1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Cast Your Vote for the Non-skid Layout

Some discussions that arose about the non-skid map I included in my article on final sanding and priming the decks inspired me to  come up with alternative designs. I don’t pretend to be an artsy-fartsy type, but the sketches below pretty much capture the ideas that people have brought up.  Please select your preference in the poll at the bottom. The factors to keep in mind include:

Safety (including slipperiness and potentially blinding reflectivity of shiny paint)

Aesthetics (sprayed Awl Grip non-skid is extremely uniform and not so shiny…but is it pretty, especially on the cabin top and bow seat of a classic Chris Craft?)

Utility (ie non-skid on the bow seat might tear up clothing or even skin, but then cushions are an option)

Here are the designs

Design A: No non-skid on the bow seat or cabin top
Reason given: classic boats look better without it.

Design B: Non-skid center stripe
Reason given: necessary for safety, but too much detracts from classic boats. Also, width matches helm and bow seat center windows.

Design C: Non-skid to handrail
Reason given: non-skid on bow seat hurts, but 6″ on either side provides safe steps onto cabin top. Also, more non-skid on center span of cabin top dulls the glare caused by shiny paint; less eye strain after long, sunny days at the helm.

Design D: Non-skid all the way across the bow seat and cabin top (except for the center stripe of shiny; the mast cannot be bedded on non-skid), with a 1.5″ border of shiny AwlCraft 2000 Matterhorn white to the fillets and radii all the way around.
Reason given: Provides maximum safety. Also, this is how Weaver Boatworks does their sportfishermen, and the painter thinks it looks good.


Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: The Butterfly Effect


8 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Cast Your Vote for the Non-skid Layout

  1. Art Gauthier says:

    Voting on the non-skid pattern. Personally I don’t like non-skid anywhere you don’t plan to walk, i.e. cabin-top. I understand the glare issue so that is a personal dilemma. (that’s what they make Ray Bans for, isn’t it?)

    My two cents is – A) minor item -some non-skid on the seating area will help hold cushions in place (also help wear them out).

    B) A more significant thought – The 1.5 inch shiney adjacent to the toe rail might be a little thin. My (historic) understanding of breaks in non- skid is to expedite water flow. Most boats I’ve seen also have transverse breaks in the non-skid (say every 4 feet of so) again to aid in run-off. Remember the decks carry all water including that which runs off the cabin top. Getting that water to the scuppers as quickly as possible is the objective. I did calculations for water shed on my decks – a solid green water spray/ wave over the bow depositing 2 inches of water over the whole deck will go over the side in 2 seconds .

    Just my 2 cents.

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Hi Art! Glad you chimed in!

      Personally, I don’t like non-skid for anything but safety reasons. Aesthetically, I don’t think any boat looks better with it…but the ones that have it in the right places are safer. I’ve been on the cabin top of my Commander no less than a half dozen times this year, and I haven’t been taking the boat out anywhere near as much as I normally do. Risk = hazard x exposure. The more boating I do, the more opportunities I’ll have to be on the cabin top etc, and the greater the likelihood of slipping and breaking something precious…like my arse! 😉

      I’ve had the opportunity to watch the way torrential downpours behave on my Commander. Granted, the 45yo gelcoat has long since lost its high gloss shine, but water still runs off pretty well. I’d be interested in seeing the data supporting the theory that skinny little transverse lines of shiny paint have a significant effect on the rate of green water runoff from the deck. I could see how non-skid might hold dirt better, but I’m less convinced it would have such a profound effect on runoff that it was worth accepting the higher risk of injury from slipping.

      Anyway, my boat’s gonna be so fast, it’ll float over the waves…no green water will have a chance to hit the bow. 🙂

  2. Greg K says:

    In the interest of keeping scantily clad bottoms happy, have you considered using SeaDek on the bow seat instead of grit? It’s supposedly quite good non-skid and very easy on bare skin, and in sufficient thickness would serve double duty as cushioning. They do nice 2-tone custom CNC pads of various thickness or it’s available in 3mm or 5mm DIY sheets. I think it’s at least worth getting a quote on.

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Thanks for the idea, Greg. The thing that has me concerned is that Awl Grip is reportedly very sensitive to plastic and other impervious surfaces being left on it. For example, I’ve heard from several sources that even shrink wrap must be done so-as to not leave the plastic in contact with the paint. Moisture in between the two impervious surfaces is apparently especially bad. That SeaDek product looks great as something to bring up on the bow seat to sit on, and then roll up and take with you when you’re done. But if I had to dash to the mast to lower it or ??? I could find myself skating across slippery shiny paint. I’d hate to get a Darwin Award for aesthetic reasons, if you know what I mean.

      • Greg K says:

        Looking at Awlgrip’s maintenance tips: http://www.awlgrip.com/support-and-advice/tips-for-maintaining-topcoats.aspx

        Suggests to me that the problem is not non-breathable coverings but trapped moisture softening up the topcoat, to the point that Awlgrip warns against leaving wet seat cushions on the topcoat. Honestly, I don’t think Seadek would be a problem in this regard; It’s glued down (comes with a PSA backing) and since it’s not porous the only way moisture is going to get trapped against the awlgrip is if it’s there when you glue down the seadek.

        Perhaps the best solution is to just ask Awlgrip directly. Their phone number is (888)355-3090, and your local technical sales representative is george.dunigan@akzonobel.com.

        • 1969roamer46 says:

          I didn’t realize that SeaDek was a glued-down product. I see that it’s popular on small ski and fishing boats, but based on forum comments there seem to be problems with staining. Red wine washes right off of paint and non-skid, but I suspect I’d end up with a pink spot on the SeaDek. Also, longevity is a bit of a question mark, and the tenacious adhesive has a few commenters wondering what to do when it comes time to replace the product. I appreciate the suggestion but think I’ll pass on the SeaDek and go with a combination of shiny, limited non-skid for safety, and cushions we’ll bring out when somebody wants to lounge up front.

  3. Mark Young says:

    When we painted Sundowner we left the fore deck and cabin top shiny for appearance sake. After falling a couple of times when washing it i realized shiny was highly overrated.. I highly recommend a non skid track to any higher area you may find needing acces to, regardless of the infrequency.
    Awl grip when new is like an oily surface when wetted!
    Sundowner 41 Regal

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Mark, I completely agree with you, even though I’ve only skated across the surface of fresh paint when it gets wet…no falls yet, but I’m too old to keep tempting fate!

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