Hey all! If there’s one place not in my wheelhouse it’s woodworking. Anybody have any idea what kind of wood this looks like? I had designs on refinishing it, but have thought better of it now and I think would prefer a lower maintenance option. 

Is it teal? Can I just sand and oil it?

Is it something else? Should I use CPES instead?

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That wood is teak. It is in rough shape but you can save it. First thing is to remove it from the boat. That may provide to be difficult.

Get some 2 part bleach and follow the directions. 

Start sanding after it dries. Once you get to clean wood. Save the dust, it is gold for making the final finish close to perfect.

I would use sikens for the finished seal. Oil needs to be done often. Sikens is a coat every 2 years.

Remember the dust you saved? Mix some of with the sikens. A paste. Force it into the gaps in the wood and let it dry.

Back to sanding. Flush the paste out. It will be a different color now. Do not worry, once the entire piece is coated it will be a very close match.

If the cracks are still below flush. More paste.

I suggest at least 4 coats with wet sanding in between each coat. You will see when you have enough coats on. It will look smooth and flat. 

Do not use a wire brush ion your wood. It will remove the pith in the grains and could leave small pieces of the bristols in the wood.

Do not use glue in your paste. Glue will not absorb the final top coats and it will be very noticeable.

VERY helpful - thanks Brian. Only part of your answer that scares me a little is the “remove from the boat” part. Agree it would be infinitely easier to do at the house, but I’m terrified of what lies beneath, ya know?

Since I’m still on the hard for another month, you think doing all this without removing would be possible, or a fools errand?

Good morning Matt,

I do mine on the boat sand & coat with sikken cetol. when sanding be careful around the fiberglass.

I scuff & coat every 2 years or so.


And working with Sikken's isn't nearly as fussy as varnish, right?

I would not use anything else.



Good Morning Matt

On my Searay, I had two teak rails that ran the length of the fordeck and a teak pulpit. There was also a narrow teak rail that ran around the cockpit. I would refinish them in place every other year. Sikkens is much easier to work Varnish. Check out Jamestown Distributors. They have a wide variety of products, and free shipping. 

Yes, Sikkens is much more forgiving and easier to apply than gloss varnish. It does not need to be sanded between coats as long as you re-coat it within 24 hours. On a six coat job, I finally sand between coats 4 & 5 using 220 sandpaper. Next comes a 320 grit wet sanding after coat 5, just before the final coat. Very easy to apply & maintain.

Dick, your comment about not sanding between coats as long as you re-coat within 24 hours is not as per the product directions.  Is that something you've come to learn through experience?  I've been using the Sikkens Cetol Marine Natural and, much like you, only scuff after the 3rd or 4th coat but I always allow 24++ hours between coats.  Results have always been favorable but if there is a trick to make better I'm all ears.  Thanks.

Thanks all!  Definitely have a plan of action on this one that seems far more manageable than my original plan of messing with varnish.  This doesn't necessarily have to look pretty and shiny.  Just cleaner than it does now!?

I put Cabot Austrailian Timber oil on my swim platform last season on Tims recommendation. It held up VERY well and is super easy to apply. Pretty sure the gallon I bought is enough to coat the platform every spring for a decade. 

I've used Sikkens on teak with great results. If you are careful you can do it without removing the wood from the boat


Removing the part is not so much for the finishing aspect. That is easily taped off. I recommended it for the sanding and bleach portions. The bleach will lead to wax removal. Sanding are scratches in the gel coat that are not so easily fixed.

It can be done without removal.

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