New Twist on Protecting Varnish Teak?

When we stored the boat in Marathon Boat Yard last spring, we covered the newly varnished teak rub rail with black drainage hose.  It was an experiment, definitely low tech, but what the heck.  We’re all about practical and not so expensive when we can.

The varnish caprails covered with the performated drainpipe. I hope it didn't either melt the varnish or grow mold an inch thick.... time will tell.

The varnish caprails covered with the performated drainpipe. I hope it didn’t either melt the varnish or grow mold an inch thick….

We’d seen other cruisers in Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage use the same strategy while their boats were on the hard.  We’d just added two maintenance coats of varnish and it would be great to keep the UV rays away as much as possible.  The eyebrow and handrails were sort of in the shade of the canvas covers, but the cap rail was more exposed.

Maybe the ideal way is to keep the teak covered with fancy canvas covers, but we’ve seen those wear varnish to bare wood on boats nearby … besides they’re very expensive and done right, they require snaps.  Snaps = more holes in the boat.  So we haven’t sprung for canvas covers yet.

Caprail covered in black ventilated 4

Caprail covered in black ventilated 4″ drain hose.

We bought 4″ black drainage hose from Home Depot – the kind with the little holes for water to seep out — and our reasoning was that air could get in to allow ventilation.  We’d be increasing the temperature with the black hose, but hopefully ventilation would keep mold at bay…. and the varnish wouldn’t melt in the intense summer heat in the Florida Keys.

David slit it longways so it could “clip” over the caprail and cut it into lengths that fit between everything in the way.

One on, one off ... no mold, no melting, no scratches!

One on, one off … no mold, no melting, no scratches!

So, what did we find when we returned?

  •  The drain hose stayed in place in some pretty intense summer thunderstorms – ones that ripped our ancient Shadetree shade awning right off the boat.
  • I was worried that it might wriggle and scratch the varnish, I shouldn’t have worried.
  • When we removed the hose, the varnish below looked just as good as when we left (in direct contrast to when we left the boat with a full cover in Panama and the varnish was all coated with black mold thick enough you couldn’t even see the wood!).  No mold or mildew.

    Caprail with the perforated drainpipe in the background.

    Caprail with the perforated drainpipe in the background.

So was the experiment a success?  We think so.  Now the challenge is where to store all the black drain hose so we can reuse it next summer!  🙂

What to do with all the black drain hose until next spring when we store the boat for several months....

What to do with all the black drain hose until next spring when we store the boat for several months….

Anyone with other summer storage tips to keep the UV rays off teak?  Please leave a comment and share! Cheers!  Jan

Comments

  1. What have you found in your travels for protecting Teak Eye-Brows from the hot summer sun?

    • Hi Thomas! We just use extra coats of varnish – 2 coats twice a year. Our Shadetree Sun Shade used to keep them in the shade part of the day – until it disintegrated after 15 years of tropical sun. Good luck! Cheers! Jan

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