Monday, September 5, 2011

A slippery subject

Over at Sail Delmarva, Drew has some thoughts on how to overcome slipperiness.  What he says is also a classic case of recognizing when the boat is telling you something, and dealing with it before a minor issue results in a major problem.

I've enjoyed too many small slides on the side deck, and during our last trip I very nearly broke a collar bone on a stanchion. It's not a place you would consciously place a foot; every slip has been when I was distracted, carrying something or working on something... but a slip is a slip Builders love to mold cool curves but sailors hate them. My last boat (Stiletto 27) had similar slope and every owner wiped out a few times; many built a cover or step to hide it. I plastered mine with 3M tape and like the result.

Yes, I could move more slowly. No, actually, I can't.

I'm big on 3M non-skid tape. We've added wide strips on the steps and lower seats edged in the cockpit where it has eliminated a lot of wet bare foot dances. It's aggressive as hell but still reasonably skin friendly. Its hot in the sun and not particularly cheap, but I keep running into roll-ends from projects at work, so my cost is agreeable. And in this case it was easy enough to hide in the black gel coat area.

Now there is enough friction to stand on the slope. Cool.

(Three 4 x ~18-inch strips each side)


  1. We've used the 3M tape on the stairs at the companionway - and it does the job brilliantly! On the deck it's sand-in-paint. I actually just finnished a non-slip project myself. It's still in a draft stage for a blog post though...

  2. Hi Lotte -

    Just don't use the clear tape - I tried that and it failed. Because it was clear, the sun destroyed the adhesive, and it peeled off.



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