Best Boat Decking Materials
When choosing materials for boat decking there are a lot of factors to consider such as durability, cost and appearance.
Good old fashioned wood has been the mainstay of boat decks for centuries. Wood is durable, water resistant and requires minimal maintenance. It also gives you more variety colour-wise. Oak is probably your best bet as it has optimal strength and flexibility and will last a lifetime. However, wood can be an expensive option and often needs refinishing every 2-3 years as the colour fades over time. Also bear in mind that wood can rot and warp and give you nasty splinters.
For a cheaper option than wood, fibreglass makes a great alternative as it can be used for any type of floor design. However, fibreglass does have a tendency to crack and require thorough cleaning so needs a lot of maintenance. In its raw form, fibreglass is incredibly smooth so will often need a non-skid texture moulded onto its surface. Of course it’s also possible to combine both wood and fibreglass into your decking.
A boat decking option that’s increasing in popularity is aluminium. Although the initial outlay can be quite high, aluminium is low maintenance and is very easy to install – it is also lighter than wood.
Composite options include a mix of plastic and wood and have the advantage of never showing signs of warping. However, composites are prone to mildew stains if you don’t sweep and wash them regularly and can end up peeling over time.
Vinyl planks are non-porous and one of the lowest maintenance options for boat decking – but some people don’t like the plastic feel underfoot.
The next generation of decking is synthetic – lighter, cooler and even lower maintenance. The latest composite vinyl blend option looks like wood rather than plastic and comes with a 25 year warranty against staining and fading. However, this is a more expensive option. Other options include 100% recyclable non-slip materials.
Another cost-effective option is to apply Traffideck – a liquid spray membrane that forms an anti-slip waterproof layer on your boat deck. It is easy to apply, odourless and its high tensile strength enables it to resist cracking.
Thortech provide excellent quality boat decking with anti-slip qualities.