View Full Version : Non-Skid Decks
07-19-2004, 08:11 AM
I have a Dickerson 35 with a strip-planked hull. The decks are fiberglassed plywood and are quite sound. I'm looking for alternatives to mixing non-skid compound with paint. In my experience, it comes out quite uneven. I've considered applying Treadmaster, but it is not in keeping with the look of the boat. Would like to consider something similar to reduce maintenance. Does anyone have any suggestions? I've heard that the Landing School uses a fabric similar to fiberglass cloth applied with epoxy.
07-19-2004, 08:25 AM
The Bremerton Naval Shipyard Method
Use old paint dregs strained thru cheesecloth...paint applied thickly followed by salt. Talcum powder flattens the paint, but also slows drying, so Japan Drier is added.
Area is masked with a double thickness of 3M blue tape...
Paint is brushed on thickly and immediately smothered in salt. Want a finer texture? Use finer salt.
I used sugar once...and I'm sure there are still commemorative plaques of the event with my picture on them in every beehive and anthill within a square mile of the shop.
Allow that mess to cure for a couple weeks before hitting with a fairly high pressure hose to wash away the salt.
[ 07-19-2004, 12:35 PM: Message edited by: Bob Smalser ]
07-19-2004, 08:40 AM
People use the salt trick and more power to them. I can't make it work in the long run.
The pix above show a wonderful masking job - essential to all approaches. You don't want the non-skid to just run up against a verticle surface as it will be hard to keep the corner clean and very hard to paint the verticle part next year. Mask under cleats and fairleads so that working lines don't get abraded by the nonskid.
If you use the crushed almond shell or whatever it is non-skid additive with good deck paint it will come out nicely and easily. If you use pumice you have to work a bit harder in constantly mixing.
Brushing the non-skid on is an error. If you've mixed it in the paint, use rollers.
You can also make a sprinkler - salt shaker like dohickey, from a paper paint bucket. Some small pinprick holes and just shake over the freshly painted deck. When all's dry, brush any loose grains off and paint again. I find this approach good in very tight places where a roller just can't work, but I get better results with a roller.
And for the most daring approach: Spread a layer of a thick epoxy sealer like GluVit and just pile on about a quarter inch of washed and dry beach sand. Let the mess set and remove any sand that comes off easily. I did it by just rolling the boat over. Give it a swipe with acetone to get at the amine blush and paint. Very aggressive non-skid good for high traffic walkways. This can be repainted at least a half dozen times before you have to think about a total redo.
A frequent topic here.
There are more threads; use the search and "salt paint" to get a bunch.
07-19-2004, 12:53 PM
Many thanks to all who replied. I now have some great ideas to work on. I'm sure one of them will do the trick.
07-25-2004, 09:12 PM
Ouch! Don't use sand. Silica (glass) shears off into sharp edges as it wears, so it wants to cut through paint film and take your skin off when you slip on it.
Use the commercial non-skid powders sold by Interlux, etc.
And I like the salt-shaker technique --paint, dust with powder while wet, let dry and brush off excess, coat again with paint to cover the grit particles. I get three years on my decks with that technique, using a semi-gloss alkyd paint.
For decorative purposes and ease of cleaning, I leave a narrow smooth edge along the waterway against the toe rail, and around Dorades and hatches, where you aren't putting your feet. It's a little extra work -- a half hour or so of masking -- but to me it's worth it.
07-27-2004, 03:54 AM
I worked for a company that coated sundecks with pubber paint and we used crushed walnut shell. The shell was mixed into the paint and poured out in a puddle and moved about with a 3/16" notched trowel. Would be like spreading thick salad dressing, it would flow somewhat but rollers were no good, trowelling was the ticket.
07-27-2004, 09:52 AM
The fabric used at the Landing School may be Dynel. I used it on Prairie Islander's deck to give a pseudo-canvased look. It's okay but Dynel is the pits to lay down well, compared with glass.
