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Installing Your MariDeck Vinyl on Your Boat Deck 101

Installing Your MariDeck Vinyl on Your Boat Deck 101

The MariDeck vinyl flooring is the attractive, durable, time-tested alternative to traditional high maintenance marine carpet. In the past, your boat carpet didn't stand a chance staying clean with fishing trips, kids, pets or messy meals. Now cleaning up after a fun-filled day or a successful fishing trip is a snap with just a spray of water. MariDeck vinyl pontoon flooring looks great on your boat and will stay great looking while protecting your investment against the potential rigors of difficult environmental conditions.

MariDeck vinyl is embossed with a slip-resistant textured surface. It can be installed on wood or aluminum or fiberglass surfaces making it ideal for use on pontoons, aluminum fishing, hunting boats, ski boats, and houseboats. Boat owners across North America have come to realize that MariDeck is the product of choice for just about any marine flooring application desired.

We sell a complete line of MariDeck Vinyl rolls in both 72” and in 102”. Visit product page to see the complete range of color options. Contact us if you would like to receive color swatches.

Here is the complete installation process and tips provided by MariDeck:

MariDeck Marine Vinyl is designed for installations on wood, aluminum or fiberglass surfaces. The product is adhered to the surface using either MD–101 (for wood applications) or MD–102 (for aluminum and fiberglass applications) adhesive. The instructions below describe a typical installation. Read through the instructions completely prior to beginning your installations. If you have any questions, feel free to call (888) 450-DECK for assistance.

Suggested Tools List:

  1. Measuring Tape
  2. Scissors
  3. Utility Knife 9”
  4. Medium Nap
  5. Paint Roller With 4’
  6. Extension Push Broom or Linoleum Roller
  7. Throw Away Rags

Surface Preparation - Ideally, it is best to remove any objects that are attached to the boat floor. Also remove any plastic or metal trim pieces. These will be reused to secure the edges of the vinyl after application. The removal of all seating, tables, trolling motors and electronic devices, etc., will allow for an easier and better application of the MariDeck product. Any existing carpet or vinyl will also need to be completely removed in addition to any adhesive residue left on the surface to be covered.

It is very likely that wood boats decks (pontoons) will require the complete removal of the existing wood surface and the replacement with new wood. MariDeck recommends ¾” pressure treated plywood screwed to the structure. Consult MariDeck if another surface is required. Install new wood securely with high quality moisture resistant screws. Plywood sheets should be butted against each other leaving no more than a 1/32” space.

Wood Surface Application - Prior to applying the MariDeck vinyl, inspect the surface of the boat to be covered to make sure all debris, sawdust, screws, or any foreign objects have been removed. Use a leaf blower or broom at this time to insure the surface is completely clean.

Be extremely careful when unwrapping the roll. Sharp objects can damage the MariDeck vinyl. Take caution in removing the packaging to avoid damage to the product.

After the packaging has been removed, unroll the vinyl over the surface to be covered. Take this time to determine that the roll is of sufficient length to cover the surface required. Center the vinyl on the surface and adjust for appropriate overhang requirements on all four sides. Pull out any wrinkles or folds in the vinyl if they exist.

Once the vinyl is adjusted to the ideal position, install a couple weighted objects (i.e., tool box, adhesive pail, brick) on the membrane at one end of the boat. The weighted objects should be within 24” from the edge of the boat. Starting at the opposite end of the boat, roll the membrane loosely back to the weighted objects. As you roll the vinyl, try to maintain a straight and consistent roll.

Wood surface applications require the use of MD–101 adhesive. Prior to opening, shake the glue container slightly for 60 seconds. Coverage rates for the MD-101 are approximately 125/SF per gallon. Depending on the ambient temperature, the adhesive will begin to dry relatively fast after application. If you are working alone, do not try to install more than 15 linear feet at a time. The vinyl needs to be applied when the adhesive is wet.

Open the container and pour the adhesive in a serpentine pattern onto the wood deck in front of the roll. The serpentine ribbons of adhesive should be approximately 1.5” wide. Cover an area that extends the width of the roll and out form the roll 15’. Using the medium nap paint roller, roll over the adhesive blending it together and completely covering the wood surface. The consistency and coverage of the adhesive should represent a heavy coat of paint. Do not leave puddles of adhesive or dry spots on the wood surface. Finish the area of adhesive application in a relatively straight line across the width of the boat.

Standing on the vinyl near the weighted objects, slowly and careful begin to unroll the vinyl over the freshly applied adhesive. Make sure that the roll is unrolled straight and wrinkle free. If a wrinkle does appear, lift the roll of vinyl off the adhesive slightly and straighten to remove wrinkle. Continue to unroll the vinyl to cover all of the adhesive.

Take a clean stiff bristle push broom and sweep over the surface installed using medium pressure. The process will help distribute the adhesive under the vinyl evenly and help provide for consistent contact between the adhesive and vinyl. Make sure any air pockets are pressed out if they exist.

Return to the beginning of the roll and remove the weighted objects. Fold the vinyl back exposing the un-adhered wood surface. Apply adhesive as described above and follow same vinyl application procedure. The remaining vinyl (or next 15’) can now be adhered to the wood surface. Make sure the new application of adhesive slightly overlaps the previous to eliminate voids in the coverage. It is acceptable to separate the adhered vinyl from the initial adhesive to 3 ensure 100% coverage as long as the vinyl has not dried. Complete the application as described above.

Drying Time - You can walk on the vinyl immediately after installation. However, excessive walking and foot traffic could put small wrinkles in the vinyl. Take caution in walking on the surface and always inspect the area after contact. In dry weather conditions and temps 60 – 90 degrees F. the glue will be dry in 2-3 hours. It is recommended that the glue be allowed to dry completely over night before installing seating and equipment.

Aluminum or Fiberglass Surface - Application Prior to applying the MariDeck vinyl, inspect the surface of the boat to be covered to make sure all debris, dust, screws, or any foreign objects have been removed. Use a leaf blower or broom at this time to insure the surface is completely clean.

Fiberglass surfaces will likely require that the surface be etched using a coarse grade of sandpaper. This will allow for better adhesion. Remove all fiberglass dust prior to applying adhesive. Follow the package removal instructions as listed above.

In most cases, applications over aluminum or fiberglass require pre-cutting the vinyl into the appropriate shapes and sizes required for the specific area of the boat. Carefully measure the shapes and sizes allowing for appropriate coverage. If a larger surface is to be covered, utilize the same installation method described above using the appropriate adhesive and procedures outlined below.

MD-102 is very flammable. Keep all adhesives away from children and do not use this product near an open flame or high heat. MD-102 should be installed in a well-ventilated area.

Once the sizes are cut, apply MD-102 solvent adhesive to the non-woven polyester backside of the vinyl using a paint roller (smaller areas may require the use of a 3” roller). Be careful not to get adhesive on the topside of the vinyl. Removing spilled or excess adhesive is extremely difficult. Then apply a coat of MD-102 adhesive onto the surface to receive the vinyl piece. Again, be careful in the application. Only apply enough adhesive to be covered by the vinyl. Allow the adhesive to set for 10-15 minutes.

The adhesive is ready for application when you can touch the adhesive on the aluminum with your finger, and feel only a slight tackiness. If “legs” or “strings” appear between your finger and the adhesive, allow another 5 minutes to dry and retest. Do not wait longer than 15 minutes to apply the glued vinyl to the glued surface.

Carefully apply the glued piece of vinyl without wrinkles or air bubbles. MD-102 is a solvent-based contact adhesive and will require quick installation. Make certain the vinyl pieces are positioned correctly before applying. After the piece of vinyl is applied, 4 use your hand to smooth out any air bubbles or wrinkles while ensuring uniform contact. Follow the same instructions for subsequent pieces of the vinyl.

Seams - It is possible to overlap the vinyl and create a seam although exposed seams should be avoided as much as possible. In pre-cutting the vinyl pieces, try to utilize pieces of vinyl that will hide the seams under overhangs, under seats or aligned with the seams in the aluminum. You can also butt seams by performing a “wall paper cut”. Over lap the two pieces of product then, following the edge of the top vinyl, use a sharp utility knife to cut through the bottom vinyl. Fold the top layer back slightly, remove the trimmed piece of bottom vinyl, and then, fold the top layer back in place to butt the vinyl.

Drying Time - MD-102 adhesive dries very quickly. Allow a minimum 1-hour drying time before installing seating and equipment. For Technical Assistance call (888) 450-DECK.    

  • Scott Reynolds
Navigational Lighting 101

Navigational Lighting 101

You might as well accept the fact that if you like to spend long days on your boat, you’ll eventually stay out a little too late and find yourself making your way back to the dock in total darkness. Not only can this be a scary situation if you do not the correct lights but navigational lighting is the law and from sunset to sunrise navigational lighting must be in good working order and in use.

