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How to Refurbish a Teak Ski-Boat Deck

A few simple steps are all you need to refinish your swim platform
By Mark Boncher
Published: June 3, 2014
refurbish refinish teak ski-boat deck
GOOD AS NEW – If your ski boat’s teak deck is looking a little weathered, restore it to its former glory with just a few simple steps.
Photo by Mark Boncher
Discolored, moldy, exhaust-stained and weathered teak decks are an eyesore on even the most expensive ski boats. After a few years of having dozens of kids, skis, tubes, wakeboards, and who knows what else sliding across them, teak decks start showing the beating they’ve taken. Not to mention these decks are constantly engulfed in engine exhaust and moisture.

But have no fear. Even teak decks that have been subjected to years of maritime abuse can look like new with just a couple of hours of refinishing work.

Bring your ski boat’s rear deck back from the dead with these steps:

1. Prep the deck. To begin, remove the teak deck from the rear of the boat (usually by removing just a couple of lock pins). Then, lay the deck onto a tarp and grab the Clorox from your laundry room (any standard bleach will work). Pour the bleach into a small bucket, and dip a hard-bristled hand brush into it. Be sure to wear some long rubber gloves and eye protection.
refurbish refinish teak ski-boat deck
Photo by Mark Boncher
2. Bleach it. Using the brush, rub the bleach onto the deck vigorously, re-dipping in the bleach as needed. You can’t use too much bleach or rub too hard, so scrub them decks, me mateys! You will begin to see the bleach working almost immediately. Once the top, bottom, sides and all the crevices have been bleached and brushed, thoroughly spray all the bleach off with a hose.

3. Let it dry.
After the deck is washed, allow it to dry thoroughly. Drying time will vary widely depending on air temperature and the condition of the teak wood. We allowed approximately 12 hours. Once dry, the deck will be very light in color from the bleaching.
4. Apply teak oil. Simply brush teak oil onto the deck with a small paintbrush. (We used Watco teak oil.) For severely weathered decks, like ours, more than one coat will be needed. Let dry, then reattach to boat.

Voilà! Now you have the nicest teak ski-boat deck on the lake. We suggest doing this full treatment every couple of years, but you can also touch up the deck with teak oil in the off-years.  

Mark Boncher has “lived the cabin life” 365 days a year for 34 years. He is also an avid DIY-er, boater, and the senior editor for American Snowmobiler magazine.
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