Forget a makeover. Resurface!

an image of sumbrella fabric to resurface your boat

Instead of a complete facelift, save yourself a bundle and resurface.

Compared to home interior design trends, boat and yacht owners can get by with the same interior design scheme for quite a while. Sometimes, eight years or more. If your fabrics are thread-bare, carpets are soiled and countertops are chipped, you can give your boat a mini makeover with just a simple resurface.

It may only involve replacing the surface coverings rather than a complete overhaul, which will save you a heap of money that’s better suited for fuel to cruise and food and beverages to keep the crew fed. And if you’re handy with tools, you can save even more money by doing some of the work yourself. Here are a few tips to freshen up your boat’s floors, counters and fabrics.

Counter intelligence

Were your boat’s old laminate countertops were used as a cutting board? Are they past the point of their reasonable usefulness? Good news– the replacement options are unlimited. One blog suggests painting old laminae to resurface.  No replacement needed.

There are even kits available that offer an end result similar to the look of granite but without the expense and weight. There are several downsides, however, to “repainting” countertop surfaces: extensive project preparation, product’s toxic smell, and fumes, length of time to cure, unsatisfactory end result or a satisfactory one that doesn’t last.

If countertop replacement is in your makeover budget but granite or marble is not, a laminate is a great option. Think Formica. Don’t let the company’s longevity fool you. Their product offerings come in a myriad of colors and patterns, finishes, solid surfacing, and decorative edging.

The company has even introduced Formica Writable Surfaces, a product line that encourages people to write on it. Forget about jotting down a reminder to the captain or crew—write it on the countertop! If you run out of paper for the kiddos to draw pictures while you’re cruising, set them up at the counter with a box of erasable markers or chalk and they’ll stay busy for hours. Formica Writable Surfaces can be used for countertops, cupboards, table tops, cabinets, walls. Really, just about anywhere. The surface is durable and impact and wear-resistant, easy to clean, and comes in two Chalkable surfaces and six ColorBook surfaces.

Air and sea

If you’re one of the many yacht owners who also own an aircraft and both could use some TLC, Scott Group Studio recently released their new luxury carpet collection inspired by cultural travel and movement, a fitting theme for both aviation and yachting. The entire collection is crafted in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Produced with a silk and wool blend that is customizable to interior cabin furnishings, each design reflects patterns one would see when traveling the world: ocean currents, terraced landscapes, glacial cracks, sand dunes and savannahs, and ancient drawings on rocks. Scott Group Studio will also make the collection available to residential design, so whether you’re in the air, at sea or on terra firma, you’ll also be at home.

Foot-worthy floors

There’s nothing like stepping on board a brand-new boat. Particularly, if the flooring is brand-new too. But if your boat’s floors are dingy or dated, replace them with the same products used by boat builders the likes of Grady-White, Tiara, Sea Ray, Chaparral, Bennington, Chris-Craft, and others.

For some, the word “vinyl” brings to mind outdated flooring, yellowed with age and few color options. But vinyl flooring has changed significantly and is one of the hottest trends in home and commercial construction and remodeling. Indeed, today’s choices run the gamut of designs that mimic natural materials, such as wood planks and stone surfaces, in an array of colors and textured appearances. Furthermore, advancements in manufacturing have made vinyl flooring not only a durable choice for boats but also one that enables owners to customize according to décor choices.

“What changed from traditional vinyl is the woven technology,” says Warren McCrickard, former vice president of corporate sales for Infinity Woven Products, a manufacturer of luxury woven vinyl (LWV) flooring. “Infinity is actually a vertically integrated product. We control the manufacturing process from raw to finished and ‘bake’ UV protection, antimicrobial, and stain resistance into the extruded yarn or coating of fibers. The woven technology gives all the benefits and texture, and we can offer a complete line of ornate designs and vibrant colors. They’re very durable and high-performing, but also are beautiful.”

According to user comments, LWV is also very comfortable underfoot, a breeze to clean and easy to install for do-it-yourselfers. Application options include gluing the product flat or binding the edges to lay loose or to be snap down. The flooring comes in 8’6″ and 10′ widths but can be easily seamed for larger floor dimensions.

Just sleep on it

A good night’s sleep can make a big difference when you’re cruising or fishing. Like your mattress at home, there are signs the one on your boat needs to be replaced. If you don’t feel rested, you wake up stiff or sore, or there’s a noticeable sag, it’s time. If your mattress is in good shape, new linens and pillows can make a world of difference.

Another attractive and easy décor addition to your stateroom? An attractive custom upholstered headboard. Austin Burkett, marine sales manager for Schrader Mattress, recommends headboards for boats up to 40-feet LOA use marine-grade fabric only. Today, marine-grade fabrics, such as Sunbrella, come in a wide variety of colors, prints, and patterns. For boats that have a continuous air conditioning system, Burkett says most any fabric will work. “We use Ultraleather and other brands of faux leathers as well as vinyls,” he says.

By Liz Pasch, Southern Boating September 2018

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