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How to Make an Old Boat Look New: 5 Tips & Tricks

Posted by Louis Karpel on
How to Make an Old Boat Look New: 5 Tips & Tricks

Keeping your boat looking great and comfortable to use is key to continuing to enjoy your time out on the water — and you should never have to compromise on the quality of your boating experience. 

The problem is, when you’re using your boat, you’re going against some of the harshest elements out there, such as the sun and the salt. 

This is why boats, like most things, need routine maintenance to keep looking their best. 

(And a clever upgrade once in a while doesn’t hurt, either.) 

Whether you’re looking for a way to smarten up your older boat or want to buy a used one and do a little restoration project, here are 5 things you can do to make an old boat look new again. 

How to a Restore a Boat Back to Life: 5 Ideas


1. Declutter + Deep Clean Your Boat

This may seem an obvious place to start, but the first step to making your old boat look new is doing some spring cleaning. 

Boats develop algae and rust over time — especially if you keep yours in the water — so get a sponge and some cleaning supplies to get rid of any dirt and stains. 

You should also vacuum your boat to remove sand and any other kinds of dry dirt that may have been accumulating, especially in hard to reach places. After you’re done, wipe down the surfaces on your boat with a clean wet cloth. 

Don’t forget to pay attention to the exterior of your boat, too. Getting rid of boat barnacles and seaweed will instantly make your boat look a couple of years younger — and saving up on rising fuel costs because your boat will be more streamlined in the water is a nice bonus, too. 

Next on the list is decluttering and removing items that either shouldn’t be on a boat or boat accessories that you no longer use. Got some old fishing rods laying around your fishing boat? A broken fishfinder? Time to get rid of them. 

Freshening up your space in these simple ways goes a long way. Just remember to avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals so you don’t damage the interior of your boat. 

2. Wax Your Boat

Many boat owners dislike waxing their boat, but the results are always worth the process. 

Direct sun exposure causes the gel coat of your boat to deteriorate over time and dirt and water stains can make your boat look quite a few years older than it actually is. 

Waxing is a laborious process, but it’s a great way to refresh and protect your gel coat and maintain your boat looking its best.

3. Make Aluminum and Stainless Steel Shine

Your boat likely has aluminum and stainless steel parts — the railings, for example — and cleaning them is an important part of taking care of your boat. 

Aluminum is a great material for boat parts because it is lightweight and durable, but it can still rust and start looking dull if you don’t clean it on a regular basis. Same applies to stainless steel. 

So, get a cloth or a sponge and a cleaner and make aluminum and stainless steel parts of your boat shine again. Not only will it help your boat look newer, but it will also make it more comfortable to use. 

4. Freshen Up Your Boat Accessories 

It’s the little things that make the biggest difference. 

Inspect your boat and figure out what accessories may need an upgrade. Here are a few ideas:

- Replace your seat cushions. If your seat cushions look worn or dirty, it damages the aesthetics of your entire boat.

- Get a new boat cover. How your boat looks when not in use matters, too. Check out DEKit boat covers.

- Make your cooler look smart. Whether you have a Yeti or a RTIC cooler, a EVA foam cooler top offers a sturdy non-slip surface for your boat and refreshes the look of your cooler.

- Treat yourself to new fishing accessories. Want to make going after the big catch even more fun? Here are some must-haves. 

    You may not need to take your entire boat apart to make it look new again — adding a few little things here and there can help a lot, too. 

    5. Invest in Boat Flooring 

    When you’re out on the water, you’re exposing your boat floor to direct sunlight and harsh salt water. And if you’re into fishing, your boat floor also probably gets a fair share of fish blood and other general dirt. Even things like spilled sunscreen can damage your boat floor over time. 

    The solution? 

    Marine flooring. 

    Marine flooring — or boat flooring — is an overlay boat decking that can be applied all over your boat to protect your boat floor. The best part? In addition to protecting your boat floor, non-skid marine decking also gives your boat an upgraded look and makes it much more comfortable to use. 

    You can install boat non-skid flooring if you have a fiberglass boat, an aluminum boat, or over pretty much any existing non-skid. 

    What Is the Best Marine Decking Material?  

    Want to make your boat look new again with new boat decking but have no idea what the best marine flooring material is? 

    There are a few options out there, such as vinyl, aluminum, rubber, and marine carpet, but foam boat flooring is a non-slip marine flooring material of the highest quality and what we recommend. 

    Why? Quite a few reasons. 

    Marine foam flooring is: 

    ✓ UV-stable

    ✓ Oil-resistant

    ✓ Waterproof 

    ✓ Anti-slip boat flooring

    ✓ Easy to clean

    ✓ Antibacterial and antifungal 

    ✓ Durable

    ✓ Has a closed cell structure that allows it to dissipate heat 

    ✓ Reliable and comfortable 

    This is where alternatives fall short when compared to foam decking for your boat: 

    ❌Vinyl boat flooring is much more slippery, especially when wet

    ❌Aluminum marine flooring can only be used in freshwater environments, exposing it to salt will lead to corrosion

    ❌Rubber, marine carpet, and wood flooring are not UV-resistant and direct sunlight will damage them over time 

    ❌Marine carpet doesn’t resist dirt well and bacteria can get trapped and grow in it 

    This is why DEKit boat flooring is made with non-skid, exclusively cross-linked PE/EVA foam decking. Check out the DEKit difference now. 

    Why Get Your Boat Flooring with DEKit? 

    In addition to the superior boat decking foam, DEKit comes with extensive opportunities for style customization and above-and-beyond customer service. 

    DEKit offers over 50 color options for your boat foam decking and you can choose from a variety of color combinations and finishes. 

    Want to feature a custom logo or pattern on your boat deck? We can do that, too. 

    Plus, you don’t have to go through the hassle of bringing your boat anywhere. The DEKit team will come to you, get the measurements we need to create your custom boat flooring, and come back for an install. 

    DEKit boat flooring is custom made for your boat using state of the art technology, such as a CNC machine and CAD design, to precisely fit your boat and no one else’s. 

    Want to See One of DEKit’s Favorite Custom Installs? 

    It’s not every day that we get to install DEKit on a boat of a legend. Check out our boat flooring installation for DJ Laz in Miami. 

    Ready to make your boat look new again with DEKit? Get your premium foam boat flooring today. 

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