17th March: “Boracol-ing” Seatern’s Teak

Seatern moved out to treat the port side

The “wood parts” of Seatern – toerail, rubbing strake, tiller, etc. and also the cockpit grating and seat panels (both made by Howells of Poole) are all made of teak. On advice from Howells and others I’ve not treated the teak with oils or other surface finishes. By leaving it natural I hope to minimize maintenance and also maximize it’s excellent non-slip characteristics (which is important in some places). However, while teak resists rot, untreated teak has a tendency to become disfigured by surface mould and algal growth. Following a wet autumn and winter some parts of Seatern are starting to look decidedly green!

Click for pdf version. Also here is the Safety Data Sheet (pdf).

Yesterday and today I’ve been taking advantage of the settled weather to clean the teak and treat it with the biocide “Boracol”. Yesterday I did the stern and port side. This morning I used a kedge anchor to hold Seatern away from the jetty as the tide went down and then raised the fender board so I could treat the port side (see top photo). I also treated the wood in the cockpit and cleaned the hull near the water line. The Boracol now needs to be left a couple of days before being washed off. They say you won’t notice an immediate difference but I think Seatern looks better already. Perhaps that’s because she has been washed!

For reference here is a pdf version of the instructions for using the Boracol.

[Note added later] When I had finished applying the Boracol to Seatern I had a bit left over. Rather than pour it back into the main container I used it up on the teak seat on the jetty which had had no attention for years. Only half the seat plus all the back rest was treated. This was not a fair test of Boracol since I hadn’t washed down the seat before treating it – which you are supposed to do. However the photo taken about 5 days after treatment shows that it did a pretty good job! A few spots need further treatment (plus the rest of the seat!) but it really has come up well given the poor state it was in. I’m also impressed with how the teak on Seatern looks.