Friday 21 October 2011

Sailboat and Yacht Decking Alternative to Teak

Teak decking on your sailboat or yacht is something to be admired and traditionally has been the first choice of boat builders to achieve that voluptuous, hard wearing finish to your decks. 

With environmental concerns and cost of teak for new decks and replacements, a number of products have emerged in recent years as a replacement. None of the them have measured up to the standard and quality of the finished job that teak can offer.

Now however, we may have a product from Norway in Kebony that just might be a suitable alternative to the time honoured beauty and functionability of teak. Kebony is produced from sustainable forests of European Maple and treated by the infusion of bio waste to give it texture and toughness. The finished product retains the look and lustre of teak (see images), wears better and after a few months settles to that lovely silver grey patina of teak - a true 'Norwegian Wood'.

The following is an article from The Green Blue Marine site dedicated to the greening of our oceans and all vessels sailing upon them:     

'Traditionally, high quality yacht decking has been made from teak, but supplies are increasingly difficult to source and harvesting is causing major environmental damage. Alternatives to date have not delivered the aesthetic and performance qualities of this endangered tropical hardwood. Kebony is now being heralded as the first viable alternative, not only to tropical wood but toxic treated softwoods.

Kebony wood is an award winning product that is not only environmentally friendly but harder than teak and as durable and stable. It weathers in the same way, producing a silver-grey patina finish and non-slip surface. It has taken years of research to develop a sustainable technology of ‘Kebonization’ that permanently transforms sustainable wood species like Maple, being used for Calypso. Recent environmental studies also demonstrate that Kebony maple has a substantially lower carbon footprint than unsustainable Burmese teak.*

Kebony decking has undergone rigorous testing and recently opened a full scale production plant which opens up opportunities in the international boat market. ‘Kebony has the right solution for the future,’ comments Sandøy Båtdekk, the leading supplier of decking to Norwegian boat builders. ‘Kebony has launched a revolutionary new product. It meets all our quality requirements, and it is just as beautiful as teak. Our experience so far has shown that Kebony is more resistant to wear and easier to keep clean than teak.”

Kebony’s environmental credentials have been endorsed with the Nordic region’s eco-label, the Swan and ‘Blue Ocean’ product award. They have also received Norway’s national environmental prize, the “Glass Bear” for sustainable consumption and production and were asked to present their revolutionary concept at the CC8 Climate Conference 2008.

A recent study by Norwegian environmental consulting firm Bergfald & Co demonstrated Kebony maple to be a suitable substitute for unsustainable Burmese teak in maritime and other applications, with a substantially lower carbon footprint.'

Article courtesy 'The Green Blue' and images courtesy Kebony and 'The Green Blue'

Kebony offer a full description in a PDF file you can access by clicking on the following: once in scroll down to yacht decking and click on pdf button at foot.

You can read more about teak decking, their beauty and upkeep in my downloadable ebook 'Voyage of the Little Ship Tere Moana' by clicking on my website