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2/25/2019 at 12:53:35 PM GMT
Posts: 1
Teak Care
What is the best method to restore teak? I've read Cetol is good. My Marshall 22 needs some loving attention. 


2/28/2019 at 12:32:10 PM GMT
Posts: 13
Good question and one that I have been working on. I have an M-22 and I believe that it had Cetol on it from the previous owner. I have been replacing the Cetol with varnish from Total Boat on the parts that I can remove and take weeks to strip and refinish. On the other parts I am about to start stripping to wood and using clear epoxy then 2-3 coats varnish. I have done this on previous boats and it works very well. There was an article about this from one of the System Three founders in the recent issue of Small Craft Advisor.
On the teak that is in good shape I may try to maintain what I believe is Cetol for now. But there are enough areas that are peeling that I need a new approach and althought there are people that love Cetol my preference is not to go that way.
My issue with the varnish alone is that 8-10 coats are advised with bare wood. And on things like the rub rail and bow sprit the finish is peeling so is in need of stripping to bare wood. I live 1&1/2 hours from the boat and cannot do daily coats like I would need with traditional varnish. Total boat has fast drying varnish. And the epoxy will allow the build and water proof and allow me to skip about 5 coats.
Hope this helps!


2/28/2019 at 12:40:17 PM GMT
Posts: 54
Redid my 1969 M-18 with Cetol, and it looks good. Originally had the old muddy brown Cetol, refinished with couple coats of natural teak, and a couple coats of clear. Somewhat softer than varnish, but easier to touch up. I do varnish interior parts, and items I can get into basement for winter work. Currently using only the natural teak on rubrail, the clear topcoat seemed to trap some moisture underneath.
Some articles promote the newer varnishing techniques using something like Allwood or Petit Sea Gold to build up base layers (6) without intermediate sanding, then 3 good spar varnish topcoats with UV protection. Varnish harder and deeper luster. Smells nice too, particularly the older tung oil varieties .


3/1/2019 at 1:53:58 PM GMT
Posts: 16
There are a lot of articles on this topic. Teak is an oily wood, and there are a few different finishes. All have their advantages and disadvantages. The first finish is no finish at all. This is good for surfaces where traction is a concern. Another finish is oil. It is durable, easy to apply, and easy to touch up. So-called boat soup, made from one part genuine Stockholm tar, one part RAW linseed oil, and one part turpentine, is excellent, long lasting, and good for the planet. The downside is that it stains anything with which it comes in contact, especially light colored summer clothes. Oils also attract dirt. With each succeeding application (once a year is usually all you need), use a fifty-fifty mix of raw linseed oil and turpentine after that. Cetol is great. It is fairly durable, and relatively easy to apply. Varnish requires several coats, and frequent reapplications. Varnish or Cetol applications should only be on the wood that you can see-- leave some of the teak bare to allow its natural oils to breathe. While both varnish and Cetol are easy to clean and keep clean, both require frequent maintenance-- scratches and chips are inevitable, and turn into blisters when water works its way underneath.


4/12/2019 at 1:06:03 AM GMT
Posts: 13
So just a quick update as spring wood working continues. I had the wood shop guy at our marina (Buster who knows all) look at Otter and he said that all the teak had Cetol and to keep on that regimen. So I did the hatch, louvered bi fold doors and all the cockpit staves with Cetol. He recommended one coat clear teak and one coat gloss. I have some pieces like the steering wheel handles that have all varnish and the Cetol does look orange next to these but I put 8 coats on the handles from bare wood and the Cetol only takes three then one coat clear. It looks good and I would rather not spend days and days varnishing.
The rub rail is pealing in sheets so likely will expoxy coat that then use varnish just the maybe help with the durability.
I use rubber effect Epifanes on all the interior wood (and all the furniture that I varnish). It had a very nice matte finish and only takes 2-3 coats after sealing (which I use total boat sealer cause I'm too lazy to thin varnish versus opening a can).
Hope this helps.


4/13/2019 at 2:25:18 PM GMT
Posts: 6
Cetol vs varnish
I've used both varnish and Cetol. Nothing initially looks as sharp as varnish. However, I've gone to using only Cetol. The newer Cetol coatings have come a long way from the days of either very dark coats or an ugly orange. I use three coats of Cetol Natural Teak and then two coats of Cetol Marine Gloss. One coat of Gloss is sufficient, two is better. The Gloss gives the teak a shine akin to varnish. The advantages of Cetol are: 1. more forgiving to apply in nice even coats 2. No sanding required between applications 3. lasts longer than varnish if properly maintained 4. maintained by applying an annual coat of gloss which provides added UV protection 5. when it's time to start over, Cetol is somewhat easier to remove than varnish since it tends to come off in rubbery strips rather than tiny pieces like varish. I've had no experience with some of the newer quick drying varnishes.


Last edited Saturday, April 13, 2019
6/21/2019 at 2:12:49 AM GMT
Posts: 13
If you want to learn more on the subject, I would suggest you pick up a copy of Brightwork: The Art of Finishing Wood by Rebecca Wittman, you’ll be an expert!


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