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Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       10-19-2009, 7:06 AM Reply   
I am reupholstering my boat and have a few questions and am wondering if anyone on here does it on a regular basis.
Old     (dubsac)      Join Date: Mar 2006       10-19-2009, 10:11 AM Reply   
I would also be interested - unfortunately I have some stains on my vinyl pads on the sundeck from baking in the sun underneath the black cover in the summer heat. I Haven't been able to get them out with 303 vinyl cleaner, I will probably try the Malco product that has been mentioned here recently first.

I have to imagine it would be a lot cheaper to reupholster than buy new cushions from the Mfr. Anyone done this?
Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       10-19-2009, 2:10 PM Reply   
I just finished my first cushion and am really happy with it. I turned the old two piece cushion into a single peace.

Old     (jinxton)      Join Date: Mar 2002       10-19-2009, 2:46 PM Reply   
Looks great! Are you working on the Nautique?
Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       10-19-2009, 4:30 PM Reply   
Hey what's up? Yea, working on the Nautique first to get ready for the Bu. The Bu will be the same dark grey/light grey with bright blue piping and accents.
Old     (phatboypimp)      Join Date: Apr 2005       10-19-2009, 4:56 PM Reply   
Wow it looks great. Have you treated that wood? If not, I would recommend it.
Old     (wake_upppp)      Join Date: Nov 2003       10-19-2009, 5:32 PM Reply   
Usualy do several a year. What do you want to know?
Old     (nbigger)      Join Date: May 2008       10-19-2009, 6:22 PM Reply   
Hey Nick could you show some pics of the steps you took to do this I am thinking about trying to build new seats.

Thanks, Nick
Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       10-19-2009, 9:50 PM Reply   
I'll get some pics of step by step late tomorrow. This is actually a lot of fun. Up until last week I only sewed a shirt in high school for home economics class, but I love to do anything involved with my boat.
Some questions are: Do you usually sew together rounded corners by free hand, like a half inch at a time or do you pin them and then sew them quickly. The first cushion I did I pinned where the dark grey wraps around the front of the seat then I sewed it. But now I am doing it more free hand and it seems to be working pretty good. Another is I plan to not put piping around the cushions like they have them now were they are pinned to the boat like the corner cushion and the small pad on the passenger side of the boat. Will this be a big issue or does it just make it look a little better?
Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       10-19-2009, 9:57 PM Reply   
I finished the skin on this one a little bit ago but it's not stapled yet but this is my plan.

Old     (otown_dave)      Join Date: Dec 2007       10-20-2009, 1:33 PM Reply   
I like the double seam on the joints, It kind looks like piping but lays flat. You seam the inside first then stitch through the outside about a 1/4" from the 1st seam on the side panels folding the flap towards the bottom. that way it's held by both stitches instead of just the one seam.
Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       10-20-2009, 1:51 PM Reply   
If you stitch that way isn't that why all older boats seams seperate because they get worn from the weather and sun?
Old     (otown_dave)      Join Date: Dec 2007       10-20-2009, 4:44 PM Reply   
Probably, The 2nd thread always wears away on everyone I've seen but it takes a long time to do so.. I just like the look . I do not or have not done any seats yet but have looked at how it's done & have tried a few on the machine to get a feel for sewing. I might tackle my project soon.
Old     (otown_dave)      Join Date: Dec 2007       10-20-2009, 4:58 PM Reply   
Nice job on the covers! just pull them tighter so they don't look frumpy. I just painted my wood with a oil base paint to seal them.(That's how mine was done in the old days, it's a 71.) All my seat boxes are sealed with epoxy resin , got tired of spending all that money on just the wood.

(Message edited by Otown_dave on October 20, 2009)
Old     (nbigger)      Join Date: May 2008       10-20-2009, 5:28 PM Reply   
I would be happy if I can get those results I want to rebuild mine over the winter. Any info on how to do this would be great.

