Woodwork – we don’t like grey teak :)

There are many boat lovers out there who adore the look of real teak – the greyer and older it looks the better!  We’re not among that crowd ….. teak is lovely when it’s new but after a very short time of exposure to the air it turns grey, and looks (in our opinion) disgusting!  For this reason, we specified DuraDeck from the standard list of Bavaria options – this is artificial teak which has been laid on the swim platform, cockpit floor and seating, side decks and forward deck.  This came already fitted on the boat from the factory.  However, the cockpit table, foot retaining blocks at the helm, swim ladder, helm seats, pulpit step, shower tray grid and companionway door are all made of PROPER teak!  At the moment with the boat new, it looks quite nice – but this won’t last long.

All the original teak needs to be removed and be treated and varnished as soon as possible to preserve the wood and stop it from greying.  This means dismantling everything and giving it several coats.  Fortunately, our mooring backs directly onto the harbour wall – with nothing behind us – so we can make use of the wall as a workbench to lay out the pieces and varnish one at a time with the help of our old trusty ladder as a support to prevent damage.

This is the perfect location – with the exception of two things …..

  1. The super-yacht “Follow Me V” comes into Umag quite often – and moors on the outside wall RIGHT behind where we are.  We’re hoping he doesn’t come in for a trip while we have the wood laid out or it’s pretty certain we will be asked to move it.
  2. Families have a habit of walking around the marina wall for their afternoon exercise ….. and of course “WET PAINT DON’T TOUCH” has the complete opposite effect ….. as we watch a child systematically test out whether it really IS wet with his finger on each piece as he goes along the wall …. GRRRR

Firstly each piece of teak was cleaned with Teak Wonder Brightener to get an equal colour across the whole piece of wood – this was followed by sanding lightly.  Each piece was then varnished on each side with four coats of Epifanes PP Vernis Extra which is a two component product – each coat took around 3-4 hours to dry and of course we could only do one side at a time.  After this, we applied four coats of Epifanes Rapid Clear – Semi-Glosss – which also took around 4 hours for each coat to dry.  As you can imagine, this was a pretty long process with all the individual pieces of wood and the numerous coats – so the harbour wall was decorated with our wood panels for quite a long time!

In addition to the already existing wood items in the boat, we had to embark on a major construction project to make optimum use of the space in the lazarette – and to secure items in the galley cupboards.  Ed constructed a custom-made mug rack which fitted exactly into the galley cupboard to secure the bone china mugs – as well as a similar rack for wine glasses.  These were all varnished in the same manner.

In the lazarette, we designed a system of compartments (“bakjes” in Dutch!) each one custom made to fit the item we wanted to stow.  The washing machine had already been secured on a reinforced floor and the Waeco Coolfreeze CF60 freezer was beside it in the corner as well, with the standard shelf running the length of the lazarette where we planned to store the plethera of cleaning products, oils and chemicals you seem to need on a boat using plastic storage boxes to keep things organised.  From the freezer along the hull was just an empty space covered with flo-coat and in this area we wanted to secure our ice-maker, toolbox, vacuum cleaner, jet-wash, telescopic ladder, passerelle (gangway) and spare gas bottles.  We laid the items out on the floor to work out what would fit where, and proceeded to design a system of bakjes which would allow us to semi-fix everything to be retained during sailing.

Where necessary, the items were secured using strap bands and now the whole lazarette has designated places for everything and fully secured for sea.

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