My Kiwigrip experience:
Bought my first sailboat, a 25 foot C&C
. The gelcoat
was done-for and I was certain the deck
fittings leaked like crazy, not to mention some balsa core
deck replacement *ugh*. I got to sanding
, prepping and painting. When the time came to zero-in on non-skid, I was wary of the more expensive options, and of things like treadmaster which get poor reviews
. I was going to go with Interdeck, but kept thinking that there ought to be a product out there like Herculiner (sp?) like what they use in truck beds. Then I found Kiwigrip.
Without much to compare it to, I can say the following:
It works. For non-skid properties I give it a 7/10. I haven't slipped nor has anyone else all summer, despite some decently vigorous sailing. The aforementioned sailor friend thinks it could be better, and I have taken that to heart. For those who are looking for the very best traction, another product may be better, but I have not had a single
problem with it on a dry deck. With bare feet and a wet deck, it doesn't seem to be as good as I would like, but it still performs. Compared to rolled gelcoat
, I feel as though I get the same results, or perhaps better. I do think that rolled gelcoat would be a more durable option, and only time will tell about the overall durability of Kiwigrip. One good thing, is that if you are wearing boat shoes, you get incredible traction. I suppose that should be expected of ANY non-skid while wearing shoes, but I think this stuff works great with my surf shoes on and a spray-wetted deck. No mishaps *knock on wood*.
For ease of application, I give it a 10/10. I had no trouble with any part of the process. It seems to stick fine onto the paint I layered it onto (after roughing it significantly). I put one heavy coat of it with a notched trowel, as recommended, and then rolled it. It tacked up reasonably fast. You have to tape off your lines prior, and remove the tape before the gel dries. It was a breeze. Definitely something any good DIYer could do.
I chose grey since I didn't want glare, but also didn't want a hot deck. I definitely feel like the deck doesn't get hot at all. Keep in mind I am in New England
though, and its been mild this summer. Strangely, it looked really, really light grey in the can, and after application it stayed too light for a while. It took nearly 2 weeks for it to get to its moderate grey color. It also got progressively more grippy during that time. I have no idea why, but I remember there was a blurb on the can that warned of this. None of it was a problem, because I still had to paint the topsides after, and the boat didn't go into the water
for another 1 1/2 weeks.
Good product, worth a try if you're willing to hazard it. If I had went with Interdeck I think I would have been nearly as satisfied. If Interdeck turns out to cling to the Kiwigrip, I think I would have the best of both worlds. I might try that on a limited basis next season and see if I can get results.