The nautical world will always keep room in its heart for real teak decks.
But only on the boats of seriously diehard traditionalists.
For the rest of us, modern technology is providing increasingly effective synthetic substitutes.
They look and feel like the real thing but come at a fraction of the cost, need nowhere near the same level of maintenance; and, most importantly for many, go much easier on the planet’s precious ecosystems.
Probably the most convincing teak deck-imitating product on the global market is the British-made Dek-king.
And the extra good news for boaties in the Bay of Plenty and neighbouring regions is Dek-king New Zealand is based in Tauranga, at Hutcheson Boatbuilders.
If you’re contemplating installing a teak deck on your vessel and you’re not aware authentic old-grown teak is an increasingly rare and unsustainable resource, you should be.
And while plantation-grown teak is plentiful, opinions vary on the quality and durability of it.
What is undoubtedly true, however, is that it is eye-wateringly expensive.
Dek-king, however, is 100 per cent recyclable material, sustainable, and the advantages are numerous.
Firstly, it has the look and feel of real teak, but greater durability so will not deteriorate in the same way over time.
It’s fully welded, so it becomes a waterproof membrane, and doesn’t require re-caulking.
The only maintenance needed is keeping it clean, usually just with a scrub.
If you happen to get particularly bad stains you can actually sand them off.
It’s so tough you will hardly reduce the thickness.
It’s lighter than real teak, and doesn’t get as hot.
It has more soundproofing, and probably more heat insulation as well.
Six colours are available, so you can have a brand new deck look or a grey weathered one – or something in between.
And one quality Dek-king claims to be unique to their product is its authentic woodgrain fleck effect, just like on natural teak.
Installation is also a key factor where Dek-king leaves real teak for dead.
It might be a half-day job to make the patterns on the boat, then once the panels are made up the time required to lay the matt on the boat varies depending on the surface preparation required, but typically might be around two days.
Contrast that with real stuff.
Your boat could be out of action for a month or six weeks, and imagine the labour costs involved with that?With such a list of advantages, and a price-tag getting down towards one-third of genuine teak, it’s no wonder synthetic options like Dek-king are the way the world is going.