Thanks, Nick
Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       10-20-2009, 7:58 PM Reply   
Thanks for the good info and comments. I'll get some step by step picks up tomorrow.
Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       10-21-2009, 4:52 PM Reply   
This is my 1957 $200 sewing machine and cabinet I got off of Craigs List.
First I draw out the differences in the current pattern, take the cover off, then rip the seams apart.
Then I place the paterns on my vinyl and cut out the shapes in the colors I need. I forgot to put the pattern 1B in the picture.
Then I sew togather all the patterns , the right way and snip with a scissors at the corners, only half way to the seam.
I am using a size 16 needle and some good thread. I'll get some more pics of the finished peices when I am done. If you have any questions let me know and I'll answer them the best I can. I did research on the net for a couple of weeks before I started my project and practiced sewing on some cheap vinyl before starting.
Old     (otown_dave)      Join Date: Dec 2007       10-22-2009, 5:02 AM Reply   
I was told to have a larger stitch spacing (Lower stitch count) Your stitch seams close & could rip through easier.
Old     (nbigger)      Join Date: May 2008       10-22-2009, 6:23 AM Reply   
Do you need a special sewing machine or will any kind work?
Old     (otown_dave)      Join Date: Dec 2007       10-22-2009, 9:48 AM Reply   
A old Singer like Nick has works good. The newer machines( even the newer Singer) have nylon gears that will strip out. The old machines have steel gears. Look in thrift stores, I see them all the time for under $50....
Old     (dpauly84)      Join Date: Aug 2009       10-22-2009, 6:03 PM Reply   
Where did you find most of your research at? I have been searching but not finding much. I was planning on having my boat reupholstered this winter but would love to be able to do it myself, but have never sewn anything... ever and never even thought about doing it myself until I saw this thread.
Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       10-23-2009, 7:03 AM Reply   
I just googled: upholstery, piping, boat seats upholstery, vinyl seat upholstery, ect. and watched some videos on how to stuff. Sewing and cutting new patterns is the easy part, but covering the cushions in the biggest challenge.
This is the main back rest and the extra tan color vinyl just holds the green stripe in place so it looks like it has some conformity to the padding.
These are the side panels that where the hardest to get smooth corners in my project so far but the piping will hide them a little. The vinyl that they used to get them smooth from the factory was about 1/3 the thickness of what I had and I didn't want to go try to find color matching vinyl that was that thin. My original plan was to not use the green piping along these panels but I think it just makes them POP. The hole is where the throttle goes.
Her is the finished passenger seat set up.
Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       10-23-2009, 7:09 AM Reply   
As for not ever sewing before it is just a learned trade that can be done over time. If you are patient and take your time and do a little practice before starting it should go smoothly. I have had a few seams that I messed up on or didn't like and ripped them out and redid them to make it right. I am still having fun doing this and can't wait until I get everything done and back in the boat. I am thinking it will be the end of next week and I'll get some pics of the overall finished product. Then it will be time to do the big boat.
Old     (kbob)      Join Date: Aug 2009       10-23-2009, 7:15 AM Reply   
I'm very impressed! I appreciate you posting all the pictures. I plan on building some boat seats this winter so this thread really helps.
Old     (dubsac)      Join Date: Mar 2006       10-23-2009, 7:33 AM Reply   
Looks awesome. Thanks so much for posting these tips and pictures. I will definitely be doing this for a couple of my cushions as well.
Old     (nbigger)      Join Date: May 2008       10-23-2009, 10:21 AM Reply   
Thanks Nick they look great when I put the boat up for the winter I will be pulling all the cushions and seats and work on them over the long cold winter here.
Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       10-23-2009, 11:37 AM Reply   
Thanks for the good comments. I'll get a little more detail about this since there is some interest. But like I said, time and patients are good and a little practice after that you will learn as you go. Another tip I would have is for a symetrical cushion, only pull apart one side of the seat cushion trim, get your pattern from that and use the other side to see how it was sewn together.
Old     (brock_sampson)      Join Date: Oct 2009       10-24-2009, 5:39 AM Reply   
That is a truly fantastic job- especially for someone learning on the fly.

I did a couple of cushions on my last boat. They were the bow cushions, just one color, no piping and flat- and it took me forever.
If I ever try it again, I am using this "thread" (ha!) as a tutorial.
Old     (wtrgrl)      Join Date: Mar 2009       10-29-2009, 8:30 AM Reply   
Nick do you have any suggestions on which sewing machines would work for this project. I've been looking and found plenty but don't know how to tell which ones will work
Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       10-29-2009, 10:05 AM Reply   
I just typed in upholstery sewing machine on craigslist and google to see what came up. A brand new upholstery machine can be really expensive but I was lucky to find the one I found. All it said on the add was heavy duty. A regular one might work but like David said the newer ones have plastic gears that can strip out when doing heavier material.
Here is the captain bucket seat.
And here is my plan for the top of the dog house. I'm really pumped about how this turned out so far and hope it looks good with no wrinkles when I'm done.
I will do a step by step on everything I am doing next week some time.
Old     (srh00z)      Join Date: Jun 2003       10-29-2009, 1:27 PM Reply   
Any pics of the rest of the boat? I want to do a 2001 resto one of these days. I am fortunate, my mom has always been into sewing and she has some high dollar equipment. She has made biminis and helped me reupholster a boat that I had a few years back.
Old     (dpauly84)      Join Date: Aug 2009       10-29-2009, 3:58 PM Reply   
Do you know if your machine has a compound walking foot?? I have been looking up auto upholstery and such and many people say you need a compound walking foot machine for vinyl to help keep everything moving through the machine smoothly.
Old     (otown_dave)      Join Date: Dec 2007       10-29-2009, 4:11 PM Reply   
The 400 or the 600 series Singer have steel gears. Anything after that has plastic gears.I have a 774 with plastic gears & have not hurt it yet. If you are working with new soft vinyl you might make all your parts with a cheap machine & if you are using it for just that boat give it a go!
Old     (otown_dave)      Join Date: Dec 2007       10-29-2009, 4:14 PM Reply   
What Nick has is a 404( Looks like)Singer which is a great machine & a great score for $ 200..
Old     (otown_dave)      Join Date: Dec 2007       10-29-2009, 6:02 PM Reply   
Ooop's, it's a 401..
Old     (dpauly84)      Join Date: Aug 2009       10-29-2009, 6:22 PM Reply   
Yeah, I was looking for a machine with all metal gears, just didn't know if I needed the compound walking feet as well because they are hard to find and usually quite a bit more expensive as they are industrial strength.
Old     (otown_dave)      Join Date: Dec 2007       10-29-2009, 6:48 PM Reply   
Check out this walking foot ( Alphasew P60400 )

