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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the process of refinishing the companionway ladder. The current non-skid on the treads appears to be the Vetus Non-skid Deck Covering. After 20 plus years of use, it's no longer very non-skid, it's quite dirty, and prevents me from doing a good job of sanding and varnishing the adjacent teak (it stands slightly proud of the level of the teak step).

Does anyone know for sure if that is the material. Also, the Treadmaster product from Lewmar looks like it might be a nice alternative. I can get that in black, so it wouldn't show as much dirt. Or does anyone have other ideas that might be better than either of those?
 

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The companionway ladder on our PSC 34 was just finished with varnish (no non-skid surface) which was quite a problem. We purchased and installed Treadmaster sheets and they work very nicely.
 

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HANUMAN
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I did mine last spring. Started a thread here and got lots of help.

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/196825-companionway-steps.html

I ended up refinishing with non-skid paint additive on the treads, worked out great.

If you do use the additive, don't get it on/near the very edge of the step as it will scrape your calves as you come down the stairs :) I ended up having to sand the edges and refinish them.
 

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I use hydroturf on my A-Cat which works well but I don't know how it would hold up to shoes. I have always prefered grip-tape on stair treads. It's incredibly aggressive non-skid, cheap to apply, and available in colors (if you want it). It won't last quite as long as the rubber pads, but it's easy enough to put down more as it wears out.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks for all the suggestions.

The companionway ladder on our PSC 34 was just finished with varnish (no non-skid surface) which was quite a problem. We purchased and installed Treadmaster sheets and they work very nicely.
I'm leaning that way. The Vetus is nice in that it seems to be predominantly made from cork. However, it is far from non-skid at this point in it's life cycle, so it may be worth trying out the Treadmaster.

I did mine last spring. Started a thread here and got lots of help.

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/196825-companionway-steps.html

I ended up refinishing with non-skid paint additive on the treads, worked out great.

If you do use the additive, don't get it on/near the very edge of the step as it will scrape your calves as you come down the stairs :) I ended up having to sand the edges and refinish them.
I wish that I could use varnish with non-skid additive, however, the steps were dadoed to accept non-skid that is about 1/8th inch (see attached photo).

I use hydroturf on my A-Cat which works well but I don't know how it would hold up to shoes.
I think in my case I won't be able to use the hydroturf, from what I can tell it isn't thick enough to end up being proud of the teak.

Flemish coil rope mat
May have been tongue-in-cheek, but as a traditional boat nut it appeals to me. The only problem I can see is getting the line well secured to the treads. I think I will work on a nice rope mat for the bottom of the ladder. Great idea. Many years ago I spent a number of years helping with the restoration of an old square rigger, so this would be a perfect homage.

The treads of my ladder are unfinished teak. Only the rails are varnished. Bare teak is pretty non-skid on its own. Sober, I've never slipped.

Bill Murdoch
1988 PSC 34
Irish Eyes
That's a great idea. I was thinking of using Epifane's Rubbed Effect Varnish, but I suspect that on the leading edge of the tread, it might not hold up well. Bare teak gets dirty pretty quick, but maybe some Watco or teak oil. It would be a lot easier to maintain than varnish.
 

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The treads of my ladder are unfinished teak. Only the rails are varnished. Bare teak is pretty non-skid on its own. Sober, I've never slipped.

Bill Murdoch
1988 PSC 34
Irish Eyes
I refinished my 1961 companionway a few years ago. I think the tread design is brilliant.

The treads, mahogany, are routed a half inch deep with a 1/2" round bit, every inch and a half (or so).

Each slot is fitted with a 1/2" by 1" strip of teak(I had to replace the the outer worn teak strip on each tread - they were very easy - sand the ends to fit). The strips are tacked in with counter sunk brads(they can't move in their slot).

Here's an even easier step: After stripping the ancient varnish, I simply revarnished the whole thing.

When it was dry, you take a block with coarse sand paper, and clean the varnish off the top of the teak strips. Done.

If treads are removable, this would be an easy add on.

We've (a family of 4) had this boat for nearly two decades, never a slip on these treads.

 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I refinished my 1961 companionway a few years ago. I think the tread design is brilliant.

The treads, mahogany, are routed a half inch deep with a 1/2" round bit, every inch and a half (or so).

