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similar anti-skid qualities to teak and look every bit as good. Add in the cost savings in installation and on going maintenance and teak looses out to the modern synthetic deck.”


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CLEAN AND MAINTAIN In days of old when every vessel that went to sea was made of wood teak was chosen as the most suitable of decking materials because it contained natural oils that were algae and mould resistant. The natural silver grey colour it became in use, was


maintained by the regular dousing the deck got from the sea she sailed in. Save for the need to re-caulk the planks or the desire to smooth them out by sanding the sailors of olden times spent little time maintaining or cleaning a deck. It is the yacht owner’s love of the new deck look, fuelled by the ignorance of sales and charter brokers, who have foisted superyacht crews with the onerous task of keeping a deck its new orange colour. Manufacturers of synthetic teak have seized upon that fashion and can now truthfully boast that their products are by nature always going to look new and therefore require less cleaning.


With over 16 years working in the industry Matthias Reviriego is the General Manager of Karinthia Quality Works, a company specialising in teak decks on board superyachts. He believes that crews who work on yachts prefer teak. He says, “Synthetic teak gets dirty very easily and has very good resistance to heavy loads and blows.”


Badly maintained caulking can cause problems, many of which are created by the cleaners used to keep teak looking new. Traditionalist Richard Eikhoudt says cleaners containing oxalic acid are far too widely used. I advise crew on yachts to stop using them, it kills and destroys the wood and the caulking material.


GEMINI TEAK DECKS Where craftsmanship meets innovation. Gemini Teak Decks has 35 years of experience in performing high-end carpentry to the exterior of luxury yachts. For the past decade Gemini has specialised in the manufacturing of prefabricated teak decks. Anything that needs to be made from hardwood on the exterior of a yacht, can be produced by Gemini. Their varied experience lean production method is not only very time efficient, but very suitable for tailor made solutions as well. For more details Tel: +31(0)228 545777 or visit www.gemini-teak.nl


Luca Zaccagno works in the Technical Department of Helidecks a subsidiary of the Italian based Teknoconsulting Group believes real teak is hard to clean properly. He maintains, “Crews prefer cleaning the synthetic teak. He tells us, “Our product, HELI-TEAK, is highly repellent to the absorption of liquid oils, chemicals and kerosene.” He believes, “Real teak needs maintenance every 3 or 4 years depending on its use on the yacht, while synthetic teak and especially our product, requires absolutely no maintenance whatsoever save from a fresh water wash down after each voyage to sea.”


Sacha Roebe works for the German based RoSch Yachts whose substitute for teak is plastic based. He believes, “Plastic teak is easier to clean, since you can also work with a high pressure cleaner without damaging it.” He points out that plastic teak does not need any maintenance or re-application of teak oils and he adds, “When large areas of soiling or scratches appear plastic teak can be sanded down in very much the same way that real teak can.”


ONBOARD | SUMMER 2017 | 135


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