That’s right – The Navy is looking for people with working knowledge of all eras of teak decking application processes and procedures on battleships. Inquiring minds want to know the board widths, joints, spacing and materials used in teak deck applications for each era of deck treatment on battleships. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) believes these items should be applicable to all battleships, but are ready to be proven wrong on that assumption. If anyone has knowledge, history or expertise to share, contact Beth Freese at NAVSEA in Washington, DC at 202-781-4423 or

NAVSEA is responsible for the disposition and/or disposal of decommissioned U.S. Navy ships, including those ships that are sold to foreign navies or donated to cities for use as museums. In trying to establish best practices for the maintenance and repair of the teak decks found on battleships, NAVSEA is eager to collect any “corporate knowledge” that might exist in the memories and experience of battleship shipmates.

Teak – also known as Tectona Grandis – is known to be one of the hardiest types of wood. It is native to South East Asia and a tall, straight, deciduous tree. Its wood is dense and durable, with natural oils that fend off rust and cracks. Since wood is a natural insulator, it also helps with temperature control and better absorbs damage (when compared to steel!). Consequently, it has been used on ships since the Middle Ages.

To see a teak deck, visit USS Wisconsin, USS Missouri, Battleship North Carolina, Battleship Cove or Battleship New Jersey.

Posted by MilitaryHistoryBuffs in History, Navy
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  • pk


    it is the lbnsyd employees forum and i believe that a few of the shop 64 types that did the work on missouri and new jersey monitor that site.

    i know that one of the structural engineers does also.


  • pk

    and i see that my great and vast skills as a computer programmer did not work at all.

    i left a note on the other end and perhaps someone will answer up.


  • Chuck Hill

    The decks of the USCGC Eagle are I believe still Teak. There should be a lot of corporate knowledge there.

  • pk

    maybe your guys know my guys.

    ten minutes after i posted on the home board i qot a request to donate 116,765 board feet in various thicknesses.

    its probably for missouri.

    if you need further help give me a website or something that i can give our guys.

    you might try buying it in the phillipines or tawaiin. one of the grey boats might haul it home if its for a really good cause.


  • Jim Dolbow

    please tell me we are reactivating the battleships!

  • UltimaRatioReg


    No such luck! And even if we did, NAVSEA would probably strip the decks bare and put a single 57mm gun in place of the nine 16″/55s.

  • Shipmates: I had the pleasure of repairing and, in some cases, replacing the teak decks aboard USS IOWA (BB-61) from 1986 through to the turret #2 tragedy. We serviced the decks as civilian contractor’s working aboard and underway for the CENTAM, cruise / Spring ’86 and in preparation for the re-dedication of the Statue of Liberty by President and Mrs. Regan in July od ’86. If I can be of assistance please contact me at 757-623-4675 or
    With kindest regards, I am,
    Sincerely yours,
    Joseph Filipowski – Norfolk, Virginia

  • Frankie

    The Battleship Texas BB35 used to have teak decks. After it became a floating museum near Houston, they were replaced with a topping of concrete instead. Major corrosion occurred and during a drydock interval, the concrete was removed and replaced with treated pine planks, which was subsequently painted gray. Now the treated pine is rotting and is being replaced with more treated pine planks. It would be nice to find more teak or an acceptable teak-like substitute. Perhaps some of the pseudo-wood plastic material used for homeowners yard decks might work.

  • Frankie-
    We have just the solution PlasDECK synthetic teak decking made just for the marine environment. No Muss, No Fuss and virtually indestructible. We’d love to be a part of a project like this and help bring these old girls back to their former glory. Contact us through

  • Mike Ritzinger

    I served aboard USS LOS ANGELES CA135 in late 1950s this was a WW2 heavy cruiser and all the decks were made of oak.I was a deck hand in 6th division and we cleaned the decks with a holy stone and a type of cleaner made of soap, did a great job after they were almost white looking.The battleship Iowa came to San Pedro today and I was hoping to find out how you cleaned teak decks.

  • This may be the coolest article I’ve read on this blog in months. Holystoning the teak decks of a battleship.

  • Geno Tretter

    USS Salem CA139 ,last naval warship with teak decks,I am a plank owner( 1949),I believe this to be true!

  • dave rakers

    I made up what we called sugee when I ran the 3rd division gear locker on the USS Oklahoma City CLG 5 in 67-69 and we would get a garbage can and put every type of soap, scouring powder, bleach, and even cut up bars of soap to make that suuge