One of the things we’ve found to help us during our topside refit projects is flexibility. When the weather God(ess) is telling you not to do one thing you have to listen and then do another.  Idle time is not well spent when you have a boat that needs as much work as Sundowner.  So it came to be that this weekend… There was wind.  And a fair amount of it.  So instead of fighting the wind up the mast we decided to soldier on continuing with other nagging projects that need doing.

On Saturday we rebedded some more port lights.  We’re up to six of ten.  Only four more left!  That feels good.  But the weather was so nice, despite the breeze, that we decided it was finally time to get after the deck project.  So Sunday Dani set about sanding the non-skid portions of the deck.

Dani sanding the deck for Kiwigrip

Gotta love a gal that will get dirty!

Our deck had been teak planked all over at one point.  The previous owners took up the teak and hammered wooden bungs into the holes.  This is not in any way a good solution these days.  If we’d had our way they’d have filled all the old teak screw holes with epoxy, but you live with what you’ve got.  A lot of these wooden bungs had begun to show through the old non-skid and this lead to worry that they’d get wet, and swell, and then inevitably rot the deck.  It was time to take action.

After some sanding you can really see the old holes well.
Forepeak sanded showing wooden bungs
Epoxy repairs on the foredeck

To cover and protect all this real estate we did a lot of research.  It turns out that the previous non-skid was kiwigrip to the best of our knowledge and this “paint” is water proof and will protect these bungs if they stay covered.  We contacted the manufacturer and explained our situation.  They recommended we prime over all the old bungs before putting down the non-skid.  (As a side note here, the American customer service rep from Kiwigrip actually called us on the telephone the same day we emailed them and answered all of our questions – That my friends is excellent service!)

We chose primekote as our weapon of choice.
Epoxy primekote to go underneath the kiwigrip

Dani thinned it about 10% for the application.  This was because we wanted to build up the area of the bungs somewhat and we had a very spotty application going from bung to bung instead of priming a huge area.  It worked well.
Mixing Epoxy primekote

After the primer had hardened we went ahead and scrubbed down the decks, sanded over everything again with a high grit paper, swept and tack ragged the whole area.
Tate sanding the primekote for kiwigrip

And finally… The ubiquitous blue tape.  Oh and Dani perched over her masterpiece.
Taping deck for kiwigrip application

There was definitely a moment of trepidation before we popped open this 50 dollar can of God only knows what.  We’d read just about everything we could find about application but feared the brutal sun and temperatures of South Louisiana would give us very little pot time.
kiwigrip can

This stuff came out of the can like thick clay.  At first I tried to transfer it to paint cups but realized it was just too thick and goopey to matter so then I moved along to actually just dumping it out along the deck.  I resorted to using a spoon to get the stuff on the sides and bottom of the can out!  It reminded me of getting those last few spots of food out of a thick canned good.

I used a big putty knife to put a uniform coat down while Dani came behind me with the special roller to give it the texture.  We worked fast in the heat in very big sections (which isn’t suggested) and then we would race back to begin pulling up the tape before the kiwigrip set up.   This worked fairly well but the non-skid did pull a bit as we raised the tape.  We touched those areas up with a foam brush.

In the end the final product came out nicely.
Foredeck painted with kiwi grip
Port side deck painted with kiwigrip

Texture close up.
Texture of kiwigrip close up

Unfortunately, either we did something wrong or the directions were wrong on coverage area as our two cans only did one side deck and the foredeck.  So we’ll have to come back and finish as soon as we get another can in the mail.  But… We’ve never seen the decks looking so good!
Full deck finished with kiwigrip

And finally.  Its Memorial day, so thanks to all our soldiers out there!