Properly maintained teak decks can last up to 40+ years. Like anything, it really depends on how well you maintain your decks. I have also seen teak decks on boats that were ten to twelve years old that needed to be replaced because of extensive scrubbing and the use of harsh cleaning agents. Here are some tips that can help you preserve the teak deck of your yacht.
- Accept the natural light wood gray patina that raw teak will attain vs. the fresh cut teak look that heavy scrubbing and teak brighteners will give you.
- Primary tool for the wash down of all your wood and fiberglass surfaces – Buy the best cotton mop you can find, (buy 2 or 3 when you find them, the really good ones are hard to come by)primary tool for the wash down of all your wood and fiberglass surfaces.
- Use only single part teak cleaners/soaps on your teak. The best alternatives to these are Barkeeper’s friend or dishwasher detergents e.g. Calgon and Bon Ami (the powdered soap you can get at the grocery store) Bartenders keep & Bon Ami has fewer and far finer abrasives in it than other powdered soaps. If using dishwasher detergents dilute them thoroughly as they do have some chemicals in them, just a 1/4 -1/3 cup in a ½ bucket of water.
- Removing localized stains – use a bit of dish detergent full strength on a piece of terry cloth, rub in with your fingertips, and then rinsing will remove most small stains.
- It may be reasonable to do deeper cleaning with a SOFT nylon bristle scrub brush or a Scotch brite pad. While using them, only scrub across the grain of the teak. AVOID using the hard white bristle poly brushes.