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Old 24-03-2007, 21:04   #1
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New Non-Skid Advice

Hey there all,

We have just purchased a Westsail 32. She has Treadmaster that is over 10 years old and is starting to crack and come up around the edges. I intend to fully remove this non-skid system and would like to reapply a new surface. The question is; which one?!?

I have used epoxy paints and sand-like additives, but have found them to bit a bit too slipper, no matter the mixture. I've also been aboard boats with walnut and rubber additives in paints, but these don't seem to wear well, needing recoating every couple of years, and often being to gritty for a bare thigh.

Any suggestions of other routes to take? I'm not opposed to molding non-skid with gelcoat or epoxy, but have no experience doing so (though I could learn). Has anyone tried stippling thickened epoxy? I was aboard a mid-90's Hunter a few days ago with a non-skid that seamed to be fashioned that way; it was nice.

I ran across the company "Durabak" which offers a rubberized coating originally designed for truck bed liners, and now restabilized for fiberglass. I had them send me a couple of sample and it seems really nice, but I'd like to hear from anyone who has experience with the product. How is the longevity? And adherence issues?

Thanks in advance for the advice and suggestions.

Fair leads,
Aaron N.
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Old 24-03-2007, 21:27   #2
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Aloha Aaron,
I use real sand. Very fine masonry builders sand and it works very well. Not slippery at all and lasts a long, long time. Sand is forever. You have to remember that you should put only one coat of paint over the top of it. Any more and each coat makes it less non skid.
That's the old way and there might be better systems now.
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Old 24-03-2007, 21:35   #3
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I put down Treadmaster two years ago and so far I love it. If you already have it down you may be able to peel it back in intact pieces to use a template. The hardest part of mine was getting the templates made, I used a roll of red building paper. Once they were done and I liked the look cutting the Treadmaster was easy with a pair of heavy scissors (of course you have to pay attention to which side of the template is the top BEFORE you start cutting, not that I know this from personal experience).

I then used West Systems epoxy to glue it down. The 13 large peices and 4 small too about 3 hours to lay down. Just be sure you pay attention so you don't have to walk on it to get off the boat. Until it cures it will move on you.

It isn't the cheapest solution going, but it does keep the feet under you. Some people claim it is harsh, but I think it far less harsh than walking barefoot on asphalt.
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Old 24-03-2007, 23:18   #4
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I have used a waterbased rubberised paint system. I applied it two years ago now and it still looks great. I had to do a samll touch up a month back. All it took was a wash and a new coat. No other prep required. It has been very hard wearing, which surprised me due to it being a water based product and it has not faded, also a surprise. It is sold mostly for around swimming pool wet area's. Good on the bare feet and yet offers great grip. Easy to apply, I just brushed it on. the first coat yopu brush over thinly and allow to dry. This creates a key coat. The second comes out of the can as a thick porridge consistancy and you simply brush it out allowing a good film build up that covers well in one coat. You don't give a secon anless you have missed the odd place. You get it on good and thick and then leave it.
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Old 25-03-2007, 02:51   #5
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I have molded in non-skid so I have never needed to apply new non-skid to my deck.

However, some years ago I read about using epson salts to create the non-skid pattern. The method involved applying a base coat of paint followed by another coat of paint. The second coat of paint was then covered with epson salts and allowed to dry. Once the paint dried, the epson salts could then be washed off leaving a non-skid pattern. Additional coats of paint could then be applied to get the desired non-skid texture. I have offen wondered way one couldn't substitute epoxy for the paint and come up with a more permanent non-skid.

Whenever this subject comes up, I keep hoping someone will give this method a shot.

Paul
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Old 25-03-2007, 06:43   #6
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When I recored the deck of my previous boat, I rolled on gelcoat thickened with cabosil for the non-skid. This produced a stipled surface that was perfect as a non-skid and looked very good (my opinion). It is still in excellent shape 6-7 years later (I am on the boat almost weekly).

Very easy to do: thicken the gelcoat so that it just pulls up in peaks when you dip something into it, roll it on with a medium nap roller and leave it to cure. Of course there is the usual prep involved beforehand in sanding the substrate for bite and masking off non non-skid areas (skid areas?).

If the resulting surface is too rough for your tastes, just sand it lightly to knock down the peaks some. Best thing is that if you need to do repairs or renewal, you just sand the old surface and reapply.

Attached are pictures of a closeup view of the nonskid surface and a view of the finished deck.

