deaks are relatively thin to start with, and the deck will soon be worn down to the screws.        

There are many methods of teak deck care including chemical cleaning with weak oxalic acids,teak brighteners, sealers and the like, but if you like the natural look of teak, a very simple but effective method is this; firstly, wet the deck with water ( preferably sea water ), then mix up a bucket of water with about half a cup of detergent bilge cleaner. Get yourself a nice SOFT broom, dip it into the bucket and gently and systematically massage the deck with this brew. This action will create a sort of lather which will help lift dirt and oily spots off the teak. So just give this soapy brew a little time to soak in, say 5 minutes and then hose off or wash off with a bucket or two of salt water ( wooden decks like salt ).

Don't Scrub!!

The result will be a pleasant, clean natural deck.

For a golden colour, the chemical treatment will do the job, however, over a long priod of time, the acid in the product will eventually erode the soft wood between the grain.

We welcome experiences and comments from our readers on this, or any other interesting boat care tips you may have


Chris Mews and Lach Simpson