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How to Repair a Boat Seat

Bidisha Mukherjee
Boat seats go a long way in helping to make your boating experience comfortable. If there is any damage to the boat seat, you may not be able to enjoy your boating ride at all. Here is your guide to boat seat repairs.
Boat seats are exposed to various weather elements. The maximum damage caused to boat seats is by the ultraviolet radiation of the sun. After every few years, you will find that the vinyl cover of the seat and the stitches have broken down.
When there are small holes, the boat seat repairs can be carried out quite easily with the help of some patching material that is available in stores.
Read the instructions provided by the manufacturer on the label of the patching material and use it accordingly on the boat seat. Do the patch up carefully so that the repair work merges well with the style of the boat seat.
If the minor holes and other damages on the boat seat are neglected for a long time, then the holes get enlarged and damage the foam underneath. Sometimes, the plywood that lies below the foam also suffers damage. There are two key things that are required for boat seat repairing. They are basic knowledge of boat repair, and the right set of tools.


A boat seat has three different sections―the seat, the lean back, and the front surface. The lean back and the seat need plywood inserts, but the front surface can be repaired with foam alone. Take the measurement of the length and breadth of the seat, and also the lean back, so that you can buy the foam and the plywood accordingly.

Preparing the Plywood

The first step is to prepare the plywood insert. Take a very thin layer of plywood and cut it according to the size of the seat and lean back. Make sure that the plywood is ¼-inch smaller than the actual measurements of the seat and the lean back.
Apply a water-resistant coat to make it waterproof. Wait for some time till the applied coat gets dried up properly. Make holes in between on the plywood board at a gap of 6 inches using a drill machine for the screws that you have to add later.

Preparing the Foam Pad

Cut the foam in the form of blocks. The length of each of the foam bar will be equivalent to the width of the seat or the lean back. The width of the foam pad should be uniform or else the seat may not be very comfortable during sailing.
The width of each foam pad is determined by a simple calculation. Take the length of the seat and divide it by three, and this should be width of the foam. Similarly, for the lean back, its height is taken into account and the width of the pad is ascertained.
Attach the foam pads on the plywood prepared for the seat and the lean back with the help of glue. Apply a waterproof coat to the foam and set them well into the position so that one foam does not overlap with the other.
If there is any extra foam coming out of the edge of the seat or the lean back, cut them out so that you can get a leveled edge. Even the edge where the foam pads of the seat and the lean back meet should be given a tapered cut so that they fit well with each other.

Finishing Touch

For the front part of the boat seat near your legs, you need a foam pad of half an inch in thickness. Cut the foam as per the length and breadth of the area. Attach it to the surface with contact cement or glue.
Cut the end in the same way you have done on the seat. Drill some holes into the attached foam on the seat and the lean back. Thus, your repair work has come to an end. Now you can cover it up with a vinyl fabric of your choice. Fix up the fabric by putting the straight pins or screws into the drilled holes.
Now that your boat seat has been repaired, you can use it for boating, fishing, and many other such activities, and enjoy them thoroughly. If you find that the problem on the boat seat is quite major, then the repair work will be quite tough and time-consuming too. In that case, it is always recommended to hire a professional.