Same Project: Different Country
09 July 2013 | For the Love of Teak:For Sale by Owner
If someone asked me what I thought the perfect cruising boat looked like, I would hopefully catch myself before I blurted out "Holland America Cruise Lines". It turns out that the perfect cruising boat is never the one you currently own, but will be your "next boat", after you learned all the things you dislike about your current boat. As mythical as an honest politician, the perfect cruising boat exists in a dream where boat maintenance is done by hired crew, nothing ever breaks, and the bow is always pointed into the swell in an anchorage. Even before we owned our current boat, we knew that one of the characteristics of a perfect cruising boat was that it would have no exterior teak. No a toe rail, not a single hatch, nor any trim pieces or wood. Fiberglass and stainless steel would be the materials of choice, even if stainless still rusts and fiberglass fades. Having that knowledge didn’t stop us from owning a boat with a genuine Taiwanese teak forest on deck. Sure it looks fabulous when it is all glowing with fresh varnish, but without paid crew how does it stay looking great? Answer, I’m on day 3 of gently sanding and repairing nicks/dings with about 3 more days to go.
Before we left Mexico we had just finished a complete teak stripping and varnishing of all the exterior teak and now almost exactly 365 days later, it is time to either sand and apply 3 new coats of varnish or sit by idly and watch it all rot away. This time I wasn’t alone in doing the job, if Jason wanted me to feed him his 3lbs of meat per day, I told him it was time for him to learn how to work 220 grit sand paper and fling a varnish brush (ok maybe it isn’t 3lbs of meat per day…but that boy can eat an In-n-Out 4x4 and still want more). With 3 days down and 3 to go, I’m sure glad to have his energy helping or the week long project could easily turn into 3 weeks with me working solo. The varnish (or technically Cetol Natural teak with a top clear coat) held up great for the last year so really all we need to do is a light scratch with 220 grit sand paper and then apply 3 new layers of top clear coat. It sure looks rough when all the teak has a 220 grit sanding, but as soon as the first layer of fresh clear top coat goes on, the twisted and torturous love affair with teak is reignited and the horrors of all the work fade away. It couldn’t have looked this good back in 1977 when the boat was made, well except for our hull in need of paint, the deck non-skid peeling off like a bad sunburn, and the green carpet fur now sticking to our expired bottom paint…..ugg.
When will it end? Answer, the day we sell the boat. Any takers, because every boat is for sale, it’s just a matter of price, but with our teak done, the price just went up, at least until next year when I have to do it all over again.