The Skipper's Blog

Ask The Skipper
Views Counter

How to keep non-skid decks clean and free of scuff marks?


Andy asked:

I have been frustrated with my aqua sport boat of 14 years trying to keep the nonskid clean, in particular scuff marks. The ONLY thing that ever worked was to use a bleach/water wash, heavy Ajax application, and scrubbing like mad with a brisk/white brush. I usually worked.  Now I bought a new Boston Whaler, a far better quality boat. I thought maintaining the deck would be easier, but in fact, it’s harder. Getting scuff marks off is impossible, even with Ajax and a bleach/water solution.

I’ve been to West Marine and BOW (Boat Owners Warehouse) trying every possible product, expensive and not… nothing works.

Anxious to know what you recommend.



For your convenience, I’ve highlighted the hyperlinks. Click on the hyperlink to get more information about the selected product.

Stop! The products that you’re using will destroy the finish on your boat. Boston Whaler makes a great boat. It would be a shame to ruin it.


The first order of business is to get your decks pristine. Next you need to protect them and third you need to eliminate the cause of the scuff marks as best you can.


On my boat no one is allowed with street shoes or dark soled shoes of any kind. I have a basket that guests can deposit their shoes in, unless they are deck shoes. If they don’t have deck shoes, they can go barefoot. If they don’t like that arrangement, they can go home. Since I implemented that rule and used Sure Step on my decks, 95% of the scuff marks have disappeared and the rest are easy to clean. I haven’t used a deck brush in 13 years, except once a year in the spring before re-applying Sure Step.


To get your decks pristine, you need 2 cleaners; Boat Clean Plus and Boat Scrub. They’re very aggressive cleaners that will even clean the pores in your gelcoat, without destroying your boat and they’re environment friendly. It may take a bit of work the first time but it’s worth the effort as you’ll not have to do it again. After, you can apply 2 coats of Sure Step to seal and protect the finish on your deck, non-skid as well as smooth surfaces. This will give you an easy to maintain, shiny, non-slip finish that will last 6 to 8 months. It will stop the scrubbing, add value to your boat and give your pride of ownership as the decks will look great again. In most cases, cleaning consists or rinsing with a garden hose and drying with a chamois or microfiber cloth. Even bird poop just rinses away and dried on foot prints just wipe away with a wet cloth.


I recommend buying the premium Sure Step kit. It has everything you need to get professional results and if you follow the instructions, it’s guaranteed or you get your money back.


Here’s a link to our How To video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-CYvHhTFk8


And. here’s some customer feedback:




Thanks for your question


Captain Aurora

Richard Kittar