1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Prepping for non-skid

With the shiny Awlcraft 2000 Matterhorn White on the cabin top, helm dashboard, and aft enclosure, the next step is to put non-skid on the decks. Since we’re using Awlgrip Topcoat for the non-skid paint base, the resulting finish will be extremely durable. That, in combination with the sand-like properties of the non-skid itself, makes it extremely difficult to remove any overspray that might happen. While applying the non-skid with a roller is possible, it tends to make for clumpy results. Rolling and tipping the paint then tossing handfuls of non-skid sand in the air  so it falls on the wet paint is another technique, but the results tend to be somewhat inconsistent.

When spraying non-skid, which is what the Boatamalans do, the tape job must be perfect. We gave it our best shot.

3M foam masking tape made a flawless blend

I started the day at 6AM, pulling some of the tape and plastic from the aft enclosure spray job. I have to say, the 3M foam tape really does make nearly invisible blend lines.

Tools of the trade: 3M hand masking film, 233+ tape and a taping machine

3M hand masking film is a time saver like you wouldn’t believe. I’d used paper taping machines before for small jobs (like whole cars), but for jobs like this you need special machines that dispense 90-foot rolls of plastic in 24, 48, 72 and 99″ widths with the tape attached as it comes off the roll.

Everything you don’t want dusted with non-skid MUST be covered.

It was 93* outside the tent and 103* inside in spite of having all of the vents open and fans on. But inside the helm area with all the plastic taped in place it was 123*. Sure would have been nice to have this done in May, as planned

Next, I set to work on the “painter’s path.”

It’s been a  real learning experience seeing how the chief Boatamalan choreographs the spray job. We go through the whole thing, with him waving his arm around as if he’s spraying. When he runs into a problem–like “painted into a corner” or “can’t reach over there before the paint flashes and leaves a dry patch”–he goes back a few steps and tries it again until he’s got it all worked out. Then I come in with the blue diamond-patterned plastic and make the walking path he’ll follow.

Meanwhile, the Boatamalan tape specialist performs his magic.

The guy that does the taping is amazing. His is truly a singular skill. Using 1″ 3M fine line tape and a small measuring stick, he lays the tape perfectly along the edge of the fillets. Then, once all the straight lines are laid down, he comes back with a variety of circular objects (new and used tape rolls and a bottle of Awl Grip activator), a pencil and a razor blade and cuts all of the rounded corners in the tape. The guy’s a genius!

Perfect radii by a true master

Yes, the left side curve in the pic above is, in fact, the exact same radius as the outside of a half-used roll of tape. The right side is patterned on the Awl Grip activator bottle bottom (the cap of the bottle is an entirely different size…he used that elsewhere)  😉

Non-skid mapped out on the mini deck over the transom

Flagstaff mount goes in the center and two vents to either side.

3/4″ plywood scraps cover the bow deck hatch hole

The center stripe will be shiny; the outer sections and side decks will be non-skid.

Cabin top non-skid corners are nicely radiused.

Nice symmetry

Done taping.

There will be a center stripe of shiny on the bow deck, which will break up the non-skid without compromising safety too much. The shiny there will also give a good surface to bed the hatch, windlass and Samson post.

On the bow seat, we decided to put the non-skid step along the center line to match the width of the shiny on the bow. Again, it’s a good compromise of aesthetics, utility and safety.

Just need to apply two strips of 2″ tape to cover the gap between the fine line tape and plastic masking film.


The last shot before I left the boat at 6pm on Labor Day.

Labor Day, indeed. I must have lost 10lbs of water weight sweating in that tent…which does NOT make it easier to tape, btw!

The boat is pretty much all taped up and ready to go though. The next step will be to sand the shiny up to the the tape lines with Mirka Abranet 320 grit, then blow off the dust, wipe everything down and get to spraying non-skid.

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Non-skid!

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2 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Prepping for non-skid

  1. More outanding work.
    Will you really let her out to play?
    Cheers!!
    -Eric

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