How to replace boat carpet – a definitive guide

How To Replace Boat Carpet - A Definitive Guide

How to replace boat carpet?

Replacing a boat carpet is a fairly straightforward process, but you must be aware that it takes a good amount of time and patience. There are two main approaches to take when replacing a boat carpet: You can either rip out the old carpet yourself or pay someone else to do it for you. If you have no experience ripping out fibreglass, it’s best to hire some professionals. If you are experienced or confident in your abilities, go ahead and do the job yourself.


A Step By Step Guide to Replace Boat Carpet

Before replacing the carpet, you need to remove the old carpet. To remove the old carpet, here is the list of things that you need.

Tools Needed to Remove the Old Carpet

  • Pry bar
  • Scraper or stiff brush
  • Large flathead screwdriver
  • Drill with 3/8″ bit and Phillips head bit. (Drill only needed help setting the screws on the strip at the boat carpet adhesive)

If you are ripping out fibreglass, wear gloves to protect your skin. It’s also recommended that you wear safety glasses. Goggles are the best option because they won’t fog up easily.

Ripping Out the Old Carpet

At this point, it’s time to begin ripping out the old carpet and fibreglass. Before beginning, plan how you will remove the old carpet. Use a marker and measure and mark where you will cut, so you know where to cut. Next, use the chisel to chip away at the adhesive in between the fibreglass panels. Once there is an opening, use your pry bar and screwdriver to begin ripping out the old carpet.

Now that you have removed the old carpet, it’s time to remove the fibreglass. To do this, set up your drill with a 3/8″ bit and a Phillips head bit. Drill into each boat screw that is holding the fibreglass down. Once all of the screws are drilled out, remove any pieces of fibreglass you can lift by hand.

At this point, you have removed the old carpet and fibreglass. You can now begin preparing the boat for the new carpet.

Tools Needed to Put the New Carpet

  • Marker
  • Tape Measure
  • Level
  • Straightedge or level for marking a straight line
  • Hammer or Rubber Mallet
  • Carpenter’s Square
  • Utility Knife with Blade Guard (optional)
  • Painter’s tape (not shown)
  • Aluminum Carpet Edging (not shown)

Preparing the Boat for New Carpet

At this point, you have removed the old carpet and fibreglass. Now it’s time to begin installing the new carpet. Use a marker to mark out the perimeter of where the new carpet will go. Measure from the inside edge of the boat to the outside edge of the boat on both sides. The measurement should be the same for both sides. If not, adjust the measurements before continuing.

Once you have measured accurately, use a straightedge or level to mark the perimeter of the boat out on both sides. Use your tape measurer to make sure that your marks are accurate and lined up correctly with each other.

Use the carpentry square to ensure that your lines are straight. Once you have your lines measured and marked correctly, it’s time to cut the new carpet.

Cutting the New Carpet

Use a tape measurer and mark on both sides of the boat where each edge will be placed. The tape measure should be at the top of the liner and at the bottom on the first pass. Then put a tape measurer at the bottom and top of the liner on the second pass. Cut carpet with a utility knife using the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific type of carpet.

When cutting the new carpet, be sure to leave about 3″ around each edge so that it can be tucked in and glued down. If you are not able to do this because there is no access, you can use a utility knife with a blade guard. You will need to replace the blades more often, but it may be safer for those that are not as experienced.

Carpet Installation

After you have cut the new carpet, it’s time to begin installing it. Layout your new carpet on both sides of the boat and line it up with the marks that you made on each side. Make sure that the carpet is laid out exactly where you want it and that you can work around all of the obstacles properly.

Place painter’s tape over any areas where there will be a line formed by two pieces of carpet meeting next to another piece of carpet. This will prevent the two pieces of carpet from sticking to each other and will give you a chance to adjust them properly.

Use your hammer or mallet and begin tucking the edge into the recess where the old fibreglass was. Once you have tucked in both sides, use your utility knife with a blade guard and cut off excess material, so it lies flat against the boat.

Now, tape off the back of your boat with painter’s tape so you can apply glue. Measure and mark your carpet on each side where it will be glued down (about 3″). Make sure that you are glueing in the correct areas because once the glue is down, you won’t be able to move it or remove it without destroying the carpet. Use your hammer or rubber mallet to help push the carpet into the recess tightly. This will give you a good bond when glued down.

Once you have applied glue, use your utility knife to get excess glue out of the edge of the boat. . Then put your boat back in the water and allow it to dry overnight before removing the tape. There you have it—new flooring for your boat. Now, go out and enjoy the boating season!

Precautions to Take

If you are not experienced in carpet installation, you should consider hiring a professional to do the job. If you choose to install it yourself and something goes wrong, you will be responsible for any damages that occur as a result of your workmanship. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and use all necessary precautions when using power tools or other equipment to install the new carpet.


Carpet replacement on boats can be easy if you know how to do it, and it can be a real headache if you are not an expert in it. We have explained all the necessary things to do while replacing the carpet as well as the method of replacing the carpet.

Remember that in our blog you will learn the best tips, advice on maritime navigation and everything related to nautical.



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