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.

Bass Boat Carpet Installation Guide

So, it is time to replace your worn out bass boat carpet. Well, before you begin, it is best to get all your tools and materials together. Here is what we recommend you have on hand to properly carpet a bass boat:


1. Utility Knife [carpet cutting style]
2. Plenty of utility blades
3. Small clamps [8] If needed for the lid edges.
4. Screw drivers – flat and Phillips
5. Channel locks or pliers
6. A straight edge
7. Drill, with a stripping wheel
8. Scraper
9. Magic marker
10. Tape measure
11. A few disposable paintbrushes
12. Vacuum
13. Plenty of rags
14. A large flat working area.



1. A good outdoor marine carpet glue
2. Marine carpet
3. Tubes of liquid nail (optional for wrapping edges of lids, may damage carpet)


Now, let’s get started. First, inspect your bass boat carpet. If you look at the rubber backing, you will notice the grain. It is very important to get the grain going in the same direction on the entire bass boat. Always keep the grain in your mind.

Remove all your storage compartment lids and hardware. After the bass boat is stripped, it is time to scrape, scrape, scrape. Make sure you get all the old marine glue off. After scraping the old glue off everywhere the bass boat was carpeted, take your drill with the stripping wheel and go over the areas that had glue on them. The cleaner the surface, the better. Vacuum and wipe the areas down.

Now, set all of your compartments back on the bass boat, the way they were before you removed the carpet. Take your black magic marker and draw an arrow on the lids, and boat, the way the grain will go. This will help you to face the grain in the right direction.

Time to measure and cut the boat carpet, starting with the bass boat deck first. Take a rough measurement; make sure you allow more than enough carpet, so you can trim it. Make sure your grain is going in the right direction. Work on one section at a time. Once you get the marine carpet cut to the rough sizes for each section of the bass boat deck, you can glue it. Trowel the glue onto the cleaned surface (do not be stingy with the marine glue). Then lay the carpet on the bass boat [it helps to have another person for this]. Situate the boat carpet where you want it, and then start pressing and rubbing the carpet down, from the center to the edges. Let the excess carpet over hang the edges for now. Then follow the same procedure and work your way back to the back of the bass boat. Now, it is time to trim to fit. Press the boat carpet to the edges where you want to trim it. Take a Phillips screwdriver and run it along the edge, with pressure, where the trim cut will be. You will notice the screwdriver will make a line on the edge. This is where you will cut it. Always do the cut on a 45-degree angle. Take your time and do the cut, then press the marine carpet around the edges. You can come back later and do more trimming after the glue dries. That takes care of the bass boat’s deck.

Now, on to the lids. Before you do any cutting, check the grain. Take a rough measurement of the lid, remember you are going to wrap the marine carpet around the lid, and back up the inner wall. It is best to add an extra inch to each side of the lid, this way you have more than enough carpet. Make sure you keep changing the blades after every few cuts. Also make sure the lids have been wiped down, and then apply the glue on the top of the lid. Lay your boat carpet on a flat surface with the backing up [remember the grain], then take the lid, top down, and place the lid on the cut carpet. You have to center the lid on the carpet. The best way we’ve found to carpet the lids is to carpet all of them as a group. This way you can cut all the corners and wrap all the lid sides at one time. Now turn the carpeted lid over and press and rub the marine carpet from the center out to the edges.

After the lids are pretty much dried, cut the corners out. Place the lid, carpet side face down on a flat surface and cut the corners with a blade. Cut all the corners this way, and wrap the boat carpet over the sides to check fit. Take your time – if you cut it wrong, you may have to carpet the lid all over again.

Time to wrap the carpet over the edges. Apply the marine adhesive inside and out (some people prefer to use liquid nails for this step, as it sets up quicker and you only need it for a small area. You need to be careful though, as Liquid Nails can damage the rubber backing on marine carpet). Now wrap the boat carpet around the lid edges, pressing and rubbing at the same time. Once the boat carpet is holding to the edges, take your Phillips screw driver and run it down the lid top where it meets the edges. Press hard so it is tight to the corner. Take your utility knife (with a new, sharp blade) and do your cut on a 45 degree angle. Then press and rub the areas to make the carpet stick better.

Cut out the areas where your handles go on the lids, and install them, along with the hinges. Re-install your bass boat lids, and all other hardware on the bass boat. Now, stand back and look at what you have accomplished. A lot of work, but not only does your bass boat look great, you have saved yourself about $1,200.


If you have any questions about any of these products you can either email PontoonStuff or us directly. If you you’re inquiring about purchasing, then please call PontoonStuff directly toll free at 877-295-9522. You will most likely see these items installed on some members boats who are repairing/rebuilding their pontoon boats at PontoonStuff’s Forum www.PontoonBoatForum.com. You can even pose your question here on the blog  Wink

Marine Boat Carpet Blog Team

Jim Myers, Charles Dobbs