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Non Skid Gelcoat

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My non skid is wearing away, light is coming through so its time to do something.  In my experience the best painted non skid is sprayed 2 pot and particles, but Ive got gelcoat and I don't want to enter the painting cycle if its at all possible.  What i was considering was mixing gelcoat or flowcoat with West 406 or similar and rolling it on with a texture roller. I did a few trial patches on some painted ply and it came out pretty good, with a bit of adjusting the filler amount and thickness you can get soft peaks to sharp mountains. It looks a lot like the rolled yoghurt finish that is so in vogue under the "kiwigripper" brand but a lot harder.

The intention is to mask off the nonskid pads, a quick sand and wipe with acetone and go straight over,  my question is has anyone done this successfully and did they use gel or flow coat? Any tips?

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has kiwi grip gone out of vouge?

found this article..   https://www.boatingmag.com/how-to/choosing-best-nonskid-surface

and I came across  https://tuffcoatmarine.com/products/   

I'm about to do the same , but I have a small boat,  I was going to go with enamel with grit as the deck is already painted..

 

 

 

 

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You’ll definitely want to use flowcoat unless you’re going to spray PVA over the top to promote a tack free cure. 

Interesting idea, not heard or thought of it before. 

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It's been done before: https://www.boatdesign.net/threads/thicken-up-gel-coat.44842/

I toyed with it on some small samples - maybe 1 sq ft or so, but bunged it up - mainly by making the age old mistake of going over it again since it didn't look right the first time.

Need to find a roller that will create the surface you want.  Some articles say to let the roller do the work and also that it can become a real skin scraper if you don't get the surface right.  IDK, I may try it again once I get to that actual stage in my project.

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plenty of the classic west coast sleds had stippled gelcoat non-skid.

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20 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

plenty of the classic west coast sleds had stippled gelcoat non-skid.

Only ever seen it when moulded as part of the build, when it gets tired, Awlgrip and particles are normally the replacement I’ve seen. 

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Have done this and it works if the gel is fresh, non air-dry, and over coated with PVA.  And even then it can fail to cure and its acetone time.  It will cure to sharp points, but a quick pass with a sanding block will knock off the sharp points.  

Works pretty well. Perfect color match isn't that important if you do entire non-skid sections in a go.  

I would not do this on a meticulously maintained showboat, but it's fine for a race boat or working cruiser. 

 

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What the heck is wrong with Kiwi Grip? Count your blessings if you use your boat so much that it ONLY lasts three seasons. Then take an hour or two and put on another coat.

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I did this on my boat, and to this day receive compliments from crew and other boat owners on the quality of the non-skid.  It is the easiest and cheapest non-skid repair going.  I wouldn't hesitate.  I redid my deck 10 years ago and it is still going strong - we average 6-7 regattas a year plus 2 weeks of cruising.

All I did was sand the old gelcoat non-skid down to a flat surface, mix up the gelcoat, spread it out in a thick layer with the textured roller, keep rolling until it starts to tack up, then roll in the texture you want.  If you want an aggressive non-skid, eg. at the mast where the foredeck stands for gybes, keep rolling a bit more as it hardens.  I used the Fibretex rollers which are hard to get now, but the Kiwigrip rollers do almost as good a job.

I used waxed gelcoat to avoid having to spray PVA on it afterward.  If you mess up you will have to sand it down all over again to remove the wax before re-applying.  Put it on thick. 

 

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On 7/12/2018 at 5:37 AM, tenders said:

What the heck is wrong with Kiwi Grip? Count your blessings if you use your boat so much that it ONLY lasts three seasons. Then take an hour or two and put on another coat.

Nothing terribly wrong with it except most people don't get the pattern very even so it usually looks pretty DIY, and is a bugger in narrow areas.  Plus it always looks dirty IMO.

I've used tintable 2 part truck bed liner to do the same job.  Spray the first pass on an area at lower pressure while it's thin(Gives you a nice thick surface and a raindrop kind of look) spray a second pass as it starts to tack up at high pressure and a bit farther back. This gives you a finer mist mixed with some random slightly larger globs, gives you a nice random texture that is somehow more consistent.  The combination of larger raindrops and fine mist gives decent bite.  Easy to colour match pretty close as well or pick a crazy colour if you want.  MUCH tougher than kiwigrip, Couple boats I've done this on the gunnels of to deal with a lot of paint damage have been very happy with it. 

Here's a more low texture finish, he wanted it thicker and a bit smoother for dragging things over but with good grip for boarding.

