View Full Version : Nonskid Repair on wood deck

5th August 2007, 02:04 PM
I'm doing a ding repair on a wood Serenity. It's such a beautiful board, I'm trying to do it right.

Following Roger's input, after being sure the area was dry, I've used penetrating epoxy to seal the exposed wood, filled and faired the defect using epoxy mixed with wood flour, and then glassed over the area.

I'm trying to decide what is the best approach to adding the non-skid to match the original, and would like to achieve both a long lasting functional non-skid and a good cosmetic result which matches and blends into the rest of the non-skid (I'm only applying non-skid to an area a few inches across, not the whole board).

I've checked Eva "the board lady" site but can't find anything on non-skid. From the research I've done it appears I can apply a coat of epoxy or polyurethane and then sprinkle over "non-skid dust" or go with Redeck. Which of these choices would give the best result on a Wood Serenity to match the factory non-skid? Does anyone know how the factory non-skid is applied to wood deck Starboards?

By the way, I'm using West Sytem 105 Resin and 207 Hardener (the 207 results in a very clear epoxy designed especially for glassing over wood surfaces such as the Serenity deck without altering the color and is also UV inhibited. So I'm not sure if I should stick with this epoxy, go with polyurethane, or go with Redeck (which I've heard some say doesn't last that long). Some people have also said that epoxy can yellow, but that may be less true of the UV inhibited epoxy I'm using.

Also, if anyone has suggestions on the best brand and source for "non-skid dust" I'd appreciate it.

Thanks! I and my Serenity thank you!


5th August 2007, 09:38 PM
Hi Jay,
I think the stock WOOD construction Starboards use a "foam dust" as the particulate in the non-skid.
Fiberglass Supply (down in the Gorge) sells "acrylic dust" that should match the original non skid if you set it in some thinned West System 105 or in some of the pentrating epoxy (which one did you use and where did you get it?)
You can put a coat of thinned resin on the patch area and then use a
flour sifter (cheap in the kitchen section of most big grocery stores) to to sift/shake on the correct amount of acrylic dust to get the non-skid match.
Since you are only repairing a small area, you might want to make up a little "foam dust" of your own.
I've used a scrap piece of Divynicel foam, and a bit of 100 grit abrasive paper and in a couple of minutes you have plenty of "foam dust" to replace the non=skid in your reapir area.
Since I'm guessing your repair is up forward where you never really use the non-skid (a boom head strike...right?) you could also just put on a layer of resin and then take a brush when it's getting slightly tacky and use the brush to add some texture.
Hope this helps,

6th August 2007, 12:08 AM
Hi Jay,

While the foam dust that Roger suggests is used by many, I have used granulated salt with great results. The salt ultimately dissolves away, but it leaves a rough non-skid impression in the epoxy. Granulated sugar can also be used, but it can attract ants until it dissolves away. The great thing about salt or sugar is that they completely disappear and leave nothing to yellow over time. Foam usually has some color to it, and any trapped residual will very likely yellow over time after extended sun exposure.

6th August 2007, 01:13 PM
Roger and SteveC, thanks for your input.

Well, Roger, you are right and you are wrong.

It is a ding forward of the mast track, but no it's not from a boom head strike. It looks like a harness hook defect but I don't remember doing it. Since I don't mount the board up front, I'm assuming it happened during a blown tack (ie, as I fell off to the side of the board my hook may have glanced the top of the deck a few inches in from the rail).

I bought the penetrating epoxy you recommended via the link you provided. Very nice stuff, but pricey. I'vs since seen several brands of penetrating epoxy, including a couple of brands available at West Marine.

I filled the defect (after using the penetrating epoxy to seal the wood) using a mixture of West System 105/207 epoxy and wood four from System 3. It was the lightest wood flour I could find. Still, when I mixed it, it was a bit too dark to match the Serenity deck so I added a bit of white epoxy resin pigment to lighten it up. It ended up matching the darker "veins" in the wood grain pretty well and sanded perfectly.

I guess the combination of penetrating epoxy and acrylic dust or salt should work pretty well for the non-skid. My concern is that it's not UV protected. The West System Epoxy (105 resin mixed with 207 hardener) IS UV protected but might be harder to apply a thin coat (I've read a trick is to use a piece of dry roller to squeegee it). I've also read that linear (2 part) polyurethane is UV protected and won't yellow, so it's preferred by many but it sounds like you'd go with epoxy.

Does anyone know if the factory uses epoxy or LPU?

No one mentioned Redeck - is that because it's not recommended or just that no one has used it?

By the way, if I wanted to make my own foam dust, where does one buy a piece of Divynicel?

6th August 2007, 09:49 PM
Hi Jay,
I think the LP clear UV stabilized varnish would work fine.
I thinke Eva (The Board Lady told me she uses it all the time for non-skid, with acrylic dust or foam dust as the "grit".

