How to Install Vinyl Boat Flooring

by Will Charpentier
Vinyl is an excellent substitute for wood deck flooring on a boat

Vinyl is an excellent substitute for wood deck flooring on a boat

When the flooring on your boat's deck needs to be replaced, you may decide to replace it with vinyl boat flooring. Vinyl will look good for some time, it resists damage at least as well as any other flooring, except steel, and, in a boat, laying vinyl only requires one more step than laying vinyl in a house. If you've already removed the flooring that the vinyl will replace, you might even finish the project in a single weekend.

Use a tape measure to measure the area where you will be installing the vinyl. Transfer this measurement to the marine plywood. If the area is larger than a single sheet of plywood, butt the sheets together and lay the measurements out on the sheets, marking the dimensions on the plywood with a pencil and "connecting the dots" to show the lines for saw cuts in the plywood.

Use a circular saw to cut the marine plywood sheets as needed.

Turn the vinyl face down on the ground and lay one of the plywood sheets on the vinyl. Use the pencil to trace around the vinyl. Remove the plywood sheet and use heavy-duty scissors to cut the vinyl along the pencil lines. Repeat this process for each piece of plywood.

Lift the plywood sheets into the boat and lay them in place. Use a screwdriver to fasten them at the corners with screws.

Apply marine carpet adhesive to the plywood with a wide blade putty knife. Lay the vinyl in place (right side up) and press it down into the adhesive with a lawn roller. Allow the adhesive 24 hours to set completely.

Items you will need

  • Tape measure
  • Marine plywood
  • Pencil
  • Circular saw
  • Heavy-duty scissors
  • Screwdriver
  • Screws
  • Marine carpet adhesive
  • Wide blade putty knife
  • Lawn roller

Tips

  • Unroll the sheet of vinyl and allow it to lay out in the sunlight for an hour. The heat of the sun will soften it slightly and cause it to lose the curl it acquired while rolled up.
  • Make sure that you use marine carpet adhesive. Marine carpet adhesive is specially formulated for the marine environment.

Warning

  • Marine carpet adhesive should be used in a well ventilated area. This project involves power tools. Appropriate caution is advised.

References

  • "The Complete Book of Boat Maintenance and Repair;" D. Kendall; Doubleday, 1975, p. 141-143

About the Author

Will Charpentier is a writer who specializes in boating and maritime subjects. A retired ship captain, Charpentier holds a doctorate in applied ocean science and engineering. He is also a certified marine technician and the author of a popular text on writing local history.

Photo Credits