Originally Posted by S/V Pearl
Here is picture of my steps. Polyurethane interlux varnish
non-skid powder, an additional clear coat of varnish and a final one with stain mixed into varnish to make the non-skid blend in. You could add the stain to the first overcoat and then add more coats to get the desired level of non-skid.
I've tried the tape in both black and clear and it was not satisfactory, came off or slid, and was very hard to clean. This has been a very good solution.
I did this on the companionway
steps of my last boat (Nordic 44), which was an aft cockpit
boat so they were more stairs than steps, with a bulkhead on either side, and it did work very well. It looked good and held up over several seasons and nobody ever hurt themselves and it wasn't painful to bare feet.
But for our center cockpit
boat, with no "backup" bulkheads to brace yourself on, and quite a long fall from the top step to the sole, I want to make the steps absolutely as grippy as possible, so I've decided to go with the admittedly pretty industrial looking diamond Treadmaster on them. But I certainly can appreciate the combination of good looks and effective traction that the non-skid varnish or even the black 3M tape provide. All good solutions, IMHO.