are applying the teak strips to a thin plywood sub deck choose your
screw lengths carefully so the screw tips do not go into the
Remove screws and begin sanding the deck. This is your teak deck's
finished surface so sand very well with progressively finer sanding
Vacuum very thoroughly and wipe down the insides of the caulking
channels with a solvent.
Place a strip of 3/16" ( 5 cm) wide tape at the bottom of the caulking
channel. This is called a 'break bond' strip. It has been found that a
two sided bond has better long term adhesion in this application than a
three sided bond.
Mask the surface edges of the caulking channel with good quality masking
tape. Be very accurate when applying the masking tape as caulking
adhesive is difficult to remove.
Apply the caulking by first cutting the caulking tube nozzle to 3/16"
(.5 cm) diameter and begin applying the caulking. Be careful to avoid
trapping air bubbles.
Use a 1" (2.5 cm) wide plastic flexible trowel to smooth
the caulking. Make this perfect as it is your finished surface. Remove
the masking tape as soon as possible; within 10 minutes or so, depending
on temperature. The caulking starts to 'jell' quickly and will attach
itself to the tape and come off in stretchy stringers ruining your good
trowel job. (See step 3 on image)
Pull the masking tape slightly toward your caulking when removing it.
There are a number of good adhesive/caulking products
available, such as Sikaflex 291, Sikaflex 290 DC (decking compound) and
Teak Decking Systems SIS440. These adhesives bond well and are able to
allow for natural wood movement. Caulking adhesive should contain an
effective UV light inhibitor.
Sikaflex 290 DC is not available in the
Laying a sprung deck (curved decking to
match the boat's bow shape) is a bit more challenging and usually
requires 'butting' the teak decking into a central king plank. Teak deck
placement around deck fittings also requires additional forethought,
however, it is not overly complicated. Read as much as you can and
photograph as many teak decks as you can, especially close up around
fittings and the king plank. Start your decking project at the easiest
section of your boat first and then work toward the areas that require
more skill. Your experience and confidence in laying your own teak deck
will increase rapidly as you progress.
Some decking jobs also require the teak
to be bent further than the wood will naturally allow without breaking.
For these applications you will use steam or a boiling water bath to
soften the wood to allow for a more pronounced bend. Steaming is very
effective and very basic.
If you do not want to use the 'screw
down' clamping method on bare fiberglass or aluminum decks, ' vacuum
bagging ' is another clamping option.