|Weeks of hard prep work finally pays off as Virginia applies the first coat of our non-skid.|
When Oceanus came out of the Columbia Yachts yard in Costa Mesa back in 1971 she had robin-egg blue non-skid areas with off-white water channels surrounding them. I'm sure they looked groovy just a couple years after The Summer of Love. Over the years the decks were pierced with vents and deck gear that now are long gone. They were beat up and painted two or three times, first with grey then with white paint. By the time we purchased the boat the decks were an ugly mess.
Worse still, all that paint filled in the texture of the molded in non-skid pattern making it unsafe. For two or three days each week for several weeks last fall Virginia was on her knees stripping off the old paint with Citristrip and wire brushes and lots of elbow grease digging down to the original robin-egg blue, diamond-patterned non-skid. It was a lot of hard work: she came home beat. It was also a classic it-looks-worse-before-it-looks-better project. Way worse.
|Oceanus's deck taped and ready for non-skid.|
Before she started this project last year Virginia researched several non-skid paint options and finally decided to use a coating called Ecoprocote Eco-Tuff Flex Formula Fine Aggregate in the wheat color. It's a low-VOC, high-traffic, rubberized non-skid industrial floor coating that has ground-up recycled tennis balls to make it grippy. The makers, Eco Safety Products, describe it as "The highest quality 100% Acrylic emulsion and Urethane dispersion with advanced bio-based technology that offers outstanding abrasion, hot tire pick-up, chemical, water, and weather resistance for interior or exterior use. It is a breathable self sealing, uniquely hard yet resilient rubberized non-skid coating that waterproofs, protects, and provides a non-aggressive barefoot friendly texture." I think it was the barefoot-friendly texture that sold us.
|Virginia applies the special primer for the Eco-Tuff non-skid coating.|
|The cockpit get's its first coat of non-skid. The teak strips on the sole of the cockpit are taped off.|
|After two coats of non-skid Virginia removes the tape.|
The best part about the new non-skid is way it feels. Your footing is secure both with bare feet and while wearing our Keens (the best shoes and sandals you can buy, in our opinion). In bare feet it feels soft and a little squishy, like the soft matts sometimes used in children's play areas or the running surface on a high-tech track. The Eco-Tuff folks also claim it has some insulative qualities, which won't hurt when the sun is beating down on Oceanus's huge deck.
|Beautiful decks at last!|
We couldn't be happier with how it looks and feels. Now we will wait to see how it holds up during actual use. Here's hoping Virginia's hard work pays off long term.