Highlights in Pontoon Boat Restoration
With pontoon boats being so popular, then it makes sense to think pontoon boat restoration will at some point become an important subject. For many years, carpet was the popular choice, and really the only choice. If you have a pontoon boat with carpet, you’ve most likely experienced a great deal of mold and fungal growth, and possibly even a breakdown of the fibers resulting in tears and exposure of the wood beneath.
What can you do to preserve your existing carpet!
You can help prevent a pontoon boat restoration for your carpet by keeping it clean and using 303 Protectant® a couple of times each year.
303 Protectant® product inhibits mold growth by providing a barrier on your carpet that inhibits dirt from sticking to it. Without dirt, the mold has nothing to grow on.
303 Protectant® also provides protection against the sun, and will prolong the life and appearance of your carpet. So remember to be diligent in keeping up with these bi-annual treatments on your carpet.
If your upcoming pontoon boat restoration plans include replacing your carpet with carpet again, we would recommend using polyester carpet for its strong UV properties.
The most common carpet weights range from 20 – 40 oz. In the past, we primarily used the 40 oz carpet for its longevity. However, through experience, we found that the 40 oz carpet didn’t dry fast enough which ultimately led more quickly to mold and wood rot. With this in mind, we are inclined to suggest using the 20 oz carpet, even though it won’t last as long.
You will also have the style choices of loop or pile carpeting. Both of these are fine, but fishermen may appreciate the pile carpeting since the loop style is prone to fish hook snags and this can create significant pulls or runs in your carpet ultimately ruining its appearance.
What if I want to move on from carpet for my pontoons boat restoration, what are my choices?
Although carpet is still a contender for pontoon boat flooring, it’s not as popular as it once was.
Mostly because of the issues we’ve just discussed, your existing flooring is going to wear out at some point. Maybe you’re at that point where you are considering replacing your carpet. Before we discuss this further, let me say that regardless of the flooring you choose, you must first strip everything from your boat in preparation for your new flooring. There is no short cut! Everything has to go, including the fencing and edge rails, so that you can prep the boat properly.
Just remember to take a lot of pictures before you get started and you can always refer back to them as you work through this process. Once you’ve taken your pictures, go for it! It’s not that difficult!
With our current busy lifestyles, most of us would prefer a lower maintenance flooring option to take the place of our old flooring. A couple of new contenders are storming the market and overtaking the popularity of carpeting. Listed below are those alternatives along with some important things we think you should know about each one.
Roll On Rubberized Paint with Non-skid Coating for Wood Flooring
This style involves paint that is applied with a roller brush to your floor which creates an effective economical flooring for pontoon boat restoration. Once furniture and fencing has been removed from your boat, you will need to sand the entire surface to remove the glue and even things out. Inspect your wood surface for any rot, and if any is found you will need to fill in those areas with fiberglass bondo or similar filler. Once wood is filled and dried, be sure to sand again to even out the surface. It’s a reasonable choice if you are hard on your boat and don't want to sink too much money into it.
Pros – This is a low cost and easy to accomplish process.
Cons – Please do be aware that this style tends to show more blemishes in the wood. You will be able to see joints in the wood and other divots fairly easily.
Heavy Duty 80 oz vinyl flooring is next on our list. We use this product frequently in our area.
We have found it to be economical and tough, and it also looks great. Deckrite flooring comes in an 8' 6" wide size which covers the width most current boat models with the exception of a couple of wide body boats, so there should be no seams to worry about. It’s available in cream and light gray, and comes with a 2 year limited warranty.
Pros – Easy to install and very easy to keep clean. Still requires the same floor prep mentioned earlier. Pebble grain provides good non-skid surface and lasts a very long time. Cool on your feet in the summer time and dries quickly. No wonder vinyl floors have become more popular than carpet.
Cons – Not many cons. The only thing we have noticed during the aging process is a bit of bleached out effect in the divots of the pebble grain. This could possibly be avoided with 303 Protectant® and some good boat maintenance.
Luxury Woven Vinyl™ Flooring
Luxury Woven Vinyl™ Flooring made by Infinity has a frothed closed cell foam backing and is your high end choice. This product has taken the boat flooring industry by storm. It's not only becoming the top choice for pontoon boat manufacturers for redecking pontoon boats, but is also being used in other recreational industries such as the RV industry. Infinity has an amazing pallet of colors and textures that make everything surrounding it look better. The padding on the back side is soothing to the feet and helpful to the back. They even have patterns that look just like teak, along with a new pallet of textures that reflect nature. It's highly anti-microbial, as well as sun, fade, and dirt resistant, and comes with an unparalleled 10 year limited warranty. If your budget can handle the price tag on this product, you will love it! The floor prep of your pontoon boat is handled in the same manner as we have described earlier when preparing to replace.
Pontoon Boat Restoration Photos
Pros – Easy to put down with adhesive, but you must be careful since it comes rolled with the face of the flooring facing outward and cannot be rolled with the flooring facing inward without risking damage.
The foam backing is closed cell foam, so it cannot absorb water and it actually floats. It is recyclable, highly flame resistant, and will extinguish itself. Very easy to clean.
Cons – We don't have much to add in this area. Darker colors tend to heat up quicker, so consider your bare feet when choosing your color. Price may not match your budget.
Although we are a big fan and use Infinity flooring, there is also Compass flooring made by Spradling. The backing on the compass flooring is more of a felt material with urethane foam. The color pallet is limited compared to infinity.
Pontoon boat restoration on your floors is something you can do yourself. Go for it, but take lot's of pictures. You will do just fine.
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