The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

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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Alan Teale

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

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

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.


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

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 Harries

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

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 Harries

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


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

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 Harries

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

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 Harries

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.


“… replacing Treadmaster is a nightmare job.”

So here it is 20 years after we did the job and the treadmaster on our 11 meter aluminum Damien IV needs replacing. (It’s funny how 20 years seem like a longer time looking forward from your 30s than it does looking back from your 50s.)

We put the treadmaster down on top of a Interlux 2 part epoxying base using west system epoxy with an additive for flexibility (that I don’t recall).

We used “sport white” diamond pattern treadmaster which I believe is not made anymore.

Issues we had:
1) About halfway through putting on the treadmaster the first time, an old yard had told us “your grinding the deck clean, no need to use the west etch”. Wrong. Half the boat pealed off sheet wise at the metal interface after a year in the Carribean. We replaced that half following the directions for interlux and west epoxy. We used additives I don’t recall. Mainly it stayed stuck but…

2) The treadmaster near the outboard edges, tends to come up. When it fails, it is always at the metal. Other areas of the boat with the interlux with pain and non skid additive have held up.

3) The treadmaster itself holds up well for years. Homebase was mostly in the NY area so hot summers and cold winters. Eventually it starts to powered and become harder. Still very grippy under foot but some don’t like the powered. Mostly IMHO, it was usable after a good wash.

0) Is there anything a lot better or easier?

1) Any tips on removing the old treadmaster. In the intervening years, we’ve had the rest of the hull pained after a sandblast — that is holding up very well. I’m not sure if sandblasting treadmaster is realistic. However, there is a new method of wet, dustless blasting … ex: Any thoughts on this? (Really can’t face days of angle grinder work!)

2) What methods have people used to glue down the treadmaster? If you used epoxy, did you barrier coat the deck (Interlux 2 part, etc)? Above Sikaflex 296 was mentioned … what was your specific method (direct to blasted aluminum? barier coat? etc) and how is it holding up? (It seems to me that epoxy is too stiff for treadmaster and that could be causing some of the delimitation, especially near the gunnels where there is greater temperature difference as the topsides heat/cool before the deck.)

3) Has does colored treadmaster hold up with out giving off powder? Has anyone ever used a treatment to deal with aging. (Maybe just keeping the sun off the deck when not sailing is the trick?)

Any other thoughts on treadmaster would be most welcome! For the long term utility of this page as a reference, it would be good if people recorded the specific process they used and the results. It’s a big job that can be spoiled by one bad step as happened in our first round.


John Harries

Hi Blake,

Our treadmaster is now 12 years old and still looks fine, but the boat has probably spent 1/3 of that time covered in storage.

If you put “traedmaster” (no quotes) into the search box above you will find a lot more of our thoughts on the stuff.

We attached it with west system, which has worked well, but we were glueing to epoxy putty and paint covering the aluminium, not the metal itself.

Removing it is going to be hard, all I can think of is a belt sander.

Once removed, I think I would look at one of the new coatings like KiwiGrip that were not available when you and I selected treadmaster.