Those who most often request Teak from us, hands down, would be those in the boat-building industry. As the largest importer of Teak in the U.S., that leaves us with a sizeable amount of Teak that’s unusable for marine applications. That same stunning, extremely stable Teak that’s “no good” for boat builders, though, can be absolutely ideal for other applications. High-end decks, windows, siding, and even interior flooring and trim can greatly benefit from this nearly indestructible lumber species. Let’s consider the needs of various industries and how they can complement one another, when it comes to sharing the Teak supply.
Understanding Boat Builder Needs
Many of our boat-building customers visit our lumber yard in person to literally hand pick each Teak board, with an extremely specific use in mind for each one. From steps to cover boards, each part of a yacht has its own requirements of both size and grain pattern. Sometimes a series of boards must be selected for stair treads, and each one must display a consistent vertical grain face on both the face and an edge. In that scenario, even the most striking cathedral pattern becomes unusable for the specific use. Other times, the same builder may rifle through a stack of quartersawn Teak and pull just 1 out of 10 of the boards for his purpose; the remaining 9 boards may be that boat builder’s “leftovers,” but they’re still perfectly usable FEQ Teak! Sometimes the reason a boat builder passes over a board is that its grain doesn’t fit the needs of the specific application for which he’s “shopping.” Other times, a tiny pin knot can make it unusable for marine applications.
Realizing How Home Builders Benefit
Once you get over the idea that what you’re getting is “leftover” Teak that boat builders can’t use, hopefully you’ll realize the incredible gold mine that the boat building industry has invited to our shores. Thanks to the strict requirements of their industry, plenty of gorgeous golden Teak has already arrived in the U.S., just waiting to be discovered by those in other industries. And don’t think that Teak that’s unsuitable for boats is only okay for interior applications, either; Teak decking can be used for decks as well as docks, providing an attractive, colorfast surface with stability that will stand up over time, even when exposed to constant punishment by the elements.
Appreciating Lesser Grade Teak
While some Teak may be above-grade but just not quite up to boat-building standards, let’s be real: Sometimes we also get lesser grade material. In fact, a percentage of every shipping container of Teak will almost certainly include some Teak that’s not quite FEQ. This B grade Teak will only provide a savings of about 10% compared to the A grade stuff, but it’s here in our yard, all the way from Burma — and it’s truly great for many applications.