If you prefer not to mix your own non-skid per excellent advice above, both Interlux and Epiphanes, make a coating with the "grit" included. The samples look very nice. Naturally.
07-27-2004, 06:51 PM
The only trouble with the broadcast method using a rough salt or a coarse sugar on paint/varnish is that it gives an irregular roughness and depth but the anti-skid works. The photo below is an embossed texture on varnish shaved off two different old dinghies. The width of each shaving is about 4cm.
The easiest and most uniform finish to apply is a pulverized cross linking rubber anti skid (photo below is Dominion Plastic's water based Tredgrip) I buy white and get the base tinted with acrylic tints. Tredgrip has a good range of colours but no Off-white. Key the underlying paint well, and dilute the first coat of Tredgrip, as this will improve adherence to the base paint. Then roll another couple of coats straight out of the can.
I found anti-skid grit added to paint, very difficut to apply well, even when rolled on, as I was pushing the grit around far too much, with most of the grit remaining trapped in the roller.
With an embossed texture on Varmish, I find that a quality cooking rock salt (with crystal size of 3 to 3.5mm from Saxa or 2 to 3mm from Gourmet, brands found in Oz) is best. I like to put the salt crystal uniformly on the paint to a depth of 2 to 2.5 cm thick, this is very heavy (12kg per sq m. I use) and expensive. This costs me about $35AU per sq metre for the salt. It is the weight of this quantity of salt that makes the difference. The uniform crystals give a very uniform texture. A lot of the salt is recoverable, thank goodness. I haven't taken photos of my results with embossed varnish yet. I don't have a digi camera, sadly.
[ 07-27-2004, 08:25 PM: Message edited by: Wild Wassa ]
07-27-2004, 08:01 PM
I think I have read most of what has been posted on The Forum about antiskid. Therefore I are an expert. Back in the Cleek days the trick was to use fine sand and pile it on uncured epoxy several inches thick. This solved the uneven application problem. After the epoxy cured all excess sand was cleaned off and the surface painted.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it unless someone comes up with the original thread in which case Cleek can speak for himself.
07-27-2004, 08:48 PM
That's a really nice masking job. What do you do to get those nice round corners?
07-28-2004, 12:09 AM
See the can of Diesel Purge?
I like the radius of the can. Just plop it down on the tape and scribe around it.
I'd use the prepared anti-skid stuff instead of salt....but at the price of it given the amount required for a good job, that paint job cost woulda been truly ridiculous.
Easy enuf for the kids to do again w/o repainting the entire boat as the nonskid wears off.
The Navy sometimes uses salt because prepping for the repaint through seveal thicknesses of imbedded sand ain't a biggie on steel, what with sandblasters....but on the Admiral's fiberglass gig, sandy paint is the same unpleasant mess to remove as it is on wood.
[ 07-28-2004, 12:16 AM: Message edited by: Bob Smalser ]
07-28-2004, 08:05 AM
Don't use sand!!!
Use ground walnut shell instead because you or some future owner can sand it off.
Alternatives are white rubber grit - available as grit or mixed into a white rubber paint that you trowel down (or a phenolic roller)
Another option is epoxy (a flexible epoxy not a rigid laminating epoxy) covered completely with salt or sugar. Let set and dissovle away the salt or sugar. Down side is the texture is 'negative' and tends to collect dirt.
Instead of sprinkling on the grit - broadcast to excess ("broadcast to refusal") - sweep off excess when epoxy is cured.Finally topcoat with a sealer (more thinned epoxy or a 2 part poly)
hope this helps
progressiv epoxy polymers
07-28-2004, 02:19 PM
Pual, What is soft sand? Ground rugger?
07-28-2004, 03:49 PM
I've used the Interlux nonsklid grit in their LPU paint with good results.
A thin foam roller distributed it evenly.
[ 07-28-2004, 03:51 PM: Message edited by: JimConlin ]
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