Bumper Around Houseboat
Hello. I am new to the houseboat ownership ranks but not new to boating. I recently purchased a 34' Catamaran Cruiser houseboat. It is a fixer upper, but seems to be a nice boat. I am going to pull it from the water soon and a have a question about the deck bumper on the houseboat. The current owner has carpeted over the deck edges and they are worn and frayed. Carpet doesn't seem like the right material for that surface, so I am wondering how I should finish the edge?
On requirement is an effective but low cost solution. I didn't pay a lot for the cruiser and want to help the dollars in line so I am not upside down.
If you want to do something relatively inexpensive that will be tough and last a long time, buy some of the composite decking used to build house decks. Get the color of your choice, rip it down the middle, install the rounded edge facing up.
And, welcome to houseboating.
Carpet is defiantly out for that application even if you replaced it new it would all to soon look just like what you have now. There are a few photo's on the web of Catamarans with what appears composite edging as easttnboater suggested. But the plus I seen on at least one is the fabricated corners of aluminum diamond plate which provided a nice finished appearance plus they had provisions for corner cleats which should or would more securely hold the boat should it be subjected to a gale or windstorm.
I have that composite decking for the trim on my boat. It's tough stuff but you still want to have some boat fenders when docking or rafting up. I used "Ultradeck" sold at Menard's stores. It's hollow so mush lighter than other composite decking like Trex.
My rub rails are simple 2x4's ripped to a profile that I liked and fastened in place with long screws. Price was right and they ARE tough but after 13 years they're looking pretty ragged and need to be replaced. I think the composite materials mentioned above would be a good alternative.
Whatever you use, use stainless fastenings and seal them WELL, otherwise water will get in between the rail and the deck and may rot the deck. Been there. Also countersink the fasteners so they don't snag on the dock and other boats.
Agreed on the sealing. We are putting in the TREXX today. The previous owner had pressure treated 2x4's that were carpet wrapped and not sealed. The carpet held the water and you can guess the rest of the story. Not bad though .............
My only concern about the TREXX is that it is not thick enough to be a really good bumper. I will have to fender the boat well, because a crooked piling could come through a window. That has happened on this boat BTW.
Here are a few after pictures.Attachment 214