How to Recarpet a Boat Trailer

A boat trailer.
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-75
What You'll Need
Utility knife
Metal scraper
Stripper wheel
Marine-grade adhesive
New carpet

When you cannot dock your boat, you will need the services of a boat trailer. A boat trailer is essentially a steel platform on wheels towed by another vehicle. It is outfitted with girders and rods that support and hold the boat safely in place to not damage the hull. This is why the boat trailer supports are carpeted. Over time, the carpet can peel off the metal and needs to be replaced. There are two types of carpet: snap and glue. The following article will show you how to replace them.

Step 1 - Select Boat Trailer Carpet

Prior to ordering new carpet for your boat trailer, you need to determine the type of carpet currently installed. Snap carpet will be slightly raised. The carpet is most effective when replaced in full sections and not in pieces, so purchase carpet to the size of the boat trailer. If the carpet uses snaps, then purchase that kind of carpet. Otherwise, normal boat trailer carpet will do. Select carpet that is meant for marine use, as it is mildew- and mold-resistant.

Step 2 - Remove the Old Carpet

Snapped carpet is simply pulled off the metal. Glued carpet will take more effort. Begin by using the utility knife to score the carpet along the edges. The edges of the carpet are the weakest area, and scoring it under the edge will allow a good grip. Once the carpet is scored, you can begin ripping it off the support. Do not worry about leaving bits of carpet behind because you will clean this up later. Continue until most of the carpet is removed and all that is left are small remnants that can’t be pulled off.

Step 3 - Clean It Up

In order for there to be a good bond between the metal and the new carpet, the metal has to be cleaned of the remaining adhesive and carpet. Use the metal scraper to remove these bits until you have a flat surface. Some of the adhesive may not be able to be removed with this method. For these tough areas, use the drill with the stripper wheel attached. Once you are satisfied, you need to vacuum the floor of the boat trailer and then wipe it down with a damp cloth.

Step 4 - Install the Carpet

Now that the boat trailer is ready, you can place the new carpet. Dry fit the carpet and trim it as needed. You do not want puffed up or curved areas, so you may need to cut the carpet in sections. You need it to be flat. Once the carpet is cut, begin applying the adhesive to the back of the carpet with the trowel. Keep a clean edge that is at least an inch because when you press it down, the adhesive will flow to these areas. Wipe off excess adhesive with a damp rag and allow the adhesive to set for at least a day prior to using the trailer.