Boats are often associated with freedom and adventure, which makes sense when you purchase one for yourself.
Not only can boats help you explore the surrounding oceans and lakes, but they can also provide some much-needed time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, whether that includes work, bills or friends.
And while boats can provide all this and more, this does not mean that they don’t come with their setbacks, as even the most expensive model can suffer serious damage due to the natural elements.
In fact, a common practice when owning a boat is replacing the carpet, which can become damp and fishy over time. So if you want to know how you can cut costs by replacing the carpet yourself, then you have come to the right place.
In the following article, we are going to teach you how to replace the carpet on your boat without issue or fuss. We will also explain how to remove the old carpet, as well as the various tools and supplies you will need to get the job done.
So if your boat’s carpet has started to mildew, this article has everything you need to solve the problem…
How To Choose Replacement Carpet
If you have chosen to replace the carpet on your boat, then you will need to purchase a quality maritime-grade substitute, as this will commonly last longer than your average carpet options.
Currently, there are hundreds of carpet products available, which can make it difficult to limit your choices. So to aid you in your decision, we have provided the following tips on how to find the best replacement carpet for your nautical vessel.
Carpet Ounce Weight
The carpet ounce weight refers to the number of fibres that the carpet contains, which can make the final product dense, heavy and durable. Beyond this, carpet ounce weight can also affect the final look of the carpet, with a large number of fibres often yielding the most attractive results.
But which carpet ounce weight is the best? Well, the answer to this question depends on the kind of boat that you own, although many boaters agree that the best ounce weight falls somewhere between 18 – 20 ounces.
If you attempt to use an ounce weight below this number, then you could risk exposing the backing of your new carpet. While on the other hand, using a thicker carpet could make it difficult to open and close the hatches, which can lead to future problems.
Order Carpet Samples
For the best replacement, it is advisable to order carpet samples before making your decision. Especially if you are purchasing the product from an online source.
While photos on websites can give you a general idea of the carpet’s appearance, they can also be extremely inaccurate, which can lead to less than stellar results. So to make sure you are purchasing the best possible replacement, order samples and use them to determine the look and texture of the carpet.
If you are concerned about stains or fading, then we recommend purchasing a textured carpet, as these characteristics will be less obvious on the finished product.
Placing The Order
While it is possible to purchase pre cut carpet directly from your boat’s manufacturer, this option is often the most expensive, which is why many boaters prefer to source their carpet from other manufacturers. You will also save money by cutting the carpet yourself, as the process is a lot easier than you might think.
When you start crunching the numbers for your carpet installation, we recommend that you order an amount of carpet that doubles the length of the boat, as this will give you plenty of material to work with.
How To Remove Boat Carpet
Now that you understand everything your replacement carpet will need, let’s take a look at how you can remove the old carpet from your boat. This is considered to be the most labour-intensive part of the carpet installation process, but it can be executed by following these simple steps:
- To begin the removal process, you will need to chock the wheels on your trailer, as this will give your boat additional stability.
- Once your boat is secure, you will need to disconnect the boat’s battery and unload all of the tackle.
- While doing this, make sure to take photos of any components that you are removing, as this will make it easier to put everything back together.
- For the next step, you will need to remove all the carpeted hatches and panels from your boat. If you find that these components are riveted, then you will need to drill them out slowly to avoid any damage.
- While doing this, make sure to transfer any hardware into a labelled plastic bag, as this will protect them from the elements.
- When you are ready to move on, use a heavy-duty staple remover to gently twist out any staples found on the carpet.
- Once the staples have been removed, go to the corner and see if the carpet will pull up easily. Make sure to approach this task carefully, as each piece will serve as the pattern for your new carpet.
- After you have removed a piece of carpet, label the back according to its orientation and location on the boat. This can be done by drawing arrows on the back or writing directions.
- However, if the carpet doesn’t easily pull up, use a utility knife to carefully scrape it away from the floor.
- When you have finished removing the carpet, repeat the same process on the panels and hatches, while also labelling the back of each piece.
- Once the carpet has been removed, you will need to examine the bare deck for any mildew or moisture. If you happen to see signs of mould, then you will need to address the problem accordingly.
- Before you can begin the installation process, you will need to make sure that all the adhesive residue has been removed.
You can remove the adhesive by using a chemical glue solvent, however, you will need to make sure that you are using the correct product for your boat. If you use the wrong solvent, then you could risk your deck becoming stained or ruined. To ensure the best results, we recommend contacting your boat’s manufacturer for advice.
When you have obtained the correct solvent, spray it over the excess residue and allow the solution to rest for a few minutes. This should break down the structure of the adhesive and make it easier to remove. Once the residue is gone, use a cloth to absorb the excess solvent until the area is as dry as possible.
Once the residue has been removed, you will then need to clean the deck with a dry mop and tackle the hatches with an absorbent cloth. Following this, you will need to clean the interior of the boat using warm and soapy water, before finally letting the deck dry. If you attempt to use adhesive on a wet surface it won’t stick, so drying should be seen as a crucial part of the process.
You can also use an orbit sander to prep your deck for the carpet installation, although some boaters have been known to use heat guns to remove more stubborn adhesives.
How To Replace Boat Carpet
Now that the old carpet has been removed, let’s take a look at how you can install its replacement.
During this process, you will need to make sure that you are using suitable glue for the job, as some adhesives are water-soluble and therefore incapable of adhering to the boat carpet. You will also need to wear protective clothing and disposable gloves, while also making sure that the area you are working in is well ventilated.
- Take the new carpet and unroll it on a clean surface with the backing facing upwards. When the carpet has reached its full length, smooth out any ripples or lumps that you see.
- Make sure that the carpet is running in the correct direction and then place the old carpet template on top, with the backing also facing upwards. Start with the largest pieces to conclude if the orientation agrees.
- When you are confident in the pattern, trade each piece with a marker, while also remembering to trace the hatch and panel pieces to be a couple of inches longer.
- While doing this, you don’t have to worry about the small holes where the hardware used to be, as you can drill holes once the carpet has been installed.
- Take a utility knife and use it to cut the carpet. For the best results, we recommend changing the blade frequently to avoid the risk of tears or unravelling. Make sure that each cut is clean and precise.
- Take the larger pieces of carpet and lay them on the deck before applying the glue. Make sure that the carpet is smooth and flush around the edges before weighing it down with a heavy object.
- Roll the carpet to the heavy object and then spray some glue over a small area at the back of the deck and unroll the carpet until it has been glued down in the middle.
- Once the adhesive has dried and the carpet no longer shifts, apply glue to small areas at a time until the carpet is completely stuck.
- If you spill glue on the new carpet, you will need to clean it up with a sponge and soapy water.
- Repeat the same process on the hatches and panels while making sure the orientation is correct. You can use clamps or scrap wood to ensure that the wrapping stays around the edges.
- Allow the glue to rest for around an hour and then go over the carpet with a roller to flatten everything out.
And there we have it, that is how you replace the carpet on your boat. We hope that you found this article helpful and that you will refer to it the next time you need to replace your boat carpet.