Friday, June 17, 2011

Teak Deck Re-Caulking

sv Sobraon spent a few weeks re-caulking their teak deck. Here's how they did it
The caulking on the cabin top deck has significantly deteriorated.  The deck was installed just prior to when we purchased the boat but from a very early point we noticed that the Sikaflex caulking was drying, cracking and coming away from the edges.  It had reached a point where it was literally falling out of the channels in the teak.  If we didn't remove it and re-caulk we may develop deck leaks especially with the coming wet season.

The caulking was Sikaflex. It dried and failed after only a few years.
The caulking was removed by hand. Most of it just pulled straight out with very little residual caulking left in the grove. It obviously was not providing any sort of water seal.

It was originally applied with a primer and break out tape, however, it came away very easilya

The grooves were then cleaned with a modified screwdriver.  Scraping it through the groove removed any caulking that was still holding on to the teak.  It also could be turned to clean on the bottom of the channels. ( Piere on SV 'Tea' gave me his version of the tool made from an old file.  It is a little sharper than the screwdriver and can be used more like a hand plane to clean the bottom of the groove.)

The screwdriver made the job of cleaning out any caulking residue easy.

With the old caulking removed the deck was lightly sanded with 60 grit to even out any major imperfections and smooth it to make it easier for the tape to stick down.

The deck was only lightly sanded to aid the masking tape adhesion.
It will be final sanded when the caulking is complete.
Once the grooves were cleared we hand sanded the channels with 100 grit to clean the sides in preparation for the caulking primer.

The grooves were thoroughly sanded to ensure a good bond with the Deckflex.

We did the deck in small sections to make the job more manageable.

By breaking the projects into smaller chunks an area can be
cleaned, taped, primed and caulked comfortably in a day

The channels were carefully masked to minimise the spread of the deckflex MSP100 onto the teak. The tape is positioned about 1/2 mm away from the edge of the channel so as to ensure the tape doesn't protrude into the groove.

The masking whilst laborious saved a lot of time in the clean up

The channel was then primed with MSP 10 Deck Primer. During the refurb of the rear deck we ran out of the MSP 10 and it is not readily available in Malaysia. We spoke to Troy at Fixtech Australia. He suggested that an alternative primer is Internationals Everdure Epoxy.  We were able to get this from Singapore so the rear has been primed with Everdure.  ( It will be interesting to compare the 2 decks in a few years time.)

Primed and ready for caulking

We waited approximately 2 hrs then gunned the MSP 100 into the channel taking care to slightly overfill the groove.  After applying the bead into a channel a plastic trowel was lightly dragged over the bead to smooth the MS 100 and minimise the amount of sanding that will be required to complete the project.

We used 18 x 600ml sausages of MSP100 to complete the entire deck

After about 2 hours the tape is removed leaving clean straight lines.
The taping step saves a lot of sanding and leaves the teak with crisp shar

Removing the tape. The tape leaves a crisp straight line.

After 2 hours the MSP 100 is dry on the tape but soft enough to come away cleanly.


This is the rear hatch after the tape was removed. It is now ready for final sanding

This is the rear hatch after  final sanding and the Teak Seal Colour Protector and Silver Protector have been applied.

The front and rear decks were sanded and trimmed ready for the Teak Seal Colour Protector.

The decks are now finished. 
It took a little over 3 weeks to finish the decks but the improvement is considerable. We had to sand some of the teak thickness away to clean up the deck, however I hope that with proper maintenance we should lose less material now.

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