Here is a great blog by one of our customers detailing his recent full boat installation.
Non-skid Installation

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, and that’s primarily because I’ve been putting all my spare time into trying to finish the boat. At the end of last summer we finished the paint job on the deck and covered it up for the winter. The first step this spring was to apply non-skid.

After a lot of research and vacillation I finally decided to use a product from SeaDek for the non-skid. It’s a soft rubber (EVA foam, whatever that means) sheet product with a raised dot pattern on top, and a self-adhesive backing, about 1/8 inch thick.

I was somewhat concerned about the durability and strength of the backing, but last summer I applied one of the samples I’d gotten to one of the steps on my ladder. The step was filthy, but I just peeled the backing and slapped it on, primarily to see how tough the adhesive really was. It’s still there and showing no sign of peeling, and that on an unprepared surface. I suspect the glue will outlast the nonskid’s usefulness. I do still have concerns about UV resistance and durability, but so far I’m really pleased with the product.

SeaDek ships the product in 18 inch widths and lengths of 38 and 74 inches, so the first challenge was to figure out how to cover the deck with those limitations, and avoiding seams. Call me a geek, but when I’m faced with a problem like that I turn to cad. Here’s a drawing of the deck and non-skid layout:

From there the quickest way to figure out how much to order was to print out a series of 18×74 inch boxes and make cutouts of the pieces. I played around with layout to minimize the number of sheets. Here’s what I came up with:

While waiting for the sheets to arrive I made full-size patterns of the pieces. I found an 18 inch wide roll of 20lb paper at my local art store and proceeded to tape sheets onto the deck, mark the layout leaving a 1″ border, trim the pieces to shape, and re-tape them to double check the alignments.

This took a lot longer than I’d expected. I was surprised to find out just how asymmetric the boat was. Not one single piece from the port side matched it’s mirror on the starboard. Here’s a shot of the paper mockups (You can (sort of) see where I played around with the gap around the center cleat.):

Once I had all those patterns made I was able to just trace their outline onto the SeaDek product and start cutting. I tried a utility knife, an XActo, and scissors to do the cutting, but in the end the scissors were the fastest and easiest. It’s not as clean as a die-cut part, but overall the cuts look pretty good.

Installation was actually pretty easy. I did a dry fit of the parts, then marked their edges with dots of tape for reference marks. I cleaned each area with windex first, then wiped it down with acetone. I then unpeeled about 6 inches of backing and stuck that portion in place. I could then pull on the loose end of the backing from underneath, working a few inches at a time, checking alignment as I went. Even with a stiff breeze at the marina it went pretty well. Here are some pics of the final layout:

Next post: hardware.