Teak vs. Synthetic Decking: Pros and Cons from Swift Spirit

One of the most popular arguments about yacht decking is whether to use natural teak or synthetic decking. Even though each choice has its own pros and cons, it's important to choose the right type of decking for your boat if you want to keep its look and value over time. In this blog, we'll talk about the pros and cons of both teak and synthetic decking, as well as what Swift Spirit, a top mobile yacht detailing company, has to say about how to care for and maintain each one.

Teak Decking: Pros and Cons
Yacht owners often choose teak decks because it looks good and lasts a long time. Some pros and cons of teak decks are as follows:

1. Natural Beauty: Teak decking is beautiful because it comes from nature. It has a rich, warm color that makes any boat look elegant and classy. It also has natural grain designs that give it a unique, natural look that synthetic decking can't match.

2. Durability: Teak wood is known for being strong and resistant to weather, insects, and rot. Teak decking can last for many years if it is well taken care of, which makes it a good investment for boat owners.

3. Slip-Resistance: Teak decking is naturally slip-resistant, which makes it a better choice for yacht owners and their guests.

1. High Cost: Teak decking is one of the most expensive choices available. The high price comes from the fact that it is hard to get and takes a lot of work to put and keep up.

2. Maintenance: Teak furniture needs to be cleaned, sanded, and oiled on a regular basis to keep it looking its best. If teak decking isn't taken care of properly, it can turn gray and lose its natural beauty.

3. Environmental Concerns: Teak is an endangered species, so many boat owners are hesitant to use it. Some companies get their teak in a sustainable way, but it's important to do your study and make sure the teak on your yacht comes from a sustainable source.

The pros and cons of synthetic decking
Synthetic decking, also called composite decking, is becoming more and more popular among boat owners because it is low-cost and easy to maintain. Some pros and cons of synthetic decks are as follows:


1. Low Maintenance: Synthetic decking doesn't need much upkeep, which can save boat owners time and money over time. Synthetic decking doesn't need to be sanded or oiled like wood decking, and it's easy to clean with soap and water.

2. Cost-Effective: Synthetic decking is usually cheaper than teak decking, which makes it a good choice for boat owners on a tight budget.

3. Environmentally friendly: Synthetic decking is made from recycled materials, so yacht owners who want to lower their carbon footprint can choose to use it.


1. Lack of natural beauty: Some fake decking materials try to look like natural teak, but they usually fall short when it comes to natural beauty and texture. Synthetic decks can look fake and might not last as long as wood.

2. Heat Retention: In full sunlight, synthetic decking can get too hot to touch, which can be unpleasant for yacht owners and their guests.

3. Slippery When Wet: Synthetic decking is usually not slippery, but when it gets wet, it can become slippery. This can be dangerous on a boat.

How to Take Care of Teak and Plastic Decking
Whether you get teak or synthetic decking for your boat, it's important to keep it in good shape to keep its look and value. Swift Spirit is a top mobile yacht detailing business. Here are some tips from them on how to take care of each type of decking:

Teak Decking Maintenance:

1. Regular Cleaning: You should clean your teak decking often with a soft-bristled brush and a light detergent to keep dirt and grime from building up. Don't use harsh chemicals or power cleaners on the wood, as they can hurt it.

2. Sanding: The sun and saltwater can cause teak decks to turn a grayish color over time. It needs to be sanded with fine-grit sandpaper on the surface to get back to its original color.

3. Oiling: After the teak decking has been sanded, it's important to add a high-quality teak oil to protect the wood from damage caused by water and the sun. Swift Spirit says that you should put teak oil on the deck at least twice a year to keep it looking its best.

Maintenance for Synthetic Decking:

1. Regular Cleaning: You can easily clean synthetic decking with soap and water, but you shouldn't use harsh cleaners or power washers because they can damage the surface of the decking.

2. Protect from Heat: Swift Spirit suggests using a shade cover or awnings on your yacht to keep the deck from getting too hot in full sunlight.

3. Slip-Resistant Coatings: Swift Spirit suggests putting a slip-resistant coating on your synthetic floor to make it less likely to slip. A professional yacht detailing business can put these coatings on, and they can help stop accidents on board.


Choosing the right type of decking for your yacht is a big choice that needs to take into account your budget, how you like things to look, and how often you want to do maintenance. While both teak and synthetic decking have their pros and cons, Swift Spirit suggests talking to a professional yacht detailing company before making a final choice. A professional yacht detailer can give you advice on the best decking choices for your boat and show you how to care for and maintain your decking so it looks great for years.

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