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How Much To Reupholster Boat Seats?

Boats can need a lot of maintenance and high quality materials to keep in good condition. These are some ways to save costs when reupholstering the seats.

If your boat has seen better days, and needs a freshen-up, then you might be thinking about the price of reupholster. If your seats are bespoke or a rare brand, this can be on the pricier side.

There are a lot of additional factors that can affect the overall cost of the reupholster process, and this guide will help you decide which option will suit you best. Depending on the overall value of your boat and how old it is, it can be hard to find the right material that is suitable for marine use.

How Much To Reupholster Boat Seats

This guide has included information on how this can affect your overall reupholster costs, and some cheaper alternatives that will still stand the test of time. There are a lot of factors to consider when planning your seat reupholster.

Each of the reupholster options below have their own benefits and drawbacks, which is why it might be worth taking the time to think about what your priorities are. One of the first things to do is decide whether you want to reupholster all of the seats on your boat or just a select few.

This is one of the biggest reasons why the process can cost a lot of money, because it can mean that more material is needed.

It is also worth noting that the correct type of material used is marine vinyl, and using a different type of material that might be cheaper per yard will be ineffective. This is because it won’t be as waterproof, flexible, and durable as marine vinyl.

Full Reupholster Job

Firstly, this is the most expensive option for reupholster because it ensures the highest quality and longevity of the seats. The cost of sending off your boat seats can vary depending on which company you choose and how many seats need work.

Overall, the cost of work can be anywhere from around $80 an hour. You can order material yourself to save money, and leave it with the company alongside the boat seats or separate pads if it’s easier to transport.

Skilled work and time are some of the bigger things that can influence the price, and there is definitely a higher quality guarantee that comes with paying someone to reupholster your seats for you.

Consider finding a local small business because they can have more custom options and provide more of a personal touch to a quality item.

Bigger brands tend to stick to the same price and offer slightly less variation. Not only that, but using small businesses for the reupholster service allows you to be more involved in the process.

Knowing that a level of love and care has gone into reupholstering your seats can even encourage you to take better care of them in the future.

Supporting small businesses helps the economy grow and can also have benefits on the environment through reducing shipping, if the main brand is not local to you.

Consider Saving Costs by Doing It Yourself

If you have a sewing machine that you are confident using, then you will be able to save money on the costs of reupholstering your boat seats by doing it yourself. Some of the few things that you will need are a strong, durable thread and good quality marine vinyl.

This is what is used to keep the seats waterproof and easy to wipe clean. Be careful when you remove the old vinyl from the seats, and use the shape of it flattened as a template to cut new covers.

This is only realistic for those who have a steady hand, lots of patience and experience under their belt. If you want to practice and work on your skill beforehand, then you could invest in a sewing machine.

These can come in handy during future cost-saving DIY projects, and a reliable machine retails at around $100 online. The main benefit of this is that you only have to pay for materials rather than labor costs.

Additionally, there is the benefit of being able to work on it whenever you have the time or are particularly motivated.

Another option for those who aren’t the best at sewing is a DIY that involves staples. Carefully measure and cut the material as you would to sew, and when you have it in the right position, staple it into the side panels where the foam is thicker and more forgiving.

To keep this extra secure, you could use a waterproof glue before adding staples. Using a high quality adhesive is almost as important as it is to use the proper vinyl, because there is no point covering the seats if the material will fall off.

Cost Of Marine Vinyl

Cost Of Marine Vinyl

Good quality marine vinyl can be around $20 per yard, with specialty designs costing up to $100 a yard. Something that can affect the overall price of reupholstering your boat seats is the amount of material needed.

That is why you should carefully check each seat for signs of damage, and consider finding a color and design of vinyl that is similar to the previous seats.

Unless you want to replace the upholstery on all of the seats in your boat to make sure that they all match, you will need to figure out how many seats need work to determine how much material you are going to need.

Things that can bring the price up

In addition to how you choose to approach the process, there are factors that can affect the price of reupholstering boat seats. These include your level of skill and how much you are able to do by yourself. If you have less free time, then this is something that will affect it, too.

The overall level of damage is another thing that can cause the price to fluctuate, because of the additional materials that can be needed on top of the cost of vinyl.

For boats that have seen a lot of wear and tear over many years of heavy use, or even weather damage, it is likely that the seats will need to be replaced. The foam padding might become waterlogged and need replacing.

Another variable that can affect the cost of reupholstering seats is the number of seats that need work done to them. Because one of the biggest costs is the amount of material, it is only natural that you will need higher quantities for more seats.

For those who enjoy a higher end feel to their boat, you might be considering investing in some of the custom designs that the marine vinyl comes in.

Whether you want a specific pattern or color match, padding or added stitching, these are all additional features that raise the overall price of the process.

Not only that, but they can take longer to complete. It is worth noting that time is another factor that affects the price of a service.

Comfort and durability are among some of the most common features that people want out of their boat seats. That is why it’s worth taking the extra time to fully assess the damage to the seat covering and foam padding underneath.

Knowing exactly what needs to be replaced can allow you to save money through consultations or negotiations with businesses.


There are a lot of things that you can do to save money when getting your boat seats reupholstered. Depending on the finished product and desired look, you can consider trying it out yourself as a DIY project if money is tight.

This only really applies to those with sewing skills and who do not risk compromising the quality of the seats in the process.

Alternatively, sending the seats to a company that will take care of them will cost more on average because you will be required to pay for the material used as well as time and skill.

That said, it can be rewarding and satisfying to be involved in a reupholstering project and finally seeing it come together will be worthwhile in the end.

Good quality marine vinyl isn’t something that can be compromised, as you will need to ensure that your seats are properly protected from the weather, water, and general wear and tear.

It is worth saving up to get your boat seats fitted in the right material in order to make the most out of them and ensure that they last as long as they possibly can.

In order to make the most out of your newly reupholstered boat seats, it is also worth researching how to properly care for marine vinyl and ensure that it stays in good condition.

Cleaning vinyl using the appropriate products can prevent mold, cracks, and even fading caused by UV exposure.

Overall, some closing points are that reupholstering boat seats can be expensive if you aren’t careful, and there are a few ways to save money. Take care of your seats with appropriate marine vinyl and ensure that it lasts a while by cleaning it regularly.

Lucas Jones