Boat Flooring and Pets
People and pets go hand in hand. We take them everywhere with us and think of them as family. And boating is no different! Although the type of pet can vary (we have seen cats, goats, guinea pigs and even an actual pony), no critter is more prevalent on the water than man’s best friend, the dog. After all, who would have the heart to leave Fido behind for such a tremendous adventure?! A day on the boat is everything your pooch lives for: smells, splashing, playing, going fast, and more smells! To top that off, they get to do it all with their very favorite people!
While shopping for new flooring for your boat, keep in mind there are some aspects of boating with pets that can affect your new floor and some new floors that can affect your pets. Things to think about can vary by the material you are considering, your lifestyle, and your pet. Each type of Corinthian Marine flooring has pros and cons to weigh while selecting your new dog friendly floor.
Soil: Corinthian Marine carpets and AquaWeave™ woven-vinyl are all made to be extremely stain resistant.
Both our glue down and AquaMat® snap-in style carpets are made with solution-dyed yarns, this means the pigment is added to the yarn as the yarn is manufactured so the color permeates all the way through. The material isn’t created and then dyed red like some boat carpets. The result is yarns that are non-porous (smooth microscopically) so soil has a hard time sticking and cannot be absorbed into the yarn. It’s also so full of color that it just won’t accept more, repelling most stains. Regular hosing and vacuuming keeps carpet clean with occasional use of household-carpet stain removers for tougher spots.
AquaWeave™ woven vinyl goes a step further. This revolutionary material is so stain resistant that even red wine, mustard, and fish blood normally hose right off. Just toss some water over the area while on the water until you can get to the hose. Troubling spots can be cleaned with gentle detergents and soft bristle brushes, but most people find they never get to that point.
Sand: This area can be a big concern for pet owners on boats.
The amount of sand brought into the boat by a dog can be astronomical! And while any AquaMat® can be removed from the boat and shaken out that is not the case with glued down flooring.
Most people find berber style carpet will hold less sand than a cut pile, or “plush style” carpet. This is because the loops of berber keep the yarn packed tightly together, making it more difficult for sand to work its way down to become trapped between the fibers. A plush or cut pile carpet has fibers that are more flexible, making them softer under foot, which is why we like walking on them, but making it easier for sand to fit between the individual yarns. Typically, the plusher and higher pile the carpet has, the more sand it can hold, but the less you may feel it underfoot.
The relatively flat surface of the AquaWeave™ woven vinyl means that sand doesn’t become trapped in the first place. This gives out AquaWeave™ a distinct advantage against sand compared to carpets. Glued in carpet can only be hosed and vacuumed to get rid of sand trapped between the fibers. Sand stays on the surface of AquaWeave can easily be vacuumed, hosed, or swept. An AquaMat® made with AquaWeave™ can still be easily pulled up and shaken to get rid of any sand or loose soiling.
Pet Hair: Corinthian Marine’s AquaWeave™ woven-vinyl has the edge over boat carpet.
AquaWeave™ woven vinyl, whether glued down or snapped in, shrugs off most pet hair and is taken care of the same way as issues with sand. The relatively flat surface of the AquaWeave™ woven vinyl means that hair doesn’t become trapped in the first place. Hose, sweep and/or shake as needed.
For boat carpet, berber styles will hold less hair than a cut piles, or “plush style” carpets, as long as they are vacuumed regularly. However, pet hair left over time can insinuate itself between the fibers and become difficult to remove if left too long. A plush or cut pile carpet may hold more hair day to day but will release that hair more readily. Just like the carpet in your home, the more frequent you vacuum, the less pet hair issues you will have.
Sharp Claws: The single largest concern we hear about when people are thinking about new flooring.
This is the number one concern of boat owners with pets. We hear about it all the time; the fear is that their dog’s claws will ruin the flooring. Surprisingly, we have never had anyone tell us about an incident where that fear has ever become a reality with any of our products!
Unlike soft flooring materials, like EVA foams (layered foams permanently adhered to the deck and grouted out to show underlayers to create a pattern), an AquaMat® made with carpet or AquaWeave™ can stand up to your pooch’s paws. Whereas EVA Foam and hard surfaces, like vinyl or genuine Teak wood have surfaces that dent, scratch and gouge, both Corinthian Marine carpet and our AquaWeave™ woven vinyl will be entirely undaunted and gouge free while giving Fido (and Fido’s family) the traction they prefer. In fact, many boat owners that have one of those other types of flooring, end up choosing (or wishing they would have chosen) to get a custom AquaMat® drop-in or snap-in mat to lay over those other fragile surfaces to protect them!
Heat: It isn’t just the boat and the new carpet or AquaMat that boat owners are concerned with!
The last area of concern involved with boat flooring isn’t about what effect your pet might have on the floor. Rather, it is about the possibility of you floor harming your pet. We, as a society, have started to realize that our furriest family members aren’t quite as indestructible as our pooch’s constant joy, enthusiasm, and lust for adventure lead us to believe. The foot pads on most critters we bring on board are actually pretty sensitive when it comes to surface heat and can be blistered severely by such things as hot asphalt or flooring.
This is where carpet shines, coming out far ahead of other flooring types. While not completely impervious to heat, carpet disperses heat faster than any other textile flooring materials. Lighter colors do better that dark ones, obviously, but either will feel much cooler underfoot than a reflective surface like a plain fiberglass deck. The flatter the surface is, the more the surface will actually come into direct contact with skin, increasing the intensity.
Even our AquaWeave™ is cooler than a fiberglass floor and there is a ridiculously easy way to cool down either carpet or AquaWeave™ any time you are out on the boat! Simply scoop some of the surrounding water up and toss it down on the surface whenever the temp begins to rise. Don’t be shy! Whether your marine carpet is glued into the boat, or is removeable, like an AquaMat®, Corinthian Marine materials are designed to get wet. So, please feel free to throw some water on it to cool it off and keep all those sensitive feet happy, be they in the form of a foot, flipper, or paw.
Corinthian’s boat carpet for AquaMat®, marine carpet for glue-in, and AquaWeave™ woven vinyl all have benefits to recommend them when picking new flooring for your pet-friendly boating needs. Choosing which one will depend on your lifestyle and personal preferences. With a little consideration and minimal maintenance, your entire family, furry member included, can enjoy Corinthian Marine flooring for years to come.
With Corinthian Marine flooring, having a pet is no reason to slack off on style when deciding what to put on your boat floor – they won’t hurt it!