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Non-Skid on Floorboards

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Non-Skid on Floorboards
Good morning, All~

A friend just asked me what I used for anti-skid on floorboards in gunning boats. I have used two different approaches - mild and robusto?

The milder version is what's available from many sources - a fine sand or other inert granule intended to be added to paint or epoxy. I had the sand in the bag since my days on Long Island - probably bought it at a paint store in Patchogue in the mid-80s. I finally used it up and bought a small tub of Skid-Tex. [CLICK to enlarge]

I used it here on the top of a rope locker which doubles as step when getting into the cockpit on a big cabin boat. This vessel is used during the warmer months and feet could be bare - and some could sit on it in bathing suits (or less?).

I do not add the "sand" to the paint. Instead, I mask the edges before rolling on my final coat of epoxy - then sprinkle the sand on with a salt shaker I keep for this purpose. I then put 2 coats of paint over it once the epoxy cures (and has been washed to remove any amine blush).

I have also used playground sand - in bags from the hardware store - for a coarser grip. As duckboats are typically used only in colder months with heavily-booted feet, the superior traction is generally welcome.

Such sand is typically damp from the bag. I let a batch dry in the sun - then sprinkle from a can covered with 1/8-inch hardware cloth as a shaker.

These floorboards (aka duckboards) are for a South Bay. I mask areas unlikely to be trod upon.

So - other approaches? I gather many use heavy foam mats intended for shops and such. And, I know 3M has long made self-adhesive non-skid tapes and patches for smaller areas.

All the best,


Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY

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Re: Non-Skid on Floorboards In reply to
I tend to favor a foam covering. Usually large areas are covered with interlock pieces which can be lifted for cleaning. On the deck or a step I will glue the foam in place. Then foam tends to be more forgiving on my knees, fishing gear, and other things which may come in contact with it.

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA. ,,,,,, "As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats." Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
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Re: Non-Skid on Floorboards In reply to
Nice work Steve, and nice rope locker. I like that particular buff color. Your method is the one I have used on plywood, or glass and plywood.

I was wondering about the truck bed liner material that Devlin coats his boat interiors with. I think that has non-skid properties, as well as durability. It's certainly a more industrial approach. Some of the Tolman skiff builders have used it on deck surfaces, masking off areas to remain smooth as you do (that's a nice look). Durabak has some appropriate colors that could be matched. Not sure if it can be tinted. I haven't done this myself, only musing.

The other real pro method would be a flex-mold non skid pattern, like Gibco. This is beyond the realm of most DIY duckboats, but maybe interesting for a high dollar skiff. Still musing.