FIBERGLASS IS SLIPPERY WHEN WET. But you know that, you’ve slipped on the deck of your boat a number of times. You meant to put nonslip tape on the worst spots, but you never got around to it. So what are your options?
1. Buy 3M Slip-Resistant tape and glue it down. The problem with this approach is that the
tape only comes in a few colors and stands out on the boat’s deck. It will also collect dirt
around the edges, and if it’s not properly installed, the edges will lift.
2. Use a pre-mixed product such as Interlux’s Interdeck or Pettit’s EZ-Decks to create a
nonslip area. This is fine except that you might not be able to match the color of your deck
exactly and may have to recoat the entire deck. In addition, you might need more grip than
Interdeck provides. I’ve found that a deck coated with Intergrip nonslip particles lasts about
three to six years (depending on use) before it needs recoating.
3. Take a DIY approach and use a topside paint to match your boat paint exactly and
Here are two ways that
you can make your deck a
lot less slippery – a smart safety
idea for all boaters, young and old
BY ROGER MARSHALL
add enough nonslip particles to be sure that
you have exactly the right amount of grip
without creating sandpaper that will do a
job on your knees and behind. I’ve found
that this method lasts longer than Interdeck
The first rule of painting your deck is to
paint the stern of the cockpit sole first and
work forward. I know that seems counterproductive, but having painted myself into
the cockpit a couple of times surrounded by
wet deck paint, it’s the best way. The second
rule of painting is to make sure that all corners are nicely rounded. Use masking tape
(I prefer Frog Tape) and a razor knife to cut
1- to 3-inch radii at each corner. Use a small
can or container to make consistent radii
throughout the project. For the best appearance, allow 1- to 3-inch borders around
hatches, winches, tracks, and any fills.
Painting Interdeck is easy. To get started:
1. Mask off the area to be painted. If desired,
you can sand it to give the paint a better grip.
Use 220- to 300-grit sandpaper.
2. Wipe down with solvent to remove grease
and dirt. For Interdeck, use 2333N solvent.
3. Open the can and mix the paint well. If
PRACTICAL BOATER | DO IT YOURSELF
The stripped old-style J/24 deck
before we changed and repainted it.
The deck (left) shows the final version