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Pressure washer damage to teak?

Discussion in 'Catalina 30' started by kbgunn, Jun 7, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. kbgunn

    kbgunn

    Joined Sep 19, 2017
    56 posts, 25 likes
    Catalina 1986 30 TR
    4410 US Lake Lewisville
    Hi Everyone,

    I just moved up to a Catalina 30 from a Catalina 22 this spring. It's a whole new world of sailing compared to the Cat22. She's a 1986 Tall Rig, Fin Keel hull #4410. I had the bottom painted and hull waxed and polished before launching. I've really enjoyed sailing and getting to know the boat over the last month.
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    I will have a lot of questions to lay before the wisdom of the crowd. Particularly for the systems I didn't have on the 22. The aux diesel is Universal M-18. I didn't have a flush toilet or holding tanks before now. The electrical panel is more complex by a factor of 4! Wheel steering....
    These items are functional right now, just needing some routine maintenance.

    Question of the day is exterior wood because a boat should look good and sail good. The wood is rough with open grain and splinter/shavings coming off?!?! The family is wanting hazardous duty pay to climb about the deck. I know there are a lot of teak threads here but I haven't seen one on this specific issue. How do I start? It will require MUCH sanding to even out the grain and get down to a smooth, even surface. To the point where it changes the dimensions of the lumber substantially. Is there a better approach for highly weathered wood?
    Thanks for the advice.
    KBG
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    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  2. jviss

    jviss

    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    2,341 posts, 186 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westport, MA
    I have seen that before. I was seriously considering a boat with the teak in the same condition. The one I saw, the owner had "cleaned" the teak with a pressure washer. It was considered ruined, and my purchase would have involved replacing all the outdoor teak, at great expense. I got a quote from Tartan and it was something like $2k for all the pieces, and about that much for labor.

    I think to save it, you have to fill it with some kind of teak dust and resin filler, but I don't know exactly how you would go about it. You would have to experiment a bit.
     


  3. jviss

    jviss

    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    2,341 posts, 186 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westport, MA
    I should add, maybe you could ask Catalina or one of their suppliers if you can purchase replacement teak pieces, or, have them fabricated and installed locally. Teak has gotten quite expensive.
     


  4. kbgunn

    kbgunn

    Joined Sep 19, 2017
    56 posts, 25 likes
    Catalina 1986 30 TR
    4410 US Lake Lewisville
    Thanks for the reply @jviss. What you are saying makes sense. I've seen pressure washing damage on decks made from pine. Perhaps I'll repost in the Ask a Sailor forum for a broader audience to chime in on possible solutions.
    Really appreciate the insight!
     


  5. LeslieTroyer

    LeslieTroyer

    Joined May 20, 2016
    1,518 posts, 472 likes
    Catalina 36 MK1
    US Everett, WA
    The door boards can probably be saved the rest of replace. Teak is getting pricy!! Some folks are using alternative wood like Sapele. I’ve made doorboards out of Ipe for a @jssailem they look great when finished but are very heavy. Most can be cutout with an inexpensive jigsaw. For hatch sliders you’ll need a table saw ( or a friend with one). Also pick up a plug cutter so the plugs are the same wood. The read up on butyl on marinehowto.com. https://marinehowto.com/bed-it-tape/
    And get a roll of his butyl - great stuff.

    Edit - bleach’s or brighteners work great but really eat into the soft wood which would make your wood worse.

    Les
     


  6. markwbird

    markwbird

    Joined Nov 26, 2012
    806 posts, 144 likes
    Hunter 34
    US Berkeley
    I had a c-25 with the same condition. It needs to be sanded and oiled or finished with something like Cetol.
     


  7. Daveinet

    Daveinet

    Joined Sep 20, 2014
    844 posts, 137 likes
    Rob Legg RL24
    US Chain O'Lakes
    There are signs that the wood previously had finish on it. The pressure washer took off most of the finish, but not all of it. The problem you have is that any new finish you put on it will be over the top of specs of old finish. That may limit adherence of anything you put on it. You may end up having to use a stripper to remove the specs still embedded in the wood.

    I should mention I've used Cumaru in place of Teak. You need really sharp quality saws to cut, but it is not that expensive. I bought 1 board of outdoor decking. That was thick enough to make really nice grab handles for my previous boat. The wood is extremely dense, with a very tight grain. I should also mention you MUST pre-drill holes. It is impossible to screw into with out breaking the screws. Super tough wood.
     


    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  8. Parsons

    Parsons

    Joined Jul 12, 2011
    519 posts, 151 likes
    Catalina 36
    US Bay City, MI
    What a pretty boat -- love the polishing! As @LeslieTroyer said, the thicker pieces could probably be saved with sanding. Use a belt sander to remove the top layers, starting with 60 grit and working up to 220 then 440 before finishing. In Texas, you'll need a strong UV protection, such as Cetol or Sparcoat polyurethane. The thinner pieces like the hatch cover slides look cracked all the way through. It may just be sun and weathering, not power washing.

    My challenge to you would be -- why replace with any wood? I know some like the nautical / old-fashioned stuff, but I'd rather sail than treat teak any day of the week! I suggest looking into materials such as Starboard high-density polyethylene lumber. It works like wood (but you cannot glue it). For the hand-holds, I'd look at stainless steel pre-made handrails. Both are UV-proof, and wash up nice -- maintenance free. If you look at teak pricing, I'll bet you'd have more value in the wood that the rest of the boat! Your boat, your choice, but for me: I maintain my handrails with boat soap and a scrub brush about once a month!
     


  9. kbgunn

    kbgunn

    Joined Sep 19, 2017
    56 posts, 25 likes
    Catalina 1986 30 TR
    4410 US Lake Lewisville
    Thanks all for the replies and the compliment @Parsons !

