The standard teak that comes on a MathewsBros boat includes the toe rails, hand rails, headliner strips, companionway door, coaming caps and our signature eyebrow. Optional teak accents available for a MathewsBros boat include, but are not limited to: windshield, coamings, swim platform, fold-up drink table, ceiling strips, teak cockpit flooring. Our first PatriotII had the teak windshield with the fiberglass hard top - a striking combination! We have done several refits in the past couple of years in which we added teak to boats for the owners who wanted the touch that only teak can provide.
So why teak? Why not use a cheaper wood? From what I understand, aside from the desired look of teak, the simplest answer is because it holds up the best in the marine environment - Hot blistering sun, sea water, high humidity, etc. Most woods don't do well in a moist environment - they tend to swell, crack, split and warp. They also tend to get slippery when wet - Ever tried walking down pine or oak steps to a dock in the rain? Be careful! The natural oils in teak help it keep it's form so it doesn't expand and contract nearly to the degree of most woods. Un-finished teak is the best option for cockpit flooring as it is cooler underfoot and naturally has silica which makes it so it's not slippery when wet - natural nonskid.
The most common finish for teak on a boat is varnish. It not only seals the wood from the elements - which will eventually turn it a silvery gray, it preserves the warm golden brown color. Several coats of varnish properly applied and maintained every year will look like glass and provide a depth of color that is classic to boating.
Do you have teak on your boat? If you do, is it sealed or have you left it to go gray?