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      Hi, I’m looking at Bavaria with teak decks. I’m a bit concerned about how well they will last – does anyone have any observations or experiences? Thanks



        I’ve got teak decks on my B32 Another Fantasy, factory fitted from new in 2002. They still look superb when they’re clean, but keeping them that way is a real labour of love. My experience is to put NOTHING on them apart from regular washing with warm water and occasionally a very mild soap solution, using a soft nylon ‘scrubber’. Teak oil and other commercially available preparations may work in the short term but once their effect wears off you end up with more of a problem. If you want to retain the warm golden colour of a new deck then you may be disappointed, I’ve found it’s better to let the deck weather to its natural silver colour and maintain it that way.

        Apart from looking good the deck is much more grippy and comfortable to walk on than the white plastic standard (especially with bare feet!!).

        Hope this helps.

        Ian Culley
        Another Fantasy


          There are 2 schools of thought about teak decks. Many believe, like Ian, that the natural grey colour is the (easy!) way to go, while the rest, including me, like the “superyacht” look of new golden teak.

          To maintain the new look is a fair bit of work, though. I have recently started using Semco which preserves the golden colour and returns natural oil to the wood. It is easy to apply (like water in consistency) but does need regular application – maybe 3 or 4 times a year; each coat (on a 38) takes a couple of hours. However, before you start using a product like Semco you do need to thoroughly clean the teak, using either proprietary 2 part cleaners or oxalic acid solution and these can damage the teak if applied too vigorously. On no account should a pressure washer be used as this removes the soft wood between the grain and leaves ridges in the teak.

          After 10 years, the teak on Playtime still looks good and many people have commented on it. To date I have had no problems

          There is an interesting thread here from the PBO Forum that illustrates the point about the 2 schools of thought!


          Personally I much prefer teak over the all white GRP finish but it does require regular attention to maintain it at its best. I would not anticipate problems with the teak, if properly maintained, for many years.


            I would go along with Ian’s method. I go for the silver look and use no chemicals and only soft or medium brush. My decks are now 9 years old and still fine. I suppose it is just a matter of personal choice




              I’ve tried all the usual attempts to keep the teak nice and may have come up with a good product. I have been using the boat for 6 months continually this summer and have obviously been walking on the teak so wear has been more than normal. After 6 months the finish on the teak is exactly the same as when I put it on. I used the Sikkens Marine varnish available in various wood shades or natural. I put 3 coats on as advised on clean wood and am quite impressed. It wears very well and has not degraded at all. Mind you, we didn’t get much sun this summer.

              Of course it will need maintenance and at the FIRST sign of greying, it requires a quick rub down back to bare wood and local re varnish.

              I intend to put 2 coats on each spring after a washdown.

              It does make the deck more slippery when wet.


                I bought my 2001 Bavaria 40 in July this year. The survey highlighted that part of the teak deck was lifting. This was cured before the sale went through. The method of repair was as follows:
                1. Make a clean cut across the teak strips at a point where the teak is still securely stuck down
                2. Lift and remove the teak “veneer” and the plywood (no, it’s not solid teak – it’s thin teak (maybe 3mm?) stuck to plywood stuck to the deck!)
                3. Remove the thin teak from the old plywood (this had rotted and come loose from the deck)
                4. Stick the teak onto new plywood
                3. Clean the deck of old adhesive and apply new adhesive
                4. Stick the new plywood onto the deck, with the teak “veneer” stuck onto that
                5. Fill the joints with the black sealer

                A few weeks later, after a very hot spell (yes – we did have one in Scotland this year!) I found a couple of other parts where the teak deck was lifting. Dorothy did a “damsel in distress” with the repair man, and this was also fixed, albeit not in such a permanent way, in with the original repair price.

                The company who did the repair told me that they had previously done the same repair to another part of the deck for the previous owner.

