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There are many more project details in our SV LIMA premium area.

Using teak as a deck layer on yacht is awesome. It looks super nice, is very elegant and it is super smooth to walk on. But if you do not take care the fun is over...

A badly maintained teak deck will start leaking. Water gets under the wooden material. That releases the teak from the deck below. And even worse: If you have a teak deck that is screwed on a deck by hundreds of screws there is a risk of water getting into the inner parts of the deck...What follows is pure horror for a yacht owner...

 

Note: This project is work in progress. You get updates regularly. A lot of details, pics and videos are already available.

  • Planning -> done
  • Purchase -> done
  • Execution -> Started. First session is available in the article below.
  • Wrap Up -> open

In the article you already find some theory on the topic that might be valuable for you. So check it out. In the SV LIMA premium area you find even more details like e.g. planning lists, buying lists, detailed theory and more. 

 

The theory

How a teak should look like and how not

Teak is a specific type of work that is commonly used for deck surfacing on yachts. You have wooden staffs that are glued on the gelcoat below (on Gfk yachts). Then the spaces are laid out with a specific ribbon to separate the bottom of the space from the black seam mass. The mass is being filled into the spaces, a bit set and then overcoming remains are being cut. The mass itself is only connected to the sides of the wooden staff to keep the space and therefore at least the entire teak deck dense. 

How a teak deck has to look like

A proper teak looks as following. You see well maintained wooden staffs, plugs and black seam mass. 

 

From a remote view our deck on SV LIMA looks quite good as well. But what if we have a closer look?

 

How a teak deck has NOT to look like

The deck on SV LIMA partly is ok. But unfortunately the last couple of years before we purchased our Contest 46 the teak deck has not been very well maintained. The wooden staffs are still pretty thick, but the seam mass has not be checked and maintained very well. Even worse at some places the teak has been painted for some reason.

 

On the picture below you can see the paint on the seams. We have no clue what the idea was behind painting it.

 

So if you do not take care about your teak the consequence is that the seams and the teak staffs look like this. Ok looks not really nice but what might be a problem next to the appearance?

 

Teak and a sandwich deck

Gfk boats often do have a so called sandwich constructions of the deck. The picture below explains pretty well the layer setup of a deck like we have on SV LIMA.

The teak is fixed to the deck in two ways:

  1. With a glue between the gelcoat and the teak staffs
  2. With a huge amount of screws. Seems that they did not trust to "glue-only" 30 years ago when they installed the deck. Usually on a deck like this the amount of screws is few many many hundreds of screws!

 

As you can see on the picture the structure is as following:

  • The core is usually wood or foam.
  • The core is laminated with epoxide and glass fibre.
  • The laminate is covered with gelcoat (perhaps also topcoat).
  • On the gelcoat the glue for the teak is applied.
  • Teak staffs are laid out on the glue and the spaces are filled with seam mass (before that you have to put in a special ribbon in the spaces).
  • The teak staffs are also connected to the deck with screws.

What is the famous "sandwich"?

The summarising term for the layers: 

Gelcoat <-> Laminate <-> Core <-> Laminate <-> Gelcoat 

is called "sandwich". It just describes the way of how the deck is being built.

Sandwich construction has the advantage of being lighter than a construction fully made from laminate only. The stability remains the same.

 

Older teak decks, screws and delamination

OK, a deck has some screws. And where is the problem? The problem unfortunately might become significant. The picture below shows what might happen. Old teak decks do have thousands of screws (I am not kidding). Each screw goes into the sandwich and often right into the wooden core of the sandwich. Some decades ago they did not trust in glue as they do know while installing a teak deck. So they combined it with fixing the deck with screws. No one thought about all the holes they made into the sandwich structure. After the years the holes can become leaky. Water rinses along the screws through the layers of the sandwich into the wooden core (if you have a foam core you are lucky). Wet wood is going to rot away. And if that happens the sandwich layers separate from each other. It loses the stability and in the end you have a painful damage on your deck called "delamination".

What happens in detail:

If a teak deck is not properly maintained one of the major things that can happen is that...

  • ...water is getting under the teak and lifts off the teak deck. The wooden staffs can get damaged and need to be replaced.
  • ...water is getting into sandwich construction. This is the worst case. Water can make the wooden layer rot away. The entire construction looses it strength and stability. The entire rotten inner layer has to be removed and the entire sandwich area which is damaged has to be rebuild from scratch. If you have foam as core layer you are lucky. In that case you "only" have to dry the sandwich and seal it with epoxy. 

What to do with an old teak deck? 

The teak deck on SV LIMA is 30 years old. We had surveyors on the boat who checked the deck with humidity measurement equipment and confirmed that we do have some water under the teak but - luckily - not yet in the sandwich construction. But the surveyors also recommend to get rid of the old teak deck and do something else with the deck - as soon as possible. There are some options:

  • New teak deck
  • New teak imitation deck made e.g. from plastic or corc
  • Applying another material other than teak. This then has to be non-skid especially on parts of the surface you walk on.
  • Coat wit non-skid parts.

 

Theory summary

What do we learn from the theory?

  1. Teak always needs to be maintained - especially parts like the wooden plugs and the seam mass in the spaces between the teak staffs.
  2. Old teak teak needs always to be checked if water is underneath.
  3. React immediately if water is underneath the teak.
  4. If you have screws in an old teak deck you should think about getting rid of the teak if water is under the teak. Seal the holes from the screws to prevent the sandwich construction from getting delaminated (worst case).