Redid the floor and a leaking tank, modified the interior layout and walkways for fishing.  Repainting the outside wasn't in the budget, this cost a couple hours total and 90$ in materials.  Brushed on the hatches to cover a lot of splits in the ply too.

 

 

 

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I raced for 1 season on an old ior boat that had a new paint job. The guy who did the work was a serious styrene guy who prided himself on his gelcoat nonskid.

I must have gone thru 5 pairs of shorts that summer. Its my least favorite. Once it gets dirty, its very hard to clean. Takes atleast one season of hard sailing to knock the sharp edges off of the gelcoat.

Awlgip & griptex is the way to go.

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On 7/20/2018 at 9:57 PM, dash34 said:

I did this on my boat, and to this day receive compliments from crew and other boat owners on the quality of the non-skid.  It is the easiest and cheapest non-skid repair going.  I wouldn't hesitate.  I redid my deck 10 years ago and it is still going strong - we average 6-7 regattas a year plus 2 weeks of cruising.

All I did was sand the old gelcoat non-skid down to a flat surface, mix up the gelcoat, spread it out in a thick layer with the textured roller, keep rolling until it starts to tack up, then roll in the texture you want.  If you want an aggressive non-skid, eg. at the mast where the foredeck stands for gybes, keep rolling a bit more as it hardens.  I used the Fibretex rollers which are hard to get now, but the Kiwigrip rollers do almost as good a job.

I used waxed gelcoat to avoid having to spray PVA on it afterward.  If you mess up you will have to sand it down all over again to remove the wax before re-applying.  Put it on thick. 

 

Tried messaging you but I guess your mailbox is full.

I see you are registered for SOAR next week.  Would you mind if I popped by sometime Friday evening to have a look at your deck?  I wasn't aware you had done it last time I was on Optical so didn't pay any attention to it.

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Thanks for the replies, SA at its best. When the weather gets better I'll crack into and post a few pics

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23 hours ago, 12 metre said:

Tried messaging you but I guess your mailbox is full.

I see you are registered for SOAR next week.  Would you mind if I popped by sometime Friday evening to have a look at your deck?  I wasn't aware you had done it last time I was on Optical so didn't pay any attention to it.

Sure!  You can sail with us too on Saturday if you like.  I think we need one more.

 

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On 7/23/2018 at 11:37 PM, dash34 said:

Sure!  You can sail with us too on Saturday if you like.  I think we need one more.

 

Yeah, I can do Saturday.  I still have your contact info so I will text or call you later this week to confirm things.

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I have original non-skid gelcoat that is still quite non-skiddy. The problem is it is oxidizing.  I want to stop or slow the oxidation as much as possible.  Waxing works well for the smooth areas of topsides and deck, but what products are available to protect non-skid?  Right now I'm using Westmarine Non-Skid Deck Cleaner, which has "PTEF Polymers" which supposedly "block damaging UV rays".  It seems to help reduce the amount of white cloudiness that comes off the boat when I rinse, but I can't help but think there is something more robust.

 

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18 minutes ago, Shu said:

I have original non-skid gelcoat that is still quite non-skiddy. The problem is it is oxidizing.  I want to stop or slow the oxidation as much as possible.  Waxing works well for the smooth areas of topsides and deck, but what products are available to protect non-skid?  Right now I'm using Westmarine Non-Skid Deck Cleaner, which has "PTEF Polymers" which supposedly "block damaging UV rays".  It seems to help reduce the amount of white cloudiness that comes off the boat when I rinse, but I can't help but think there is something more robust.

 

OK, I'm about to piss off the coatings guys, but I've seen some use penetrol with good results....  HOWEVER - I'd test in a small location first - you guys get some nasty dust down there, and Penetrol might attract it....

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3 hours ago, Shu said:

I have original non-skid gelcoat that is still quite non-skiddy. The problem is it is oxidizing.  I want to stop or slow the oxidation as much as possible.  Waxing works well for the smooth areas of topsides and deck, but what products are available to protect non-skid?  Right now I'm using Westmarine Non-Skid Deck Cleaner, which has "PTEF Polymers" which supposedly "block damaging UV rays".  It seems to help reduce the amount of white cloudiness that comes off the boat when I rinse, but I can't help but think there is something more robust.

 

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/woody-wax--woody-wax-fiberglass-nonskid-deck-wax--3745320?recordNum=1

Ive never used this but have heard decent reviews. 

