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SiXeVeN 10-12-2008 12:55 PM

How to spruce up molded in non-skid deck???
Sorry, i'm sure the is a newbie question...

Almost my entire topside is a molded in non-skid pattern. The problem is that the gel coat is getting really chalky and nasty (mildew, etc). How do you clean up, renew, revibe, etc. that surface.

I have tried to buff it out with rubbing compound...

I tried to scrub it out with a heavy plastic brush on a rotary drill...

I tried to chemically strip it...

The problem is that there is no way to get into the little low spots in the non-skid pattern. All you end up doing is scubbing, sanding, treating, the proud points between the low areas.

An attempt to paint it looked like crap...

When it was new it looked great and could be cleaned with a simple brush. I solved the wax issue with a spray variety that minimized build up in the low spots. However, after years of Florida UV, the gel coat has oxidized and it is so chalky and porous that it absorbes dirt and looks terrible.

I would think painting would be the answer but how do you prep/clean the surface? How do you paint it without filling all the low spots with paint while the proud areas barely get coated (trust me it looks like crap)

AAAAAAaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh:eek: :eek: :eek: :mad: :mad: :mad:

Any advice would be appreciated.

jarcher 10-12-2008 09:11 PM

I'm fighting more or less the same issue with my new 30 foot boat. Spent time today. StarBright non-skid deck cleaner didn't do much. Nor did the Pine boat soap. There was a mold killer product that I sprayed on that helped a little, but not too much. I'm going to try a power washr next but I am not too optimistic.

SiXeVeN 10-12-2008 09:50 PM

The power washer is the best i've found. The problem is that it will stay clean for maybe a week until the dirt/mold returns. The basic issue is that the gel coat is highly oxidized and porous. You can clean it all you want but if you can't seal it or polish it.... your screwed. It will be constantly dirty.

Like I said, I tried paint but because you can't get the pits of the molded non-skid clean or sanded, the paint doesn't stick well. Plus, it looks bad as the paint pools into some of the low spots but not all of them so it makes the non-skid surface look irregular and sloppy.:mad:

Hopefully someone will chime in with some helpful advice?:confused:

TackBoston 10-12-2008 10:10 PM

I too would recommend a power wash, but follow it up with an application of Woody Wax Fiberglass & Non-skid Deck Wax. You spray it onto your scrub brush and apply to a wet deck. It's very slipper when it first goes on, but it dries into a wax sealer. This will make it easier to clean the next time around, so you can just scrub it as usual.

Perithead 10-12-2008 10:44 PM

Thats a good question, I am in a very simular situation with my project boat. I have to paint the "molded" non skid but I dont want to loose the non skid quality or have some of the holes filled and it be sloppy.

Someone better chime in or I will just end up asking the question agian in about a week. :)

Faster 10-12-2008 11:44 PM


Originally Posted by SiXeVeN (Post 383086)
...Almost my entire topside is a molded in non-skid pattern...

A gentle lesson on terminology for you here... the "topsides" of a boat is the area between the waterline and the deck edge - ie the surfaces of the hull itself above the waterline. I doubt that that is in nonskid!;)

You are, of course, referring to the deck.

Powerwashing and a good stiff brush generally works best, but it's always difficult to get the grime/mildew/grunge out of the deepest parts - which you'll need to do even if you plan to paint over it. You do need to be cautious that you don't fill the nonskid pattern and make it ineffective.

If you do paint, adding a grit (sand, walnut shells, or a more commercial product like "Grip-tex) will help. Getting a uniform appearance takes some practice.

sailboy21 10-13-2008 12:10 AM

sand it flat and paint... lots of work but it is the only option other than a glue-on deck product for an older boat. I had really good luck with Interlux Interdeck. Still looks great after two years. It wasn't terribly difficult or expensive as far as boat projects go. The most time consuming and difficult part was removing and then replacing every piece of deck hardware.

Banshi 10-13-2008 08:48 AM

I painted mine and I did not have any problems with "pooling" paint. I used interdex nonskid and put it on with a roller cutting in at the edges where the color changed with a brush. If the paint is pooling your putting to much on at a time. It took two coats on mine. The moulded non skid areas a giege and the flat areas ( I used non skid paint in these areas as well) are white. This is probably the best picture I have.........but you can clearly see the moulded non skid is still there and the deck is far grippier now...........

Perithead 10-13-2008 09:24 AM

Wow, that is a nice paint job and a good picture. Thanks for letting us know how it went.

tommays 10-13-2008 10:17 AM

Banshi :D

That looks great if you could give a bit of detail on the prep work you did it would be great

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