                Having examined the teak decks very closely now, I can see that the teak is lifting a few mm at the outboard edge in several places (see comment below about toerails). I intend to put more black sealer here to try to prevent water ingress. There are also a few other parts where joints are beginning to lift!

                All in all, I think I’m looking at regular expensive repair bills in the near future. It was £700 to repair the section identified by the survey, which was about one metre long and three or four strips wide. My calculator display doesn’t have enough digits to do the calculation for a whole new deck!

                One thing I find strange about Bavarias – why no drainage holes in the toerail? After rain, washing, etc I have standing water on the sidedecks of my boat, aft of the midship cleats. It seems like a piece of design madness! It can’t do the teak much good to be sitting in water for long periods.

                I decided to store my boat under cover this year, to protect the decks from water, snow and frost. The extra cost is worth it if it stops the teak deck getting worse, but I think I’m only delaying the inevitable.

                As far as maintenance goes, I’ve always been told to use nothing but water and a little detergent on teak decks. When I bought my boat in July, the cockpit locker was full of teak deck “products”. Maybe that’s contrbuted to the problems I have.



                  My Bav 40 has a couple of drainage holes in the toe rail on each side, quite close to the stanchion bases. They may have been drilled by the previous owner. It solves the problem of standing water on the deck.



                    A word of warning about using products that sink into the wood by adding oil or other substances. They break down the adhesion between the teak and ‘black stuff’. Water then gets in the crack and under the wood. I used to own a boat that the previous owner of 15 years had regularly added Teak Wonder. The top surface looked quite good but the underside of the wood was black, wet & rotten. Bavaria specifically state that you should not use these products and they are right. Either clean it, leave it or seal it and the latter needs regular maintenance of the seal.


                      Thank you all very much for your comments, certainly food for thought. I must admit the thought of teak does put me off a bit!

                      Is there any possibility of removing it – is the deck the same underneath??


                        @achilles/medway wrote:

                        A word of warning about using products that sink into the wood by adding oil or other substances. . . . . Bavaria specifically state that you should not use these products and they are right. Either clean it, leave it or seal it and the latter needs regular maintenance of the seal.


                        Where, specifically, do Bavaria give this advice? My ‘Owners Manual’ (Year 2000) is silent on the subject of teak decks. Maybe it is a more recent addition?



                          have used teak wonder on the cockpit wood and have not noticed any problems only use once a year have 2007 manuel has no mention of does and donts would like to know one way or another will ask clipper when i see them.
                          john d


                            An interesting debate!

                            Included in the manuals and documentation for ‘Another Fantasy’ was a couple of pages of A4 giving comprehensive information on how to care for the decks; I wonder if that was included because I ordered teak decks as part of the original spec. It is very clear about the use of any kind of surface preparations, giving dire warnings of the likely effect of such dastardly brews as ‘Teak Brightener’ (aka oxalic acid) and other such things. It even says that teak oil, although it penetrates and feeds the teak, eventually degrades the rubber sealant and substrate, causing breakdown.

                            I suppose you pays your money and takes your choice in how you care for your boat. As I said in my earlier post, I’m happy with my decks as they are and there’s no sign of any degradation despite seven seasons of pretty hard use.

                            Now, what about that saildrive seal……

                            Ian Culley
                            Another Fantasy


                              I am only guessing what Bavaria use, but the product normally used to bond teak decking to GRP decks is Sikaflex 298, a link to the Product Data Sheet is HERE.

                              If you look at the chemical resistance details on page two, second section, it seems to offer some resistance to diluted caustic solutions and acids, I guess the problem can arise when the water element evaporates from the soaked decks leaving a caustic/acidic residue which can build up over time until it starts to break down the polymers. Perhaps the real trick if you feel the need to use cleaners is to ensure they are highly diluted and that you swill down the decks with plenty of fresh water after cleaning.

                              As for teak oils, it does go on to say it has only a temporary resistance to oils which appears to back up the information that Ian has in his owners manual.


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