How to Avoid Rotting Boat Floors
Boating is a popular hobby for many United States residents. Whether you are a fan of water sports, throwing a line off the boat in your favorite fishing spot, or simply going out for a float on your local lake, odds are you want your boat to be as well maintained as possible. That being said, figuring out a flooring situation for your boat isn’t always easy. Wooden boat flooring is vulnerable to rot and decay, vinyl and other slick flooring will just pose a slip hazard when your boat floor gets wet with spray, and carpet for boats is not traditionally something you want regularly exposed to water. So what is the best flooring option for your boat?
Again, let’s touch on vinyl flooring. Vinyl flooring is a cheap, durable, no nonsense flooring option that is great in high traffic areas of the home, such as the kitchen. While vinyl flooring in your boat would act as a great moisture seal for the wood and storage underneath, you would be setting yourself and your boat guests up for disaster as soon as the floor is slicked with the first spray of a wave. Vinyl loses just about all of its traction when it becomes wet, and the last thing you want is the people on your vessel to not be stable on their feet. Someone could get hurt, or worse, end up overboard.
Boats are usually manufactured with wooden floors. It makes sense to just leave it how it is made, right? No! The manufacturers often times do not seal the wood well enough to protect it from moisture that will cause it to rot, warp, and decay over time. If you do not properly take measures to shield your wooden floors, you will simply end up paying money to replace the floors often. Additionally, wood can be just as slick as vinyl when wet, so, in addition to warping floors, you are going to end up with guests falling on their behinds.
This brings us back to boat carpet. Boat carpet often times conjures up a bad image in the minds of boat enthusiasts: moldy, mildewed, ugly, faded, stinking rotting boat carpet. However, carpet has the most texture out of these boat flooring options, so it makes sense as one of the safest options as far as traction. There are things you can do to prolong the life and decimate the odor that traditionally comes with boat carpet.
Firstly, you are going to want to seal the wood underneath to protect it from the moisture that will seep through the carpet. Before installing the new boat carpet, choose the sealant you would like: paint on, or rubber aqua mat inserts. After you seal the wood, you are going to want to install the boat carpet with marine carpet glue, which is resistant to dissolving in water and acts as another coat of protection against wood rot.
You should regularly shampoo and treat the carpet with oxygen cleaning powder, which will lift any odors out. Try to avoid storing the boat before the moisture in the carpet is completely evaporated. Finally, never let the boat sit out in the rain! In order to keep your boat carpet fragrant and intact, you want all of the water to be outside of the boat, not in it.