I have a 23-foot Hydra-Sports center console and do a lot of offshore fishing, spearfishing and diving. The deck on my boat can get pretty slippery, especially after I’ve had some fish on it. I also wanted to include padding to make it more comfortable, but it had to be easy to clean. After doing research and looking at reviews, I chose SeaDek. An added bonus is that it really gave my boat a great new look. The project looked pretty straightforward, so I decided to tackle it myself.
If you prefer, you can make the templates and send them back to SeaDek and have the folks there precut the sections and apply black borders, which looks really good. I chose to save some money and cut the material myself.
Getting to It
First, I made the templates. You can order a template-making kit from SeaDek for $15, which includes 40-inch-by-80-inch sheets of clear Mylar plastic, along with an indelible marker, a data form, template instructions and samples of the EVA color foam samples. SeaDek will credit the purchase price toward your first order.
Instead, I used a thick, clear painter’s drop cloth, cut roughly down to size, and secured the plastic sheet, using painters tape. Next, using a straight edge and a Sharpie, I marked all the straight lines and then did the corners by hand (1). Make sure you clearly mark each piece and where it goes (2).
Next, I made a worktable with a piece of plywood, put the SeaDek upside down on top of it and taped the templates on top (3). Then it was time to make the cuts. Using a box cutter and a straight edge, I cut each piece slowly (4). Try to do this with enough pressure that you don’t have to make another pass with the blade, which can create problems later on.
After I cut the sections, I rounded the corners using scissors (5). After trimming the edges, I then sanded the edges to make sure there weren’t any sharp corners (6). I used a palm sander with 80-grit sandpaper and worked my way up to a finer grit to create a smooth edge. You can also use this method to sand down any imperfections from your straight-edge cuts.
Once the pieces were cut to size and I was satisfied with the edges, I cleaned the deck with a rag and acetone. This is a really important step that will help the SeaDek stick to your boat. Grease and grime will make it peel off prematurely, so get it all off the deck. On my boat, I cut the pieces to follow the lines of the nonskid, which made it easier to line up the SeaDek. It comes with a peel-away material as backing, which you remove before sticking the piece down (7). Make sure to get this right the first time, because the adhesive is very powerful. I used the longest straight edge first to make sure each piece was correctly lined up, because peeling it off isn’t easy once it’s down. If you think you don’t have it lined up perfectly after you start putting it down, stop immediately, and start over again.
This project was pretty simple, but the results speak for themselves (8). It was worth the time and effort of doing it myself, which saved my budget for other upgrades I want to make. The new surface looks amazing, feels great on my feet and should last a long time.
Be sure to check out the helm pads, as well. I bought the one that uses Velcro to secure it, which makes it good for locations where you have a hatch. The kit came with everything to ensure a good bond with the hull, so it stays in place and marks where the Velcro goes. It makes a big difference driving the boat and helps reduce fatigue during all-day fishing trips.