There comes a time, when you own a twenty-year-plus-old boat, that the decks have been scrubbed, cleaned, scraped, and refinished too many times. When you can see the fiberglass peeking out of the thin spots you know it's time to do something about it.
Before we left California, we cleaned, re-plugged, and re-caulked lots of spots on the deck. We learned that it was originally 3/8" thick, laid edge to edge in a bed of epoxy with a V-shaped cauling groove at the seams. The epoxy sealed the whole deck and made it okay to remove screws over the years as the teak got thinner. And that method kept the deck water tight. We've had no leaks, but it looks horrible.
We could replace all that thin old teak like we did in the cockpit, but considering the cost of new teak, that's not an option here. So we've decided to remove the teak, refinish the surface, and paint the decks.
We started chiseling it off yesterday.
Within ten minutes I was having that panic attack feeling that I felt back in 2000 when we Sawzalled our house into pieces and loaded it into a dumpster. "What the hell are we doing? Will this really work? Are we doing the right thing? How long will this take? Will it ever be right again?"
This is how it looks after two short days. We can't seem to get started before nine, we take a good hour lunch break, and we never work past five. Everything is so much harder at our ages.
We figure we'll have all the old teak removed in about a week, then we'll remove the hardware, which might be harder than the teak. All the stanchions, cleats, tank fillers, windlass, and (the worst) the genoa track must be removed. All those bolts have nuts on the underside, behind the headliner inside the boat. I just want to CRY about that.
Well keep you posted.