Nonskid: tape vs. sandy-paint

I'd like to put some non-skid on the bow and stern deck to make it a bit safer when kids are scrambling around (when we're anchored). Any thoughts on the use of non-skid tape vs. sand applied with paint (I know this isn't precise, but hope the idea comes across). My priorities are function, comfort, durability, ease-of -installation and looks. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks, Dan


I've got the tape on mine, and suspect that it has lasted since

I've got the tape on mine, and suspect that it has lasted since new-1974. It is holding up fine. I think I prefer the tape. Sand mixed with paint would be a good friction surface, but would lead to abrasion anytime bare skin touches it, I would think. I also prefer to keep the original gel surface, and wax it. It seems to me that waxing would be hard with the sand/paint combo. When I walk up on a wet deck I make sure to keep one foot on the strip. When I kneel, I try to keep the knee on smooth deck.

Dan, your priorities are well placed.

Dan, your priorities are well placed. For function, it's hard to beat full non-skid decks, and they can be as comfortable as stripped decks. Durability is a toss up, both last a long time. It is a little more time consuming to tape off the area and nonskid it than applying the strips, but less expensive. In my opinion the painted/nonskid decks are more aesthetically pleasing, but that's only my opinion. In the restoration of 277 I needed to address gelcoat spiderwebbing throughout the decks, and decided on Interlux Brightside Polyurethane paint, one full coat, then mask the area to be nonskidded, a coat there and apply nonskid to the wet paint (I used sifted dune sand, but pumice-based pint cans from marine stores are about $15), then a full coat over the entire deck after removing all tape and brushing any loose nonskid off. You can make the nonskid as comfortable as you like by sanding prior to the final coat. I left mine aggressive, and plan to knock it down a notch (Eric is right, you can leave skin!) and put another coat on the nonskid area. It has held up well, and footing is superb. Waxing the deck would not be necessary, as the Brightside holds its shine well and requires only washing. Good luck with your decision and project.

I used Interlux Interdeck.

I used Interlux Interdeck. It is a one part urethane. I can't speak to the durability yet, but I like it so far. It also reduces glare. I used the gray. It is a little hotter than the white deck so if I were to do it over, I would mix white and gray for a lighter shade. It is harder to keep clean than the smooth deck. That's why I wanted a lttle darker color. I masked off a 1-1/2 inch egde around fore deck side decks and rear deck and it took every bit of a quart. I nearly ran out! It's about $30 a quart. I have pictures if you're interested. MS_/) MS_/)

I'd love to see pictures.

I'd love to see pictures. Can you post them here? Last weekend I sanded and faired the entire deck and cockpit, then laid on a coat of urethane (the boat is 35 years old and there's no going back to gelcoat). It's the first time I've used the paint and I am blown away at the depth of the finish. In fact, it's so nice that it highlights very slight flaws in my fairing job -- flaws I used to get away with when I used regular marine paint. I can hardly wait to get to the topsides! Cheers

I don't know how to post pictures here.

I don't know how to post pictures here. Email me and I will send pictures. MS_/)

I've never cared for the look of the taped non-skid so I made pa

I've never cared for the look of the taped non-skid so I made patterns from cardboard for the fore and after decks. I traced the patterns with pencil and then put masking tape over the pencil marks after thoroughly cleaning the surfaces. By placing the patterns back into the original positions I was able to take a utility knife and lightly cut around the pattern and remove the waste tape. That was the easiest way to get a smooth, curved line not made of a bunch of little pieces of tape. I mixed micro-balloons with Interlux Brightside and rolled on three coats. Still looks good after a summer on a mooring. If anyone is interested I'll email photos.