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Thread: Hard plastic caulking between teak decking?

  1. #1
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    Default Hard plastic caulking between teak decking?

    Hi guys,

    A year ago my cousin and I bought a 31" , carvel planked mast head sloop, circa 1967. Shes been very well maintained but unfortunately it is time for us to re do the caulking on the teak deck. The deck is very water tight, and I believe it's teak over ply, perhaps with some old fibreglass sandwhiched in between. Though with the old caulk coming off its only a matter of time before it starts leaking in its current state.

    So, heres our problem. You can see that in Pic 1 that there's this strange, hard yellow plastic/resin material under the caulking... My gut feeling tells me to chip it out and caulk the join... Or does this need to be replaced also? Any advice very much appreciated there.

    Another thing that I'm struggling to get my head around is that some planks seem to have only a millimetre between them, or even less. It looks like the old owner has caulked this tiny gap, and laid cork on top of teak so that the caulk thickness is uniform along the entire deck. Just checking to make sure this is correct. Have a look at PIC 2 and you'll hopefully see what I mean.

    It's our first time recaulking and we'd like to get it done right the first time. We're still learning and researching but any advice, pointers or comments are very much appreciated!

    Thanks,

    Lewis
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Hard plastic caulking between teak decking?

    Here's the boat - Delight

    P.s. We are in New Zealand so some brands may be difficult to find here, like products from Teak Deck Systems.

    IMG_20171209_191304867.jpg

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Hard plastic caulking between teak decking?

    LewisJepson,
    Welcome to the WBF and congratulations on keeping an older wooden boat going.
    Tough to tell, even with those pictures, but if I were to guess, that 50 year old teak has worn down and is reveling the bottom of a rabbet milled into the original plank stock that was probably 1/4"(6mm) deep to take the caulking (paying). Also looks like the fastening plugs are all but gone, exposing the heads.
    Can you measure the current thickness?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Hard plastic caulking between teak decking?

    If, as you think, it is a composite deck ( teal on top of ply), that might be the excess epoxy that the teak was set in squeezing up between the planks. I might agree that a lot of sanding has taken place over the years.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Hard plastic caulking between teak decking?

    sun damaged epoxy. deck is in need of a dumpster
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Hard plastic caulking between teak decking?

    As Denise pointed out, that deck is done, a long time ago actually.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Hard plastic caulking between teak decking?

    20180215_120946.jpg

    Hi Lewis , thats just a normal teak over ply deck and its worn out. If you can see my photo , that is a standard practise teak moulding that boatbuilders in this country run when they made /make a veneer deck. Its ex 50mm so its about say 45 mm total and with that cut rebate so when they lay it it self aligns or forms a constant width groove for the caulking.
    So your 1 mm gap is just the butt between the teak but your teak has worn down to the bottom of the rebate. If it wasn't worn down so far you might have routed it a bit deeper and recaulked to extend its life.( edit ... perhaps you still can depending on the thickness of the moulding, worth investigating how much meat below the rebate to the ply))

    The 'plastic' is the epoxy bedding. When your deck was laid they screwed it down into the epoxy. Some, ( like mine) are weighted down and have no screws.
    What people do now with decks like that is to pull up the teak by grinding sanding etc , lay some ply back over and glass it and paint it. Two of my friends have done that, and many other boats of our vintage. Re-laying new teak would be pretty unusual given its cost and impact etc.
    What taking it all up allows is inspection of the ply sub deck for water or rot, so you can repair (if necessary). Riada 2 , 46 ft Davidson 1980,just had hers done last year and there was no ply repairs needed at all.

    There is another easier fix but its risky and you have to be confident that the ply sub deck is in good condition, and thats to cut out any caulking, sand and fair , and epoxy and/or glass the whole deck. But there's risk there and you'd need to be in a shed or covered , remove all the hardware and fittings ( the big job) anyway. So perhaps you just do the whole job while you're at it.
    I don't know the CHC boatbuilders. I know Dicksons in Nelson are reputable.

    What design is the boat? I see hints of early Alan Wright ( or Alan Smith come to think of it)but the designer is not jumping out at me like usual( if it is NZ).
    Last edited by John B; 02-14-2018 at 05:48 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Hard plastic caulking between teak decking?

    Lewis,
    You are at the decision point of what to do with the deck. Do nothing, replace the deck yourself, pay someone to replace the deck, or sell.

    At least 1/4" to 3/8" of wood has been removed from the surface due to sanding and oxalic acid (wood brightener).

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Hard plastic caulking between teak decking?

    Hmmm,.... I guess it is pretty ‘done’.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Hard plastic caulking between teak decking?

    That the deck has not leaked and buggered up the boat is a testament to a bad thing well done .But her time has come .

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Hard plastic caulking between teak decking?

    Thank you everyone for your replies and comments. Lots of people saying that the deck is useful only for firewood now, maybe so but we will caulk it anyway and try and get a few more years out of it.
    We've gone for cleaning out the existing caulk and visible epoxy, and recaulking it with a rubberised, waterproof sealant... Let's see how long it lasts!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Hard plastic caulking between teak decking?

