Non-Skid Deck Restoration – Prep and Application Steps
The rest of the fiberglass surfaces have buffed out nicely but my boat has tired-looking non-skid and I need to do something about it. I was reading about your products on your website but I still have a couple of questions:
A. How long does the recommended prep work (cleaning the deck with Boat Clean Plus & Boat Scrub) take? How much of each of these products should I use?
B. How long does applying Sure Step take & how much of it should I use? Do you apply Sure Step with a sponge or brush?
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Your questions are relevant to the condition and size of your boat. The prep work is very important if you want guaranteed great looking results. Your non-skid decks must be perfectly clean, free of pollutants and oxidization before applying the Sure Step. In other words "Aurora Clean". Sure Step will seal in anything that you don’t remove which could result in discoloration, streaking or product failure. That’s the reason for the two different cleaners.
Boat Clean Plus is an emulsifier type cleaner with excellent surfactants. It will penetrate deep into the pores of your gelcoat and remove organic grime, traces of sun tan oil, greasy residue that may have fallen from the sky in the form of pollution, bird and bug droppings and their residue, mold release wax etc. This product is free rinsing, non corrosive, and biodegradable, which means that it will not damage your gelcoat in any way or leave behind a residue which could effect the adhesion of the Sure Step. Many corrosive deck cleaners, will yellow your decks, etch the pores in the gelcoat, opening them up to trap more dirt, and are difficult to rinse away.
Boat Scrub is a deoxidizer that also contains a leaching agent called Hypexine. In addition to removing oxidized fiberglass, it will also remove stains, scuff-marks, yellowing, streaking and anything that the Boat Clean Plus may not have removed. Although used as a substitute for rubbing compounds, it does not cut integral gelcoat the way that compounds do. It only reacts with and removes the damaged, oxidized fiberglass. It is also non-corrosive, free rinsing and biodegradable.
To save time and effort; instead of rinsing away the Boat Clean Plus after scrubbing squirt some Boat Scrub onto the wet surface and scrub again, in all 8 directions, with both products. Now you can rinse away both products at once. When your decks are dry, closely inspect them for any remaining stains or marks. Remove them with a 50/50 mixture of Boat Clean Plus and Boat Scrub and rinse clean before proceeding.
The amount of time required to prep the decks is probably twice as long as it would normally take you to scrub you decks using a deck brush and cleaner of some sort. If you have been maintaining and cleaning your decks on a regular basis, it will take less time. if there are years of chalk on your decks, they have become Grey from atmospheric fall out and dirt, have rust stains, ground in sneaker prints and bird droppings, getting your decks clean again will take longer.
Applying the Sure Step is fairly quick and easy once the decks are Aurora Clean.. Deciding on application with a sponge or brush will depend on how aggressive the non skid pattern is. If you can apply it with a sponge without tearing it, that is the way to go since you can apply it faster and spread it better. If the pattern is ripping the sponge you will need a brush. Sure Step has a light gel consistency and application is similar to a liquid boat polish. It dries to a haze and then you need to remove the haze with a brush and possibly give it a buff with a terry towel to enhance the shine. Two coats are required for maximum performance and life. You will probably use more product for the first coat because it will be penetrating into the dried out gelcoat to seal and re-moisturize it. The second coat should go on much faster and require less product. The only thing that will slow you down is taking the time to stand back and admire how great your decks look or explaining the magic to your neighbors.
Once done, maintenance should only require rinsing with a hose and drying or if you are in a heavy pollution area, washing with a solution of 1 part Boat Clean Plus to about 15 parts water (more or less) and a mop. If ever you get a bad scuff or stain, you can use Boat Scrub to get it out, but you will have to re-apply Sure Step to that area. It will blend in with the rest of the deck and you will not see any separation line between the old and new Sure Step.
Thanks for your question