Boatbuilding Blog

April 17, 2012

Kiwi Grip Non-Skid

Filed under: Hardware — tomlarkin @ 1:49 pm

I finally put down non-skid on the outside decks. I’ve been meaning to do it since I launched, almost two years ago, but every time I had a nice sunny day I went boating instead of tackling this messy, uncomfortable task. It was a dumb thing to postpone so long.

I used Kiwi Grip, which is a thick, water-based paste that you trowel down and roll with a special roller to add the texture. Most of these steps would still apply when using paint with grit mixed in. I like this stuff because the texture is smoother than with grit, so it’s easier on the feet and doesn’t get quite as dirty.  They say not to apply when it’s a very warm day, or in direct sun.  Wash the desks before starting to tape.

Add extra tape on the edges – this stuff is messy and hard to get off if it goes outside the lines. 2012-04-14_13-11-06_224

Make each section a coupIe of square feet so you can do each one in one pass. I moved the cross-pieces around a few times to find a pattern I liked, using natural stopping points and dividing larger areas equally. I stood on the cabin top to make sure everything looked OK. Try to add the tape in short pieces and in reverse order of how you will fill them in, so you can easily remove the tape after each section. Have a plan on where to put the wet, gooey pieces of tape when you pull them up. A helper would have been nice.

I sanded the large areas with 150 grip with the power sander, then used the 150 grit sanding block sponge along the edges of the tape. Get the type of block with very square corners.2012-04-14_15-46-49_557

With the sanding sponge, sand right up to the edge of the tape to get the little area that the tape edge protects from the sander. Try to sight from a low angle to see if any shiny spots remain.  This step is important because the stuff might start peeling up along the edges if it doesn’t bond.  Vacuum and wash with alcohol before starting the Kiwi Grip application.

Application tools. Get the special roller when you buy the non-skid.  I used this small-v trowel this time and was happy with the amount of material it left. Bigger grooves leave too much stuff.  I applied the material right out of the can.

Trowel it on until the grooves are very even and there are no lumps or thin spots. Scoop any remainder back into the can.2012-04-14_16-14-29_22

Roll and roll until the groove pattern is completely gone. Roll slowly or you will splatter. (You will spatter anyway. Carry a damp sponge to clean it up before it hardens.) Remove the tape from each section after rolling, especially if it’s a warm day. Rinse the roller after each couple of sections if it starts to load or the texture pattern will be different.

Looks pretty!




  1. Tom
    Looks great.

    Comment by Mark — April 17, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

  2. […] Read Original Story at: Boatbuilding Blog […]

    Pingback by Kiwi Grip Non-Skid | | — April 20, 2012 @ 1:00 pm

  3. Tom: where did you get the trowel? looks like about 1/8 inch notches.


    Comment by Mike Bracket — June 27, 2012 @ 8:52 am

    • I just picked it up at my local Ace Hardware, in the paint section. It’s about 5 notches per inch, so a little over 1/8 inch. Can you tell me about your project?

      Comment by tomlarkin — June 27, 2012 @ 9:56 am

      • Tom: starting to plan a refinish on the deck of an old Catalina 22. I did the foredeck hatch this summer and used a trowel with 3/16 V shaped notches. I discovered it was a bit too aggressive so I found a trowel with 1/8 notches but they are about 1/8 apart. I will try this on some spare locker lids to see if it will work on the cockpit seats. I dont want a real aggresive finish on the cockpit seats. I am concerned about the large sections of the deck, getting them done before the product sets up so I want to break it into a couple smaller sections. any suggestions on how to blend in the sections so the end result looks uniform?
        thanks for the help.

        Comment by Mike Bracket — October 13, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

  4. Hi Tom, I really enjoy your boat building blog. I’m more interested in wood boat building, thinking about building a fiberglass boat in the near future.

    Comment by Mark — May 27, 2013 @ 5:50 am

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