I'll ask what the factory uses, but they aren't usually very vocal about an of their "proprietary production processes".
Redeck would work, but I've seen more "messes" than good looking jobs with Redeck. It's probably not the product but rather the craftsmanship.
Any kind of hard foam (that the resin or LP won't melt will do the trick.
Check with any WS local board or surfboard repair shops. Might have trouble finding Divynicel in other than a dark tan/ brown, so it may not be the best choice. The salt will work ok as well but the result looks a little different as yoiu have all kids of little cavities where the salt melted out.
Yes, my demo Serenity has a number of "unexplainable" dings and dents in the deck. At least your damage didn't take out the logo on the deckl. I couldn't replace that. The factory sent me one, but it was quite different than the original.
Hope this helps,

7th August 2007, 12:53 AM
Hi Jay,

Regarding potential UV protected epoxy, you might contact either of the following two sources:

Fiberglass Supply - http://www.fiberglasssupply.com

Fiberglass Hawaii - http://www.fiberglasshawaii.com

I have found that they both carry a broader spectrum of stuff than what's available at West Marine, including divincell and other foam products. Fiberglass Supply really has an interesting stock of different cloths. I have been buying my carbon cloth (282 and 284) from them, to include a real trick fiberglass cloth (Texalium) that has vacuum deposited aluminum on one side. When layed up, it looks like woven SS in a twill pattern.

7th August 2007, 08:00 AM
Thanks, Roger and Steve, for your input.

This is my first stab at doing a board repair correctly. So far so good. I want to get that nonskid on there so I can go sailing and stop fussing in the shop...

Roger - if the factory does give any feedbak let me know, thanks.
Steve - great links, thanks.


7th August 2007, 12:02 PM
Hi Jay,
I just heard back from Tiesda at Starboard HQ.
He's sure they are using a clear PU resin, which I interpret to be
a UV stabilized 2 part clear polyurethane resin or varnish.
He's going to get back to me with the "texture" material.
Hope this helps,
Hmmmm... interesting.... this is just what Eva (The Board Lady.com)

8th August 2007, 10:32 AM
Hi again Jay,
The non-skid "texture" on Wood construction Starboards is a UV Stabilized PU resin with a hardener and appropriate thinner, with
acrylic dust added before the PU hardens.
Hope this helps,

8th August 2007, 11:35 PM
Hi Roger,

You and Tiesda are a lifesaver, thanks!

When you say"The non-skid "texture" on Wood construction Starboards is a UV Stabilized PU resin with a hardener and appropriate thinner, with acrylic dust added before the PU hardens" - is the hardener the 2nd part of the 2 part PU resin or is it something seperate I need to add? Is the thinner used to get a thin coat that flows better?

I tried a test using a fine silica based nonskid powder (like fine white sand) sprinkled over 105/207 epoxy on a piece of scrap wood. It didn't look good, didn't adhere very evenly, and when I lightly sanded it to even it out it came off too easily. So that is NOT a good solution.

I'll have to get the acrylic powder from Fibergalss Supply in the gorge. The only thing I'm worried about is how well it will adhere to the PU resin. The non-skid on the Serenity is really great and doesn't rub off. I hope I can get the new nonskid to work almost as well. Do you think it will stick well enough to the PU resin just by dusting it on the wet resin or do you need to do anything else like lightly roll it in after dusting?

Thanks Roger!


9th August 2007, 12:34 AM
Hi Jay,
That would be a good question to fire off to Eva (The board Lady) Holiman.
I'm not sure.
I think the idea is to thin out the UV Stab. Polyurethane Varnish (or resin if you prefer) and it probably doesn't need to be a 2 part. That's just what cobra is using.
Did you put the sand on with a flour sifter, or just sprinkle it?
I think a flour sifter may be critical to getting the density of the acrylic dust right.
Put on the PU pretty thin, then sfit some acrylic dust on from about 1' above.
If you are doing a patch,, just put the PU in the area where you want it to stick, and sift away. The excess in dust in the surrounding area can be swept off with a whisk broom after the PE set up.
Try rolling it if you like, but I thnk I'd only roll the PU varnish then sift the texture on.
Get a piece of thin pine, prepare a little area the same as what you've put on your board so far, then experiment.
Hope this helps,

9th August 2007, 03:02 PM
Hi Roger,

Thanks for the additional info.

To put on the sand, I made a sifter from a small glass jar covered with a piece of nylong stocking rubber-banded over the opening. I read that tip in an article I found online from Boards magazine. It produced a nice controllable and even delivery. Only downside - I felt a bit odd buying the nylon stockings at the local supermarket, particularly when the clerk at checkout asked if I had found everything I was looking for!

Well, the bad news is that I contacted Fiberglass Supply today and they no longer carry the acrylic dust. They said the manufacturer stopped making it. I did a liitle searching and think it was made by Fiberglass Hawaii. I've emailed them but I bet they'll say the same thing. I'm currently investigating alternatives from System Three, Awlgrip, and Interlux which are sold for use on boats. Not sure yet how comparable they are or if they will work in this application. These products do say to apply a top coat after sifting onto the base coat.

On a related note - the System Three polyurethanes look quite interesting - they actually dilute with water and can be used indoors since they give off low fumes compared with other products. They can also be used with a cross-linker and from what I read they're great products. The clear cooat PU is available in either gloss or matt finish and are UV stabilized. Their clear matt PU may be a winner since it could be feathered into and blend in nicely with the rest of the wood deck finish, making the repair less visible.

Thanks again, Roger.