If you’re looking for a way to add some personality to your pontoon boat and give it the feel of a new boat, consider reupholstering the seats. The process of reupholstering your seats can be done by yourself or with the help of a professional upholsterer.
Table of Contents
- What’s the cost of reupholstering pontoon boat seats?
- Why Reupholster Your Pontoon Seats?
- When Is It Time To Reupholster Your Pontoon Boat Seats?
- How Much Does It Cost To Reupholster Pontoon Boat Seats?
- DIY or Professional Upholstery?
- How To Save Money
What’s the cost of reupholstering pontoon boat seats?
How much you’ll spend to reupholster your pontoon boat seats depends on the size of the boat and the materials you want to use, but in general, you can expect to pay between $100 and $300 per seat to reupholster your pontoon boat seats.
The type of fabric or vinyl grade, location, the repair business you choose, and the number of seats all affect how much it will cost to reupholster boat seats. Continue reading to see how much it costs to reupholster boat seats and how most boaters cut corners.
Why Reupholster Your Pontoon Seats?
Common misconceptions about marine upholstery fabric exist. Even though some may dismiss it as only an embellishment, it is essential for the boat’s integrity.
Upholstered pontoon seats are durable materials that hold up well to dampness, water, and the elements. Over time, though, it can experience wear and tear, especially if you spend a lot of time on the water.
The material may crack or fade and even lose its ability to repel water. If your pontoon boat seats look worn or old, reupholstering them can give them a new lease on life.
You’ll be able to enjoy your boat for years to come without spending money replacing the seating altogether.
Using marine upholstery fabric not only improves the look of your boat but also protects against harsh conditions. The environment in which you’re boating can change quickly. Protecting your boat’s exposed pieces—like seats—helps ensure they’ll continue functioning as designed no matter what is thrown at them.
You should reupholster your pontoon boat seats because it’s a great way to breathe new life into the look of your boat. It also helps protect against harsh weather conditions and provides extra comfort for passengers.
When Is It Time To Reupholster Your Pontoon Boat Seats?
Most pontoon boat owners don’t realize when they should reupholster their seats. Some people wait until the seats fall apart and hire someone to fix them. But this can be both expensive and time-consuming.
It’s always better to catch problems before they happen, so here are some signs that your boat’s seat cushions might need to be repaired or replaced:
- The seat back is sagging or completely flat, or you can’t sit upright without leaning forward.
- The fabric is torn or stained beyond repair.
- The vinyl seams are coming apart, and the foam inside is exposed.
- You want to change the color or pattern of the fabric.
- You want to change the material of the seats.
- You want to add comfort by adding seat cushions or armrests.
If your boat seats show wear and tear, it might be time for an upgrade. Not only will reupholstering make them look better, but it will also improve their comfort so that you can enjoy your time on the water even more!
How Much Does It Cost To Reupholster Pontoon Boat Seats?
Reupholstering a boat is much less expensive than purchasing new boat seats. The cost of reupholstering boat seats can vary widely, depending on the fabric or vinyl you choose, where you live, and where you take your boat for repairs.
The following outlines some standard pontoon boat seat sizes and estimated costs of upholstering:
- 24″ x 24″ seat and back: $100
- 24″ x 96″ seat and back: $300
- Sleeper Lounge: $150
- Captain chair with arms: $500
- Lounge chair: $550
- Bolster seat: $450
- Engine cover: $350
The price varies depending on several things, including materials and how many seats you’re having reupholstered. Some companies give a bulk discount if you have several seats reupholstered.
You can always see fabrics like synthetic leather and polyurethane at the local maritime upholstery shops. Vinyl and acrylic, however, are by far the most popular materials for pontoon boat seats. Acrylic is indeed softer than vinyl, but vinyl is more durable and easier to clean.
Depending on the fabric or material used, you may have to spend between $100 and $300 or more per seat cushion. Seat size affects the fabric needed to make a chair, and larger seats are more expensive.
Marine Vinyl Fabric
Marine vinyl costs vary greatly based on shop location, product quality, and color. Average-quality single-color vinyl costs about $15 to $25 per yard, while higher-quality vinyl costs $50 to $60 per yard.
