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Old    Pete (petrey10)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-12-2010, 8:00 AM Reply   
I have searched around and haven't seen anything really good at explaining how to reupholster boat seats. Anybody know of such a place? This winter might be the winter I need to redo at least my back seat. I searched for threads here and really only found a handful that had useful info. Seems like this would be an awesome side job for people to make a little dough!
Old    Pete (petrey10)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-14-2010, 8:53 AM Reply   
man nobody here does upholstery... knows how to?? where they learned?? damn
Old    George David (gdavid)      Join Date: Feb 2010       06-14-2010, 10:27 AM Reply   
I've done some upholstry work on my boat but i wouldn't say that I know how

I can share what little bit of knowledge that I did pick up, the hard way.

Never toss your old upholstry no matter how torn up it is. For me it was tempting to throw it straight into the trash as it looked like hell and I was ready to get rid of the mess. Keeping it to make patterns will save you alot of time and effort. Clean it up as best you can and label where each piece goes with a sharpie so you will know how to put the new stuff together. Pay close attention to the stitching/how they put it together originally and use a seam ripper or a small sharp knife to cut all of the pieces apart. Observe whether the material has strunk from it's origninal size and make adjustments when tracing new patterns. Trace your new patterns with pencil or something that won't bleed through your vinyl. Sew it together with heavy nylon upholstry thread. Be patient and plan on making mistakes.
Old    Trace (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       06-14-2010, 11:27 AM Reply   
It is very labor intensive, and takes practice to develop the "hand" for it.

George is right on about the templates.

You will need a heavy duty upholstery sewing machine. You also have to use stainless staples, and an air stapler. The staples on higher end jobs are literally a solid line of staples with no gaps between them. The molding material that hides the staple rows is called "Hidem" or "gimp". is a good source for materials & tools.

It will take a while before you will want anyone to see your work, but it's nice to be able to repair and make things you need. I would choose something else for moonlight work, though. Way too many ways for customers to find things in your work they're not happy with - just ask my upholstery guy!

Last edited by trace; 06-14-2010 at 11:29 AM.
Old    Pete (petrey10)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-14-2010, 12:07 PM Reply   
yea im not going to just start in on a business right away... I first want to do my seat and interior then maybe my father in laws... just wish there was a site with as good of information on uphosltery and there is on boats... haha
Old    mojo            06-14-2010, 1:12 PM Reply   
planetnautique has some good info on this. it's very hard, time consuming, and tedious. for nautique owners you can order new skins for any boat. example, to redo a 21 ft boat you're looking at 3500-5000 total with labor if you have it done.
Old    Pete (petrey10)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-14-2010, 2:27 PM Reply   
O I know its expensive thats why I wanna do it myself... the side job part was just a thought not really in my plans... I will go to planetnautique and do some searching... anybody else have some helpfull tips
Old    Steve F (boostafed)      Join Date: Jun 2010       06-14-2010, 8:05 PM Reply   
i do upholstery but im in north jersey
Old    Pete (petrey10)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-15-2010, 6:32 AM Reply   
mmmmkk do you have any DIY help or did you just want to stray off topic?
Old    David Miller (otown_dave)      Join Date: Dec 2007       06-15-2010, 7:48 AM Reply   
I did all my boxes & seats in my Century. I used my cushions as templates & left about 3" all the way around for the sides. Instead of trying to cut side pieces & sew , I just made a inside fold & stitched the seam & they look just like a 2 piece but is one continuous piece. On the corner they are a 90* cut then sewed.

