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Author Topic:   Best finish for teak?
Tom Byrum posted 03-04-2000 11:39 PM ET (US)   Profile for Tom Byrum   Send Email to Tom Byrum  
What is the best finish for the teak on my Outrage? I have already removed all the wood. Also a few of the dowels in the doors have dryrot and need to be replaced and reglued. Any recomendations on glue?
dfmcintyre posted 03-05-2000 08:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Tom -

For glue, I'd get the small WEST repair kit and epoxy the little buggers in place.

For teak, I'm kinda rare, and I like mine varnished. Would only recommend it if the boat is stored under cover. A well done varnish job really looks great.

Hoop posted 03-05-2000 11:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoop  Send Email to Hoop     
For many years I did the teak on my BW Harpoon 5.2 with Deks-O-Le (sp?). I owned the Harpoon for close to 20 years and, apart from once or twice stripping it to the bare wood and reapplying, looked great. I kept it covered but out of doors here in the SF Bay Area. I would use it again if I had any teak on current Dauntless 15, but I don't.

Regards, Hoop

CruzControl posted 03-22-2000 08:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for CruzControl  Send Email to CruzControl     
Try Resourcinal, a two part epoxy that is a very dark purple when cured. It's available at West Marine. It's a little messy and contains phenol, but finishes really nice.
lhg posted 03-23-2000 01:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Tom: Here's another point of view on caring for teak, which is probably from the purist's point of view. I have always kept my teak the way it came from Boston Whaler, with only a dark oiled surface. My 25 Outrage has a lot of teak, including the Whaler bow pulpit option, the 3 teak well covers on the full transom design, teak gunnels, reversible pilot seat back, and the console doors and F.E. cabinet on the standard console. Regarding varnish, I have seen some of Don McIntyre's work on one of his previous boats, and it is superb, but after owning a Nauset for 17 years, I decided I didn't want to get into such a huge varnishing project. But if professionally done, like Don's work, it does look great. Unfortunately, I have seen a lot slopped-up varnish jobs on Whalers, particularly where the raised grain was not even sanded down, and that I don't care for. I have varnished the teak flag pole, the rear floor sump covers and the mahogany cooler cleats, and I am happy with that long lasting and rich looking solution.

Regarding teak care and maintenance, here is what I do. For 15 years now I have used the Amazon brand of teak care products. I have tried many others, and keep coming back to Amazon. Do not confuse teak OIL products, such as Amazon, with teak SEALER products, which are a mix of oil and cheap varnish. The sealer type of products will last longer because of the varnish/resin content, but they have a slick looking surface, yellowed, appearance. Use of the Amazon products is a three step process - one-step cleaner, a prep product to eliminate moisture, and the teak oil.

I only use the one-step cleaner, as the two step is too harsh on the wood and the soft grain. I have tried other brands, but Amazon's is the best! Put the cleaner in a spray bottle, and spray on the wetted wood, let sit for a few minutes, and scrub with a plastic handled non-abrasive PAD.
These can be found in boat stores. A tooth brush is good for tight, hard to reach spaces such as the louvered doors. But don't use scrub brushes. They take too much of the soft grain out of the teak and leave you with a raised grain surface that will become increasingly hard to maintain. Then rinse with a hose, and re-apply the cleaner, scrub pad, etc. You will have to do 3 or four applications, and you can tell when the wood is getting clean becasue it will turn a darker, richer color on each application. When you're only rinsing off clean foam, you know the dirt and old oil residue is gone. Then I use one of those foam cored sanding blocks, and lightly wet sand the surfaces before the wood dries, to smooth out the grain and get rid of any cleaner residue.
Unfortunately, any teak cleaner exposes the harder grain, and some sanding is necessary.
If there is still black (soft) grain showing, the wood is not cleaned deep enough, and you will have to continue to sand down to it. When the wood is thoroughly dry, it will look like new sanded teak. Now, at this point, if the teak is several years old, and has never really been restored, you should ORBITAL power sand to cut through the raised grain and bring back a factory new surface. The hand sanding block simply cannot restore a weathered surface. I do this about once every four or five years, and it basically gives you brand new teak ready for oiling. (or varnishing). Next, follow Amazon's directions, and apply the intermediate teak prep product. Then I use their top-of-the-line teak oil, called "Blend 55" (sometimes hard to find and requires a special order) and rub on four coats of oil, per instructions. Every month or so, an additional coat of oil keeps things looking great. Many people have commented on the teak on my Whalers, and this is how I do it.

