The fundamentals of recovering boat seats are to protect your boat from strain and stress from exposure to external elements like the sun, wind and water. If you venture into the high seas, they can guard your boat’s expensive equipment against corrosion from salt water and wind.
The upholstery of the boat can beautify the desk, seats and sofas, bedding and other furniture and fixtures used within the boat. So you get multiple benefits from the range of products in the boat upholstery. You should make sure that high quality boat upholstery is installed, which is certified for reliability and quality for the rough usage . You should learn how to recover a vinyl boat seat in no time.
To save some headache in the long run it is better to learn how do you upholstery boat seats, cushions and covers. If the situation is that your boat seats are cracked or torn because of exposure to the sun, rain or some other weather elements you may want to start to think on a DIY project or you may choose a professional to reupholster your seats .
Purchasing new seats, choosing a professional or to do them yourself requires some investment, but on choosing a DIY project, you will save money.
How much reupholster boat seats costs?
The cost to reupholster boat depends on your money and time. If you want to start a DIY boat upholstery, this may be a cheaper option if you don’t have time, but the money is recommended to go to professionals or purchase new seats.
For a DIY project, you are required to think about the material you want to buy, such as a sewing machine , Marine grade vinyl, industrial stapler, foam and plywood.
You can go for a rough estimate on the cost, like :
Electric staple gun – 40 – 70$.
Industrial sewing machine – upto 1000$
Foam and plywood cost vary.
If you think paying someone else to do it will cost around $200 per each part, this depends a lot on materials used and the seat’s condition. If you want to purchase new seats , it will cost around $1500 to $3500. The price varies.
How to reupholster a boat seats?
This is the best option if you want to learn how to recover boat seats. You may need to replace them again, gaining this skill will help you achieve efficiency of cost.
What things are to be used –
Marine grade vinyl
Grease pencils or marker
Sewing scissors, electric scissors or Stanley knife
Industrial stapler or sewing machine
Step 1: Prepare your materials
Before getting into the process,you should inspect the current boat seats. You can ask yourself, Do I need to buy Marine plywood or foam padding?
Unexpected costs stall your project, so it is better to think of this before starting and buying the vinyl material.
Remove one seat and cushion from your boat, disassemble it with the screwdriver and lift the staples from below. Remove old vinyl and check the foam padding. If it is damaged, you have to replace it. Inspect the wooden base and check the rotting.
Everything hopefully is alright and you need not re – do the wooden base of boat seats. When purchasing new vinyl, make sure that it is UV resistant, water resistant, sturdy and it comes in different colours. Don’t buy dark colours, they become very hot to sit on.
Replacing the foam:
If the foam is shrunk, then you have to replace it. Inspect it and find out if it is damaged in any way or looks collapsed. If there is a situation where you have to replace the foam, it should be 3/ 8 ” more significant than your Marine plywood and 3″ to 5″ thick.
Replacing the marine plywood:
With time the plywood loses its laminate properties, or shows peeling. If it is not renewed, it will affect your upholstery project. You can use the existing material as a template.
Step 2 :Remove the old boat upholstery
Remove the seats from the boat and disassemble seat cushions , backrest and covered pieces. Use a screwdriver to unfasten the seats, remove the staples carefully from fabric and inspect between foam and Plywood for new stitching. Put the screws away in a Zip bag and label them for each seat as you have to reuse them.
Step 3 : Measure the fabric
You should know how much fabric you need to buy. For this use your knife to strip out stitches and lay the fabric flat.
Measure the length, width and thickness of old fabric to know how much you are going to use in your upholstery project. In the next step, lay the new fabric on the ground and the old one on top of it. Trace an outline of the pattern using a pencil or a marker .
Step 4 : Cut the fabric
Start cutting the new material on the outline from the previous step. Add half inch to each side of the shape to be sure you can use the new fabric properly.
If it is your first time then the first seat will be the hardest, but it gets better with every additional seat you reupholster . First decide what seats you want to look the best and do those seats in the last.
Step 5 : Use the new fabric
Now you have to pull the cover over the foam and remove the wrinkles by tightly pulling it. Use your staple gun or sew it in position. You may require some help to pull the material. You have to place the stepper at four equal points on the frame, then pull and staple the fabric all around the seat.
Step 6 : Reattach the seat
To reattach the seats in place use a screwdriver and the screws.
So reupholstering vinyl boat seats can be easily done by yourself, instead of getting it done professionally. It does not need much time or effort but you can save some money if you choose to do it yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it on your own, then you can always go to a professional.
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