Pontoon Boat Deck Covering | Boating Magazine

Pontoon Boat Deck Covering

What feels best underfoot on your pontoon?

Vinyl Pontoon Deck

Dan Armitage

One fine Sunday morning in early May several senior members of our local pontoon boat owners organization were relaxing on the clubhouse porch pontificating the pros and cons of various deck coverings for our favorite watercraft. The repartee was brought on by the fact that a member’s FloteBote remains dry-docked and on blocks as he completes a re-decking job. It gives the old guys great pleasure in reminding the frantic younger fellow that he has a May 31 deadline to get his boat, which at present is stripped to the waterline, launched and off the club’s manicured grounds or face great fines, as detailed in the Buckeye Boat Club Code, for being tardy in doing so.

It’s a dysfunctional crew that comprises the organization’s aged and bitter leadership, but the club’s location is optimal, the price reasonable and the docks floating so members put up with the BS to be part of the association.

From the comfort of the shaded gallery, overseeing and advising their fellow member scrambling to secure new plywood decking and line-up holes for routing cables and wires, the talk naturally went to what the best covering for his new deck might be.


“Gotta’ be easy to clean,” opined one member, who said non-skid vinyl was his floor-covering of choice. “I can hose it off at the end of the day and be done with it.”

“Carpet, thicker the better is what I say,” offered another, nursing his Metamucil. “Nothing looks or feels as nice as carpet underfoot.”

“Fiber or vinyl, ‘has to be light-colored or the heat coming off it will kill you,” mentioned another member. “Course then it shows ever spec of dirt.”

“Carpet’s too humid,” argued another. “Mine stays wet all season and mildews everything under the boat cover. But the wife likes the way it looks..,” he added sheepishly.


When all the arguments were in, the anglers in the group preferred the vinyl flooring for ease of cleaning and maintenance. Club members who never wet a line and prefer to cruise and entertain aboard their pontoons, carried the argument for marine carpeting’s look and feel as the deck covering of choice.

We’d like your opinion. If you have a favorite flooring material for a pontoon boat – or an argument for or against a particular deck covering, please share it with us. We, in turn will pass along your comments to the club member who must make up his mind and apply the op before the end of May, or face the consequences.