MegaYacht News has a story on a teak alternative that is becoming more popular with some young designers. The Company is Esthec, and some of there demo installs on their site are beautiful. the world of teak obviously has its issues, with property rights issues, a deforestation, its natural scarcity, and installation issues of being a natural substance. Also the 'green' movement has cast a negative stigma on some exotic woods. I certainly enjoy teak, and think it is a level of elegance that is hard to match. Esthec themselves have a great line about teak:
Teak is the best that Mother Nature has to offer in this area. So we stuck to it. The fact that it splits, breaks, splinters, cracks and creaks, we call charm. The fact that it’s starting to become unaffordable and unpredictable pricewise, we call luxurious. The fact that it demands constant attention and maintenance, well, it keeps us busy. And the fact that it is becoming increasingly rare, we ignore. Because there is no alternative. It’s Mother Nature’s breathtaking best. Breathtaking indeed…
I have yet to see Esthec in person, but will be looking for it. The idea of lots of ways to customize, and the promise of less maintainence would be desireable. The patterns that are shown on the site are unique and unavailable with teak. I still can't imagine it matching the beauty and feel on your feet of teak, but I am optimistic about teak alternatives getting better and better. I believe that Royal Huisman recently did a refit with Esthec (possibly Xanadu?), which is quite an endorsement.
MegaYacht News previously did a podcast interview with Esthec.