When & How To Replace Your Boat Lift Carpet

When your carpet start looking worn is a good indicator it is time to replace it. If you have tears in the carpet, the purpose it was serving has been lost. Whenever the carpet no longer looks and feels thick enough to give your boat a soft surface, it is time to replace. A sign that the wooden bunk boards under the carpet are damaged is when you see a crease or wrinkle in the carpet. If this is the case, you will want to replace the wood bunk boards as well.

Materials and Tools
Before you stat with any project, it is a good idea to make a list of everything you will need before you start any DIY projects. Below is a list of items you will probably need to replace the carpet on your boat lift.

  • Heavy duty garbage bags to dispose of the old carpeting and staples.
  • Diagonal plies to remove the stables holding the carpet to the bunks.
  • Measuring tape to measure exact length and width of lift bunks. Be sure to allow carpet to fold over and cover the ends.
  • Marine carpet that is made for trailer and boat lift bunks with environmentally-specific qualities. Heavy-duty, all-weather carpeting will protect your boat’s hull from scratches. Rot and mildew resistant as well as UV and fading resistance.
  • A marker is needed if cutting is necessary.
  • Sturdy utility knife or heavy-duty scissors if the carpet needs to be cut to size. Either one should be sharp for an easy cut.
  • Cutting surface if carpet needs to be cut.Waterproof adhesive is optional depending on the method you choose.
  • 1/2″ stainless steel staples
  • Staple gun

Step #1 – Removing The Old Carpet
Depending on the type of setup on your boat lift, you may or may not need to remove the bunks. Ideally, it is best practice to remove the bunks prior to installing the new carpet so you can thoroughly inspect the wood for any damage. Additional, all of your hardware should be checked for any signs of deterioration and replace as needed. If you find your bunks or hardware should be replaced, you will need additional supplies and tools.
If you have two layers of carpet on your lift bunks and you haven’t changed out the bottom layer, you may want to check the condition of your wood. Since treated wood is not recommended, the wood bunks can be broken, cracked or rotted.

Step #2 – Install The New Carpet
Whether you decide to do only one layer or two, make sure your carpet pieces are the right size for your lift bunks.

If you decide to work with only one layer of marine carpeting, it is recommended that you only use staples. An adhesive will not allow the carpet to give when you are loading and unloading your boat, and you may experience tears in the carpet. Stapled carpet will allow the carpet to give. You will want to cut the width wide enough to reach around to the bottom so that you can secure along the sides and the bottom. Remember to allow additional length to fold over and cover the edges.

For the two-layer project, the width of the bottom layer should be wide enough to fit across the top and on the sides. Some people like to use adhesive on the bottom layer, and use staples along the sides. The length of the bottom layer should be the exact length of the bunk. No folding over the edge is necessary. The top carpet layer should be wider to wrap around to the bottom. Use staples on the side and along the bottom to better secure the carpet. Your top layer will have the ability to give with boat loading and unloading. Remember to allow more length to fold over and cover the edges.

We are Here When You Need Advice, Help, and More
Whether you are a new or a well-seasoned boat lift owner, The Boat Lift Pro’s is here to help with anything you may need to get your boat lift carpet replaced. We have the expert knowledge and experience with boat lifts all over Lee, Collier & Charlotte County. No job is too small or too big.