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:
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.
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
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.