Mark
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Old 25-03-2007, 08:31   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FranZ
I put down Treadmaster two years ago and so far I love it...
FranZ,
I've been considering this. It seems like a great idea, so I'm definitely going to keep it on the comparison. The only thing that lays me to stop is the cost. But if I were to get another 10 years out of it...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler
I have used a waterbased rubberised paint system...
Alan,
Do you remember the name of this product? It seems similar to the Durabak line, as well as Eco-Safe and some of the American Safety Tech coatings.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viking Sailor
I read about using epson salts to create the non-skid pattern...
This sounds like a good idea; seems like a derivation of the stippled gelcoat concept. I'd worry about little salt crystals being immersed in the paint, then dissolving over time and leaving holes or pockets. I have some extra epoxy paint - I think I'll try it on some plastic or something to see the effect.
Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj
I rolled on gelcoat thickened with cabosil for the non-skid...
This sounds like the best and most integrated way to do non-skid; sort of like molding. It seems like a great concept. How did you go about getting all of the stippling to be in the same direction and look even? Did you paint over the gelcoat after the stippling? Just a standard medium nap roller?

In addition, there are a bunch of nicks, cracks, and drilled holes which I intend to fix. Then I'll regelcoat the deck (and perhaps topsides). So, I'll already be in gelcoat mode...
I appreciate everyone's time commenting on my questions.
Fair leads,
Aaron N.
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Old 25-03-2007, 09:35   #8
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The best non-skid in any conditions is a liquid rubber product called Decolay. It is water based and easy clean-up, cures in 24 hours, comes in severeal colours or can be tinted like any paint, brush on for smooth effect or use a textured small loop roller for stippled effect, non-flamable, non-toxic, covers over any clean surface, tough and durable, chemical and UV resistant, easily touched up or re-coated. It is the best - period.

I had old grey treadmaster on my boat that was lifting etc like yours. It can be peeled off with a stiff putty knife and cleaned up and reglued with LePages contact cement. I then put a couple of coats of Decolay over it and it completley sealed it as well as taking the sharp edge off the tread pattern making it easy to kneel on now. It is distributed through the following company in Florida and you just call their toll free number to order gallons or 5 gallons sizes.

PM me if you have any specific questions about it, Randy

Liquid Plastics, Ltd.
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Old 25-03-2007, 12:54   #9
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Quote:
I rolled on gelcoat thickened with cabosil for the non-skid. This produced a stipled surface that was perfect as a non-skid and looked very good (my opinion).
This is what was done on our 1991 Gozzard. It still is in great shape. Anything paint based isn't going to last as long, but if you have a painted deck there isn't much choice. I've seen Awlgrip done with non skid and it looks very very nice and is exceptionally tough.

I think Teadmaster is an OK product if you don't go too dark for color. I've seen some well done jobs and it holds up a very long time. If it's peeling back at the edges it wasn't applied right.
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Old 25-03-2007, 13:27   #10
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Quote:
Do you remember the name of this product?
I will try and find out today for you. I thought it was called "decktread" but I couldn't find it in a search. I will pop into the paint supplier and look at the tin.
As Benny just described above, I bought the paint in a white and then added a tint to get the finish colour of what I wanted.

I have used the Epsom salts idea. I didn't like it. It creates too many "holes" that trap dirt and is too hard to keep clean.
I think sand in paint is dead aweful. And if it is on a ply surface, it eventually leads to the ply being damaged.
I have seen Carborundum used on a fishing boat. They guy's on deck went through a set of boots per month and you did not want to fall over. But it was very hard wearing.
I have seen the epoxy and the gelcoat "peaked" to make a ruff surface. But I have always found them to still be a little slippery as there surface dries with a gloss.
I have seen several of the boats with that glue down material I think you guy's call treadmaster. But it never looks quite right in my opinion. And it looks worse when it gets taty. And trying to get tha darn stuff up is a nightmare, especially if it has been glued with epoxy. But yes it would last the longest. I guess the longer something lasts, the harder it will be to remove.
I figured that even if I had to coat my deck each season, it was still easy to do. But after two years now, it looks the same as the day it went down.
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Old 25-03-2007, 14:58   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benny
The best non-skid in any conditions is a liquid rubber product called Decolay...
Benny,
This seems to be in the same boat as Durabak, Eco-Safe Marine Coatings, and KiwiGrip. The perk here is that they're about five miles from where I'm sitting, so I can run over there tomorrow and peak at their product. It looks interesting.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler
I will try and find out today for you.
Alan,
I just caught that you're in New Zealand. A really popular coating over there is KiwiGrip, also known as "Don't Slip". I'm curious to know if that is the product you used - I'd like some feedback about it. The North American distributor is certainly a nice guy!
As for the stippled gelcoat - my experience is that it has to be made pretty peaky to provide a good non-skid, but that it lasts a real long time. If we decide to regelcoat our topsides and deck, we'll probably go that way just because we'll have the material. However, I'm trying to decide whether to go the regelcoat or Awlgrip route for the topsides/deck.