 

Takeaway for SV LIMA 

We collect all the facts from our teak:

  • 30 years old teak deck is causing issues according to surveyors
  • Some of the seams are leaking
  • hundreds if not thousands of screws on the entire deck
  • Water under the teak staffs
  • No water yet in the sandwich
  • Surveyor recommended of getting rid of the current teak deck

With knowing all that we decided to remove the old deck and replace it with another deck layer non-skid color. This is going the be our work in the project. Find the entire story further below.

 

The project

 

What is the goal of the project?

What we have learned from the theory and what our conclusion of the summary is: Major goal is to remove old teak deck and replace it. We decided to go for KiwiGrip.

 

Main steps of the project

 

 

Note: You can find "the main steps of the project" in SV LIMA premium area. Provide us with a beer and you get access for a full year. Get more info. (If you are already premium user you can reach premium area via top level menu "SV LIMA - Premium". This is only visible if you are premium user)

 

You see sounds like a lot of work. And indeed it is. And of course many things need to be taken into consideration for purchasing. 

 

Parts 6 - 11 are going to provided in part 2 of the article. 

 

Documents

Feel free to download all document we provide to you. You can read it, use it, change it and use for your own individual purposes. Whatever makes sense for you. You are even allowed to use it on commercial level. No restrictions from SV LIMA side.

 

Download

Note: You can find the purchase list for dowlnoad in SV LIMA premium area. Provide us with a beer and you get access for a full year. Get more info. (If you are already premium user you can reach premium area via top level menu "SV LIMA - Premium". This is only visible if you are premium user)

 

Purchase items

Anything you need to purchase and to take with you for the project is described in the "Project master list" document of the project (PREMIUM only).

 

 

Time planning 

Overall we plan 15-20 days of work. Between the steps where you have to paint and fill epoxy into the holes you have to take care about the drying times.

Drying times to take into consideration:

  1. Filled-in epoxy into screw holes: 24 hours to 36 hours on 20 degrees celsius.
  2. Epoxy filling paste: Sanding possible after 6-8 hours on 20 degree celsius.
  3. Glue of old teak deck: Sounds weird but usually this glue is not fully hardened. It is by far easier to remove it when it is fully dried out. So we firstly remove all wood staffs and screws and seal the deck (items 1 and 2) and then we remove the rest of the glue on deck. This takes around 2-3 weeks to dry out (in spring conditions in a hangar).
  4. Epoxy primer paint of deck: Minimum 4 hours, maximum 7 days on 20 degree celsius
  5. Coat of deck: for further rework 6 hours to 24 hours on 20 degree celsius
  6. KiwiGrip: On 20 degree celsius it can be entered after 24-48 hours, fully hardened after 7 days

Due my business background as a project manager I can not change my spots so also made some kind of Gantt chart for a better overview of the waitings times really necessary. Here is the outcome 1 person and for 2 persons do the project. 

You will find this for fitting to your own purposes in the "Project master list" excel sheet that is available in the "downloadable documents" area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Execution

This is our first time we do teak deck removal (and hopefully the last time...). So we started with our first attempts.

To be honest: It really hurts hammering a mortise chisel into a wooden deck on a boat. As a sailor you are used to take care of your boat so much that this work is really a cut in your heart. But that does not matter. First of all it is necessary to get rid of all screws and remove the deck fittings etc. But step by step. Let us start with removing the screws.

 

1. Remove all screws that the teak is fixed with (5 man days).

If you do have an old teak deck you likely will have many many screws in it. Before you even think about removing the teak itself you have to get rid of the screws in it.

This video shows how we remove the screws from our teak deck on SV LIMA. 

Note: You can find the video, tools and materials of how to "Remove all screws that the teak is fixed with" in SV LIMA premium area. Provide us with a beer and you get access for a full year. Get more info. (If you are already premium user you can reach premium area via top level menu "SV LIMA - Premium". This is only visible if you are premium user)

 

 

2. Get rid of old teak deck. Remove teak staffs (4 man days).

 

Note: You can find how to "Get rid of old teak deck. Remove teak staffs" in SV LIMA premium area. Provide us with a beer and you get access for a full year. Get more info. (If you are already premium user you can reach premium area via top level menu "SV LIMA - Premium". This is only visible if you are premium user)

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Clear entire deck from old teak glue (2 man days).

Note: You can find how to "Clear entire deck from old teak glue" in SV LIMA premium area. Provide us with a beer and you get access for a full year. Get more info. (If you are already premium user you can reach premium area via top level menu "SV LIMA - Premium". This is only visible if you are premium user)

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Enter epoxy into all screw holes to seal and ensure additional stability of the "sandwich" deck.

 

Note: You can find all about how to "Enter epoxy into all screw holes to seal and ensure additional stability of the "sandwich" deck" in SV LIMA premium area. Provide us with a beer and you get access for a full year. Get more info. (If you are already premium user you can reach premium area via top level menu "SV LIMA - Premium". This is only visible if you are premium user)

 

 

The picture below shows how the countersink drills the hole properly. After removing remaining dirt with a vacuum cleaner and degreasing with acetone you can put in epoxy or epoxy filler. When the epoxy has set the hole is closed, the sandwich deck is sealed and the entire structure is super stable. Now you can continue with creating the surface.

 

 

Video(s)

The video shows in detail how we seal the deck by properly closing the screw holes with epoxy filler.

Note: You can find the "video" in SV LIMA premium area. Provide us with a beer and you get access for a full year. Get more info. (If you are already premium user you can reach premium area via top level menu "SV LIMA - Premium". This is only visible if you are premium user)

 

Wrap Up

Will follow after successful execution. 

 

 

  

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