(Message edited by Otown_dave on October 29, 2009)
Old     (wtrgrl)      Join Date: Mar 2009       10-30-2009, 8:52 AM Reply   
Any recomendations on upholstery fabric and where to buy it?
Old     (wtrgrl)      Join Date: Mar 2009       10-30-2009, 8:53 AM Reply   
I picked up a singer 600 with walking foot for $95
Old     (dpauly84)      Join Date: Aug 2009       11-02-2009, 11:32 AM Reply
Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       11-04-2009, 12:32 PM Reply   
Well I just installed everything but the motor cover (dog house) and am pretty pleased. The motor cover is a little tight so I am letting it stretch out a little before I put it on for good. Here are the before and after pics.
Old     (j_money)      Join Date: May 2006       11-04-2009, 2:49 PM Reply   
DANG!!! lookin SEXY bud ;) Keep it up!!! you re doin the exterior to?!
Old     (supraride)      Join Date: Jun 2007       11-04-2009, 2:51 PM Reply   
Great job. Looks awesome
Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       11-04-2009, 3:25 PM Reply   
The exterior is for another thread but I got a simple idea that I think will look good.
Old     (otown_dave)      Join Date: Dec 2007       11-04-2009, 4:44 PM Reply   
Sweet Nick! On the bottom bench is the front part of the cushion taller where the piping strip is? Front bucket also?
Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       11-04-2009, 5:06 PM Reply   
Yeah there is a difference in the hieght of the cushion. It is also two seperate pieces of foam underneth.
Old     (dpauly84)      Join Date: Aug 2009       11-05-2009, 5:06 PM Reply   
Did you reinforce any of your seams with an extra piece of vinyl sewn into it? I noticed when I took mine apart that they were sewn with an extra 1'' strip on some of the seams. On my first practice cover I made, I didn't reinforce any of my seams and they do seem kinda weak, but that could be the cheap $5 vinyl.
Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       11-05-2009, 6:31 PM Reply   
No I did not. A lot of my seams had that in them also. It was like a 1/2" webbing sew in after to strengthen the seam. With that said those stitches holding that on were sun rotted because of direct sun and weather exposure. Hope my seams don't split after only a couple years or so but if they do that seems to be a common problem on new boats also after a couple years. I suppose it just depends on much it is exposed to the elements and how good it is taken care of.
Old     (nbigger)      Join Date: May 2008       11-07-2009, 8:35 AM Reply   
Just pulled my bow seats apart last night and they are in bad shape. When I bought the boat I knew they were in bad shape but the staples were so rusted that the tops pulled right off. The wood is very rotten but the foam looks ok and not rotten and it separated from the wood pretty easy. Is there a material I could use that would be better than marine grade plywood?
Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       11-07-2009, 9:54 AM Reply   
Most seats now days are pvc sheeting but if you start buying a lot of that is gets spendy quick. I replaced the bottom cushion ply wood that was rotted with more regular plywood. The only thing I will do different is prop up the seats so they get a chance to dry after being out on the lake. If it was a piece that is bolted or screwed to the fiberglass and you cant let it air dry I would replace it with something like 3/8" pvc sheeting or something similar.
Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       11-07-2009, 10:00 AM Reply   
It also would depend on where and how you store your boat. If it is in a garage I would just go and do marine plywood but if is in a lift or outside I would probably go non-wood. I know my other boat never gets a chance to dry out almost the whole summer with water under the fat sacs and ran coming in from the sides of the boat lift canopy. But that one is a no wood construction.
Old     (nbigger)      Join Date: May 2008       11-09-2009, 5:51 AM Reply   
Thanks I will look into the PVC sheets but will probably do plywood. I store it on a lift and on the trailer in my driveway with a cover on. Over winter it is in a barn and I take out the seats and store them in my basement.


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