Old    Pete (petrey10)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-15-2010, 10:50 AM Reply   
what machine did u use? What thread? how long did it take you? Looks good man this is what I need to learn more about
Old    David Miller (otown_dave)      Join Date: Dec 2007       06-15-2010, 1:53 PM Reply   
I used a older Singer machine. The thread is Suntop canvas & tarp, Poly-stop UV resistant. Make sure you use a large needle or the thread will fray while going through ..
Old    Pete (petrey10)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-16-2010, 6:54 AM Reply   
hmmm thats pretty awesome... good work

bump for some more tips!!
Old    Daymien James (daymien)      Join Date: Mar 2010       06-17-2010, 12:05 AM Reply

Probably bad mojo to link another forum, but it's right up your alley.
Old    Pete (petrey10)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-17-2010, 7:43 AM Reply   
BINGO!!! perfect!!! Thats the stuff that needs to be posted for everyone to start learning.....
Old    Chasin7 T (chaser)      Join Date: Sep 2006       06-17-2010, 8:57 AM Reply   
Another option would be to remove your skins and send them here: They'll match your skins and send them back and you have to re-install. I've heard the price range for a complete boat is around $900-1500ish, depending on how much vinyl and emboidery you have in your boat. I'm thinking of going that route this fall.
Old    Fred (olmoomba)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-17-2010, 9:16 AM Reply   
There is a sweet Husqavarna machine that I found a JoAnns fabrics that will do upholstery easily. Make sure you get an "electric" machine. I bought mine at Wal-mart on clearance. It is a Brother C-4000 or something. It did the job on the Moomba Outback. I have had to modify it so that I can do plenty of layers for the piped seams. I also hunted for a long time to find a piping foot to keep the piping (welting) in place.

When I get my templates done, I add 1" or greater of material, that allows for 1/2" to put the seams together. If you have your seams matched up to 1/2" and have your lines drawn it makes it easier to stay straight.

My suggestion to getting started and comfortable, recover a chair seat cushion with a square front and rounded back with vinyl you bought from Walmart at $3.00/yd. The lessons you learn here will be far less expensive thus reducing your anxiety of this endeavor.

BTW - I learned by watching the upholstery guys do it. Take them a cushion and ask if you can watch them do it or don't ask and just hover, lol.
Old    Pete (petrey10)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-17-2010, 11:04 AM Reply   
i had not seen anything about before but they look like they do nice work.... and I saw a lot of dog houses in the before and after pics... definitely a good option there and if it really is only 900-1500 bucks thats pretty reasonable!!
Old    Nick Bigger (nbigger)      Join Date: May 2008       06-18-2010, 7:58 AM Reply   
Sorry to jump in but I was wondering if there are any tips on fixing foam? I have a pontoon and the foam has some bad spots that are carved out can you just cut out a strip and replace a section or do you need to do the whole thing?

Thanks, Nick
Old    Pete (petrey10)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-18-2010, 11:31 AM Reply   
good questions are welcomed!!!!
Old    David Miller (otown_dave)      Join Date: Dec 2007       06-18-2010, 11:54 AM Reply   
With industrial upholstery adhesive I've combined a few pieces together & it is flexible.. As a matter of fact the back wrap-around on my boat is made of two pieces.
Old    Chuck (zeketheplumber)      Join Date: Sep 2007       06-18-2010, 12:05 PM Reply   
If you have foam that has flattened out and not as thick as it should be (like around the edges) you can wet it with a spray bottle and put a hot iron to it. The steam will help bring it back to its normal shape. I read it on another forum somewhere and was skeptical, but it worked really well when I tried it. You have to wet the foam really well so you get a lot of steam. If it's too dry I'm sure it would melt instead.
Old    Pete (petrey10)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-18-2010, 12:06 PM Reply   
really?! thats pretty sweet^^^
Old    Mattwc (redracer2003)      Join Date: Oct 2006       06-18-2010, 2:48 PM Reply   
I got a quote for my 98' AIR Nautique from Copycat Covers and it was about $1000. I too am going to try the upholstery thing to try to save a few thousand bucks and just to get some practice on how to do it.
Old    Nick in the TC (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       06-18-2010, 5:40 PM Reply

I have yet to get some completed pics up but I'll take some pics this weekend.
Old    Nick in the TC (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       06-18-2010, 5:51 PM Reply
The malibu logo I did. And the VLX logo.
The first boat I did was the '89 Nautique.
Old    Pete (petrey10)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-21-2010, 8:11 AM Reply   
Nick I saw your posts before and you did a real nice job... if you have any tips or knwo the links to any of the videos you watched to learn please post them up for everyone


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