Restoring non skid decks - SailNet Community
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 10 Old 05-24-2006 Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 89
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
Restoring non skid decks


I have a 27 years old Dufour 31 sailboat that needs restoring non skid decks as gelcoat on it is pretty tired/oxidised and chalky. Smooth vertical surfaces in the cokpit are easily restored with cutting compound/polisher using variable speed orbital sander with cloth. After that applying wax brings back the shine and good looks.
I believe it could be used on decks as well but I am afraid that cutting compound (without subsequent waxing) will make the decks too slippery and dangeorour to wakl on.

Does anyone have an idea as to how to restore the non skid decks surfaces without making it too slippery in the process.

I would appreciate some ideas / suggestions.


Petar is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 10 Old 05-24-2006
Telstar 28
sailingdog's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,290
Thanks: 0
Thanked 18 Times in 14 Posts
Rep Power: 16
generally non-skid needs to be "restored" by painting with a good non-skid paint.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

sailingdog is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 10 Old 05-24-2006
Senior Member
sailandoar's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Cape Fear, NC, USA
Posts: 208
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
Gelcoat / Spheres / Sand / Salt / Treadmaster

(1) There are people that do actual restoration of gelcoat non-skid but I can;t tell you who to call or give you any idea of price.

(2) Non-skid in paint is a good solution.
(a) plastic spheres in paint: work well, don't hold/trap dirt, Gentle on clothes/skin
(b) sand in paint: best traction, holds dirt, can draw blood/rip clothes
(c) course salt sprinkeled on wet paint (hard epoxy) - dissolves out with water rinse: great traction, can be very/too sharp

(3) Treadmaster

Note the spheres are sold by interlux, it is not real agressive but it works well and is my favorite. We have old treadmaster that is painted over with one part modern marine paint with the spheres mixed in before brushing. have been using the spheres for about 10 years and like it/them.
sailandoar is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #4 of 10 Old 05-24-2006
Just another Moderator
Faster's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
Posts: 19,006
Thanks: 152
Thanked 525 Times in 499 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Awlgrip also sells rubber bits (griptex, I believe its called) to add to the paint. We used a mix of grits - they make it in several sizes - and sprayed it on. It made for a smooth, uniform attractive finish, though not the best nonskid, especially immediately after painting. The first season was a bit slippery, but it did wear in and get better.
Using sand can work, but use good white sand or it will get ugly when you eventually wear through the paint.
Have also seen a very aggressive non skid developed with thickened gel coat rolled on. The roller " pulls" the thickened mix into peaks as the nap rolls off the surface. In one case it was so aggressive that it required sanding and repainting to make it easier on the knees and bare feet. However nobody ever slippped on the surface!
It's always a bit of a compromise between effectiveness, appearance, and ease of application.
The glue down "Treadmaster" style is probably one of the best, but costly and the dark colours can get very hot underfoot in the summer heat (as can darker coloured contrasting non skid paint) When we painted as described above we took a medium grey deck and painted it white because in summer bare feet on the grey was like walking on hot sand.
Faster is online now  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #5 of 10 Old 05-27-2006
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
I have been using Meguires on the non-skid of my Ericson 27 for several years with very good results. I use the oxidation remover followed by the polish. I apply the two compounds with a buffer and then remove the dried material with a cloth. I then use a scub brush to remove the remaining dried material from the small crevasses in the non-skid. I do not use the wax in order to avoid a slick deck.
vindauga is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #6 of 10 Old 05-30-2006
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 11
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
I'm considering using Durabak or Tough Coat. The Durabak sounds like it will wear well but I haven't heard how well Tough Coat holds up.
LDH is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #7 of 10 Old 06-11-2006
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 4
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
You can make your own non-skid using Imron urethane paint. Carefully mask the area where you want traction. Masking tape must bind very well to substrate otherwise Imron will wick under tape. Using foam West System rollers, roll on one coat of Imron. Immediatel roll on a second coat of Imron, then immediately roll on a 3rd coat of Imron being careful to get a very smooth, even application of the paint, and right behind the roller on the 3rd coat sprinkle sugar very smoothly and evenly. You can strip off the masking tape about 1 hour after the sugar is applied. Let textured area stand about 16 hours then rinse off sugar with a water hose using fresh water. It will leave a durable non-skid textured surface.

