You need your fishing dock to be attractive, reliable, and safe in slippery situations. Whether you've been considering building a new fishing dock or are looking to upgrade your current one, we're here to give you the best non-slip options for building your perfect dock. After all, you, your family, and friends are going to be spending a lot of quality time on it. Making sure you're using the best materials will help give you peace of mind all year long.
If you're looking for the best non-slip material your money can buy, look no further than grip tape. (One of the most popular brands is 3M's Safety-Walk 700 series.) If you've ever seen a skateboard you've likely seen this type of material. It's black and very course, typical to the material of sandpaper. No matter whether it gets wet or dry, it holds its grip better than any other material. It's very easy to apply with a simple peel and stick, however you'll need to replace it every year or two depending on wear and tear. It can be rough on bare feet and hot to the touch so you'll need to be sure to wear shoes if choosing this type of material.
If you're constantly dripping oils, squid inks, coffee, or any other staining liquid, Teak is for you. It's very heavy and durable for these types of spills. The tractions of Teak while dry is very good, however when it becomes wet it gets even more durable. This is due to the moisture rising the grain of the wood creating more friction when you walk on it. Letting it weather and only washing it with salt water will keep it's amazing non-slip properties.
SeaDek is custom made and requires very little maintenance. It's also stain-resistant and includes EVA foam that adds a feel of cushion under your feet. SeaDek comes in two different grains, across the grain and with the grain. Each has slightly different properties.
- Across the Grain - Incredible traction when dry, when it's wet it only slightly loses grip.
- With the Grain - Slightly less traction than across the grain, but still great. Deep grooves need to be cleaned regularly as it collects dirt and fish gunk easily.
Another great option is the diamond non-skid. It has incredible traction while dry and loses very little when wet. The pattern allows water to run off quickly with the raised pattern ready to grab onto shoes or feet. It's easy clean up is a high favorability for fishermen, however traction will decline from use, scrubbing, and cleaning. If it becomes chipped, it's hard to repair and most likely the entire section or deck will need to be replaced. So keep this in mind if you're particularly rough with your dock. Watch your feet though, this pattern can be particularly rough on them.
While carpet does offer decent traction, it offers the least amount across the board of materials. Water doesn't seem to have an impact on its traction qualities as it remains the same wet or dry. If you're looking for a cheap alternative, carpet is for you. Just be forewarned, carpet takes forever to dry. So it's best to have a wet-dry shop vacuum on hand or choose a snap-in carpet that's easy to remove for quicker drying.
While dry, this material offers above average traction. However, when it gets wet it begins to lose some of that great grip. This material retains dirt and water which can reduce grip and will often need to be replaced sooner. Diamond non-skid and grit are easily in the same traction category, however grit is easier to replace in case of a crack. Also the grit material is a lot easier on bare feet, so shoes aren't a necessity.
Any of the above materials will improve your fishing dock. Based on your personal needs, you may need a different material than your fishing buddy does. Also remember that your shoes play an important part of having a non-slip dock as well, there are exceptional boat shoes on the market that can reduce your chances of slipping.