Each slot is fitted with a 1/2" by 1" strip of teak(I had to replace the the outer worn teak strip on each tread - they were very easy - sand the ends to fit). The strips are tacked in with counter sunk brads(they can't move in their slot).

Here's an even easier step: After stripping the ancient varnish, I simply revarnished the whole thing.

When it was dry, you take a block with coarse sand paper, and clean the varnish off the top of the teak strips. Done.

If treads are removable, this would be an easy add on.

We've (a family of 4) had this boat for nearly two decades, never a slip on these treads.

Very nice job. I can only hope that mine turns out as well. I really like the idea of the raised strips. Unfortunately, the treads on my ladder are not removable and I've already discovered that most routers are slightly to tall to fit between the treads (I originally was going to use a router to remove the old non-skid).

As I ponder this idea though, I guess there is no reason that I couldn't mill some pieces of teak that would have raised strips and then fit those into the recessed areas on my treads. I have a thickness planer and the other necessary woodworking equipment. Then they could be glued in place. Hmmm. Seems doable.

Come to think of it, it could even be in a nice contrasting wood. I really like padouk. However, mahogany would be easier to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Well, finally got around to working on the companionway ladder. I let aesthetics rule the day.

I liked Tom's ladder with the raised strips, but I was limited to the dados that existed in my treads. I also happened to have a nice piece of quilted (figured) maple that has been kicking around for a few years. The maple contrasts nicely with the teak, so .... I'll still need some type of non-skid. I'm going to have a look at some 'clear stick on strips that WM has, but likely I'll go with an additive to the varnish.

I've got a bit of gypsum sand, any reason that wouldn't work? A light sprinkle on the second coat, followed by at least one more coat?
 

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Well, finally got around to working on the companionway ladder. I let aesthetics rule the day.

I liked Tom's ladder with the raised strips, but I was limited to the dados that existed in my treads. I also happened to have a nice piece of quilted (figured) maple that has been kicking around for a few years. The maple contrasts nicely with the teak, so .... I'll still need some type of non-skid. I'm going to have a look at some 'clear stick on strips that WM has, but likely I'll go with an additive to the varnish.

I've got a bit of gypsum sand, any reason that wouldn't work? A light sprinkle on the second coat, followed by at least one more coat?
Very nice work! I love the wood contrast. I don't see why an additive in the varnish wouldn't work. I think I'd try the gypsum on a scrap to see the results, first.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Very nice work! I love the wood contrast. I don't see why an additive in the varnish wouldn't work. I think I'd try the gypsum on a scrap to see the results, first.
I gave it a try. It currently has one coat of Cetol, three coats of Epifanes Woodfinish Gloss, and three coats of Epifanes Woodfinish Matte. Unfortunately I didn't realize how much color the Cetol has in it. I probably will never use that again, but it did give the maple a very nice warm tone. I just don't like what it did to the teak, even just one coat. The Epifanes is great, really flows nicely.

The gypsum sand seems to work well. It is much finer than silica sand, I'll see this season how well it works and how well it holds up to use.

https://flic.kr/p/GpdX26

https://flic.kr/p/GpdXKv

https://flic.kr/p/FZ7zPY
 

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Discussion Starter #17
In case anyone is interested, Pacific Seacraft uses Epiphanes clear varnish (this is the stuff with UV filters) for exterior woodwork and Epifanes brushed effect (which I'm quite sure does not have UV filters) for the interior.

There are some pictures of the companionway ladder sections of a 2004 Pacific Seacraft 37, with nonskid shown, on this web page:

https://pacificseacraft37.com/more-photos/
Thanks for the information. I have to refinish the cabin sole on Belle Voile later in the season and was thinking of using the rubbed effect for the top coats. Good to know that it should more or less blend in with the rest of the interior (although mine is a 1994, so maybe they were using something else at that time). I was thinking about using the rubbed effect for the top coats on the companionway ladder, but given that it can often be in direct sunlight, thought that the matte (which does have UV filters) might hold up better.

BTW, nice website and beautiful boat. Sorry to hear that you have to part with her.
 

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Otter
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I've redone mine by using skateboard grip tape. I've also redone for my friends using a paint and mixing "black beauty" blasting bead into it. That will last damn near a lifetime. I did the same thing on my dive barge and it seems indestructible with welders, diesel compressors and other heavy stuff being dragged across the deck.
 
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