When well taken care of, teak decking lures the attention of guests who come aboard and adds a lasting impression. Teak decking continues to be a popular choice for finishes on yachts today due to the look, function, and longevity. Many benefits are associated with teak decks including high durability, anti-slip properties (under all weather conditions), good insulation, and it is moisture-free. Routine teak deck maintenance is an important facet of yacht ownership if you plan on preserving it over the years. If looked after correctly teak decking can last up to 40+ years.
It is recommended that you wash teak decking regularly with a soft sponge or soft-bristled brush only, fresh or saltwater, and a light detergent. Softly scrubbing your deck about once a week is recommended and will not wear down the teak wood. A regular washing schedule will ensure dirt is washed off before becoming ingrained. It is best to use a single part teak cleaner or soap on teak. The best alternatives to these are dishwasher detergents. It is suggested to clean teak decking with a specialist teak deck cleaner once or twice a year. For tough stains, it is advised to try oxalic acid in the problem areas.
Always be sure to wash the wood across the grain. Washing with the grain tears the soft grain out of the planks and leads to a rough surface. Also, be sure to not over scrub teak decking. Over scrubbing can lead to a blotchy look and a rougher, uneven surface. The less scrubbing you do the better.
Often, teak decking can become worn from neglect, overuse or improper use of cleaners, or over-cleaning. It is in your best interest to not let teak decks get extremely dirty. Dirt will become ingrained and will require heavy scrubbing to remove, the exact thing you want to avoid. Also, don’t use high-pressure cleaners, this will blast out all of the softwood leaving your teak uneven and rough. This can eventually cause you to prematurely sand your teak, something you want to try and avoid if possible. Furthermore, don’t use hard brushes or improper cleaners, these can damage the softwood.
Many mistake the ashy gray color teak encompasses over time for dirt or neglect, but it is fact perfectly normal for this to happen. Accepting the natural grey color versus heavy scrubbing and using teak brighteners to attain the fresh look, will increase the longevity of your teak decking. Some people turn to teak deck oils but such oils are heavily debatable and not recommended, mainly because the oil carbonizes in the sun and turns the teak a dark color.
Of course, one of the best things you can buy to protect the teak decking on your yacht is a deck cover. They are on the pricier side but worth it and will repay the expense several times over. The less exposure to sun, wind, and rain the better for your teak deck while not in use.
Teak decking has been preferred for centuries due to its resistance and durability. Since teak is moisture-free it is unaffected by insects, alkalis, and fungus.
If maintained properly, teak decking can last up to 40+ years.