Mailport: January 2011
Quick-and-easy wood finish
Have you heard of TeakGuard (www.teak-guard.com) wood finish? When I bought my 1979 Catalina 25, the teak trim had not been taken care of. Realizing that teak oil does not last that long and that varnish products require lots of labor for prep and refinishing, I tried TeakGuard, a low-maintenance alternative.
I was putting the boat in the water a few days later, so it was a rush job to get the exterior wood protected and presentable by launch. TeakGuard does not offer the high-gloss finish of varnish, but it is better than oil.
The picture (below) shows the result with only one coat of Teak Guard—that is all I had time for. So far, so good. I will work more on it this winter.
1979 Catalina 25
TeakGuard was one of the original products in our ongoing exposure test of exterior wood finishes. Its application was reviewed in the October 2007 issue, and the December 2009 update gave performance results at six months. (See January 2011 for the 18-month test update.) The soft, natural-looking varnish alternative was rated Excellent for ease of application, but after six months of exposure to the Florida sun, it began showing significant weathering, and the panel was pulled from testing. If you plan to stick with the TeakGuard, we recommend applying at least two more coats as soon as possible, and follow that with regular maintenance coats every four months or so, depending on where your boat lives.