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Teak Maintenance

Old 05-10-2019, 10:11 PM
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Default Teak Maintenance

Any suggestions on where to start to bring back some weathered, now gray teak on the topside of my gunnels. My concern is using some of these cleaners that will make a mess and potentially strip the wax on surrounding gelcoat areas. Also, being that this is to be a high traffic area with people stepping on these areas to get on and off the boat as well as sitting on the gunnels, will using any type of oil be detrimental? Thanks
Old 05-10-2019, 10:32 PM
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One of my old boats had a lot of teak just use a brush to apply teak oil. I never used the cleaners. I look at cleaners like bleach blond hair. Just feed the wood. It will last forever.

Today my front door on the house is teak. Just apply the oil and it looks new again.
Old 05-10-2019, 11:42 PM
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I've had a boat with lots of teak. The mistake I made (in my opinion) is that I didn't use cleaners. The teak looked gray similarly to your boat. First I just made a test patch with applying oil. What it resulted was just darker shadd of gray. Then I thought, ok I will (after watching countless youtube videos) sand it and then apply oil. Yhe problem with ghis was however, that the gray looking teak, when really neglected, has also a surface which is not smooth anymore. So when sanded lightly, gray stripes of initial surface will remain. Sanded hard enough and the small caps used to hide screw heads will start to fly off. Not mentioning the time and dffort you a putting into it. One of those works where you think in the middle of the process why the hell you had to start with it in the first place.
Today, if needed, I would a) leave it alone b) use cleaning (for example Hempel) powder and color restorer/or oil.
Old 05-11-2019, 01:39 AM
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I suggest you don't oil it, until you clean it.
Old 05-11-2019, 03:12 AM
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I suppose I should add I never let it go gray on mine. Some areas took more sun others like inside the gunnels are protected. Cleaners alone won't bring it all back. I dont like the idea of sanding those some do it. Disassembly likely needed. Don't like that idea for the fasteners. I think the cleaners aren't so good for the wood. Apply the oil with coarse steel wool or some coarse pad that won't bleed color. It will become healthier looking.
Old 05-11-2019, 04:34 AM
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I been having same issue with my deck chairs , last year I oiled em , that wasnt so good . This year I used cleaner that wasnt so good , tday Im gonna try wet sanding as I saw on another tht post ... next is buy new ones
Old 05-11-2019, 04:53 AM
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Use a high quality oil with teak. You will need to clean then sand it. The wood can just be cleaned and allow it to weather if you want.
Old 05-11-2019, 05:02 AM
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I used “ barkeepers friend” and a brass brush on some old teak. It takes out the black but not the grey. If it’s all grey then you probably have to sand it to get to a new surface. I have teak chairs that look new . The key is to clean and oil before it’s actually needed.
Old 05-11-2019, 05:22 AM
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I'm in the process of redoing mine with star starbrite cleaner and then tropical teak sealer. The cleaner just kind of soaks on there and lightens up all the gray and black and I scrubbed quickly with a bristle brush. Happy with the results. I took the pieces off to do it, not sure how the cleaner would affect wax or anything.
Old 05-11-2019, 05:23 AM
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We had some 70ft tournament sport fish boats that home ported at my last marina.

Of course their teak always looks immaculate.

One of the maintenance guys recommended semco sealer. I had just gotten the wife some new teak outdoor dining furniture so gave it a try. Fantastic product. Keeps the real looking freshly sanded.

Key is to get get the wood to whatever state you want it with either chemical or mechanical cleaning then seal, oil or varnish. If you want it to look nice be prepared to spend some time at it.




Old 05-11-2019, 05:29 AM
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I will first day -NEVER- use steel wool on anything on a boat!!!!! Especially something like teak! You will have small rust stains forever.
I will just comment that sanding and “cleaning” will ultimately shorten the life of the teak, and possibly by quite a bit depending on what is done to it.
I have more teak than probably any boat in this forum,... it just gets hosed off, lightly brushed, maybe a tad of bleach and that is it. But then I prefer the tradition look.
Old 05-11-2019, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by fireisland1 View Post
I used “ barkeepers friend” and a brass brush on some old teak. It takes out the black but not the grey. If it’s all grey then you probably have to sand it to get to a new surface. I have teak chairs that look new . The key is to clean and oil before it’s actually needed.
This. If you ever want to bring it back, you must clean it. Otherwise you are just sealing over dirt, salt, and grime.

Cetol is an excellent sealer and varnish for teak once you get it squared away.
Old 05-11-2019, 07:16 AM
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Any opinions on the starbrite 3 step kit? Seems to be overkill based on some of the answers here?
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:49 AM
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Snappy teak is a great 2 part cleaner. I prefer the palm beach look- no oil, no finish. My deck has to cleaned about every 90 days to keep it fresh.
Old 05-11-2019, 09:06 AM
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To get it back to golden you will have to use a 2 part cleaner or heavy sanding. There is no other way. You are going to remove material. Once you get it there, you need to seal it to keep it that way. You don't want to keep using 2 parts cleaners or heavy sanding. Oil frequently or varnish.
Old 05-11-2019, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by NedLloyd View Post
I will first day -NEVER- use steel wool on anything on a boat!!!!! Especially something like teak! You will have small rust stains forever.
I will just comment that sanding and “cleaning” will ultimately shorten the life of the teak, and possibly by quite a bit depending on what is done to it.
I have more teak than probably any boat in this forum,... it just gets hosed off, lightly brushed, maybe a tad of bleach and that is ivt. But then I prefer the tradition look.
There are non shedding stainless pads or brushes. Is yours grey?

ever sanded mine but it's under cover. I just paint it on with a brush and wipe off the excess. Stays normal teak brown. Even the transome ladder steps.
Old 05-11-2019, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by popeyeiii View Post
This. If you ever want to bring it back, you must clean it. Otherwise you are just sealing over dirt, salt, and grime.

Cetol is an excellent sealer and varnish for teak once you get it squared away.
Earlier this year refinished the teak strip that runs most the length of my boat.
Bad enough that it had to be sanded down.
I used Cetol - 3 coats. Cetol used to be made by Sikkens but was bought by PPG.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:39 AM
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Bronze wool does a good job. Chemical cleaners followed by a light sanding will give a smoother finish. Oil looks great but becomes a maintenance item. Sealers last longer. Semco is good. I just used the Star Bright teak sealer on some teak furniture. Been on about a month in Florida sun and I like it. It is almost a gel so no runs and water clean up. It uses sunlight to cure.
Old 05-11-2019, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Jumpsummo View Post
There are non shedding stainless pads or brushes. Is yours grey?

ever sanded mine but it's under cover. I just paint it on with a brush and wipe off the excess. Stays normal teak brown. Even the transome ladder steps.
Yes, S.S. or bronze wool pads would be fine, just never regular steel wool pads.

Yes, I let mine bleach to a nice light gray, which is what all boats, especially sport fishermen were before the world went all ‘boutiquey” with boats. My whole cockpit sole is teak, the wheelhouse area is all teal, the side decks are teak and the entire foredeck is teak, and it is all 62 years old.
Old 05-11-2019, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Cfishh View Post
Any opinions on the starbrite 3 step kit? Seems to be overkill based on some of the answers here?
use the step 1 cleaner and then semco

if you are worried about stripping wax on surrounding gelcoat then
a) be careful applying,
b) prep and protect, or
c) wax the gelcoat after

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