If there’s anything that’s the bane of the inexperienced boat owner, it might just be vinyl. True: vinyl is a durable, waterproof, valuable material. It’s great for marine upholstery because of how well it handles water and how long it lasts. But it won’t last forever. It can sometimes crack, exposing the cushioning inside your upholstery. If you want to know how to repair cracked vinyl boat seats, here are the tips you’ll need to keep in mind.
Vinyl Repair Prep: The Basics
It starts with preparing the vinyl you’re working with. We recommend that you do the following:
- Clean the surface of the vinyl. It’s tempting at this point to use something like a general cleaner. But if you’re repairing (and not replacing) the vinyl, you’ll want something that cleans and protects in one swipe. That’s why we recommend VinyLIFE Vinyl Cleaner & Protectant. This will help prepare the area
you’re about to repair and provide protection against UV rays.
- Get rid of any adhesives and sealants. This will help clear the area for effective vinyl repair. If it sounds like a pain, don’t worry—you can use Release Adhesive & Sealant Remover to help dissolve the adhesive and remove any old stickers or sealants that might be getting in the way.
- Inspect the vinyl. A small tear in the seam of your vinyl can lead to a bigger issue down the road. You don’t want to have to repeat this process in the future. Just give your seats a once-over inspection after you’ve cleared out the debris and cleaned the vinyl itself.
- If your vinyl cracks while you’re boating, you can use duct tape as an emergency “repair kit.” As useful as duct tape is, however, you’ll want to avoid using it as a long-term solution. This is unsightly, of course, and it’s not as effective as simply repairing the vinyl.
As they say, beginning is half the battle. With your seats adequately prepped, you’ll find the next step far easier.
Vinyl Repair For Boat Seats
Now that you’ve got an idea on how to prep your seats, it’s time to take the next step: the actual repair.
- A vinyl repair patch kit is your ally here. This is especially true for “cuts” in the vinyl that are easy to patch up. They’ll be much simpler to handle and will likely mean you can avoid all out vinyl replacement.
- The best practice here isn’t to follow any standard procedure that might not apply—instead, you should look to the instructions on your vinyl repair kit for the best way to move forward. This will help you understand the steps necessary for using your specific tools, rather than going out to the hardware store to buy unnecessary products that may have nothing to do with
Want more ways to clean and repair your boat? We recommend that you browse the boat cleaning and maintenance products available right here at BoatLIFE.