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Thread: teak transom

  1. #1

    teak transom

    I am the owner of a 54c and am about to add teak flooring to the cockpit. I have been told not to add it to the transom and sides as the solid teak cracks from the sea/sun.Any comments, suggestions? I see Hatteras add it to the new 60C.

  2. Re: teak transom

    Wide horizontal planks of any wood are not easy to keep watertight...they check,split,etc. If you finish them, with any sealing product, that helps stabilize the wood reducing "working" but not you have to maintain the finish and in tropical sun conditions that is never easy.

    You are MAKING WORK when you add exterior wood of any sort to a fiberglass boat. Screws through wood and into fiberglass are a natural entry point for water after sealing caulk works/hardens. Gluing wood to glass is the preferred option but woe be to the owner who then changes their mind after finding out hor much work it is. But teak sure is beautiful when done and kept right!!!!

    Check with Hatteras and suggest you'd like them to retrofit teak to YOUR boat....find out the materials and cost and techniques they use....

    If you don't mind paying other people to care for your teak, go for it. If youwant to eliminate such a maintenance hassle for yourself so you can better ENJOY your boat, let the urge pass.
    Last edited by REBrueckner; 02-21-2009 at 10:44 AM.
    Rob Brueckner
    former 1972 48ft YF, 'Lazy Days'
    Boating isn't a matter of life and death: it's more important than that.

  3. #3

    Re: teak transom

    I think teak is beautiful, Never had a boat with a teak deck, although I have spent years cleaning and staining teak trim. That is in the past and I intend never to have exterior oiled teak again. Varnished brightwork is another story.

    In my opinion, if I can't varnish it or paint the exterior wood, I do not want it. In other words, are you sure you want a teak deck?

    Best I recall, oiled teak lasts may be a month and Cetol, etc is little better. If I still had unvarnished teak, I would leave it natural, and to me that is functional but not that good looking. Kind of an equivalent to fiberglass non-skid, with a lot more expense. Synthetic teak decking might be worth consideration.

    Teak that you do not walk on, and can be varnished, sound much better to me. I don't see where you should have cracking problems with the sides or transom, if it is properly installed and the varnish is maintained.

    43DC Lilly Marie

  4. #4

    Re: teak transom

    30+ years ago we had a 34' Trojan with all teak decks (teak overlay plywood)
    They were absolutely gorgeous. I can't begin to tell you how many times people commented on them. Now the downside. They looked that way because my wife took our son to sailing lessons twice a week at the YC and spent at least one day taking care of the teak decks while waiting for him. There is nothing that can compare with the look of properly maintained teak and nothing worse than poorly maintained teak. I would never go that route again. Leave the coaming as easily maintained fiberglass and spend the time enjoying the boat or doing maintenance that really counts.
    JMHO, Been there done that, Fred

  5. #5

    Re: teak transom

    I owned a Trojan F44FBMY with teak decks for 13 years. The decks were really beautiful - but I have to whisper when I talk about it or my back and knees start to hurt all over again. Wow!! Ouch!! Yikes!!
    I often say, "show me a problem child, I'll show you a problem parent". Sometimes I think, "a boater that likes teak, is a boat owner that never had teak on a boat." Probably not true, well, maybe.
    1984 61' MY Strategic Plan

  6. #6

    Re: teak transom

    That is a big cockpit and alot of upkeep. As people here have posted, if you are paying someone else for the unkeep and have unlimited funds, do it. It looks fabulous. Even if you do the work yourself and enjoy tinkering, it will get old fast as you get older and your knees get weaker.

    Now, if you are tired of us telling you not to do it because you asked us "will the wood crack" and not "should I do it" if you keep the width under 4 inches or so and keep it up i don't see a problem(transom could probably be wider). My dad had a 1977 egg harbor 33 with teak trim, toe rails, cockpit and it looked great until he sold the boat in 1998. No cracks etc 21 years later. He got compliments all the time but he ultimately sold the boat for a 1990 38 egg because it was too much work. It still had teak trim and covering boards but much less work than what he had. Anyway goog luck.
    Last edited by sammidog; 02-21-2009 at 04:39 PM.

