Pontoon carpets are arguably one of the best accessories a pontoon boat owner can add to their vessel. This is because there do not only add a touch of class but also protect the vessel. Pontoon carpets come in various colors, textures, and designs to fit every individual’s preference. The water and UV-resistant properties of high-quality pontoon carpets account for durability while maintaining the boat’s flooring.
Unlike outdoor carpets, carpets made for pontoon boats have a tighter weave. There also have a higher face weight which makes them ideal for marine conditions. However, before buying a pontoon carpet, it is crucial to know the different types, their features, and, of course, a few of the best pontoon carpets in the industry.
Factors To Consider Before Buying A Pontoon Boat Carpet
The best carpet to use on a pontoon boat is a marine carpet. Marine carpets are specifically designed to withstand the elements of the ocean. There are UV resistant and saltwater tolerant. However, with the myriad of marine carpets on the market, it is essential to consider a few factors before investing in one.
Below are some of the factors to consider before buying a pontoon boat carpet;
- Material: Before buying a pontoon carpet, it is essential to check the material. This is essential as the material indicates the carpet’s durability, style, and price. The standard material used for making marine carpets is durable propylene. However, some use polyester yarns which shed faster than propylene.
- Durability: The carpet’s durability is an essential factor to consider. The carpet should be UV, water, and stain-resistant. Also, the carpet should not fray after cutting as this will cause the threads to unravel, which will weaken its structural integrity.
- Ease Of Installation: It is also vital to pick a carpet that can be installed easily. The carpet should be easy to cut and also fit the contours of the boat. For this, the manufacturer should provide an instructional manual.
- Color And Style: The buyer should pick a carpet that matches the aesthetic design of their boat. Marine carpets come in a variety of designs. Hence it should be easy to find one that fits the boat’s decor.
Types Of Pontoon Carpets
Before buying a marine-grade carpet, it will help to know the different types of carpet to make an informed decision.
The two main types of carpet include;
- Cut Pile Carpet: The cut pile carpet has looped fibers cut in half. This means that only the ends connect to the backing. The fibers are looser and longer, which makes them gentler on the feet. This type of carpet is more appropriate for runabouts and fishing boats.
- Loop Pile Carpet: The fibers of a loop pile carpet are looped in form, which creates a firm surface. It has high durability allowing it to withstand heavy traffic. However, be aware that this type of carpet is easy to snag by sharp objects.
Features Of Pontoon Carpets
When shopping for a pontoon carpet, it helps when the user knows what to look for in a pontoon carpet. As previously stated, they are made differently. However, they have some general features.
Below are the features of marine carpets;
- They Are Made From Propylene Or Polyester: As for fiber, marine carpets are made from propylene or polyester. Most manufacturers prefer to use propylene due to its affordability and features. Also, propylene resists mildew, mold, water, stains, damage, and shedding.
- It Has High Face Weight: A carpet’s face weight is the weight of the carpet pile per square yard in ounces. One can calculate the face weight using the pile height, gauge, and stitch rate.
Marine carpets have higher face weight than regular carpets. However, some marine carpets have higher face weight than others. As a rule of thumb, always check the face weight before buying as it signifies the carpet’s durability.
- They Have Lightweight Or Heavyweight Backing: The backing of a carpet serves as its backbone. Depending on the application, marine carpets have a lightweight or heavyweight backing.
Marine carpets with lightweight backing are used with adhesive to glue to the boat’s flooring. In contrast, marine carpets with heavyweight backing can be cut and bound around the boat’s edges. However, there are usually not as flexible as their counterparts.
Other features of a marine carpet include;
- Easy to maintain.
- There are stain-resistant, which accounts for durability.
- Available in different colors and designs and have custom inlays.
- These come in both plain and self-textured prints.
- There range between 3.3mm and 7.5mm in thickness.
- There are anti-static, which makes them ideal for water.
- Typically, marine carpets have non-rot properties and are resistant to moisture, mold, and mildew.
- These come with a product warranty.
Pros Of Using A Pontoon Boat Carpet
From enhancing the look of the boat to providing traction, there many benefits to using a pontoon carpet.
Below are the pros of using a pontoon boat carpet;
- Enhances Interior: Marine-grade carpets for pontoon boats come in different colors, designs, and patterns. Hence, users can pick one that suits the overall décor of the boat to give it a facelift.
- Prevents Accidents: Using a high-quality carpet will reduce the risk of people, especially children, falling on the boat. Marine carpets give good traction and also have fast-drying abilities.
Cons Of Using A Pontoon Boat Carpet
Every product has its upside and downside, including pontoon boat carpets. Being aware of the risks will help one make the right choice.
Below are the cons of using a pontoon boat carpet;
- May Absorb Water: If one goes for a carpet that is not marine grade, then they should expect it to absorb water. Non-marine grade carpets will take time to dry, which leads to mildew and molds and a foul smell.
- May Damage Decking: A low-quality carpet may leave traces of glue and backing material on the deck after it is removed. Also, a low-quality carpet may cause the decking to rot if it absorbs water.
How To Install Pontoon Carpets
Even the best marine carpets will need replacing after years of spillage and heavy traffic. Also, a marine carpet may develop wear and tear after years of use.
However, installing a new carpet on a pontoon boat may be pretty challenging. This is because one will need to take out all the equipment, furniture, and accessories from the boat. Also, the process of tearing down the old carpet may be the hardest part. After that, however, the process becomes pretty easy.
Below is a step-by-step guide to installing a pontoon carpet.