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On 7/10/2018 at 2:58 PM, Raz'r said:

plenty of the classic west coast sleds had stippled gelcoat non-skid.

Yep, and nothing will tear through foulies or skin faster. It is VERY anti-skid, though.

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21 hours ago, Shu said:

I have original non-skid gelcoat that is still quite non-skiddy. The problem is it is oxidizing.  I want to stop or slow the oxidation as much as possible.  Waxing works well for the smooth areas of topsides and deck, but what products are available to protect non-skid?  Right now I'm using Westmarine Non-Skid Deck Cleaner, which has "PTEF Polymers" which supposedly "block damaging UV rays".  It seems to help reduce the amount of white cloudiness that comes off the boat when I rinse, but I can't help but think there is something more robust.

 

Shu, 

I think you probably need to remove all the oxidation first with a rubbing or polishing compound depending on how oxidized.  Then you can use something like the West Marine stuff, or the non-skid wax to try to keep oxidation at bay.

Problem now is that the non skid sections have been oxidizing since day one...and those "cleaning" compounds are meant for just that, cleaning non-skid, not removing years of oxidation.

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2 hours ago, Crash said:

Shu, 

I think you probably need to remove all the oxidation first with a rubbing or polishing compound depending on how oxidized.  Then you can use something like the West Marine stuff, or the non-skid wax to try to keep oxidation at bay.

Problem now is that the non skid sections have been oxidizing since day one...and those "cleaning" compounds are meant for just that, cleaning non-skid, not removing years of oxidation.

Presta super-cut compound and a stiff high density bristle brush you can really scrub with to knock the oxidized surface back a bit so it stops running off, the top layer is already oxidized, you can't change that, so getting it off is the solution.   A buffer moves too fast for getting in the texture.   Then follow up with cleaners and waxes to slow the oxidation in future.   Otherwise you are just using the wax to hold already oxidized gelcoat on the surface(what you are seeing as white runoff). 

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Thanks for all the comments so far.  A lot of the commercial boat detailers around here like to use a pressure wash to remove oxidation.  My concern would be having someone be too aggressive with the pressure wash and stripping the sound gelcoat off too.

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41 minutes ago, Shu said:

Thanks for all the comments so far.  A lot of the commercial boat detailers around here like to use a pressure wash to remove oxidation.  My concern would be having someone be too aggressive with the pressure wash and stripping the sound gelcoat off too.

  A pressure washer will not remove sound gelcoat.  A typical bottom cleaning(or at least an efficient one) uses a 4000PSI gas unit and a turbo(rotating jet) nozzle without damaging sound gelcoat.  HOWEVER it is an excellent way to screw up your sealant, blow grease lube and wax off of things and generally just cause havoc and start leaks if you choose to use it on deck.   An electric unit(2500ish psi) with a 15 degree nozzle will do the job with less risk, keep it at least 12" off the deck.   It isn't a detailers problem if your boat starts leaking a year later, and it makes customers happy in the short term and gets your more jobs because you can keep the bill lower than the guy taking the time to do it right.   It doesn't fully remove the oxidized crumbling layer, and do it often enough and you start to get weird textures even on smooth gelcoat so it looks like old skin.

Since your labour is free, why not take an afternoon or two and do it right?  Presta supercut is a bit more agressive than imperial rubbing compound from 3M used to be(they reformulated, and it sucks except as a quick one step).  Stay away from Presta gelcoat compound for this, it's fine for maintaining but start with super cut.   It's also 1/4 the price of 3m in the gallon jugs...

 

Super cut to sort out nonskid: 

1.  Scrub deck with hot water(if possible) and a PH neutral degreaser or dish soap(gets any wax and other residue off to stop crap sticking. 

2. Scrub with brush in circular motions using supercut, work about 2'x2' for a pole brush, 1'x1' for hand brush.

3.  Wash with hot water(if possible) and a degreaser or dish soap again to remove residue and compound, scrub deck.  Supercut has a slightly oily base to it, cuts grime better but needs a soap wash vs water based compounds. 

4. Rinse thoroughly, until white stops running off the boat.

5.  Wax deck with a non-skid wax or other UV resistant non-slippery protectant.

 

Maintaining the boat:

wash with a wash and wax boat or car soap.  

Repeat the deck cleaning in the spring the next year to really get back to nice gelcoat, then stick to maintaining it.   Trying to get it perfect in one year is a lot more effort and less result.  Boats that get a good compound a couple years in a row turn out better long term than ones that get a really aggressive job one year and neglect again after. 

 

 

 

 

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