You’ll need to budget at least $100 for each yard if you want high-quality vinyl with a distinctive design. Although it seems expensive, it will look great and considerably raise the value of your boat.
Marine vinyl is available in most fabric stores. However, the color and design options are usually limited. Online material ordering is an additional choice.
Acrylic fabric is a very popular option for boat seats. It is durable and easy to clean but not as flexible as vinyl. You can find acrylic pontoon boat seat material at most fabric stores or online retailers.
Pricing varies depending on the size of your boat and the thickness of the material you need. Acrylic pontoon boat seat fabric is typically priced between $12 to $20 per yard.
Polyester pontoon boat material is an excellent option for people who want to save money and still get a high-quality product. Polyester can be printed on the same equipment that’s used to print vinyl, so it has similar design options and quality.
The most significant difference between polyester and vinyl is that polyester doesn’t offer as much durability or flexibility. A single layer of polyester can only handle about ten years of sun exposure before it begins to crack and peel off.
Polyester fabric costs around $3 to $5 per yard, making it less expensive than vinyl.
Faux Leather Fabric
Faux leather material is another great option for people who want to save money and still get a high-quality product. This option is designed to look like leather but has all of the benefits of vinyl, including durability and flexibility.
The biggest downside of faux leather fabric is that it isn’t as durable as vinyl or polyester. This material can only handle about five years of sun exposure before it begins to crack and peel off.
Faux leather pontoon boat seat fabric costs between $15 and $20 per yard, making it less expensive than genuine leather.
The cost of materials doesn’t include labor charges. The labor costs will vary from one shop to the next. If you want to avoid doing the work yourself, repair shops will charge you between $50 to $150 per hour.
Many upholsterers want a 50% deposit on the work and the rest when they complete it.
Type of Work
Professionals will take their time to do the work as requested, although repairing specific boat components might be exceptionally tedious. If you want to reupholster your seat cushions, expect to put in at least a couple of hours of work. If you factor in the cost of vinyl and labor, this project should set you back between $100 and $200.
On the other hand, the sundeck restoration will set you back a minimum of $800. It takes roughly eight hours of work, not counting materials, to assemble this boat section.
Upholstery shop turnaround time for five boat seats is typically at least five days. The estimated cost of this service from them is $640.
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DIY or Professional Upholstery?
Before you decide to reupholster your pontoon boat seats, weighing each option’s costs and benefits is essential.
The following questions will help you make the best decision for your needs:
- Do I have the tools and expertise necessary to do DIY upholstery on my own? If not, then hiring a professional would be a better option.
- How much time do I have available? Hiring professionals is best for you if you’re short on time and want this job done as soon as possible.
- How much money am I willing to spend? The amount of money involved in reupholstering can vary greatly depending on how many pontoon seats you’ll be reupholstering, fabric choice, and if you’ll have a professional do the work or if you’ll be doing it yourself.
Many boat owners prefer to do their own repairs and maintenance since it saves them money in the long run. If you are skilled in upholstery work or have a friend willing to help, you could save even more money on the project by doing it yourself.
How To Save Money
When reupholstering your boat, there are a few ways you can save money.
DIY Boat Seat Upholstery
A commercial sewing machine is unnecessary unless you plan on doing multiple projects. Choose a pattern that permits stapling if you don’t sew.
Choose Less Expensive Fabric
Fabric alternatives, such as maritime fabrics not made solely of vinyl, can be used to reduce costs. Instead, use a hybrid of vinyl and more economical materials like polyester. This option will lengthen the life of the upholstered seat while maintaining the high quality of the vinyl.
Try looking for marine-ready fabric at your nearby upholstery shops to see if they have any that they would be willing to sell to you at a reduced price.
You can find excellent upholsterers overseas who will do the same work for much less money than they would in the United States.
The cost of reupholstering your pontoon boat seats can vary, depending on the type of upholstery and how much work needs to be done. But it’s important to remember that the cost of new seats can be even higher than reupholstering, so it might make sense to take advantage of this option if you can.