Choosing Boat Carpet Kits

A nice boat carpet can add a finished look to your boat, as well as providing protection against wear and damage to the deck and increasing underfoot traction in damp, slippery conditions. Boat carpeting does wear out eventually, however, and it is important to replace it quickly when it does. The difficulty of its replacement depends on the size of your boat and the type of carpet needed. Carpeting is either installed using snap-on carpet, which is easy to replace, or glued-on carpet, which takes a little more time and effort. Those who have refinished their vessel before, or who are experienced with boat carpet replacement in general may opt to measure, buy and install marine carpeting bought in bulk from a marine store. Those who are less sure of themselves often find it easier to use one of the many boat carpet kits available on the market.

While boat carpet kits may not give you as great a selection of colors and fabrics as buying bulk, they offer more than enough choices for most people. The first thing to consider when choosing a kit is the kind of fabric you want to use. While it is possible to cover your deck with home carpeting or indoor/outdoor carpeting, most kits use marine carpeting, which is built specifically for use in damp or wet environments. Typically, it is UV stabilized and made from polypropylene, which is resistant to stains and mold. Many types also include rubber backing, to add an extra layer of moisture resistance. If you are installing your carpeting using a snap-on system, it is important to make sure that you use an option with a rubber back, which helps air to flow throughout the bottom while providing added stability. If you are using glue, rubber backing is not necessary, but is still a nice feature.

Kits also offer a variety of colors to choose from. Because marine carpeting does not stain, lighter colors can look just as good as darker colors. While most kits come in earth tones or dark colors, some do offer brighter choices such as teal, red or even silver. It can be fun to match your deck covering to a paint color on the side of your boat, or to provide a contrasting color to your general decorative motif. While most kit manufacturers offer a range of colors, they do not offer every available shade, and you may have to make a custom order if you are trying to match a specific color.

Boat carpet kits are made to match specific makes and models of boats, so it is important to know what type of vessel you have as well as its width and length before buying carpet, whether you are buying it online or from a marine supply store. Most kits will include marine-strength glue, push pins and craft paper. While these are the basic tools needed, it can also be useful to have a brush or spreader to help apply the glue as well as a hammer to push the pins down fully, making the installation process smooth and easy. You may also need a sharp razor or knife to cut the carpet to your exact specifications.