When it comes time to look at boat flooring options, the word “PVC” always seems to pop up. PVC boat flooring is just one of many options available including snap-in carpet, teak decking, and even truck bed liner from the auto parts store. For many people on the fence over PVC boat flooring or the equally popular carpeting, PVC easily wins out in the maintenance department. Certainly, the look of carpet can look much warmer and invite so people laying down PVC floors on their boats often have utilitarian needs. PVC itself is not at all unattractive, and if you use your boat often having PVC makes the deck easy to clean. Marine carpeting, though it can be washed with water, is still quite a hassle to clean.
Depending on your fishing needs, PVC can offer several benefits over the carpet. Fishing at temperatures below freezing often means frozen water on the deck of your boat which is much worse to deal with on carpet than PVC boat flooring. And contrary to popular expectation, PVC does not get more slippery in subzero temperatures. If you use organic baits like worms or fish, then sometimes spills are unavoidable. The gunk from worm guts or even fresh fish that you have gutted can collect on the carpet. Removing this, while possible, is a lot of work. Flies also get attracted to this organic matter and can get stuck on the carpet as well. Don’t forget the blood, dirt, mud, and more. These are not selling points any carpet salesman will mention.
With PVC all those problems go away. Because it’s smooth and there are no fibers that trap matter that falls on the floor, a little hosing or light scrub is usually enough to make your boat deck clean again. It also dries much more quickly than carpet, which retains water after you wash it. Wash down kits for PVC flooring make cleaning easier than ever.
Even boat owners with snap-in carpets that are often offered with their boats as buying bonuses don’t even put them out for use. Savvy boat dealers offer snap-in carpets as a way to give indecisive boat buyers an excuse to buy. You get the boat with the PVC floor but if you decide you want carpet just throw it on. Fortunately, in these situations, the PVC is not the removable piece and new boat owners soon find no use for their marine carpeting. Even if you are not buying a boat but replacing your flooring, you can use this same trick on yourself. Install PVC flooring and if you want to, add carpet from a snap-in kit on top later.
It’s easy to see why PVC boat flooring is so popular, especially for functional boats versus pleasure boats. For anglers, the low-maintenance factor of PVC is usually the selling point. While carpet may look inviting it can be a cleaning nightmare, even if you don’t fish often. Simply using your boat often or having one party with many guests can get it dirty. Go with PVC boat flooring if you want a highly durable, easy to clean, and non-slip alternative to carpet.
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