Regarding durability, if your boat is stored inside, and used in fresh water, the teak should look great for about 2 years using this method. However, if the boat is under a cover, but outside, and used in sub-tropical sun and saltwater, you may have to re-clean and oil in four months!

To me, the teak used on the classic Outrages and Montauks is part of what gives Whalers their yacht-like quality and finish. But you have to love the look of it, and have some skill in woodworking and finishing, plus enjoy doing it as a hobby, to really keep it looking great. Otherwise it can actually detract from the look of the boat. It is not for everybody. Many Whalers have been sold simply because of the teak maintenance (or mahogany varnish maintenance), and current marketing research must indicate that not many buyers want it any longer in their Boston Whaler at all. It's become one of those items people either love or hate, depending how you feel about boats! For me, as someone else has put it, "I love messing around in boats".

Peter posted 03-23-2000 10:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Larry, where do you get the Amazon products?
lhg posted 03-23-2000 11:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Tom: I usually order from the Shoreway Marine catalog, out of West Berlin NJ, for the best pricing. I get the cleaner in gallons and the oil in qts. West Marine/E&B also carries the line, but are higher priced. Because of their price-matching policy, I never go in a West Marine store without a current Shoreway catalog for price matching. Shoreway is always cheaper, but West will match the price. Shoreway's number for a catalog is 800-443-5408.
Tom Byrum posted 03-23-2000 11:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Byrum  Send Email to Tom Byrum     
Thanks for the detailed answer. I just got the wood back on my boat last Saturday. What a difference! If the guy I bought the boat from could see it now he would start crying. I stripped all the wood off the boat, pressure washed,sanded,then applied Watco Teak Oil by rubbing in 3 coats with steel wool. Came out beautiful. Went fishing Sunday and I literally had a crowd of people asking me questions everytime I stopped the boat. I will get some Amazon and use it for a topcoat. Thanks for the tip.
bigz posted 03-24-2000 08:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    

With Watco teak oil I have found that if you just leave it and depending on how your boat is stored maybe do a mid season re-coat and then before you put her up for the winter another it will stay fine.
Not sure on Larry's Amazon product if it would be wise to use after you have already used a penetrating oil! ---
You can coat Watco teak oil with a good quality varnish after 72 hours if you want more gloss, like Epifrane's clear gloss varnish but be warned you are heading into a lot more labor intense maintenance with varnish.
Just my two cents would be just maintain the Watco. You have already done the hard work so an application and rub out now and then is all you really have to do now (sort of an outdoor equivalent to tung oil we use on gun stocks). Regards Thomas

lhg posted 03-24-2000 01:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Amazon Products says their teak oil is a tung oil based formula, and that it penetrates & seals the teak. I do believe that all so-called teak oils have a touch of varnish in them. It's the amount that varies. Teak oils have little, teak sealers have more.
But Tom, I have never heard of varnishing over a good teak oil finish such as Amazons', so I'm wondering if the Watco product is really a sealer product, rather than an oil. All varnish instructions indicate that any teak oils must first be totally removed before applying varnish. Don McIntyre,(our resident varnishing specialist), if you're out there maybe you could comment! I do know that even fresh sanded, clean teak is more difficult to varnish than philippine mahogany, because of the teaks' natural oils.
Tom Byrum posted 03-25-2000 01:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Byrum  Send Email to Tom Byrum     
I just went out and got the can of Watco to read it. It says Watco is a penetrating oil not a surface coating. Somehow you misunderstood me as I was never going to put a varnish on. I want to be able to wipe more oil on as needed without masking or sanding the wood. An old antique finisher told me always use oil or a finish that can be cut with acetone. Also he said always apply the oil with steel wool or use steel wool and acetone for the last coat if it it a varnish type of finish. Try it with the Amazon Teak Oil I think you will like it.
bigz posted 03-25-2000 03:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Tom correct me if I am wrong --- after you did the three coats it set up with a low sheen sort of semi-hard didn't it?
Tom Byrum posted 03-25-2000 08:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Byrum  Send Email to Tom Byrum     
I just went and checked it and it has a kinda hard surface on it. Not like a varnish though. It did allow new oil to penetrate the surface where I just rubbed some on for a test. I need another coat or two maybe. It was really dry after stripping it down like I did.
David Reid posted 03-29-2000 11:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Reid  Send Email to David Reid     
Enjoyed reading the finish details from you guys and thought another 2 cents could be added. I've kept after the teak on a Montauk for a bunch of years, using West MArine's oil for the last several. Sure, the oil looks good and is pretty easy to maintain (if you keep after it). But I picked up a teak-covered Outrage 18.6 last fall that had always been varnished. Some chips on corners here and there had gone a year or so without a touch-up, but the wood still looked really good. The boat had been fished pretty hard for most of its life by a meticulous maintainer, and it had always been kept out of the sun in a boat shed. Even so, I was surprised to learn that the only complete strip and new varnish job was performed in 1987! I quit fishing her about a month ago to fully strip and re-varnish, using the Sikkens Marine Coat. This stuff is pricey (about $30.00 a quart), but it goes on easy, does not sag, finishes a little glossier than a semi-gloss varnish and gets rave reviews from the several sail-boat and big sport-fisher owners I spoke to about it. The can recommends 3 or 4 coats, but the boat owners suggested 5 or 6, which is the way I went. Hit it with 320-grit wet sand paper between coats. Talk about gorgeous! Hope I can come close to the original varnish longevity, because a month off the water has been painful.
hauptjm posted 04-07-2000 02:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
This is some interesting stuff! I am in the middle of a complete rework of all the teak on an '85 Outrage 18. If there was anything that could be done wrong, the previous owner did it. My biggest problem right now, is how do I get the horrible spills and splashes of 10+ year old varnish off of the fiberglass? I find varnish sticks to wood roughly 6-12 months when in weather. Unfortunately, it's like styrofoam on must have a half-life of 250 years. Any help would be appreciated.
dfmcintyre posted 04-08-2000 12:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
I was talking with my father, who watched his varnish man's son, (who learned from his father), apply clear....ALWGRIP! over the previously multi-coated varnished covering boards on his 30 ft C.C. Sportsman. Told dad that it wears better in high traffic areas.

