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Old 17-09-2014, 18:20   #1
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Recommend Topside Paint for Steel Ketch

40' Steel ketch and Limited funds, but I want to do this right. I need to make this boat less slippery when underway. I was thinking to just by some grit with the paint and mix it in. I was wondering if there was a more elegant answer that is recommended for steel boats.
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Old 17-09-2014, 18:49   #2
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Re: Recommend Topside Paint for Steel Ketch

An old, and effective and inexpensive non-skid is done by first masking off where you want the non-skid boundaries to be. This job will look a lot better with clean edges around cabin sides, rails, etc. Apply a layer of paint, then sprinkle sand onto the paint while it is still wet. Sand comes in many grits. You want to pick a grit size that you like, that is coarse enough to give you a good grip and not so coarse that it is dangerous if you fall on it. It's important to use a shaker, ie like a salt shaker, a container with small holes. You want to able to do a nice job of sprinkling the sand so that you end up wih a neat, even job. After it cures you apply another layer of paint. This makes a very good non-skid, and because the sand is so hard it is very wear resistant.
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Old 17-09-2014, 18:56   #3
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Re: Recommend Topside Paint for Steel Ketch

I think the "elegant" part is how well you lay out the non skid surfaces. As you know there is a great choice in grit and grit size. If you boat in the tropics you want a grit that does not destroy your knees and bare skin.
I don't see how steel would be any different than grp when it comes to a top coat. Buy the highest solids LPU you can afford.
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Old 17-09-2014, 19:05   #4
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Re: Recommend Topside Paint for Steel Ketch

In the past 18 months we did the tops of both boats with Duraback, a rubber based urethane. I think Practical Sailor found it a very good coating. It's a bit tough to get a fancy looking coating. But it is very good underfoot and seems to have some sound deadening. My Wife lovs it as it makes her feel much more secure in deck. I agree.

Not the cheapest stuff but darn good.
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Old 18-09-2014, 01:20   #5
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Re: Recommend Topside Paint for Steel Ketch

I've recently seen a steel ketch where the owner used the cheapest paint he could find in the nearest hardware store (I suppose an enamel/ oil based paint made for steel), then collected sand at the nearest beach, sieved it so he had the right grain size, and applied it as Pauls described above. He did that about four years ago, and parts of it are falling off now, since it was apparently a bit too moist while he painted. Looks a bit shaggy now, which suits the boat very well, but seems to work very well, still!
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Old 18-09-2014, 03:04   #6
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Re: Recommend Topside Paint for Steel Ketch

I have to do my steel ketch as well. There is a product called kiwi grip which is meant to be good, but expensive.

I'm not keen on sand because sand in the paint can be rubbed into the steel.

I'm going to trialling an idea that an old sailer over my way did for his steel motor cruiser, and which I've inspected in his boat and that's using dried sawdust.

He painted his deck to desirable coats. Then he taped off where he wanted the non slip area and gave short areas a coat. Then he lightly spread a fine layer of very dry saw dust, I think he suggest pine dust rather than hard wood. Ideal dust can be found at pet stores. Then he painted over the dust with another coat. The sawdust can't work it's way into the steel.
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Old 18-09-2014, 09:51   #7
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Re: Recommend Topside Paint for Steel Ketch

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Originally Posted by PirateVet View Post
40' Steel ketch and Limited funds, but I want to do this right. I need to make this boat less slippery when underway. I was thinking to just by some grit with the paint and mix it in. I was wondering if there was a more elegant answer that is recommended for steel boats.
hve 43' steel hull ketch, paint topsides with Zinc-Chromate primer, then U.S.PAINTS makes a commercial vessel epoxy gloss,FOR TOPSIDES. Now look here,you WANT the "topsides" slick. those are exterior above waterline side surfaces, ok? Ocean washes against them 24-7! I think you are intending to refer to what is called the DECKS?referring to DECK-PAINT. So tHAT NEED NOT BE EXPENSIVE EPOXE. and we do not want it to be slippery. we work, standin or sittin on th decks whilst changin or trimmin sales ,eh? So foe DECKS, USE ANY OL RUSTOLEUM PAINT AND SPRINKLE IN FINE SI;ICA (WHITE) SAND, SA TRACTION AIDE.
fAIR WINDS THERE MATE
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Old 18-09-2014, 10:52   #8
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Re: Recommend Topside Paint for Steel Ketch

Ameron for steel boats.


