The Marine Industry’s Plastic Transformation
By Boat Outfitters
As most of you are probably aware, our parent company is ironically named Teak Isle Mfg. With the introduction of marine grade plastics in the early 90’s, specifically King Starboard®, the marine industry underwent a dramatic shift away from wood component parts towards plastic component parts.
In 1990, 90%+ of Teak Isle’s fabricated parts were composed of Wood. By 1995, 90%+ were plastic. The first and obvious answer is durability. King Starboard® will last the lifetime of your boat with essentially zero maintenance. Teak requires regular oiling to keep the wood from discoloring and breaking down.
King Starboard® is a UV stabilized homogeneous sheet that will never discolor or require any oiling or refinishing. King Starboard® is easily fabricated using standard woodworking materials and for the most part works just like wood.
The advantage when working with Starboard is that the sheets are perfectly consistent. You do not have to accommodate for grain direction, color inconsistencies, and knots in the wood. You also are not limited by board width and therefore you avoid gluing up boards to create wider products.We stock over 10 different colors of King Starboard®. Largely these are different shades of white to match gel coat colors and give boats a clean flush look.
When King Starboard® was first introduced it was very comparable in cost to teak wood. Now, because of environmental restrictions as well as new political restrictions in Burma (which accounts for nearly 1/3 of the world’s total teak production), Teak prices have skyrocketed.