Soft Deck is a great product that has 1001 uses in and around your boat. We offer pre-cut kits as well as sheet goods. Soft Deck sheet goods are easy to work with and create your own custom patterns if you have some simple tools, outlined below. Our tutorial videos at the bottom of the page are designed to give you some ideas on how and where to install your Soft Deck, as well as giving you some of the tricks I have learned over the years working with the product. Please check back often as our video library is growing on a weekly basis.
Helpful tools for installing Soft Deck.
A soft rubber mallet is a great tool for making sure you get good adhesion with the surface you are applying the material to and that you don't have air trapped under the material. This is helpful for installing any products that will be glued down, either with or without PSA backing.
A mild application of heat with a heat gun or even a hair dryer will make the product a little more pliable and moldable. A little heat is great for bending Soft Deck around an edge and can help activate the adhesive if you are using the PSA or Contact Cement to instal.
If you are installing Soft Deck without our Peel and Stick PSA adhesive backing, you are going to need a good contact cement, a brush to apply the contact cement, and a little masking tape to make sure you get a clean edge on the area you are gluing. Be sure to read and follow the instructions on the can on contact cement.
A good razor knife and spare blades is a requirement for doing a nice clean custom instal. Any razor knife will do, but we would be glad to include one with your order, just ask. Scissors will also work in a pinch.
Having a good straight edge can be very useful in doing custom installations, and it is always a good idea to have a tape measurer on hand as well.
A compass will allow you to draw and scribe consistent arcs.
Other Tips and Trick:
The square cut pattern is probably the easiest to cut and match up when you are using multiple sheets in an installation.
Molded patterns are best for high traffic areas, but are harder to wrap around edges without a liberal use of heat.
Heating is your best friend when working with soft deck, but don't heat too much. You can place the material in the sun to soften it up before installing and a heat gun will allow the product to be wrapped and stretched around corners with in reason. But over heating will discolor the material so please be careful.
Be sure that if you are installing Soft Deck on a plastic surface you choose "Plastic Adhesive" or use a contact cement suitable for installations on plastics as many contact cements do not work well with plastic.
Butcher's paper or vellum paper is great for making templates for custom Soft Deck installations.
The 5 Minute Peel And Stick: This video outlines how to properly install a pre cut piece of Soft Deck with 3M adhesive backing on your boat in just 5 minutes. This could be one of our pre cut pieces or one that you have cut yourself.
Patterning Tutorial: This video goes through the process of making a pattern for your boats deck from full sheets of Soft Deck. This video outlines how to complete this task WITHOUT using paper to make a templet.
Placement Tutorial: This video gives you some ideas as to how to install your Soft Deck when getting the placement exactly right is critical.