tenalach teak fairy

What is there is say about teak? If you have done it, I am sure you have some words. Its tiring, sweaty, messy, yet you end up with your boat looking absolutely beautiful. Chuck started on this project, and I was hesitant. He just kept sanding! And then talked about how many coats of stain we had to put on everything, AND how we had to keep dogs off it while it dried. I thought he was crazy, and had no idea how we were going to do this! But he was persistent and eventually got me on board. Apparently he does know me pretty well as we ended this first session of the project with me ready to sand the entire boat. Fortunately he stopped me before my misery.

Chuck started with sanding around the cockpit. Mostly in the evenings with a beer and without a real plan, so it wasn’t bad. I noticed the changes the sanding was making, but nothing that inspired me to grab my own sanding block.

Then one day I was stuck. We were planning on taking friends sailing when they cancelled last minute. I asked what we were doing for the day, and so the teak fairy arrived! Chuck equipped me with the sand paper he wanted me to use, and we were off. We focused on everything on top of the boat, except somehow the traveler got ignored. We worked on four different hand rails, two eyebrows, dinghy racks on the front cabin top, and some off the back of the cabin, and the area around the cockpit.

The first day we focused on the area around the cockpit, the handrails on the aft cabin top, and the aft half of the eyebrows.

Here was the process:

  1. Sand with 60 or 80 grit sandpaper.
  2. Rinse off. Use teak cleaner. Just let it rest and soak in for 5 minutes.
  3. Then scrub teak cleaner and rinse again.
  4. Let dry.
  5. Sand with 120 grit paper.
  6. Rinse.
  7. Let dry. (Take dogs for a walk, potty, etc. so we can attempt to not have them scratch the stain)
  8. Tape off to prepare for stain.
  9. Coat of stain.
  10. Let dry.
  11. Coat of stain.
  12. Let dry.

Phew! Now do this on all parts of the boat. So we both worked really hard on this on Sunday. But I did get to spend the day in a bikini, it was nice out, and still enjoying mother nature (finding the silver lining here). After seeing how great the boat looked after one day, I was ready for more (insert how well Chuck knows me). However, my body was sore from being in such weird positions all day, I was a little sun burnt, and I’m pretty sure I lost some of my fingerprints and a couple nails due to sanding. In order for me to get more work done, I would need help as Chuck had a meeting, and I needed something beyond my own hands. We ended up purchasing a Black & Decker mouse sander. This was amazing and definitely sped up the time on day 2.


You can see the right side has been sanded and the left has not had anything done to it.


Look at the difference between sanded area and the traveler!


Chuck putting the first coat on!

Day 2 focused on the rest of the eyebrows, the front handrails, and dinghy racks on the front and back of the boat. We attempted to sand the traveler, but it was extremely hard. I was also past the point of being concerned about details. I know this is my stopping point, so I focused on what we could finish vs. what needed to be started. I also didn’t want to have poorly done teak as it takes such a long time.

Kate also joined us! She was the inspiration I needed to finish. So Day 2 was girl time with an awesome woman, more boat work, new tools, and another day in a bikini. Unfortunately, I was so focused that at 4:00 p.m. I realized I hadn’t had lunch or reapplied sunscreen. I did regret this the next day. Whoops!

The best part is I can’t tell you how proud I am of the work we did, how amazing tenalach looks, and how proud I am to say she is mine. With that said, I know we have more work to do. However, the compliments that we have already received from neighbors has been amazing. This means its not just me that thinks things look better, but others as well. My next goal is to work on the traveler, toe rails, and bowsprit. This will provide some interesting stories as I will have to be on the paddle board to be able to reach some of the toe rails. Hmm… Good pictures if nothing else. Stay tuned for more!


You can see which teak has been done, and which still needs some love in the above photo.


We were out sailing, but look how great the teak looks! YESSS!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *