Article by Chris Clifford
ALAN BROSILOW LOOKS AT THE EASE OF INSTALLING MODULAR DECK SYSTEMS AND THE IMPORTANCE OF CORRECT CLEANING METHODS
On many yachts there is a ‘bare feet’ rule on deck, so teak deck care and maintenance is important for passenger and crew comfort, but the most important purpose of a deck is structural, weather protection and safety. Teak decking has natural non-skid properties and is resistant to rot, while delightful underfoot.
In the 21st century, yachts and their decks are built of metal, composites, or wood. Most structural deck surfaces are designed to be covered in custom decking and then permanently bonded with strong flexible adhesives to the structural decks. An intermediate layer of closed-cell foam-board or marine plywood is sometimes added between the metal and teak deck as an interface and/or to increase the insulation and sound reduction. These surfaces are known collectively as ‘substrates’.
THE DECKING PROCESS
Introduced by Teakdecking Systems in 1983 Modular deck systems are teak planks that are assembled as large panels with seams that are pre-caulked to form sections. Templates are fabricated on the vessel to ensure a perfect fit. These templates may be created digitally or by a traditional method of hot gluing strips of thin plywood together.
Once the panels are assembled and cut to shape, they are delivered to the boat’s location and the modular deck is completed by fitting and cutting the trim boards around the perimeter of the deck. This process revolutionised the industry and is today’s standard.
MAINTENANCE PROCEDURES & PRODUCTS
Once installed, oxidation and UV load will take their toll over time on the deck’s surface, along with normal environmental soiling, plus, the sealants and adhesives that hold the deck together.
A silver patina is the natural state of teak in the marine environment. Trying to reproduce the look of ‘boat show teak’ that has never been in the sun is a profitless endeavor. Teakdecking Systems recommends maintaining decks in a natural state without oils, sealers, or other topcoats. If deemed necessary, waterborne or low V.O.C. products are recommended such as Teakdecking Systems Sealer and Protector, along with ECO cleaners.
DECK REFURBISHMENT – REPAIRS, RESEAMING, AND RESURFACING
Many problems of older decks or decks constructed and installed using substandard sealants and adhesives can best be addressed with general refurbishment consisting of repairs, or removal and replacement of existing sealant, and then resurfacing and detailing.
Professional crews specialising in these services perform necessary woodworking repairs, remove the existing caulking
Tags: teak decking, zeta marine
utilising specialised guided saws and routers, prep the new seams, and re-apply sealant. After appropriate cure of sealant, decks are sanded to 80 grit finish producing a ‘like new’ appearance.
For more details Tel: +1 941 756 0600 or + 45 62 20 13 12
or visit www.zetamarinegroup.com or www.teakdecking.com