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Old 12-08-2014, 16:31   #16
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Re: Slippery Steps Solution

My experience with wrapping the treadmaster around the front of the step was not a good one. A 1" radius was too tight for the adhesive to hold well. The loosened treadmaster became an additional hazard--wet or dry. I pulled it off the front and use it only on the flat part of the steps. It is great stuff.
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Old 12-08-2014, 16:35   #17
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Re: Slippery Steps Solution

I felt the diamond pattern Treadmaster wasn't comfortable on bare feet. I've been very pleased so far with the 3M nonskid tape and it was $12 versus I think about $100 for enough of the size TM I would need. Most importantly, my dog seems to like it, as the varnished steps were a no go for her. If I feel more ambitious in the future I might try the sand in varnish approach. Click image for larger version

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Old 12-08-2014, 17:47   #18
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Re: Slippery Steps Solution

Since sand changes the color of the varnish, I've read about mixing coarse sugar or salt into varnish, then washing it when dry. Anyone have any experience with this? It would preserve the color of the varnish, at least.

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Old 12-08-2014, 17:55   #19
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Re: Slippery Steps Solution

I just checked in again and really do appreciate the ongoing discussion, many good, valid points about natural teak, varnish, and Treadmaster made based on individuals different experiences. I really think the photo of the varnished steps with the black sandpaper strips looks great and would work well, and I do like the varnished look with sand or walnut shells or whatever sprinkled in, but for these steps I want something as aggressive as possible because they are steep/high and it would suck so bad to slip off them and break a leg in bad weather. I do also realize now that my idea of wrapping the bullnose front of the treads in Treadmaster is a bad idea and wouldn't adhere or look good.

So, I'm going to carefully plane and then sand that holly ridge off, then rough up the existing varnish on the treads and put down self adhesive 7"x16" Treadmaster on each one. I mostly go barefoot when aboard and I know it'll probably be a little uncomfortable at first, but as a kid I'd go barefoot for weeks at a time walking around in sand and gravel and granite boulders barefoot and my feet toughened up so I barely noticed. Yes, that was "awhile" ago, but hopefully, I'm not TOO far removed from that.

While I'm at it, I'm going to order a couple of 5"x22" strips of the smoother version of Treadmaster that someone mentioned, to put on my coaming, both to make it less slippery when stepping on it and to make it less slippery to sit on while underway. Of course this will be in a light color so it doesn't get so hot in the sun that I burn myself.

Thanks again to all who contributed! And while I'm picking all your brains, any helpful hints on cutting and applying the self adhesive Treadmaster. I watched the video online and it mentioned marking and cutting from the bottom which seems to make sense. But it doesn't mention how to prepare a varnished wood surface that's currently in good condition. Hopefully I can just rough the surface with 60 grit, clean up the dust, and apply right over the varnish. Or does anyone happen to know if I need to strip the whole tread to bare wood before laying down the self adhesive version?
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Old 12-08-2014, 17:59   #20
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Re: Slippery Steps Solution

Stripping or sanding is not necessary.
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Old 12-08-2014, 18:04   #21
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Re: Slippery Steps Solution

On our previous boat, I used the black 3M stuff mentioned earlier, and this can be wrapped around the rounded edge, which is what I did. This worked well. A little rough on the backs of your legs!

The boat previous to that had Treadmaster on all decks, so I am familiar with it, but agree with an earlier poster that it wouldn't bend around an edge too well.

Someone has mentioned the Interlux non skid, which I used on a skiff , and on the top of a bimini I built, but there is one other more aggressive additive you may want to look at. System 3 has a non-skid additive that I decided against on the skiff, but my revisit in the future as the skiff is more slippery than I like.
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Old 12-08-2014, 18:18   #22
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Re: Slippery Steps Solution

Here are a few photos of our companionway steps. They have a really functional screwed on non-skid tread. They look nice and as far as I know, they are as old as the boat (1984). It is an aluminum extrusion with a tread captured in the aluminum track. We have never slipped on these.
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Old 12-08-2014, 18:26   #23
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Re: Slippery Steps Solution

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Originally Posted by jtsailjt View Post
Thanks, all very useful comments! As was pointed out, wrapping Treadmaster around the front will look amateurish so I now think my best and easiest option is to plane and sand the raised holly strip down to flush, and then cover the horizontal surface as completely as possible with Treadmaster. I think that natural teak left unfinished would look better, but someone could really get hurt so I want the steps to be as grippy as possible and as far as I can tell, that means Treadmaster is a better solution than just teak.
If the Treadmaster is right up to where the radius starts it will be fine. You're not standing on just the last 1/2" Just cut the tradmaster and put it outsid the holly strip and behind it.
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Old 13-08-2014, 07:24   #24
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Re: Slippery Steps Solution

