The first step to installing a new teak deck on your vessel is to precisely pattern your existing deck or area to be covered with teak. Using doorskin as a medium for creating a pattern, we will carefully mold our pattern to the exact perimeter of the new teak deck. It is vitally important to follow the existing hatches in the floor to ensure that the lines are true and straight. After the perimeter is finished, any hatch perimeters, unique curves or characteristics will be patterned to ensure your deck looks exactly the way you would like.
Upon returning to the shop we will first create a generic deck of teak that measures the full length and width of your widest points. Starting with raw lumber, we mill our wood to the specific thickness depending on the plank width of each board we will fabricate. After this, the boards are then ripped one by one vertically, at a specific thickness to produce individual planks to be assembled as the deck. Ripping the boards across a true flat sawn board will produce true vertical grain, and thus ensure the longevity of the grain on your finished deck. Placing one plank at a time, the deck is laid out, spaced and caulked. A light sand to remove the extra caulking on both top and bottom of the deck produces our “blank slate” from which we will cut your specific design from. Using the pattern we follow the shape to your exact deck and begin to cut the specific shapes depending on your deck. Once this is complete, we would move on to the challenging part of cutting out the hatches. These cuts are very precise and one mistake will almost certainly cause a rebuild of that section of deck.
After the hatches are cut, we move on to the margin boards which are many times, fabricated slightly wider than the rest of the decking. The same process of milling and ripping produces planks that we then shape to the specific contours of the perimeter of the deck. Miter corners to match the grain, and beveling the outside edges slightly, we have all the pieces to your deck finished in the shop.
On delivery day, we get to lay out the teak deck, and dry fit for looks and fit. Any minor modifications to shape, and fit are done over the next few days, in preparation for adhesion to the deck. If you have had teak in the past, this would have been removed, and the fiberglass would be sanded to a 60 grit profile, paying close attention to any existing screw holes, or weak spots in the deck. Any fiberglass repair will have been finished prior to the arrival of your deck.
Once the spacing, position, and fit are satisfactory, we proceed to epoxy the deck in place using a 1:1 ratio of specially formulated epoxy that remains slightly malleable during its life. The nature of boats is such that a solid foundation of products that set up stiff, will almost certainly crack and fail when the boat flexes and torques during its normal usage.
After all parts of our puzzle have been adhered to the deck, 24-48 hours of dry and set up time is necessary to ensure a proper adhesion before spacers and screws are removed. At this point inspection of the seams to clear out any extra epoxy, and final spacing is conducted. We are now ready to tape off the seams and apply a bead of caulking to any of the seams open, during the process of assembly. Another 48-72 hours of dry time is allowed for the caulking to set up before any final sanding is performed.
The re-assembly of hinges, or hardware is then performed while all borders, seams edges of hatches and such are inspected for accuracy and precision. The small gap between hatches and the deck will be widened slightly at this point in order to get full range of motion, whether the deck is dry, or when it is wet, taking in account for wood expansion.
Another light sand with 100 grit and careful clean up brings the whole project to a conclusion, and thus a new life is brought to a once simpler pallet.