You might want to practice in a non-public area before trying it out on the deck where everyone can see the results. I can't ephasize enough, the masking tape must be tight to the substrate, the third coat of paint must be very even, and the sugar must come right behind the roller on the 3rd coat. The sugar must be applied very evenly. It's really easy to do, but you must be focused.

Be careful to apply the sugar in a nice even smooth application. I like to use a salt or spice shaker. The pattern you create with the sugar is what you will see after the sugar is washed off. Let dry and harden for about 3 days before giving it heavy use. If the texture is too harsh, you can sand lightly to ease it. Imron is one of the few paints which is tough enough and doesn't tend to "yellow" over time.
Bob T is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #8 of 10 Old 06-12-2006
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 288
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
Questions for BobT

When you say "immediately" roll on the 2nd and 3rd coats, do you mean even before it dries, or paint/let it dry and then next coat paint/dry and finally the 3rd coat paint/dry followed immediately by the sugar before the paint dries? Also, how do you sprinkle the sugar on the wet paint, keep a "wet edge" and not step in the fresh paint--it sounds like quite a logistical nightmare. Any comments?
FrankLanger is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #9 of 10 Old 06-13-2006
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 4
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0

Just as soon as you get to the end of the first roll-out, you immediately go right over it with the second coat, and then the third. Do not wait. Try to work in small areas. 8" behind the rolling of the 3rd coat, you sprinkle the sugar. What you're trying to achieve is a thick wet batch of paint which will wrap around the sugar crystals. If it's too thin or allowed to dry even a bit, the surface will develop a skin and it will not wrap around the sugar and you will get a thin blotchy texture. This texture technique is best done with a helper.

As for logistics, I'm assuming the the original fiberglass has patches of texture with smooth perimeter borders. If it were me, I'd roll or spray on a two coat covering over the original gel coat, trying to achieve a smooth even look, then when the base paint was dry, I would go back and mask off the areas where I wanted good texture or where the original texture shows thru the Imron and do the Imron texture technique in those areas. The texture can be masked to create patterns such as grids, checkerboards, strips, dots, accents, diagonals, or whatever. You could use 1/4" fineline masking tape and make a grid where the original texture was and the end result would be a handsome texture grid over the original. The Imron produces a durable somewhat aggressive texture. It is definitely not going to be slippery. The texture I have on my windsurfing board has been on there nearly 7 years and it is in almost as good of condition as when it was new, and this is a board I sail maybe 50 times a year. Just as important, the Imron has not yellowed. It is very near the same color as new.

Last edited by Bob T; 06-13-2006 at 12:27 AM.
Bob T is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #10 of 10 Old 06-13-2006
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 12,398
Thanks: 6
Thanked 184 Times in 181 Posts
Rep Power: 13
The folks at West/Gougeon suggest troweling on a thickened epoxy using a notched trowel so you have a known and constant amount of material, and then rolling it with a roller to knock it down making it similar to a stucco finish, with non-skid granules in it. I think I'd be more partial to just gluing on Treadmaster though, because so many non-skid surfaces can really wear a hole in foulies and flesh, and the application is so much simpler, gluing down rubber sheets instead of experimenting with "stuff" that you don't know the final result of, unless you start experimenting on scrap plywood.
hellosailor is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook

Quick Reply

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
teak decks scottmillington Boat Review and Purchase Forum 4 01-19-2006 02:32 AM
Need advice on non skid paint HeartofGold Gear & Maintenance 5 04-13-2004 06:44 AM
possible to dry newly wet decks? njabro Gear & Maintenance 2 04-12-2004 08:21 AM
Ultra tuff non skid deseely Gear & Maintenance 1 09-14-2003 05:14 PM
Non skid decks pblais Gear & Maintenance 10 08-19-2003 11:49 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome