Having a comfortable time on your Yacht or Boat can be completely ruined by having seats that are not up to the task and worn with age. If any of your boat seats have damage, are ripped or the foam has collapsed you will not enjoy it at all after a few minutes as the aches and pains set in.

Our blog post will help guide you in the repair of your boat seats.

Boat seats are exposed to all kinds of weather and the elements most of the time. Unlike a car seat they are always out in the open, being exposed to salt water ultraviolet radiation and if you have a powerboat or a large yacht - oils, lubricants and fuels.

The most damage to boat seats are caused by UV rays from the sun, which break down the molecular structure of vinyl coverings and cause stitching and seams to fail. Once this has happened then the interior structure of the boat seat can get damaged and the foam fills with water which breaks it down after a few months of exposure. After this the plywood base then gets soaked in salt water and the laminate breaks down as the glues are attacked and this will make the boat seat completely beyond repair.

Once you get a hole or tear in a boat seat it is recommended you repair it as soon as possible to prevent further damage. You can patch small holes with off the shelf kits and you can also avail of our boat seat repair service if you feel it is best to have it done professionally.

If you do it yourself always follow the instructions in the kit and take your time to make a good strong repair. To repair a boat seat properly you must always use the correct upholstering tools which are available in our online shop. A basic but sound knowledge of boat seat repair and marine upholstery is also a must.

Preparing for the Boat Seat Repair

Generally boat seats have three sections in their construction: the seat base itself, the back and the front foam padding which goes under your knees. They are quite similar in construction to old car seats.

Removing the Boast Seat Covers

Boat seat covers are generally stretched over the foam padding and then tucked around the plywood base and stapled in with heavy duty staples. If you want to reuse your present covers then you will have to carefully remove all the staples, taking care not to rip or tear any of the vinyl or seam stitching. Discard the old staples as they cannot be reused. Take the time to repair any holes, loose stitching or piping, tears and damage to your covers. Also take the opportunity to give them a good clean.

Measure Up

The back and the seat base usually have marine plywood inserts but the front padding can be just built of foam. If your foam requires replacement, before you go ripping off the covers, measure the width, length and depth of the original foam and use our handy custom cut foam online calculator to price it up and order it.

Plywood Inserts

After you have measured your boat seat up and ordered the correct size of foam you can then remove the covers and move on to the next stage.

If your plywood boat seat inserts are unserviceable, you will have to order some marine grade ply and cut it to size. Always ensure the ply is cut slightly smaller than the actual measurements of the finished seat. It is best to use the old ones as a template if you can.

Once you have cut your ply boat seat inserts and sanded the edges so they are nice and smooth apply a water resistant coating to all surfaces for protection. This will prevent any water getting in between the laminate and expanding the layers.

Add any screw holes that are required, again using the old seat inserts as a template. If the old ones are beyond repair or hard to get hole measurements from, then measure up what they attach too.

The Foam Pads

Cut the foam into the size required, if you order from our custom cut foam range you can have your boat seat foam pads ready made to the correct size and shape. The foam should be cut to be the same size as the foam that was there before. Ensure you always have the thickness of the foam the same all the way across, for maximum comfort when sailing.

Once you have your boat seat foam cut to size, attach it to the ply using an adhesive, we stock good quality adhesives in our shop which you can order online. Trim any overlapping edges so that they are flush with the ply inserts.

Taper the edges of the foam on the seat base and the back where they meet so they fit together properly without squashing up. Do this carefully and evenly using the correct tools.

For the foam padding that goes under your knee joint, you will need a foam pad of the same thickness as the original. Cut the foam to the same dimensions as the original and attach it to the required area with a suitable waterproof adhesive. It is a good idea to round of the edge of the front pad for comfort.

Finishing of your Boat Seat

It is best to cover the seat foam in a Polyester Padding to enhance the shape and this will also act as a protective layer. Stretch the padding over the foam and use a spray contact adhesive to fasten it in place. You can for additional security cover the polyester in a protective waterproof coating.

You can now proceed to install the cover on your renewed boat seat. You can use the old one if it’s in good condition or contact us to have your boat seat coverings made to order.

Stretch the cover over the base and foam and wrap the edges around the bottom of the base. You can then proceed to staple the cover to the ply. Apply staples at approximately 20-30mm spacings.

Do one side at a time, so you can even out any creases, so it is finished nicely taut and of the correct shape. Try not to pull the cover so tightly that it squashes the foam interior.

You have now finished repairing your boat seat and you can now go out and enjoy some sailing or a spot of fishing, or if you are into water skiing some time spent doing that.

Boat Seat repair is not an easy job and you should research as much as you can before you proceed with doing it. If you find it’s too much to handle, you can contact the Foam Shop and we will be welcome to provide our professional boat seat repair service. We have many years experience in boat seat, marine upholstery and yacht seating so you can be assured of a great job.

Tools you will require:

  • Heavy Duty Staple Gun and Stainless Steel Staples.
  • Staple Remover.
  • Assorted Screwdrivers.
  • Bags to keep screws and fasteners in.
  • Measuring Tape.
  • Foam Cutting tools.
  • Stanley Knife.
  • Sewing Machine – For repairing seams.
  • Boat Seat Repair Kit – for tears and holes if reusing old covers.
  • Portable Electric or Hand Drill with bits.
  • Portable Sander or Sandpaper.

Sundries and Materials that may be required:

  • Foam Padding and Foam cut to size
  • Marine Grade Plywood.
  • Waterproof Coatings.
  • Waterproof adhesive.
  • Polyester Wrap.
  • New Boat Seat Covers.
  • Marine Grade Screws and Fastenings.
  • A Flask of Tea or Soup and some sandwiches.
  • Time required – reckon on at least a day.