Gotta learn that technique....

djmerrill posted 04-22-2000 07:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for djmerrill  Send Email to djmerrill     
I've got a basic (stupid) question.
Did Whaler use teak in some applications, and mahogany in others? Whats the best way to tell the wood apart, particularly if it has aged a while.

I just bought a reversible pilot seat from a 1972 Outrage 19, and am restoring it for use in my '91 Outrage 17. The wood is quite grey, but when sanded yellows out very nicely. It looks like teak to me, but I always thought whaler used only mahogany. From the previous posts on this thread, I must be mistaken. Which do I have? I'd like to know so I can clean and oil it if its teak, or varnish it if its mahogany.


kent posted 04-22-2000 08:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for kent    
That's a good question, Doug! I have wondered about that myself. The wood in my pre-70 13 ft. is definitely mahogany. For some reason I thought that BW used Honduras mahogany (not sure why I thought that, must have read it somewhere). I had to replace the seat clamps and fabricated a downrigger mounting board. It seemed to me that the wood in my boat was Phillipine mahogany, not Honduras. I wanted the new wood to be the same as the old, so I took a piece of the old to the experts. I was right,it's Phillipine. Maybe BW used three kinds of wood. I would say that teak is by far the best, and I would rate Honduras ahead of Phillipine. Interesting!
lhg posted 04-24-2000 02:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Doug: All Outrage & Montauk Reversible Pilot Seats were made with oiled Teak backrests, and never varnished by Whaler. I believe Boston Whaler first introduced the use of oiled teak in the 1971 Outrage 21. All of Whaler's varnished wood was always Phillippine Mahogany, either solid or marine grade plywood. The reversible seat used in the Newport & GTX models used varnished mahogany w/cushions, instead of teak.
hauptjm posted 04-24-2000 03:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
My '85 18ft. Outrage uses both Mahogany and Teak! The gunnels are absolutely teak, as is the hatches on the console and solid transom. However, the "pole holders" and the front seat (ice chest) chocks are mahogany; no question. My guess is that because the pole holders are marine ply, and I've never seen teak plywood, they used mahogany. As far as the seat chocks, your guess is as good as mine.
edfish posted 05-04-2000 04:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for edfish  Send Email to edfish     
Hello Gang, I was looking at all the posts and remember doing the stripping and oils and this and that every year and just have to say .......I am sure glad I dont have to do that anymore. What I have found is something called Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer. The CPES comes from a place in Richmond California called Smith and Company. They also sell an epoxy based varnish, if you will, that goes on in about 5 coats and lasts for many years with heavy use and in the sun constantly. My boat is always in the water except for haul-outs. The shine is high gloss and really brings out he deep color of the teak. In using this system you have to strip all the old varnish off and clean the wood nicely. When dry you start applying the CPES in as many coats that it takes to saturate the wood. The CPES is very liquidy even moreso than water and therefore penetrates very effectivly. The finish varnish coats are mixed in 3 parts. Applying the finish with a fine brush works well. The leveling of their finish is superior to all varnish. The company will send you detailed instructions on request. I do a lot of painting on homes with CPES as a primer for oil base paint. The finish lasts for a long time and does not blister. The CPES also acts to renew the rotted wood after which I fill the holes and imperfections with Smith and Co.'s epoxy filler. After sanding everything smooth I apply another coat of CPES as needed to the surface and paint as the CPES primer is still wet. The results are a very durable and long lasting finish. Doing dark colors on the hot side of the house and no blisters with the moisture content found here in the Bay Area says a lot about this stuff. The primer actually mixes with water that is in the wood and stabelizes it. Anyway, that is my 2 cents worth. Good Luck. -ED
Tom Byrum posted 05-07-2000 12:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Byrum  Send Email to Tom Byrum     