  7. #7

    Re: teak transom

    OK I'm probably going to be the one here that thinks it a great idea. I'm with you dude wood finished bright keeps a fiberglass boat from looking like tupperware. If I were doing a project like that or any exterior bright wood project I would cut and fit everything without bedding or fastening. Then I would remove all the pieces and coat all sides with thinned epoxy. I like West System and I like to spray apply. I thin with acetone or Naptha or both depending on the temp. First coat is very thin around 45% next coats are a little thicker but still thin. They are all put on in the same spraying operation re coating when the solvents evaporate. I tried CPES and didn't like it for this purpose it didn't sand near as well as the West.

    I've found this makes a very big diffrence in longevity. The wood is much more stable. On both your deck and transom I would use an absouloute minimum of fastners. Prep your surfaces and bed it down in thickened epoxy.

    There are some really good tricks and procedures for both jobs. Try google or wooden boat magazine or West Epoxy. Lots of well documented jobs there.


  8. Re: teak transom

    I haven't owned a wood boat in many years but I still remember finding some African mahogany in the bottom of a pile of dusty old wood in a lumber yard in New Rochelle, NY.....the yard was going out of business......many years ago....

    the people there did not even know what kind of wood it was (you had to rub the dust off to get an idea) and sold me some lengths real cheap....it was old growth, maybe center cut, flawless, no knots, rock hard, thin growth rings, perfect...some of the cleanest wood I had seen in a looooong time. I kept that stored in my parents garage for at least ten years before I sold the boat and gave the new owner the planks....do you know enough to select quality teak..or trust someone who does????

    I have not kept up with wood sources, types, and quality in many years....But use great care when selecting teak..."inexpensive" poor quality wood will kill you with flaws....Know how ugly one plug looks when popped???

    Also, teak will be HOT in tropical sun...too hot to walk on.....unlike white or cream color glass....spray on water too cool it??? I would think that would adversely affect whatever finish you have apllied....

    To reduce cockpit teak floor maintenance by 80% or more: keep a shade cover up whenever the boat is not idle...
    Rob Brueckner
    former 1972 48ft YF, 'Lazy Days'
    Boating isn't a matter of life and death: it's more important than that.

  9. #9

    Re: teak transom

    I added a teak overlay transom to a Viking SF that used to own. It worked out beautifully. I used 5/8" thick boards that were carefully chosen for grain match. 5/8" was the thinnest that I thought I could easily keep a plug in over the screws. I then had the boards milled and edge joined to a width that made sense for the height of the transom. I think I did it in 4 boards. That boat had a swim platform, so I only took the teak down to just above the platform. I rolled the bottom edge of the bottom board into the existing transom. Likewise the top edge was scribed and cut to the arc at the top below the rub rail and rolled in there, along with the sides. We coated the back of the teak with WEST, then bedded the boards in WEST with the fiber additive- to each other and to the boat one at a time starting from the top and working down. Plugged, set, sanded and varnished 10 coats. Then a hand applied 24k gold leaf name with machine turning and One Shot "Fire Red" outline. As you may imagine, It turned out great. The fit and install was done in one day by me and a helper.

    BTW, it is much easier to maintain vertical teak (like a transom), than horizontal teak (like on a deck).
    41TC 1966 Hull #53 "Requisite"
    Kent Island, MD/Ft. Lauderdale, FL

    "Though she creaks - She holds"

  10. #10

    Re: teak transom

    I think it's beautiful. I took my 41C, roughed the transom and had some giant clamps made. We cut the liner aft, thus exposing the inside of the transom.

    I then found bookmatched teak, 14 feet long by 15 inch wide approx, by 4/4. Came from Worldwide Panel Products in Riviera Beach. (not cheap)

    We clamped, shimmed, and screwed a few times from behind, using a slow cure epoxy and let her sit 3 days. The three boards were connected with rabbit joints.

    We are now refinishing after 5 years. The only issue was the sun in the Bahamas bleached her a bit, but no problem. he transom's the single item that sets the boat off and everybody remembers her.

    The finish was many coats of Smith's clear penetrating epoxy and multiple coats of Imron 500 with U.V. Inhibitor, the refinish is going nicely with no discoloration with the exception of a rogue gaff mark or two. No cracking, chipping, or anything like that.

    Go for it!

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