Teak Finish 1


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Subject Removing old finish with a cabinet scraper
By F. Hayden Cochran         
Yacht Cinnamon
Size IP27-58
Date 12/1/00

     I have stripped Cinnamon twice in those 9 years and I have used Sikkens Cetol for 7 years and now Armada for 2 years.  Both times I have stripped the boat using a carbide cabinet scraper by SANDVIK.  I feel that it is the fastest and best way to strip the finish.  The problem with sanding is that the finish will clog up the sandpaper and you have to keep changing to new sandpaper.  Also, I believe that you get a flatter wood surface with a scraper which will lead to a better finished surface.

Please see my photo sequence of stripping the seat of Cinnamon.  These photos were taken May 2000 with this web page in mind.  I have used this same procedure for the entire boat both times I have stripped Cinnamon.

teak1.jpg (24646 bytes) The seat before stripping showing broken down finish and open wood grain.
teak2.jpg (22688 bytes) The finish removed from 1/2 the seat with the scraper.  This took 5 minutes.  A sharp scraper will remove finish fast.
teak3.jpg (21073 bytes) Proof of cutting! Look at the shavings removed by the scraper.  This acts just like a sharp hand plane.
teak4.jpg (17054 bytes) Getting into grooves and corners. With some practice and patience, you can scrape any surface.  I have used this tool to strip the eyebrow molding of Cinnamon! You know how much we all love that eyebrow piece. 
teak5.jpg (65256 bytes) Seat totally stripped in 15-20 minutes!  I am not sure if it is any faster than sanding, but I know it is flatter and smoother than sanding.
Carbide Scraper with 2" Double-Edge Blade You can purchase this scraper Online at
Carbide Scraper with 2" Double-Edge Blade
Model: #440
SKU: #601356
teak6.jpg (28272 bytes) The tool used. A Sandvik carbide cabinet scraper.  This is a photo of the replacement blades, but it also shows the name and shape of the tool.
teak7.jpg (33266 bytes) After sanding with 220 grit for a very short time, I wipe the surface with acetone to remove any dust and, especially, the teak oils.  This will help the first coat of finish bond to the less oily teak.
teak8.jpg (31783 bytes) Finish is applied first across the wood grain to force it into the open wood p0res.  Then finish is finished going with the grain.  I always have used these foam brushes and have found them to work very well.
teak9.jpg (30067 bytes) The finished first coat. This finish is called Armada, satin wood finish.
teak1.jpg (24646 bytes)
teak10.jpg (20239 bytes)
After, May 2000
teak11.jpg (21849 bytes) End of 1st. season Oct. 2000
Conclusion: To maintain this finish, once per season, lightly sand with 220 grit to remove the top coat of finish.  Wipe the surface with acetone to remove any wax, oils, and dust.  Recoat with one or two coats of finish to maintain protection.  After 3 to 5 years, strip off all finish and refinish again.

I propose that someone in authority at Island Packet Yachts be required to sand and finish ALL the teak on a used IP yacht at least once per season to understand the effort of maintaining ON DECK TEAK!  This practice procedure should be performed in the tropics like Venezuela or the BVIs to really appreciate the sweat equity of ON DECK TEAK!  After all, these are cruising yachts and they do end up in the tropics  where they will need even more maintenance of the teak.

After experiencing such a learning activity, maybe the eyebrow and bow sprit would be reconsidered. The eyebrow piece could be molded fiberglass and sprayed to match the boot stripe.  The bow sprit could be all stainless steel like on the Hylas yachts. 

Only my observation.


Hayden Cochran
IP sailor since 1985

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