Over the years, Practical Sailor has conducted dozens of test comparing painted-on non-skid exterior coatings. We’ve also compared the heavy-duty textured mats, including faux teak and cork, that are applied with adhesive. Three long-term tests of these coatings and mat products are still ongoing.
Here is a summary of what we found so far:
For long-term use, a two-part polyurethane (LPU) paint with a textured additive will provide the most durable exterior non-skid surface. Among the two-part LPU paint kits that scored the highest in our past tests were Awlgrip Griptex additive (with Interlux Perfection) and polypropylene beads (with Epifanes LPU). Triflex Treadmaster was our top contender among the adhesive mats. Among the textured paint products, Durabak has since been eclipsed by Kiwigrip and Interlux Interdeck for durability. (See Do-it-Yourself Nonskid Options, PS November 2013.)
The faux teak vinyl mats are very similar, and our long-term testing has not yielded any big losers or winners. The budget-priced Plasdeck and Permateek had slightly grippier surfaces in our test. The thicker Dek-King and Flexiteek products were slightly cooler. Testers were also impressed by the cork infused Marinedecks grip and durability.(See Synthetics Go Toe to Toe, PS December 2015).