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Installing Marine Carpet

How do I remove my old marine carpet?

Before attempting to remove your old marine carpet, first determine if your marine plywood deck is in good shape. Boat carpet will often pull up easily as age has taken its toll. If not, carpet removal will be a "fun" task. To determine if your marine plywood deck is reusable:

  • Remove existing boat seats, pontoon parts, helm console and railing.
  • Walk around the deck and pay close attention to any deteriorated or weak spots in the deck. Feel free to jump around or tamp areas with a broom handle.
  • Feel for warped areas where the two plywood sheets come together.
  • Do the layers of plywood (on the edge of the deck where the aluminum trim was) seem to be rotting?
  • Check underneath the pontoon with a light for signs of rotting, warping or de-lamination.

If the marine plywood deck seems in good shape and you feel you can reuse it, start in a corner and begin trying to pull up the carpet. If needed, cut the marine carpet into manageable strips and pull it up portions at a time. Use a scraper and work back and forth, loosening the adhesion. Be sure to clear the deck of all adhesive and backing for the new carpet to promote good adhesion of the new boat carpet. If the old boat carpet still has good adhesion and does not come off, you may re-consider replacing the marine plywood.

Once the carpet is removed, make the final decision on whether to keep the plywood decking. Make sure the plywood is swept free of dirt and debris.

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How do I install my new marine carpet?

Follow these easy steps to install your new marine carpet. 1 gallon of carpet glue will cover an 8' x 8' section.

  1. Begin by unrolling your marine carpet across the entire deck. Cover the entire deck and square up the edges. Pull out any boat carpet wrinkles or folds that may exist.
  2. Leave the carpet on the deck and do not re-roll it. Straightening edges will be easier this way. Place weighted objects or clamps on the left (port) side.
  3. Fold the marine carpet in half lengthwise. For example, if you have an 8' x 24' pontoon, the carpet would be folded into a 4' x 24' piece, with the crease running front to back.
  4. Pour a portion of the carpet glue on the exposed wood. Apply carpet glue with a trowel in a circular motion, moving from front to back. Coverage should represent a heavy coat of paint. Do not allow the carpet glue to puddle or leave any dry spots on the pontoon deck's surface.
  5. While the carpet glue adhesive is wet, unfold the marine carpet back to its previous position. Take precautions that the boat carpet is straight and wrinkle free. If a wrinkle does exist, slightly lift the boat carpet off the carpet glue to remove.
  6. Remove the weighted object(s) or clamps. Fold back the remaining marine carpet and repeat the process as described above.
  7. Use a roller or stiff broom to make sure the entire carpet air has good contact with the carpet glue. If not, you will get bubbles, lines or other areas where the boat carpet will come up.
  8. In dry weather conditions and temperatures between 60F and 90F, the carpet glue will begin to cuee after 3-4 hours. It is recommended to let the adhesive cure completely for 24 hours before installing rails or boat seats.

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