Ameron / Devoe Coatings - Seattle Marine
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Old 18-09-2014, 10:59   #9
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Re: Recommend Topside Paint for Steel Ketch

Tedsherrin, I don't understand your concern about the sand "working its way into the steel". When I served in the Navy, early 70's, Navy non skid used sand. I never saw a problem with it, and we had a lot of deck space. Before applying the non-skid you will of course have laid down at least a couple coats of epoxy. If you are concerned about the sand breaking the corrosion barrier of the paint, I've never seen this happen.

It's my opinion that using soft materials like wood for a non skid will result in the non skid properties degrading fairly quickly. Wood is a soft material. I can say that in my experience sand based non skid stands up to years of hard commercial use.
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Old 18-09-2014, 11:30   #10
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Re: Recommend Topside Paint for Steel Ketch

is only tender skin that is impacted err roughed off by the sand.
this sand neither destroys steelies nor wood boats decks..
only the fair skinned booties sliding on it in a wet time....
i know from mucho experience..
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Old 18-09-2014, 13:34   #11
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Re: Recommend Topside Paint for Steel Ketch

Thank you all for your advice. Ill let you know what ends up happening. Reading Metal Boat Repair right now by Scott Fratcher, interesting book. Do you know it?
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Old 18-09-2014, 15:33   #12
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Re: Recommend Topside Paint for Steel Ketch

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Thank you all for your advice. Ill let you know what ends up happening. Reading Metal Boat Repair right now by Scott Fratcher, interesting book. Do you know it?
Yes, I liked it. Others deride it but not sure why.
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Old 18-09-2014, 15:58   #13
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Re: Recommend Topside Paint for Steel Ketch

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Tedsherrin, I don't understand your concern about the sand "working its way into the steel". When I served in the Navy, early 70's, Navy non skid used sand. I never saw a problem with it, and we had a lot of deck space. Before applying the non-skid you will of course have laid down at least a couple coats of epoxy. If you are concerned about the sand breaking the corrosion barrier of the paint, I've never seen this happen.

It's my opinion that using soft materials like wood for a non skid will result in the non skid properties degrading fairly quickly. Wood is a soft material. I can say that in my experience sand based non skid stands up to years of hard commercial use.
I can't claim to have ANY experience of this myself. The old sailor that suggested it to me has been doing it on his boat, which he showed me, for what he said from memory twenty years or so. He claimed about the sand working it's way into the metal. But, in hindsight, it's not the only thing he suggested to me that I wish I had not listened to when I first got my boat.

The OP said he wanted something cheap. Certainly silica sand is not really any dearer. I'm about to do mine. I did like what I saw on his and it was not as uncomfortable to kneel on with bare knees which in summer we do a lot off on a sail boat in bathers, shorts, naked (20 miles off shore).

cheers.
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Old 19-09-2014, 06:04   #14
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Re: Recommend Topside Paint for Steel Ketch

Epsom Salt sprinkled over wet paint. Most of the salt dissolves, leaving the rough paint as non-skid. Easy to sand the next time.
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Old 19-09-2014, 06:50   #15
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Re: Recommend Topside Paint for Steel Ketch

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Epsom Salt sprinkled over wet paint. Most of the salt dissolves, leaving the rough paint as non-skid. Easy to sand the next time.
I like the idea of that. Have you tried it? Have you experienced doing it and what was the result?
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