Features

January 2012 Issue

Traction in Action: PS Tests DIY Nonskid Options

Slip-resistant marine paints, mats, and additives put through their paces.

Boat owners looking to put some stick back into a slip-and-slide deck have a few options: apply a deck paint with a nonskid additive or glue sections of specialized nonskid mat to the deck. Choosing which type of nonskid is the right one for your boat makeover is a balancing act between aesthetic taste, traction needs, and budget. Practical Sailor tested 11 commercially available nonskid options that the average boat owner can easily apply: one paint with no filler media, five paints ready mixed with nonskid compounds, three nonskid additives that testers mixed with two-part topside paints, and two nonskid mats (one is self-adhesive, and one is glued on with an epoxy). All of the products can be applied to fiberglass, wood, or metal. Manufacturers included Pettit (Kop- Coat), Epifanes, AkzoNobel (Interlux and Awlgrip), West Marine, Pachena (KiwiGrip), Durabak, Tiflex (Treadmaster), and SeaDek. Using some creative bench tests, we evaluated how much traction, grip, and drag resistance each offered; we also rated how easy the products were to apply, how uniform the grit was, and how easy they were to clean.

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