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Author Topic:   What teak oil?What varnish??
Jwolters posted 12-11-2003 11:32 PM ET (US)   Profile for Jwolters   Send Email to Jwolters  
Who thinks they know the best way to restore the teak wood on an 80's whaler? The teak is in decent condition as it is but I do not have varnish on it. Is that the only way? Other options? Thanks John-Austin/Houston
JBCornwell posted 12-12-2003 12:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Howdy, JWolters.

I use and recommend Star Brite products. I use the three-step procedure every three or four years and reoil annually.

Red sky at night. . .

seaspeak posted 12-12-2003 01:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for seaspeak  Send Email to seaspeak     

You probably won't get many replies to this question, as it is one of the most (over?) discussed topics on the site. Everyone has their own idea about the best way to handle teak. Having read many threads on this topic recently, I would summarize the advice of others as:

1: If you're going to oil, don't use teak strippers, but mechanically remove (eg sand or plane off) varnish, raised wood grain, etc. Tom Clark, a very experienced member of this site, is a wood guy by trade and feels strongly that chemical teak strippers should not be used. He also recommends Daly's Sea-Fin teak oil. Others have recommended Tung Oil.

Note - this is *not* the method that JB is recommending. JB is recommending the Starbrite teak stripper / oiler system. This product is easy to find and recommended by many.

2: If you decide to varnish, LHG (another very experienced member of the site) likes Z-Spar Flagship. Epithanes is another varnish I've seen recommended.

3: There's a third major option, which is Sikkens Cetol. This product has a finish sort of intermediate between oil and varnish. It also has an orange tint that some people (not traditionalists) like. Many of the photos in Cetacea will show boats with Cetol-ed teak.

I'd say that if you just want to get it over with and move on with your life, the Starbrite system seems to be fine. If you want to get really involved with your teak, you might consider the sanding/scraping method a la Clark, and then the Daly's Sea Fin, Tung Oil, Cetol, or Z-Spar Flagship. Where you boat may affect what you want to use, too.

Searches here on 'teak oil varnish' will turn up lots and lots of stuff... !

good luck,


jflots posted 12-15-2003 02:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for jflots  Send Email to jflots     
I'm no expert but I've horrible results with teak and varnish. I varnished a dock box lid that started to show water stains within a month, it lasted about 2 seasons outdoors. The problem I'm told is teak has a natural oil in it that varnish doesn't like to stick to. Save yourself the headaches and oil it.
On the teak swim platform I built for our HiLiner(another Ray Hunt hull) I opted for oil. I try to freshen it up when I think about it but I don't mind when it greys. It cleans well with a brush/cleaning and looks new with fresh oil.
jojoscoot2000 posted 12-15-2003 04:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for jojoscoot2000  Send Email to jojoscoot2000     
I have a mid 80's montauk on which I restored all the teak about 4 years ago. I used a 2 part teak cleaner which cleaned up the teak wonderfully, unfortunatley I cannot recall the brand name at this time. I then applied one coat of a wood sealer, I beleive it was epithanes. Finally, I applied about 6-7 coats of Z-Spar Varnish, this brand of varnish I have found stands up the best and is also the easiest to work with. Every season I sand lightly and apply about 3 coats of varnish, and the teak looks great!
homey posted 12-16-2003 10:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for homey  Send Email to homey     
I clean/oil my Teak twice a year. It keeps the Teak gold(like new) throughout the year. I recomend Amazon Teak cleaner, and oil. Its much better(lasts longer) then Star brite in my opinion.

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