Juicy mangoes to all,
Aaron N.
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Old 25-03-2007, 21:08   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais
I think Teadmaster is an OK product if you don't go too dark for color. I've seen some well done jobs and it holds up a very long time. If it's peeling back at the edges it wasn't applied right.
I think any nonskid should be in an alternate color and one should try and avoid a dark color unless you only sail in the artic. I used the light grey and it warms more in the sun than the white deck, but not badly at all. I can not imagine what the dark grey or black would be like.
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Old 25-03-2007, 23:02   #13
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OK, the product I use is called envelon TREDGRIP. The NZ supplier is Jacobsen Manufacturing Ltd in Auckland NZ. However, I did a search and came up with Envelon. The email address was for reverse engineering.
Envelon - Liquid Skin
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Old 26-03-2007, 01:42   #14
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Be very carefull of any darker colour even a light grey in full sunshine can get to hot for bare feet. (proven to me this summer). Sand blasters medium called garnet is great for non slip. extremely hard. Run through a sieve, put straight onto onto wet coat (lots). Gently sweep off or blow after dry and then put on top coat. Tredmaster is great (got it on my roll top cabin boat) Grips so well it hurts your feet. But prohibitively expensive to replace.
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Old 27-03-2007, 13:56   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blahman
Hey there all,

We have just purchased a Westsail 32. She has Treadmaster that is over 10 years old and is starting to crack and come up around the edges. I intend to fully remove this non-skid system and would like to reapply a new surface. The question is; which one?!?

I have used epoxy paints and sand-like additives, but have found them to bit a bit too slipper, no matter the mixture. I've also been aboard boats with walnut and rubber additives in paints, but these don't seem to wear well, needing recoating every couple of years, and often being to gritty for a bare thigh.

Any suggestions of other routes to take? I'm not opposed to molding non-skid with gelcoat or epoxy, but have no experience doing so (though I could learn). Has anyone tried stippling thickened epoxy? I was aboard a mid-90's Hunter a few days ago with a non-skid that seamed to be fashioned that way; it was nice.

I ran across the company "Durabak" which offers a rubberized coating originally designed for truck bed liners, and now restabilized for fiberglass. I had them send me a couple of sample and it seems really nice, but I'd like to hear from anyone who has experience with the product. How is the longevity? And adherence issues?

Thanks in advance for the advice and suggestions.

Fair leads,
Aaron N.
I think any bad rap on using sand is from poor workmanship instead of wrong materials. Hunter started with sand sprinkled on epoxy PAINT on the gelcoat and changed later. Its less labor to do the thickened resin way and looks better longer. Anyway, Sand works but not the canned stuff (it's too fine) and not when applied by stirring into the paint. I've done it all the ways you can find (and at least one you don't hear about...sawdust set in polyester resin) on both fglass and plywd over a 35+ yr pd. That taught me to use premium playground sand (premium has the chunks screened out and gives the most uniform surface). A 50lb bag is $3 at HomeDepot and is coarse enough to give good nonskid when wet and with bare feet but without hurting them. Roll on the first coat of whatever and sprinkle sand (I use a plastic cup with hole punched in the bottom) on after it starts tacking off...let it dry to a point where you can't move the sand with the roller, then add a second coat (with more sand if desired)...plenty of sand will still be loose and move around on the second coat...and a top coat without sand. Epoxy RESIN is best but paint does the job too.

About the sand color. Playground sand is an off white ("Hatteras" white) and the tips of the sand granules can (usually do) be exposed after use. They show their color so be aware of that issue. The alternative to that is the bright white masonary sand...same grit but a whiter color.

Final thought...If you are going to do thickened gelcoat use tooling gelcoat. It's more durable and less brittle than standard gelcoat. There's a huge difference between the two types and you will see it in the long run. Standard gelcoat is more prone to cracking and chipping.
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