    John, thanks for your reply, way more helpful than I had been hoping for!
    It's given us (myself and my cousin,the co-owner) some food for thought for when it's time to do something drastic with the deck. Like I said in my reply to this thread, we'll lightly sand and rout a little deeper, and see how that goes.

    The boat is a John Brooke mast head sloop. I don't know much about the history of the boat, but I know John Brooke built quite a number of boat around Auckland. She's made out of hardwood... Maybe Kauri , but who knows!
    Do you know much about John Brooke's boats ? I'd love to know more about the history of him and our boat, Delight.

    Thanks !

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Hard plastic caulking between teak decking?

    Quote Originally Posted by LewisJepson View Post
    Thank you everyone for your replies and comments. Lots of people saying that the deck is useful only for firewood now, maybe so but we will caulk it anyway and try and get a few more years out of it.
    We've gone for cleaning out the existing caulk and visible epoxy, and recaulking it with a rubberised, waterproof sealant... Let's see how long it lasts!
    Please No! Your caulking will leak. Your ply, which has probably already suffered some damage will suffer more damage. And next your deck beams, your cabin sides, your hatch coamings. Get rid of the teak as soon as you can, glass the deck and paint it.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Hard plastic caulking between teak decking?

    If you pull the existing material out of the seams it will increase the rate of leaking even if you fill the seams with new sealant.

    You would do more to preserve the boat by spraying the deck "as is" with a flexible barrier coat, perhaps what is used in truck beds, then paint the coating an appropriate color.
    Last edited by navydog; 02-15-2018 at 08:13 AM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Hard plastic caulking between teak decking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    Please No! Your caulking will leak. Your ply, which has probably already suffered some damage will suffer more damage. And next your deck beams, your cabin sides, your hatch coamings. Get rid of the teak as soon as you can, glass the deck and paint it.
    Yes - seriously don't do that – you are unlikely to be able to get enough depth of seam for a proper adhesion of the caulking (it should generally only adhere to the sides of the seams, not the bottom, with a bond breaker laid in the bottom of the seams). And it looks like the plugs over the screw heads are worn right away too.

    You will just be building up substantially more trouble and expense down the line with water ingress into the ply and the deck structures. When a teak deck gets to this stage, it is pointless to try to preserve it.

    Cheers -- George
    To be truly free to live, one must be free to think and speak.

    A C Grayling

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Hard plastic caulking between teak decking?

    I remember reading about this stuff people overseas use (mostly in England I think), sort of what Navydog suggested, but it's boat-deck specific and plugs and seals. Used regularly from the sound of it , "over there." Begins with a "C"? Here it is, "Coleans," and here's a thread about it and some other stuff

    http://www.ybw.com/forums/showthread...-deck-sealants

    On the other hand, you've got flat head screws sticking out! You probably understand than any short-term thing you do is truly short term, and may be further endangering whatvever's under the teak. .. .It's really gone.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Hard plastic caulking between teak decking?

    Take joy in ripping off useless weight from the deck !

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Hard plastic caulking between teak decking?

    Gentlemen, The seam compound that is being discussed here is not "caulk" or "caulking". That is the name that the manufacturers ,of that black goo in a tube created for it. They have been hell bent to change the understanding of the word "Caulk" ever since they came up with that sticky stuff that pulls away from plank seams after several years of weather exposure! To "caulk", is the process of driving cotton, oakum, or some other fibrous material into a V shaped plank seam with a pair of tools known as a "Caulking Iron, and a wooden steel ringed mallet called,
    a "Caulking Mallet" I suppose that some learned individual in the advertising deptarment wrote up the copy, that was to be imprinted on the cardboard tube, had never been to sea or much less seen a wooden boat. The real name of that black goo is "Seam Compound", long words to print on tube! The process of putting it to use is called "Paying The Seam". Seam compound is often called "seam paying compound" but it is never truly or should be called "Caulking" because it aint!

    There once were several companies, such as that made seam compound such as Kuhls, but they went out of business after the passing of the founding fathers as the second generation knew less about the business than their fathers and the third generation squandered the profits causing many reliable old companies to go out of business. The EPA then finished them off by telling them that oil based products are a no no to use on a wooden boat!

    There is only one company still making traditional seam compound. It is "Davey & Co." The company is located in London England and has been in business for over a hundred and twenty years. The product is "Jefferies Marine Glue". It will not separate from the sides of the seams, if applied correctly. Jefferies Marine Glue is available from the Wooden Boat Foundation in Port Townsend WA which saves ordering from overseas. It is the same seam compound formulation that was used eversince and even before Lord Nelson's time.
    Jay

    http://www.davey.co.uk/
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 02-18-2018 at 01:27 PM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Hard plastic caulking between teak decking?

    If youre not in a position remove the teak then your plan is perfectly fine. Tidy it up get some black sticky in a tube or Jeffries from Fosters and get to it! Where the bungs over screws are popping off you could remove the screw from underneath, epoxy the hole and pop a new bung in. Re-rebating or re-routing the seam is tricky dicky stuff, I would not do it. Just patch it up as mentioned and go sailing, you only need to deal with it structurally if it leaks otherwise its cosmetic only and when you've got the time and money you can remove the teak, re-glass if necessary and paint.
    whatever rocks your boat

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