One of the chief factors boat buyers look at, after price and performance, is styling. The carpet underfoot is a part of that. Some want the best for their toys, and some want plush carpet with all the comforts of home. But boat carpet is different, it takes a lot of abuse, and whether it’s torn, stained, or simply worn out, there comes a time when it has to be replaced.

Your kind of boat

Instead of replacing the original boat carpet, consider how well you liked it when it was new. There are a few ideas in making a choice you won’t regret. A lot has to do with the kind of boat. For those with large floor area, get something durable, with hues or patterns that help to disguise staining and traffic areas. Fast ski boats especially can take a lot of abuse, often ending up with ugly areas of extreme wear when the rest of the carpet looks fine. Cutting bait and cleaning fish means unpleasant mess.

Style and color

If you’re expecting to have it glued or stapled, stick with cut pile and loop style carpet, and stay away from Berber.

Maybe you liked the color, but not the style. Get some carpet samples to lay down and try to get a feel for it, both visually and underfoot. Once you’ve picked a color and style you can live with, be sure you’re getting the best UV and moisture protection, as it prolongs the life of the carpet.

Maintaining carpet

If your floor is covered with, or can be equipped with, a fiberglass liner and removable mat than your removal and installation is easy.

Or you may decide to simply cover up the old carpet to avoid the trouble of ripping it out. Just be sure the old carpet is completely dry, and preferably clean, if you take the easy way out. The same applies when putting the boat up for the winter; be sure the carpet is clean and dry. If you can remove it and store it, so much the better. Once it’s dry, roll it up and stand it on end in the corner of your garage. These are all factors to keep in mind from a maintenance perspective.

You’re also going to want carpet that’s fairly easy to keep clean, fire retardant, and resistant to staining, especially from oil and grease. Additional backing or padding can also extend carpet life.

It’s a matter of personal style – but common sense goes a long way, too.