Step One (Remove All Items From The Boat’s Deck)
The first thing to do before installing an old carpet is to remove all items sitting on the former carpet. One may need to remove boat seats, fence railing, parts, accessories, and hardware. The deck trim pieces attached to the side of the deck may also need to be removed.
It is crucial to document or even take pictures of the process to remember how to put things back later.
Step Two (Remove The Old Carpet)
Depending on the vessel’s age and the adhesive used, it may either be easy or difficult to remove the old carpet. If the pontoon is an old model, there’s a high chance that the plywood has rotted, and it may be near impossible to peel off the carpet.
If removing the old carpet proves extremely difficult, try cutting it into parts and then peeling it off in sections using scrapers. If the plywood beneath the carpet is rotten, however, then the best option may be first to remove and replace the boat’s deck.
Step Three (Prep The Deck)
If the deck does not need to be replaced, then the next thing is to do a few touchups. Start by scraping off all the glue used in gluing the former carpet. All traces of the old glue must be removed before applying the new adhesive in order not to experience adhesion problems.
After that, ensure to sand the plywood thoroughly to get a smooth and clean surface. Check for holes and voids and fill with wood putty or fiberglass fillers until the flooring is leveled.
Step Four (Lay Out The New Carpet To Inspect For Damages)
Before applying glue, it is essential to inspect the new carpet and ensure it fits. For this step, roll out the new carpet completely till it covers the deck. Check it thoroughly for shipping damage and ensure it fits the boat like a glove.
Step Five (Install The Carpet)
After inspecting the carpet, fold the carpet in half. For instance, if the boat is a 20” boat, go to the front of the boat and fold it in width-wise from there. Then, get to the back of the boat and repeat. After this, a 4” by 20” long section should be left exposed and each half of the carpet should be folded at one side of the deck.
With this method, the user can apply the glue by standing on one side of the pontoon without getting down on all fours. A gallon of glue will cover an 8”×12” area. Hence, the user should get the proper dimensions of the boat to know how much glue they will need.
Take one gallon and dump it across a part of the exposed area of the decking. Then, use a nap paint roller to spread the adhesive evenly until the area is fully covered. Once the glue is evenly applied, unfold one side of the carpet and carefully lay it across the area where there is glue. Ensure it is flat and squared up, then repeat the process with the other side.
Step Six (Compress The Carpet)
This is the part that can make or mar the final outlook of the job. Therefore, it must be done carefully. Use a heavy carpet roller or a heavy pipe to press the carpet hard against the glue till it bonds properly. Failure to carry out this step may result in the adhesive not bonding with the carpet. This may create lines and bubbles on the carpet.
Pontoon Carpet Maintenance
It is crucial to maintain a pontoon carpet regularly to prevent wear and other signs of degradation as much as possible.
Below is how to maintain and care for a pontoon carpet;
- Clean the carpet regularly. Follow the user manual and adhere to instructions on sweeping and vacuuming.
- Do not use harsh cleaners. Use mild cleaners or the one recommended in the manual.
- Clean spills as soon as there happen because they may be hard to clean if left for too long.
- After cleaning, allow the carpet to dry thoroughly before allowing people to step on it.
- When docking the boat, please keep it in a strategic position to protect the carpet from prolonged heat and UV ray exposure.
Top 3 Best Marine Carpets
Below are some of the best marine carpets for pontoon boats;
Bascar 32 Ounce Boat Carpet
The Bascar 32 marine carpet is affordable and has lots of unique details and features. It has a rubber backing that allows it to fit firmly to the floor. The rug is made with propylene which makes it highly durable. Also, upon installation, it leaves no folds or creases.
It is worth mentioning that pontoon boat owners get free carpet knives and extra blades along with the carpet. It also comes with an installation manual and tech advice from the company.
- Rubber backing which keeps it stable.
- Suitable even for the deck of an inflatable boat.
- The carpet comes with a free carpet knife and extra blades.
- Leave no wrinkles after installation.
- The product is lighter in weight than advertised.
Marine Carpeting 8×20 Boat Carpet:
This is a 20-ounce marine carpet made with UV stabilized propylene. It comes in about ten colors, including red, hunter green, cocoa, medium gray, etc.
When used on a pontoon boat floor, this carpet offers exceptional protection from heat. It also has impressive underfoot cushioning and inclusions like carpet knives and blades.
- Its UV stabilized construction prevents color fading.
- It comes with underfoot cushioning for optimal comfort.
- The carpet comes with free carpet knives and blades.
- It can be installed easily.
- The colors are darker than advertised.
Bry Tech Aqua Turf Carpet:
This marine boat carpet has top features and is mostly affordable. It is made with 100% Olefin, which is fade and stain-resistant. Instead of rubber, it is made with latex backing. As a result, it is water, gas, and oil-resistant, which improves its durability.
The Bry Tech carpet also has low water retention, giving it quick-drying abilities. An essential feature of this marine carpet is that it is a non-pilling carpet. This means that there will be no loose or tangling fibers on the carpet.
- It is quick-drying.
- Olefin construction makes it stain and fade-resistant.
- It is non-pilling.
- It is affordable.
- The carpet has some loose stitches at the edge, which may cause the carpet to disintegrate if pulled.
Having pontoon carpets goes a long way to give one the best pontoon experience and safety on the boat. Among other benefits, installing a pontoon carpet also increases the resale value of one’s pontoon boat. However, just like every other investment, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons to make a wise decision.