A Flexiteek Boat Deck

Boat Interior & platforms

Flexiteek Boat Deck

Few boat owners would deny the beauty of a classic wood boat with its mahogany rails, teak deck and holly inlays.

At the same time, there are few boaters today who would want to maintain such a boat, which helps explain the popularity of fiberglass.

Flexiteek boat decking

A Flexiteek Deck Replicates The Rich Quality Of Teak, But Without The Maintenance


Luckily for boat owners, companies now 2015 offer types of faux teak for boats, synthetic nonskid decking that offers the richness of a classic teak without the maintenance. One of the leading brands is Florida-based company Flexiteek.(http://www.flexiteek.com/)


Letís admit it, a bare white fiberglass deck is a bit boring and sterile, and thatís why some fiberglass boats are available with teak decks and trim. These add elements of richness and warmth to the boat, and help cut reflected glare. But again, they also create maintenance issues that most boaters try to avoid.

FLEXITEEK VERSE REAL TEAK

When installed properly, it is difficult to tell the difference between Flexiteek (new - Flexiteek 2G) and actual newly laid teak, even close-up. The nonskid qualities are outstanding, and unlike real teak, the decking will not turn grey, dry out or crack. The Flexiteek 2G material is stainproof and washable, even with a pressure washer. Any scratches can be sanded out with 60-grit sandpaper that restores the woodgrain appearance of the material.

Flexiteek 2G Thickness = 5mm
Weight = 4.5 kg per m2

Flexiteek, PVC composite

Flexiteek, amd and new generation of decking Flexiteek 2G is a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) composite that comes on a roll with a woodgrain finish to the planking and simulated caulk lines embedded in between the planks. Caulk lines are available in either black or white. There is also margin material that comes on a roll and serves as the trim to give the decking a more finished look. Flexiteek can be installed on swim steps, cabin soles and cockpit and bow decks.

To see what Flexiteek (and also Flexiteek 2G) installation on a do-it-yourself basis takes, we helped put down a section of Flexiteek on the swim step of a Cobalt 23 LS. The original surface on the platform was a grey, neoprene nonskid material, which was previously removed.

FLEXITEEK(Flexiteek 2G) INSTALLATION STEP ONE: CREATING A PATTERN

The first step is to make a pattern of the area to be covered. Using brown craft paper taped securely in position, trace the outline of the area and be sure to outline any hatches. It is critical that the pattern be lined up perfectly with the centerline of the boat so that the Flexiteek planking runs fore and aft, and not off at an angle.

Also, don’t assume that the left side of the platform is a mirror image of the right side. Make a full-size pattern, not just half (believing you can duplicate this for the other side) for few elements on a boat are perfectly symmetrical. Be sure to leave the pattern connected around any hatches to keep the resultant planks in proper alignment.

Once the pattern is finished, trim the pattern with a razor knife, staying just inside the traced outline. At this point, you may want to send the pattern to Flexiteek (flexiteek.com). The company can transfer the pattern to the Flexiteek material, add the outer margins and return the Flexiteek
to you, ready to install.

FLEXITEEK INSTALLATION STEP TWO: WELDING THE MATERIAL

One of the main advantages of sending the pattern to Flexiteek is the bonding of the material, a process that requires special tools. The component parts are welded together from the back side using a special heat gun and a PVC welding rod. The welded joint is as tough as the Flexiteek (and new generation of boat decking Flexiteek 2G) material itself and nearly impossible to separate.

With the welded piece ready to install, note how the planking lines up straight where the actual pieces are separated for the hatch that covers the boarding ladder and a slightly raised portion of the swim step adjacent to the transom.

FLEXITEEK(Flexiteek 2G) INSTALLATIONS

The actual installation is relatively easy and straightforward. The outline is taped off primarily to make cleanup easier. Use green or blue masking tape, which is easy to remove. The area to be covered is sanded lightly to create a rougher surface and a good grip for the glue. The glue is Bostic Adhesive Sealant and is applied sparingly with a squeegee. Avoid heavy application as it can lead to air bubbles trapped under the decking, and that is not good.

"Sea Ray 240" Powerboat fitted with new Flexiteek 2G Scrubbed with caulking.

FLEXITEEK INSTALLATION STEP THREE: GLUE & ROLL

Once the glue is down, the next step is to carefully lay the Flexiteek in place using a rolling motion to push out as much air as possible. Getting all the air out requires considerable pressure.

It is not necessary to rush this, as the adhesive remains workable for about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on temperature.

As you are rolling the Flexiteek, make sure the caulk lines on the smaller pieces align properly. The cure time for the glue is 1½ to three days. When the tape is removed, clean up any excessive adhesive with alcohol. Don’t use acetone, as it will attack the Flexiteek.

Cost is always a factor to consider when dressing up a boat, and Flexiteek costs are going to vary widely depending on the size and complexity of the project. A complete swim step installation, if done by the local marina, will probably run in the $600 to $900 range. However, the amount of work you do yourself will have an effect on the overall price. At today's (8.12.12015) rates, figure on $40 to $75 per square foot.

Considering the cost and subsequent care required for actual teak, Flexiteek offers an attractive, practical alternative at a lower cost and with far less maintenance.


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