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Slipping and Sliding

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Peter Landeck of Chicago, Illinois asks:

Will adding a flattening agent to a glossy two-part topside paint make it much less slippery? I would prefer not to add an abrasive antiskid medium to the paint. My original topside gelcoat has not been slippery, even in the spots where there is no antiskid pattern molded into the deck.

Don Casey Replies:

New gelcoat, when wet, is as slippery as an ice rink. If your existing gelcoat is not slippery, that’s because the surface has roughened with age, which is probably why you are painting it.

Adding a flattening agent to the new paint will have little effect on how slippery the painted surface will be. All areas where you are likely to step should have some kind of antiskid treatment. Even the molded antiskid surfaces can be compromised by wear and paint, and may require the addition of an antiskid compound when you paint them. A slippery deck represents a senseless risk to you and anyone who sails with you.

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