Treadmaster Deck Covering

We are finally nailed to the deck, thanks to Treadmaster! Though we had the most aggressive non-skid paint we could get, we still used to slide around whenever there was snow on the deck. It was a huge job to template, cut out and glue down all the pieces of Treadmaster it took to cover the deck, but it was so worth the work. Available in the US from Defender.

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Meet the Author


Phyllis has sailed over 40,000 offshore miles with John on their McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, most of it in the high latitudes, and has crossed the Atlantic three times. As a woman who came to sailing as an adult, she brings a fresh perspective to cruising, which has helped her communicate what they do in an approachable way, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

13 comments … add one
  • Alan Teale Sep 24, 2010, 5:44 am

    Do you happen to know what form of non-slip deck covering they have? I know you have Treadmaster and like it. We are trying to compare it with the French product TBS ( and from the photo I am wondering if that is what “Taonui” has. Alan

  • Craig Smith Sep 25, 2010, 12:10 pm

    TBS is excellent, Kiwi Roa has had it for 16 years. Easy on bare feet, but superb grip, and looks good, good functionality from tropics to extreme conditions. Replaced it once so far because it turned out they originally supplied the wrong stuff designed for indoor use – a considerable number of years later, when the problem was found, they shipped replacement rolls to New Zealand under warranty. Recommended.

    Various pics on, notice the different colors (original was red, replacement is green)…

  • Craig Smith Sep 26, 2010, 6:47 am

    Roll-on, used silicon. Not a fun job on a 15 m boat. E-mail me if you want, my 1st name at, will put you in touch with Peter if you want more info.

  • pete Oct 11, 2010, 4:57 pm

    As a boat builder I can give you a little tip for treadmaster. Don’t buy the epoxy they say you need. Use Sikaflex 296 it’s less than half the price and it will last as long as the treadmaster. Proof I used it on our old wooden yacht 18 years ago and it’s still there.

  • don murray Jul 25, 2011, 7:48 pm

    My teak decks are leaking into the boat due to the original screws through the fiberglass into the wood core. QUESTION Will Treadmaster glue directly to the teak? Thanks for an answer.

    • John Aug 7, 2011, 2:05 pm

      Hi Don,

      No, unfortunately you will need to get the old teak decks up, fix any damage done to the wood core by water, fill all the holes and clean off all the old goop used to put the teak down. Also, be aware that some boats with teak decks used the teak to give the deck stiffness, so you may need to beef up the deck structure too. In summary, it’s a big and nasty job, but you will have a much better boat when it is done.

  • Mike R Feb 18, 2012, 9:09 pm

    Hi John,

    Just wanted to see how the decks ad holding up? We want to use tread master on our decks and several folks have mentioned that it does not hold up well ( UV, staining, etc). Your opinion weighs a lot heavier than most so my wife and I thought we would ask.



    • John Feb 19, 2012, 9:55 am

      Hi Mike,

      Our Treadmaster is holding up very well after seven years and we are still very happy with it. But then we think of our boat as an expedition sailboat, not a yacht, and therefore a few cosmetic blemishes don’t matter to us.

      I think that your level of happiness will depend on your expectations. If you are the kind of owner that likes to keep their boat in perfect yacht shape with polished stainless steel, gleaming varnish and perfect paint work, then Treadmaster will be a disappointment to you: Stains do show, although they fade with time. And there does seem to be a bit of fading from UV.

      And, as Colin said in an earlier post, replacing Treadmaster is a nightmare job.

  • Mike R Feb 19, 2012, 3:30 pm


    Thanks for the information. We like commercial.

    We’ve read a few reviews about the stuff and folks complain about it not lasting but mention that they have gotten 15 plus years out of it. I think that’s pretty fair given the environment we operate in.


  • T Keenan Apr 3, 2017, 3:51 pm

    Cannot find an article on installing T-Tracks on teak decks— So Phyllis suggested me posting my query underneath this heading.

    Background and question:
    I have teak decks (on an F&C 44′ Ketch [ARG]) and I wondered what some installation tips might be for installing my new Schaefer T-Tracks? Old installation= they are through bolted deck/fiberglass with nuts and washers on the back side and use black 4200 caulking to seal and adhere it to the deck. This installation appears to be lacking something– as the cars touch and slide against the deck… depending on moisture levels… I just wondered if it didn’t make sense to possibly install a thin 1/4″ of wonderboard to provide a lift off of the deck and allow easier cleaning/water flow.
    Thank you– and sorry if this is a silly question– just something nagging me about this install being sooo close to moisture of the deck constantly.

    Skipper T
    S/Y Explorar Conmigo

    • John Apr 4, 2017, 7:32 am

      Hi T Keenan,

      My guess is that over the years the teak under the track has crushed down a bit, or maybe the installer over-tightened the bolts, and this has resulted in the track base being a tad below the level of the rest of the teak decks, which, in turn, leads to the car rubbing on the deck.

      So, yes, I think your idea of adding a spacer would solve the problem. However, I would not use as much as 1/4″ since raising the track that much will increase the leaver arm that the car exerts when subjected to any side vector forces, say when a jib is backed. I would think that 1/8″ would be fine, or maybe just a 1/16. Also I would use G10 for the spacer. You can get strips of G10 at McMaster Carr.

      The other option is to really do a job on this and rout out the teak deck down to the fiberglass and let in a strip of G10, say 1/32 thicker than the surrounding teak, glued to the deck with epoxy. A much bigger and more complicated fix, but one that will probably solve the issue once and for all and be less likely to leak.

      You will find some thoughts on what to re-bed the tracks with here:

      All this of course brings up the 800lb gorilla in the room: is it time to remove the teak decks and replace them with something else such as treadmaster or just a layer of fiberglass in epoxy and non-skid paint? With a boat of this age, teak decks are usually a either worn out and leaking, or close to it.

      Hope that helps.

      By the way, back in the day I did a bunch of miles on an F&C 44, including at least three races to Bermuda.

      • T Keenan Apr 4, 2017, 11:54 am

        John– thank you for the note. Before I respond to the technical installation comments– I must know– What was the name of the F&C vessel and owner? You have more miles on an F&C than I probably do at this point… Care to share your sailing experience on her– in all sort of weather? Please feel free to take this offline so I do not clutter this posting– but curious as a monkey… 😉

        • John Apr 5, 2017, 8:15 am

          Hi T Keenan,

          Boat was “Quest of Paget” and the owner Fenton (Jerry) Trimingham. If you send me a nice pic of your boat, maybe I will take a trip down memory lane in a future thoughts and photos post.

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