Boats provide endless entertainment by getting you out on the water to enjoy fishing, watersports, sightseeing, or even as a means of making money. However, despite all of the pleasure a watercraft brings, vessels require maintenance to remain in good working condition. One issue boaters run into are soft and spongy decks which require replacing. What you need to know about the boat floor replacement cost. 

How Long Does The Floor Of A Boat Last

On average, the floor of a boat will last between 15 and 25 years. Of course, this is highly impacted by the quality of the installation work in addition to the care provided.

 While the time may seem short, most boat owners will sell the vessel before the deck requires replacement. When shopping for a used boat, this brings up an important point: inspect the deck closely for signs of sagging or soft spots.

A close inspection will save thousands of dollars of money that were not in the budget on top of the already large expense of buying a boat. 

What Kind Of Plywood Do I Need To Replace Boat Floor

The deck of modern vessels is not left as wood. The floors are covered with carpeting or nonskid gel coat. 

Beneath the surface layer is marine-grade plywood. Marine-grade plywood is a necessity to its ability to withstand rot in areas with high moister levels. The cost of marine plywood is higher. However, the upfront cost pays off long term.

How Long Will Marine Plywood Last

Marine plywood, which has been appropriately laid and enclosed with fiberglass, will last up to 25 years. 

The twenty-five-year mark will be challenging to reach unless the completion of the installation was done superbly and the boat was well cared for.

Can A Boat Floor Replacement Be A Do It Yourself Job

Yes, a boat floor replacement can be a do-it-yourself job with proper tools and confidence in your abilities. 

The process is tedious and will require work for hours on end. Critical steps include removal, strengthening, and sealing stringers, measuring and cutting marine plywood, affixing the wood, and gel coating the wood. 

What Tools Are Required For A Boat Floor Replacement

Hand Sander


Circular Saw

Measuring Tape



Deck Screws


If you have all of the necessary tools and skillset, don’t hesitate to complete the work with a friend. The do-it-yourself project will save thousands of dollars.

What Is A Boat Floor Replacement Cost

Boat repair shops employ highly skilled marine professionals who are experts at replacing boat floors. 

Completing the replacement work is labor-intensive. Therefore, the cost is substantial. In addition to labor, take on the high-priced marine-grade plywood sheets.

In some situations, portions of the deck require replacing compared to its entirety. However, going back to repair separate parts a year or two later will cost more money by pushing the work off. 

Boat Stringers

Boat stringers are the skeleton of the boat that prevents from imploding like a soda can. Deck rot often indicates that the stringers have also been exposed to high levels of moisture. 

Stringer repair and replacement come at an additional cost beyond simply pulling and replacing the floor.

Total Boat Floor Replacement Cost

The cost depends on the level of damage and the square footage of the deck requiring replacement. 

Boats ranging from 18 to 25 feet will fall in the range of 3,000 to 10,000 dollars for a complete deck overhaul. 

How To Prevent Decks From Rotting

Keep the floor dry. We know it is a boat and is meant to get wet. The issue is not when the vessel is in use but rather between each adventure.

When the boat is stored, remove access standing water, cover the vessel, and allow for proper ventilation to keep moisture and mold from building on the deck. 

Taking the necessary measures to prevent deck rot will save long-term headaches. 

Do You Need A Boat Floor Replacement Cost

Avoid ignoring the inevitable of soft spongy boat decks when the problem will grow larger by neglect. Fortunately, vessels today are constructed of rot-free materials, including eliminating plywood and replacing them with composite. Weigh the options of purchasing a new or used boat compared to investing in high-expense repairs such as a boat floor replacement.