The U.S. Coast Guard has very specific guidelines on navigation lighting. It depends on the length of your vessel, its overall use, and other various factors. But for the sake of brevity here are the requirements for recreational boating in vessels under 39 feet in length:

  1. Masthead Light: a white light placed over the fore and aft centerline of the vessel
  2. Side Lights: a green light on the starboard side and a red light on the port side
  3. Stern Light: a white light placed as nearly as practicable at the stern

Rule 20(b) The Rules concerning lights shall be complied with from sunset to sunrise, and during such times no other lights shall be exhibited, except such lights which cannot be mistaken for the lights specified in these rules or do not impair their visibility or distinctive character, or interfere with the keeping of a proper look-out.

Here at we carry a full line of the required navigational lights to keep your Pontoon Boat looking good and keep you safe and ticket free. See our complete lighting section here.

If you want to know more about your state's boating laws and how they specifically can affect you, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators offers a reference guide. Visit the U.S. Coast Guard State Boating Laws page to view the various laws and requirements here:

3 Quick Tips for Choosing to Refurbish a Pontoon Boat

3 Quick Tips for Choosing to Refurbish a Pontoon Boat

When considering whether or not to buy a new pontoon boat, a used pontoon boat, or maybe you want to refurbish your own pontoon boat, here are some things to consider while you are weighing your options. It’s important to keep in mind that for $1500 to $2500 the deck, furniture and carpeting can all be replaced with high-quality pontoon seating, marine plywood, and new marine vinyl flooring. So maybe something that looks fairly rough is actually a diamond in the rough.

At we sell high quality pontoon boat furniture and pontoon boat accessories and we even offer discount kits which group furniture kits with MariDeck - an exterior grade vinyl pontoon flooring, so designing your new boat layout has never been easier.

With all that said, here are our top 3 tips when deciding whether to either refurbish an older pontoon boat or throw in the towel and start over.

  1. Check the pontoon tubes. While fiberglass pontoons may look cool, they are problematic and expensive to repair. Aluminum pontoon tubes we feel are the best. Check each tube for any possible punctures not only on the exterior but also under the pontoons deck as well. Check the overall strength, the tubes can get a lot of bumps and abuse with docking and trailering. Check accordingly.
  1. Check the pontoon boat’s railing and trim pieces. Custom aluminum pieces, railing and side trim are nearly impossible to match so plan on replacing them if they look bad or look for another pontoon boat if any of those things cannot be repaired easily.
  1. Check the motor. Have the motor checked with a qualified professional for a proper assessment of its condition. Something to keep in mind older motors can be costly to maintain and locating parts may prove to be difficult.

For more information on buying used Pontoon boats visit Pontoon and Deck Boat Magazine -

What are the Differences Between Using Composites, Aluminum, or Wood for Your Boat Deck

What are the Differences Between Using Composites, Aluminum, or Wood for Your Boat Deck

Composites: In recent years some manufactures have made more composite flooring options available. There's been an effort to meet customer demand for a decay proof deck material without all the structural drawbacks normally associated with aluminum decking. Composites are made largely made of recycled plastic products formed into panels similar in size and thickness of wood. Composites are far superior to aluminum in insulating qualities. Rigidity is generally superior to aluminum but still inferior to wood. Earlier versions did over time suffer from sagging. However the later composites panel decking has fiberglass reinforcement that has corrected these concerns. However this piece of mind does come with a price however, for composites often is a more expensive option if available.

Aluminum: Is available as a deck material from various pontoon boat manufactures. Aluminum is generally offered as an option to ease customer fears of woods potential to decay. And aluminum does offer peace of mind for the customer and has become a major marketing tool for those manufactures that offer it. However when considering some of the desirable characteristics described earlier, aluminum does indeed have some shortcomings to consider as a deck material. Aluminum has poor panel span strength and rigidity. To compensate this most manufactures lay aluminum in sections of pieces six to eight inches wide. While in comparison other materials are generally four foot wide sections. To cut costs many manufactures also use self tapping screws to fasten it in place. All the additional seams also result in an increase of stress and wear on the carpet over time. Aluminum also has poor insulating qualities of both sound and heat. But there are many people who feel that the prospects of no decay over ride all the negative aspects of this material.

Wood is the most traditional of all the decking materials. In almost all the above desirable characteristics it has the most desirable qualities. Wood also has the greatest rigidity and panel strength of all the available materials. Its insulating qualities are as good as the composites. It's also one of the least stressful and maybe best substrates when used with carpet. However wood can, have and does exhibit decay. Like any organic material if it's left untreated it will have poor survivability in a wet marine environment. Therefore you should be certain that a good grade of marine plywood was used in the construction of your boat. If marine grade CCA treated 3/4 in. plywood was used in construction and some general care was taken of the boat, you can rest assured that you'll get many years of relatively carefree service from your pontoon boat purchase before any issues or observation of any decay.

Read more about Pontoon boat decks at: from