One last question...
If anyone is familiar with the smooth version of Treadmaster, would you say that would be grippy enough to make those steps safe in wet and slippery conditions while heeled? I was planning on using the diamond pattern on the steps but also want to put some of the smooth version of Treadmaster on the tops of my cockpit coamings. So, if the smooth version of Treadmaster would also be good for the steps I could save money by ordering one sheet of the smooth stuff and cutting it myself. The other option is to order traditional diamond Treadmaster for the steps and smooth pads for the coamings. Any thoughts on using smooth Treadmaster on those 5 steps? I know it would be better than what I have now (smooth varnish) but would it feel/be secure when wet?
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Old 13-08-2014, 07:33   #25
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Re: Slippery Steps Solution

if you are having water sluicing down your companionway stairs while underway, you are doing something dreadfully wrong.
i find my boat very dry in a passage with quartering seas and 30 kt winds. no problem. water breaks over the waist and exits via scuppers. i presume tayana to be similar, as they were created for deep water sailing.
good luck and report your findings when you get this out and about. mebbe you are trying to overkill... and appearance does nothing for safety.
learn what it is your boat does when it is hit with seas and winds then figgerout the permanent solution.
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Old 13-08-2014, 08:18   #26
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Re: Slippery Steps Solution

I have personally taken a face full of water when it came in over the stern and I was just going up the companionway ladder. Ruined 2 cups of coffee, one for me and one for the skipper. But it dumped about a gallon or two of water into the boat, wet slippery floor, wet slippery gangway ladder and wet me and the skipper. Sometimes stuff happens. This was crossing the Yucatan Straight.
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Old 13-08-2014, 08:39   #27
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I believe this is original on my 1979 vessel. Sorry don't know the brand but it's very easy on the feet, easy to keep clean, and of course non-skid.

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Old 13-08-2014, 10:25   #28
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Re: Slippery Steps Solution

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
if you are having water sluicing down your companionway stairs while underway, you are doing something dreadfully wrong.
i find my boat very dry in a passage with quartering seas and 30 kt winds. no problem. water breaks over the waist and exits via scuppers. i presume tayana to be similar, as they were created for deep water sailing.
good luck and report your findings when you get this out and about. mebbe you are trying to overkill... and appearance does nothing for safety.
learn what it is your boat does when it is hit with seas and winds then figgerout the permanent solution.
Water doesn't have to be "sluicing down the companionway" to make the steps very slippery and wet. Besides, sometimes we all do things "dreadfully wrong" so it doesn't hurt to be prepared within reason.
Water on steps comes from dripping off of your foulies, or those of the person who just went down the steps ahead of you, or due to the person who left the companionway open in a rain shower or....you fill in the blanks. No "sluicing" required.

I haven't mentioned appearance except to compliment another poster on a photo of their boats interior. I certainly have never suggested that I would choose appearance over safety. If I did, I probably wouldn't have started this thread so we wouldn't be having this discussion, and I would have just stayed with my current, beautifully varnished steps.

Is using the experience and wisdom of others to help select the optimum version of Treadmaster for companionway steps really "overkill?" I don't think so at all. What my boat does when hit with seas and winds has very little to do with trying to find the best balance between comfort and safety for a particular location aboard my boat that will be heavily used in all kinds of conditions. One way or the other, I know that my (and your) companionway steps WILL somehow get wet and someone climbing up or down WILL momentarily lose their balance as the boat lurches, or they become distracted, or are fatigued, or ..... I want to give them (or me) a better chance to recover from that off balance situation by providing a less slippery surface for it to happen on. Some accidents can be seen a mile away and well before they occur, IF you take the trouble to look, and having slippery, varnished steps is one of those locations where it's pretty easy to see an accident just waiting to happen.
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Old 14-08-2014, 08:00   #29
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Re: Slippery Steps Solution

We used several times treadmaster antiskid roll tape on the stairs, and they all lasted few monthes, if not weeks.

As we varnished the companionway and get rid of these expensive and non lasting stripes, we applied 3M black heavy duty adhevise ones that are doing the job so far and are not showing any sign of disbonding as the traedmaster's ones use to after a short period of time.
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Old 14-08-2014, 10:08   #30
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Re: Slippery Steps Solution

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We used several times treadmaster antiskid roll tape on the stairs, and they all lasted few monthes, if not weeks.

As we varnished the companionway and get rid of these expensive and non lasting stripes, we applied 3M black heavy duty adhevise ones that are doing the job so far and are not showing any sign of disbonding as the traedmaster's ones use to after a short period of time.
I've not use the ready stick type of treadmaster. But have used the normal stuff extensively. Epoxy, contact cement and 5200 (if you never want it off!) all work great. The Diamond pattern is a little tough on bare feet, it wont cut or abrade much really but a little uncomfortable for sure.
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