Boats & Maintenance

An Awesome Alternative to Bass Boat Carpet

The bass fishing industry is full of often-overused catchphrases when it comes to marketing; every year it seems like the term “game changer” is used ad nauseam whether it’s referring to a feature, a technique, new technology or even a new material. The term “revolutionary” is also a favorite of many companies it seems. Unfortunately, however, many products don’t live up to this kind of hype.

I have found a product that could easily be described using both of those terms, though.

I’ve been fixing up an older Ranger bass boat in my free time recently. I’m the kind of guy who always likes to have a project and this boat definitely fits that bill. As much of a headache as it has been at times, it’s coming along nicely and I’ll have a gallery chronicling the entire restoration process publishing soon.

In this piece, however, I wanted to share an awesome addition I’ve made to the boat. Instead of replacing the old, nasty carpet with more carpet, I decided to try something a little different with this project. I actually added SeaDek to this boat and I couldn’t be happier with it so far; I’m getting compliments from everyone about how great it looks in this boat.

I’ll walk you through some thoughts I have on this SeaDek thus far and I’m telling you… I believe a lot of folks will be switching to this stuff within the next few years. It just makes too much sense for the avid angler.

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What exactly is SeaDek?

SeaDek is a high-quality alternative to marine carpet that provides a non-skid, closed-cell foam surface that will not absorb water. It provides exceptional traction, sound dampening that can be imperative to shallow-water anglers and even when it’s wet, it offers incredible grip with our without shoes.

It is also stain and UV resistant and can be cleaned easily with a little soap and water. For tougher spots, SeaDek makes a cleaner called Dek Magic but to date, a little dish washing soap and a nylon brush lightly rubbed on the spot is all I have ever needed. SeaDek wears like iron and because I like it so much, I really believe I’ll never have another boat without it.

Used in pleasure and ski boats for years, the bass fishing market first saw it used conventionally when Xpress Boats offered it as a standard in their high-end, high-performance aluminum boats. More and more boat manufacturers are offering SeaDek in their lineup but also many do-it-yourselfers like me are now putting it in their boats when replacing old, worn-out carpet. 

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You can color match it

First off, it looks great and can easily be color-matched to the boat or tow vehicle. I have little doubt that it has changed the boating market in a positive way and most companies are now looking at it as a high-quality replacement to carpet for flooring in all types of boats. The paradigm shift from carpet has been dynamic… it’s been eerily similar to the shift from fiberglass to aluminum bass boats.

Not only does it look great but it also provides therapeutic benefits to the angler’s back and knees and just might allow for longer days on the water.

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Old back and legs love it, too

SeaDek had over 20 years of experience in this space (EVA/PE) and knows through testing what materials and adhesives work best in the marine environment. Rigorous laboratory testing is ongoing all the time and they are always looking at lamination, laser cutting, design and colors to stay ahead of the marketplace.

Looking cool is part of the benefits but its cushioning and traction is great on the legs and back, too. I have noticed that my knees and back that had given me fits in my carpeted boats after a long day on the water is gone now. My old bones thank me every trip that I have fished on top of SeaDek.

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Cool factor is off the charts

Dual-sheet lamination allows for cool logos etching with laser, routed or swap out styles and the patterns are nearly limitless including diamond, hexagon and fish scale, to name a few. It is also water resistent and is much lighter than carpet particularly when it’s wet.

Carpet gets heavy and takes forever to dry out after fishing in the rain but SeaDek remains the same weight all the time. You can fish in the rain all day long with this stuff and it’s dry in no time. If you park your boat in the garage or shop, you also don’t have to worry about that nasty wet boat smell. 

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Multiple colors and texture options

SeaDek comes in multiple textures and depending on your individual preference can be brushed or embossed to fit your needs and likes. Color options are limitless with over 30 colors available.

Measurements can be taken by boat so lids and flooring can be cut at the factory to fit seamlessly into any boat. The customization options can make your boat unique and like me, you can include logos to make it look sharper or support someone who supports you.

I will not own or restore another boat without SeaDek. Sure, I like how it looks but perhaps more importantly, I’m very impressed by its functionality. It lasts and looks like new longer than any carpet has the chance to.

My full boat restoration gallery will be up soon once I wrap up a few small things on it. You’ll get to see even more uses for SeaDek when you check it out. 

If you’d like to learn more about SeaDek, you can check ’em out here