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January 15, 2009


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Without seeing the boat it is difficult to be specific but You should be Ok with the 13 mm deck. Stick it down well with some thickened epoxy, use Cabosil or other coloidal silica product. Then instead of screws you could vacuum bag the deck down. After the epoxy has set up either use the Sika deck caulking as I show which will be fine and has the rubbery feel or you could use some additional epoxy colored with graphite powder.

Hi Mark, I just want to teak my swim platform, can I just lay the teak strips straight on to the GRP after prep with Sikaflex, and use 6mm thick teak 45-32mm wide with 5mm gap?
Regards Tony


The best way will be to sand the surface of the swim platform with an 80 grit disc then glue the teak down with epoxy. The Sika Flex only goes between the joints as shown in the pictures. One of the easiest ways to do this job would be to make a panel up off the boat by gluing the teak strips to some 3mm marine ply with epoxy then glue the ply down to the swim platform with epoxy. Once glued down you can then go around the edge with some Sika Flex to trim the edge and hide the plywood.

Hi Mark- My question has to do with a circa 1981 Taiwan manufactured boat that I am considering purchasing. The decks were laid with teak that was screwed (some screw heads are showing) I am not sure if they were bedded with any epoxy. The decking is getting a bit thin- maybe 3/8 left. In a foredeck area about 2 feet inwards from the port side there are about 3-4 planks that are bowed or cupped up and seem to be loose from the deck. There is a curvature of the planks in this area, gradual to follow the hull lines but a definite curve. How best to remove these "in the field" planks and replace? Can they be re-used if they are in good shape and epoxied down instead of screwing? If they need to be replaced with new planks- then best to mill to the current thickness and bed in epoxy? My concern is how to spring or steam to maintain the current lines. As a side note I do not own the boat at this time - but considering purchasing it but this is a big concern to me as I have read so much about the expense of having to remove/replace teak decks and then go to fiberglass decks with a non skid pattern. Any information and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks Randy


It is very difficult to give you an answer without seeing the boat. If the planks are in good shape but otherwise thin then yes they can be reused by gluing them down. If the teak is in bad shape then the best option may be to remove the teak altogether and just go with a non skid. There are so many variables here and there is no point in putting down teak, either new or reused if the deck underneath is in bad shape. Get the boat surveyed by someone who knows about teak decks and follow his advice. It could be that the boat is up for sale because there are a lot of deck issues.

Hi Mark,
I've seen some others recommend laying the teak in 4200. Also, not shaving off the caulking but just sanding it down. Could you comment on these other methods?

Also, one other question I have is how do you get the teak to bend sideways for the curve towards the bow? Are you using steam or a heat gun?


I'm gathering information to begin building a small caravan with boat interior. This article and the various posts have been VERY helpful !! thank you Mark and your loyal team of enthusiasts.

Hi, I am replacing the worn out teak cockpit in my Sovereign 32 with 13mm thick teak decking. I want avoid screwing and plugging the deck to increase its life. So I want to know whether bedding it in epoxy or Sikaflex would be best to bond the thick 13mm decking down, so to allow for expansion/contraction, etc? Many thanks, Stuart


Thanks for the note. The Sika product is only for filling the seams and it is not suitable for bedding the planks down. Epoxy thickened with cabosil is the way to go for this project. As the planks are fairly thick you can hold them in place with some heavy weights such as bricks wrapped in plastic as the epoxy sets up.

Hi Mark,

I use a lot of WEST Epoxy system 105 & 206 (resin & hardener). Is this adequate for bonding 13mm thick teak? Also, WEST's 406 product is colloidal silica which you mention in your installation instructions. They also have a 403 "Microfiber" that they recommend for wood bonding. Do you have any thoughts on the 406 vs. 403. Thank you for your great info!



I should have tagged this on my earlier note, sorry.. Regarding the Sika products, is the 298 or 291LOT adequate for adhering a teak decking? Do you prefer epoxy over these? Thanks again! Chris


Use the colloidal silica as I have found it offers the best bond. Also as I said to an earlier comment do not be tempted to use the Sika product for bedding the teak down as it will not hold up and is WAY more expensive than using epoxy. Use 290 DC for the seams, it works great as you can see from my pictures.

Great write-up. Thanks for sharing. I think Teak is really great especially when you are barefoot!

Great article. Please tell me what epoxy you used to glue the teak down with.

I believe that I used West system epoxy thickened with coloidal silica.

Looks incredible! I have a question. Do you recommend laying the teak down on a wood surface or something similar to that before glueing it to the boat. I saw in picture #7 that it looks like you're gluing the teak to a wood hatch. Is that hatch from the boat you were working on or is it something you put the teak on before applying it to the boat? I want to learn how to do this and this is the only thing that I am confused about.

The boat that I laid the teak onto was plywood. You can glue the teak directly down onto fiber glass but you would need to hold the planks down with weights or temporary screws. Another way would be to cut some 3mm thick marine ply to the exact shape of the deck then glue the strips to the plywood ok'd off the boat then glue the whole panel in place as one unit.


I am laying new teak in the cockpit of my 1974 Fuji 35 and have done the teak on the five hatches. In your photos I notice there is no tape as you caulk the curved decks. Also, on the hatch it looks like you pulled the tape then touched up the seams with caulking but no tape. Is it essential to tape or can I just overfill and sand? Also I have used 23 gauge SS pins to fasten the teak to the ply. They are headless and set counter-sunk and I will leave them in place. These may not have been available when you started this thread but seem like a good way to go.


It is by no means essential to tape the joints. I think in many ways it makes the job a bit cleaner but in no way does it affect the final outcome. As you can see I've done it both ways and both give the same results in the end. You use a ton of tape and it takes a long time especially if you have a whole deck to do as I did. I'd probably do it on a small hatch lid but not on a deck. As you can see from the pictures the final result worked out just fine without the tape.

Hi, I am working in a Angleman Sea Spirit deck and some vendor is offering tongue and groove slats. Can I use them since the ones I have are just flat borders with a groove for the caulking? The amount he has for sale would be enough to replace all my deck.
Can you to let me know how to proceed?

Do not use the tongue and goove slats. Providing that the timber is of the correct dimmensions you could possible get away with sawing off the tongue part, the overall width would be the same.

Hi Mark,
I have been following your "how to" video and it has helped me alot. I want to learn more how to layout a king plank and the nip cut. Being new I want and need to know more about learning resources in the marine industry. Can you advise me as to how I can obtain video/books? Thank you in advance for your help.

Duc Tran

This is an interesting question with multiple answers depending on whom you talk to. Thanks for the question. I'll follow this up with a sketch or two so you can see I mark them up.

Hi Mark,
I would like to put a swept teak deck on my Alden 18" sloop. I know how to lay it but I'm not sure what thickness and width the teak should be to make the bend, any advice ?


Hi Mark. What a great post. It shows me almost everything I wanted to know. I need to resurface a mahogany ply classic runabout. I have a few questions
1, Does your method apply equally to mahogany strips?
2, What type of mahogany would you choose?
3.It is not obvious to me how one makes the wide margin boards particularly on the sharp curves of the bow. Is it feasible to edge glue wider strips and then cut them out? I can't see how they could be bent.

Any advice is more than welcome.

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