More on the Watco oil finish. As Thomas asked it started to get hard after a few weeks so I went looking for some Amazon as Larry suggested. My local marine store does'nt carry Amazon. Ended up buying some Meguiars Teak Oil and some brass wool. Scratched up the Watco and applied the Meguiars. Meguiars is a lot thinner in consistency than the Watco was. Looks great right now but I will see what it does in a few weeks and let you know. Jim that picture you posted about the whale was a total crackup! lol
KCarlsen posted 05-20-2000 12:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for KCarlsen  Send Email to KCarlsen     
OK, Now I am confused.Do I varnish, oil or epoxy? I have a new console and seat that I hope to get in the next few weeks. It will have both mahogany and teak wood. Whaler recommends a varnish called Star after having the varnish they were using on the anniversary 13ft model fail after a short period of time. I don't recall what product they used. The boat will be garaged stored so do I oil the console and seat or do I varnish it? I have used Cetol in the past and have had great results but it has a very dark yellow appearance. What varnish do you whaler owners recommend?? Thanks, Kurt
lhg posted 05-20-2000 12:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Kurt: You varnish, period!! Probably 6 to eight coats! Whaler's phillipine mahogany console and reversible seat never had teak in them, and ALL of Whaler's mahogany components were always, and only, varnished. I think Spar varnish is still considered the best, but contact Don McIntyre for detailed information. Or Don, give us the scoop here on what kind of varnish to use, and how many coats.

As a purely personal preference, I like my varnished wood (mahogany or teak) a little on the darker side, as opposed to the golden side. (See picture of my Nauset console in the 17' reference section) So, before varnishing, I wipe on 1 coat of mahogany stain first. I think it looks beautiful, and keeps the varnish (and the underlying mahogany) from yellowing out quite so quickly. Others would consider it "unholy" to put mahogany stain on new mahogany.

kent posted 05-20-2000 12:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for kent    
That's funny, Larry! I thought that the wood on the Nauset was stained. I did exactly the same thing with the mahogany on my boat, stain it, that is. I, too, prefer the darker brown color to the natural golden yellow. I used a mahogany stain as well and have 5 coats of spar on it so far. It is looking good. I had to replace the seat clamps in the boat and fabricated a downrigger mounting board, but salvaged the forward hatch cover and the thwart seat boards. The new wood was quite a bit lighter in color than the old, and the stain really evened out the color. Now it looks pretty much all the same. I thought I was the only one who would do such an "unholy" thing! That just kills me!
KCarlsen posted 05-20-2000 04:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for KCarlsen  Send Email to KCarlsen     
Larry, Thanks! Varnish it is, and I will use your advise and put on 1 pre coat of stain. Do I put 6-8 coats on the inside as well or just the exterior?? Kurt
JB posted 08-07-2000 03:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for JB  Send Email to JB     
One thing I noticed in some of these responses is the reference to steel wool. Best not use steel wool in any marine situations - some very small fibers will undoubtedly break loose and eventually start to rust, in the wood and elsewhere, even with a super vacuum job. Best use brass or bronze wool, available at most marine stores and a few home improvement centers.
andygere posted 08-09-2000 04:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I just refinished all the teak on my '79 Montauk. It was really grey and mildewed, but generally in nice shape. Including the teak afterdeck and foward sleeping platform, it took my wife and I almost a day and a half to do. We used the Star Bright 3-part system, and the results were dramatic. I removed everything I could from the boat to do the job. After laboring over 6 coats of varnish on the kayak I built a year or two ago <>, the decision to use an oiled finish on the Whaler was easy. By the way, I used Captains Z-Spar Varnish on the kayak, and am pleased with it in every way. I have before and after pictures of the teak which I'll try to get posted soon.
most posted 01-22-2003 08:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for most  Send Email to most     
I am not a big bw type of guy but maybe you all can help me? I have an older runabout with teak all over it. when I got it all the teak was gray and nasty looking. at first I clean it all with some cheap teak cleaner and soft scrub from W-mart. than just an old teak oil. I had to do it weekly or it would turn grey again. Needless to say it is grey once again. I have started to sand it all down. I was woundering what kind of finsh should I use?