    I was thinking from the beginning these would have to be replaced rather than rehab. Since I like sailing the boat more than woodworking I was hoping there was an easier fix. Winter project I suppose. I replaced most of the exterior teak on my Cat22 with a composite material and stainless grabrails. I detailed the project in this post: https://forums.sailboatowners.com/i...terior-trim.187587/&highlight=low maintenance

    You would think I learned the lesson the first time........no shortcuts when it comes to boats and their upkeep.

    KBG
     


  10. Scotty C-M

    Scotty C-M

    Joined Apr 11, 2012
    315 posts, 20 likes
    Cataina 400 MK II
    US Santa Cruz
    Congratulations on the new boat. She looks like a beauty. I see the problem with the teak, and have an idea....

    Lightly sand the teak to brush off the large "splinters". Then, oil the heck out of it. Two or three heavy applications. Leave it "greasy" for a few days each time. The wood will accept some of the oil, and you might get some swelling. I've done this, and I know that you will get some improvement, but it might not be enough.

    So here's another idea ... find a small area to try an experiment ... Color match some wood putty. Rub it into the grooves, especially in the end grains. Wipe off excess. Lightly sand it when dry, and use more oil. I don't know if the putty will stick, or if it will look good. If it works, go for it on the boat. If not, well you rreally didn't have much to lose.
     


  11. CharlieSea

    CharlieSea

    Joined Dec 22, 2012
    55 posts, 3 likes
    Hunter 356
    US Coral Gables, FL
    Got tired of messing with the teak on my C-30 MKII. Threw away the eyebrow and filled the holes with gelcoat/cabosil putty, removed the hand rails and replaced them with stainless handrails from Catalina direct ( the handrails on the MKII are much shorter), got rid of the pull hatch handle and teak and installed a stainless one. Hatch sliders and aft cover trim were duplicated in starboard by a friend and installed by me. Here's the finished product.
     

    Attached Files:



  12. BigEasy

    BigEasy

    Joined Jun 21, 2004
    827 posts, 151 likes
    Beneteau 343
    US Slidell, LA
    Replacement is the best bet; however, if you want to try a heroic, last ditch effort, try this technique.
    Sand as much as you can without compromising the structural integrity of the pieces. Wipe thoroughly with acetone to remove the oils released from sanding. Coat with clear resin to fill in the remaining grooves and level. Sand lightly and overcoat with 2-3 coats of Cetol clear. This may delay the inevitable replacement of the severely worn pieces; however, it may salvage some of the moderately weathered pieces. May be easier to remove the removable pieces from the boat and refinish at home.
     


  13. CharlieSea

    CharlieSea

    Joined Dec 22, 2012
    55 posts, 3 likes
    Hunter 356
    US Coral Gables, FL
    Here are some more pics. Pushed the wrong button. Made the boat look more modern.
     

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  14. CharlieSea

    CharlieSea

    Joined Dec 22, 2012
    55 posts, 3 likes
    Hunter 356
    US Coral Gables, FL
    Just one last thought. Your teak is so worn that all the bungs are gone, very little of the original material is left. As an example the sliders at one time were at least 3/4" to 1" thick. There are two solutions: use it as is or replace it. If you replace it use Starboard or one of the fake teak products. You will increase the amount of time you are sailing. The only real way to take care of teak is to remove it periodically, strip, varnish with 7 or 8 coats and then reinstall; not pretty.
     


  15. kbgunn

    kbgunn

    Joined Sep 19, 2017
    56 posts, 25 likes
    Catalina 1986 30 TR
    4410 US Lake Lewisville
    I've been considering the resin encasement approach. The resin would fill the gaps and self-level. I didn't think resin held up well to UV, but coating with a finish would add some UV protection. Combined with @Scotty C-M suggestion of allowing the wood to soak up as much oil as it wants to swell the wood grain might be best. I've seen some articles/videos about using resin to fill cracks and knots as well so it might help with the splitting.

    It's worth a shot at least. The next best alternative is fabricating replacements from either composite or a marine hardy wood like teak, sapele, ipe or cumaru. I'll post some updates as I have them.

    KBG
     


  16. jviss

    jviss

    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    2,341 posts, 186 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westport, MA
    I think what happened is that the softer, pulp-like part of the wood has been blown away, leaving the stringy part of the wood. (I'm sorry, I don't know the botanical terms for these.) . If I were to repair this, I would try to find or make a filler - a putty-like substance that is largely wood dust, with some kind of adhesive-like binder. That may well be an epoxy or polyester resin. You can experiment with it fairly easily. One challenge will be finding a source for a quantity of teak sawdust. You might even choose some other wood, like one of the million varieties labeled 'mahogany,' since it may adhere to the resin better. But I wouldn't fill with just pure resin, I think it would be too hard, and nearly impossible to 'work' - sand, etc.

    You might try some of the forums dedicated to wooden boat building and restoration. You could also contact some of the boat restoration organizations and schools, like International Yacht Restoration School (iyrs.edu) in Rhode Island, The Landing School in Maine, etc. You might also try some good woodworking resources; you used to be able to dial 1-800-HISTORY and ask for Roy Underhill, who's been at Colonial Williamsburg forever, and hosted the Woodwright's Shop on PBS.

    Do research, I say!
     


  17. Ward H

    Ward H

    Joined Nov 7, 2011
    1,731 posts, 168 likes
    Catalina 30 Mk II
    US Barnegat, NJ
    Nice boat! It appears to be nicely outfitted. I would rather have the upgraded hardware than perfect teak. We just moved up from an O'day 25 to a C30. While the teak is in good shape it needs attention. I dread that project and may replace with a composite material instead.
    @CharlieSea Nice upgrades.
     



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