It was 15 years ago, seven years before we left to go sailing, that we completely rebuilt the entire deck of Curare. At that time we removed all of the old, worn, cracked and splintered teak that was screwed down with 100's of screws that penetrated through the fiberglass substrate. Once removed, each of those holes was filled in, the deck glassed over and fared before the new teak boards were laid down. Caulking was applied along all of the seams between each board to further seal the boards but also to provide traction on the deck. For the most part the teak and caulking has survived the miles of travel Curare has sailed but over the ensuing years a few seams of caulking have cracked and small amounts of water have seeped below. As more and more of these cracks appeared it became apparent that we needed to do some major deck repairs.
This year GG decided it was time to remove and replace all of the caulking in the deck. Discussing this with other cruisers that have had to replace their caulking (remarkably very few boats still have teak decks) it seems that 15 years is the common age for this task. What was anticipated to be an easy, two week project has now taken nearly five weeks. So much for the double your expected project time. After spending all of that time wandering around the decks on his knees, it will be a struggle for GG to learn how to walk upright again. But the effort was worth it. The deck looks good, a lot of loose seams were discovered and hopefully it will last another 15 years.
Here's the stats: 35 days of scraping, sanding and caulking, 770 feet of seams removed and recaulked, 42 tubes of Teak Deck Systems caulk, 140 pairs of latex gloves, 2 liters of acetone, 8 rolls of 1 1/2 inch masking tape, 3 yards of 80 grit sandpaper and an incalculable amount of cold beer (at the end of the work day of course!)