please help

Bigshot posted 01-23-2003 09:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Did you read this post? There are 10 recommendations here.
dreid posted 01-23-2003 11:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for dreid  Send Email to dreid     
Good idea, Bigshot. For an update, it's now been about three years since the complete strip and application of Sikkens Cetol on my OR18'. Hadn't touched the finish in about a year. It's too cold to fish right now and duck season's over, so last week, I spent maybe 15 minutes on each of five evenings dabbing coats of Cetol on all the nicks, hitting them with wet 600 grit between dabs. Saturday, I spent maybe another hour to wet sand the dabs with 600 grit and lightly compound out all the varnish with 3M's Finess-It finishing compound. The dabs are now a little darker than the surrounding un-retouched wood, but the overall finish looks really good to my eye, good for another year. Several examples of the Cetol finish follow, below. Not to everybody's taste, but we like it. And I spend maybe three or four hours a year maintaining the Cetol, versus several times that much time in the old days to keep an oiled teak finish looking really good all year. The up-front investment of time was a bear, but worth it in my opinion.

Barry posted 01-23-2003 11:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for Barry  Send Email to Barry     
This topic has been discussed here many times. Try the site search engine and use a boolean match like "teak and finish", "teak and oil", "teak and Cetol", etc.
Barry posted 01-23-2003 11:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for Barry  Send Email to Barry     
I have also used Cetol and like it for it's ease of application, durability, and easy maintenance.

Here are some pictures of my Montauk:

And some of the wood from my Outrage:

Bigshot posted 01-23-2003 01:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Nice job Barry. I would make you cry if you saw pics of my boat...what a mess:)
reelescape1 posted 01-23-2003 03:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for reelescape1  Send Email to reelescape1     
Nice job Barry!! I'm in the process of doing the same to my 22' OR. I'm going to use the Cetol Marine Light...I liked the sample the store had. I'll post some pics when finished!
Barry posted 01-23-2003 09:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barry  Send Email to Barry     
reelescape1, I thought about using the Light since the regular Cetol does darken the wood quite a bit. But I already had most of can of the regular left and I could pick up more at a local boat store.

Bigshot, I saw your boat. Well at least a little of it through the 6+ bikini clad women in front of it. Based on that picture I'm thinking that on my next boat instead of refinishing the wood I will just add a keg!

Bigshot posted 01-24-2003 11:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Good idea but takes up a lot of room and they are really heavy...for a while that is.

I used perma-teak natural on mine and it looks like freshly cleaned teak....kinda neat. Problem is they stopped making it and now I need to strip and refinish soon. Good thing is it comes off fairly easy and just wears off unlike varnish, etc. Not sure what I will use next.

Bigshot posted 01-24-2003 11:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Anyone ever try Penetrol on teak. That stuff kinda just wears away as well so maybe it would be like long-term oil?
Fitz posted 01-24-2003 08:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Fitz  Send Email to Fitz     
Barry - did you make the rear seat on that Moutauk? It's beautiful.
Barry posted 01-24-2003 10:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barry  Send Email to Barry     
Nope. Previous owner built it out of a large teak swim platform.
raygun posted 01-25-2003 12:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for raygun  Send Email to raygun     
In regards to the use of steel wool vs. bronze wool, 3M makes a steel wool substitute in several grades that works great. It's cheaper than brass or bronze wool, lasts longer and of course doesn't leave any steel behind to rust in your gelcoat.
mark holden posted 12-19-2006 10:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for mark holden  Send Email to mark holden     
Want my new boat's teak staying new looking. Looking for more responses to keeping brand new teak looking new without sanding, etc.

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