As a former captain on yachts, I spent significant time working on yacht decking. Without question, one of the most eye-catching components of a yacht is the decks. When properly cared for, teak decks are beautiful between the coloration of the wood and the dark caulk joining the boards. However, teak decks are often neglected, which leaves them weathered and dark in appearance. Here is what you need to know about yacht decking. 

Yacht Decking Requires Extensive Maintenance

To keep the exterior flooring of boats in excellent condition, they require maintenance at regular intervals. 

Take it from me: I have spent days on end detailing teak between sanding, scrubbing, and chemically cleaning. 

Two Part Teak Cleaner

Don’t expect to restore the teak to a golden brown by using boat soap and a brush. The cleaning process is far more complex and requires a two-part solution. 

First, an acid and water mixture is applied, which etches the deck to remove stains, oils, and dirt. Essentially, a layer of the teak is removed when combining scrubbing with a 3M brush and the part 1 teak cleaner solution. 

However, it should be noted that the acid causes damage to painted finishes and stainless steel. For this reason, additional waxing is required after the teak decks are cleaned. 

Secondly, a base and water mixture is applied while part one remains wet on the deck. The base neutralizes the acid. Incredibly, the deck will turn from a brownish gray to golden brown after part 2 is applied and spread across all treated areas. Lastly, the pulp and cleaning solutions are rinsed away before squeegeing the deck. 

Teak Sanding

Unfortunately, two part cleaners will only remain effective for a few years. Occasionally, the decks require power sanding, which removes a layer of teak. However, sanding thins the teak and eventually requires complete replacement and caulking. 

Teak Yacht Decking Is Ideal For Harsh Conditions

Fortunately, teak is highly weather resistant. Teak wood contains oils and silica and is notorious for its tight grain. The combination prevents mold, funguses, and rot. 

Additionally, when comparing teak to other types of decking, including fiberglass, teak is far less slippery. For this reason, crew and passengers are less likely to fall even when they are wet. 

I have seen teak exposed to hail, snow, rain, and wind. As long as the teak is properly maintained, it will remain durable and pretty to the sight. 

Teak Has Drawbacks 

Without question, there are numerous drawbacks to having teak decking aboard boats and yachts

Weight

One of the primary drawbacks to teak yacht decking is weight. Teak is extremely heavy, and therefore, it impacts a vessel’s performance. 

The thickest cuts of teak decking weigh over two pounds per square foot. The combination of decking, fore, aft, and upper outside areas is significant. Unfortunately, speed is reduced with the addition of teak decks. 

Cost

Another drawback to teak decking is the cost. On average, a square foot of teak costs 35 dollars. However, this does not include installation. Expect to shell out some money when adding or replacing a teak deck aboard a vessel. 

Maintenance

As mentioned above, the routine maintenance to keep teak in tip-top shape is intensive. The combination of two part cleaning and sanding is labor intensive. Fortunately, the crew is capable of managing two-part cleaning. Conversely, sanding is most often done by an outside vendor specializing in this service type. 

Yacht Decking Dings

Another notable drawback to a teak deck is its ability to become dinged with ease. Although teak is considered hard, it is prone to becoming dented. 

All too often, I have seen small but heavy objects dropped on decks. Unfortunately, the impact leaves a notable impression in the wood. Sadly, you cannot lift the impression left behind as a result of dropping an object. Over time, two part cleaners or sanding will shed layers of teak, making the imperfection less visible. 

Enjoy The Beauty Of Yacht Decking

Fortunately, I was able to not only work on teak yacht decks but also enjoy the beauty. Again, yacht decking, and in particular teak, is highly durable. As you walk down the docks, it is important to realize all of the effort put into yacht maintenance, even beyond the teak. Crew work endless hours to ensure the vessel maintains an excellent visual appearance and remains mechanically sound. Engineers are below the deck performing oil changes and other necessary mechanical tasks so the boat can arrive at its intended destination without issue.