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sewing tuck/roll pleats in marine seats

Started by cboy, December 11, 2010, 04:45:21 pm

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My goal is to reupholster my boat seats over this winter.  My concern is sewing pleats into the seat and back cushions and having water get into the foam etc. wherever there is a needle hole.  The boat sits uncovered at our dock spring thru fall and takes a lot of rain.  I would consider making a cover for it but it would still take a lot of water abuse from both fishing and skiing.  Are sewn pleats pretty common for marine use and if so, do I need to take any special precautions?


Standard OEM upholstery for Intrepid boats (coaming bolsters as well as all seating).  The tuck & roll is done with conventional foam but put over dri-fast foam so it does hold some water, but not a lot.  Other than Intrepids, I've seen a lot of it on small classic go-fasts like the Donzi Sweet 16. 

"Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people."

     W. C. Fields


Water will get in regardless, everywhere there is a seam is a place for it to get in. just make sure your seat structure has some holes in the bottom of it. That will give air a place to vent when sitting on it plus a place for water to drain through the foam. There's no way to keep boat upholstery dry unless you never keep it in the water. I would recommend a mooring cover though, not only for the water, but the UV rays will break down the vinyl. I tell my customers that all of the time and they always ask didn't you use marine vinyl? Sure I do is my reply, but it's not bullet proof either, It'll dry out and crack too, it just takes longer. Not to mention how do we shrink little wrinkles out of vinyl? Heat. That much exposure all season long will have the skins pulling at the stitches by the end of the year.


December 12, 2010, 01:37:05 am #3 Last Edit: December 12, 2010, 01:44:25 am by Mike8560
i agree with what was said but you could use heat pleated viyl for the look and  limit seams for water intrusion.

over traditional sewn tuck and roll

id also recomend a cover  it will save the seats and you wont have to clean the seat all the time


heat pleated

cover the seats

Darren Henry

I  also advocate using this years "boat budget" to protect your investment first. New seats are nice but between UV and water your floor,flooring,seats,controls and cables,any exposed wiring, etc ... are getting hammered. Add up what replacing all that will run, and a mooring cover looks awe full good.
Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!


Lots of people do not understand what all gets wrecked from not having a boat cover. Vinyl, foam,carpet, wood in floors, chines in floor (when these go bad, it's big buck). I'd rather have crappy seats and a cover as no cover and nice seats. The nice seats won't be nice long.
39 years a trimmer and too darn old to retrain