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Free Range Human, Sailor, Writer, Artist, Videographer  

Friday, December 18, 2015

Painting Nonskid Sail Boat Deck Areas

In the later part of the last millennium, the HideAway crew armed with the philosophy that a project once done is always done, painted her nonskid deck areas. (Quit laughing, Brightsides is expensive marine grade paint!)  As expensive as it was there were problems concerning my intended purpose:  

Brightsides is Not Made for Nonskid Deck 

How to paint the nonskid deck
SV HideAway Old and New Nonskid Deck

Not for use on boat decks!
Not for Boat Decks!
Who would have thought that marine grade nonskid nodules existed?  Perhaps they didn’t at the time.  At least that would make the capt less guilty after he used common garage floor nonskid granules which mixed with the expensive paint had the feel and cutting ability of 40 grit sand paper.   

Over the ensuing decade and a half none of the crew complained, at least to the hard of hearing capt, nor did anyone slip off the boat.  When “paint the nonskid” came up on the refit list so did the request from the crew that some other nonskid material must be found.

Marine Grade Nonskid Nodules Do Exist!

 Marine Grade Dollars 

Research revealed a product that met all the criteria; it was marine grade, expensive and available at the local marine store. If I only had marine grade dollars life would be easy...

Intergrip made by Interlux consists of small spheres not unlike micro balloons used with epoxy.  In both cases you do not want to use them near a fan nor would you want to breathe in any of them.  Intergrip mixes easily with Brightside’s but you have to mix the lumps out and stir occasionally when painting.  The product can be sprinkled on wet paint but I prefer to mix.  

Sailing HideAway Refit

I used recycled 6oz yogurt cups to mix 1 part Intergrip to 8 parts paint. After waiting 15 minutes to let the paint cover the nodules as prescribed in the instructions, I found the concoction made just enough for one comfortable painting session.   (This yogurt cup is narrow at the base and wide at the top- the reverse would will set your mind at ease)

I’ve not had the chance to test the result under sail of course but the grip with bare feet or sandals with a bit of the morning dew is encouraging and it does not draw blood when knelt upon. 

Interlux Brightsides One Part Marine Grade Polyurethane 

Sailing HideAway Refit

I’ve used Interlux Brightsides successfully on the initial nonskid project where smoothness was not required and on the dinghy where it was.  Yes, it’s very expensive but it works very well.  After 15 years of hard use our dinghy still looks great. Besides, the existing nonskid paint did not fail-It just wore off in high use areas.

I’m not particularly happy with my color selection but the crew is and that my friends is all that matters.   After taping I started painting with a two inch good quality brush but later switched to foam rollers and a ¾ inch artist bristle brush for details. Rolling is much faster, however two coats were necessary for full coverage.    The nonskid nodules seemed to cover equally well with both, however it is important to stir often and I found that I had to dilute the paint during the painting session.

The Application

Sailing HideAway Refit
Taping is almost as important as the paint because if you make a mistake while taping it likely will last as long as the paint.  Masking tape has some flex to it so it can be tortured into place.  Do not hesitate to add another layer to cover an error.  Its easier and faster than re taping.

Sailing  HideAway Refit
I taped the straighter lines and experimented with corners and arcs using a razor sharp knife and lots of tape.  Either one seemed to work, but the latter favors steady hands.  

Sailing  HideAway Refit

 I found that pouring paint directly on the area less wasteful than using a tray.  Remember though, HideAway is on a sturdy trailer rather than in the wet slip.  {Darn}

Climbing around the rigging and constantly ducking under the mask takes its toll on old knees and backs.  It also causes finger prints and brush marks in unintended places. Another problem a solution caused.  I deep cleaned the nonskid areas but did little on the rest of the real estate with the idea that dirt on might possibly be more forgiving than a clean surface.  

Why Not Wax You Ask?

Sailing  HideAway Refit
SV HideAway 

Well, my experience with the compounding, polish and waxing program is that bits of the compounds fly everywhere and some are quite small.  One drop of any of the chemistry I was using, I feared, could contaminate the nonskid surface such that paint may not stick. 

Sailing  HideAway Refit
Finished cockpit SV HideAway

Next On The Refit List

We'll tackle deep cleaning of the top deck and repairing gelcoat cracks. What could possibly be more fun?