Pontoon Boat Carpet Replacement Guide

The following instructions were taken from www.PontoonStuff.com. If you are restoring your pontoon boat please visit the link below, where you will find everything you need to rebuild your pontoon boat – pontoon seats, furniture, accessories, tops, and parts.

Replacing Marine Carpet On Pontoon Boats

To properly lay or install your new pontoon boat carpet, make sure you’ve either installed new CCA treated marine plywood (or composite decking) for your deck or successfully cleaned up the existing pontoon boat decking. Before we get too much further, let’s discuss re-using your existing pontoon flooring. Once you have completely removed all the pontoon seats, railing and other pontoon parts from the deck comes the “fun” of removing the carpet. Some of the time, the old pontoon carpet will just come right up. However, if you have difficulty removing the existing marine carpet from the marine plywood, you may want to save yourself the hassle and replace the decking. If that’s the case, simply use a razor knife and cut the carpet at the deck joints (where the two sheets of plywood meet) and tear off the plywood and replace it with new.

Here is a list of things to look for before you even begin to remove the carpet. If the deck is bad, there is no sense in spending time removing the carpet. You want to walk the deck and pay special attention to any weak spots. Jump around a bit – if you fall through the floor, you need to redeck it! Seriously though, spend time accessing the joints where two sheets of plywood come together. Are they warped? Does the side of the plywood look delaminated or do you see signs of rotting? You might want to get under the boat and look around with a flashlight as well. The undeside of the deck may show major bad spots.

If you scope out the deck for 10 minutes and think it is in good enough shape, then begin removing the marine carpet by simply trying to pull it up by a corner and scraping it with a flat scraper. Cutting it into strips across the deck and pulling up the strips individually works well too. If necessary, you can use some laquer thinner along with your scraper to help break up the marine adhesive.

If you are able to remove the existing pontoon carpet, make sure that you remove ALL of the adhesive and bits of old rubber backing from the pontoon deck. If you leave clumps of old glue and carpet backing on the deck, you’ll end up with lumps in your carpet. Even worse, it will most likely react with the new non-toxic marine adhesive, causing your new pontoon carpet to lose adhesion. Once you tear off the carpet, take some sort of scraper and clean off the deck. If you are in the north, a window ice scraper works wonders (if you don’t have one lying around, a paint scraper will work just as well).

Once the carpet is removed, you can make the final decision concerning the pontoon boat decking. You might find that you only need to replace a sheet or two. More than likely though, you’ll be better off just replacing the entire deck. It would be a real pain if you only replace 2 sheets and in a year or so the others all go bad on you.

Okay so you’ve made the decision to either re-deck or use the existing plywood. We’ll discuss just the carpeting job at the moment. Make sure the plywood is brushed off and clean of dirt and residue before applying the marine glue.

Get your new boat carpet ready. Take the roll of marine carpet and lay it out across the entire deck. Unroll it so it covers the pontoon boat deck completely, and then square it up at the edges. This is the tricky part. You do not want to re-roll the carpet and apply the glue in 4′ x 8′ sections – this requires you to get up on the deck and crawl around unnecessarily. Often if you lay the adhesive and carpet this way, you’ll get done and find the carpet is crooked, and you’ll have to frantically try to straighten it out before the glue dries.


Roll the carpet out completely and fold it in half, so that it runs the length of the deck. For example, if you have a 24′ pontoon boat deck, get in the front of the pontoon and fold the carpet over width wise and do the same in the back, this will give you a 4′ wide by 24′ section of exposed deck. The carpet will be folded on top of itself on the other side of the deck. By folding the carpet in half the length of the deck, you’ll be able to stand on the side of the pontoon boat and spread the marine adhesive while standing up – much simpler! Empty a gallon and a half of glue on the 4′ x 24′ section of deck (a 24′ deck will need 3 gallons of our glue), and use a trowel to spread it. Spread the marine glue in a circular pattern, as if you were putting down adhesive for tile. By troweling the glue on in a circular motion, you’ll create lines of glue on the deck. These lines will then be compressed into the lines on the back of the marine carpet when you press it down. Apply the glue all over the exposed section of the deck, and then flip the carpet over and do the exact same thing to the other side. Once you finish applying glue to the entire deck in this manner, lay the carpet back over the entire deck. Use some sort of heavy roller – a carpet roller, a heavy pipe, or even a yard roller – to compress the lines of glue into the back of the carpet. You can use a stiff broom to press the carpet down as well. If you skip this step, the carpet and glue will not adhere properly and you’ll get bubbles, lines, and other spots where the carpet will come up. You can generally get the carpet and glue down in about an hour or so. Let the glue set up for 8-12 hours. If you can let it set 24 hours, all the better. Wait to put the railing and deck trim on until the carpet has had time to adhere.

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