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How to preserve teak work without continual maintenance

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What is the issue?
Most yachts have wooden details above decks providing warmth and traditional charm. This degrades quickly under strong sunlight (ultraviolet) and/or continual damp conditions. When it does the base coat will begin to deteriorate and start to separate from the wood leaving unsightly opaque blisters or worse damage the varnish to wood bond. Once the varnish has reached that stage the only option is to strip it all off and start again.

Likewise some woods, particularly teak decking and gratings for example, can be selected to grey naturally but this is not the case with trim or detailing. Keeping this detailing woodwork in good condition requires a time-consuming routine of regular cleaning and sealing.

Why address this?
Caring for wooden detailing preserves the yachts appearance. This is important, not alone for the pride of ownership, but to maintain the vessel's valuation. A solution needs to be found to maintain the trim without taking on a routine and time-consuming chore.

How to address this?
Unless the vessel is used as a showboat it typically only needs to look its absolute best on the day it is being sold. Hence the objective could be viewed as protecting the wood trim so it may be fully restored to its optimal presentation at any future point.

Varnish usually looks better than paint, but it is less weather resistant, so the best option is to use the most durable product against the weather. This may be accomplished by:

  • (i) Thoroughly preparing the surface.

  • (ii) Apply at least six coats of varnish.

  • (iii) Paint over this by two further coats of a wood colour paint to halt the ultraviolet damage.

This will completely protect the wood for several years. At any future point, the paint may easily be stripped off. The underneath varnish may be recoated to provide an excellent finish.

This avoids a continuous, painstaking chore whilst ensuring the vessels wood trim is protected and can be brought to optimal condition at any future point.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.
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