How To Repair Vinyl Boat Seats (2 Helpful Methods)

Its summertime. Sun is smiling. The weather is pleasant. What a great day for boating, right? But wait! Your vinyl boat seat is cracked and you don’t know how to repair it? Well, honey, you have clicked on the right page.
How to repair vinyl boat seats is the main question here, right? You can get a vinyl repair patch kit and follow the directions given on the instruction sheet. Duct tape will do the work for the time being.

How To Repair Vinyl Boat Seats

Vinyl upholstery is a great material for your boat seat. It can level up your boating life due to its waterproof nature, durability, and high value.

But on the other hand, it can be a challenge as well if your boat seat gets torn up or cracked. If this is the case, then the first thing you have to do is clean up the vinyl surface.

1-Prepare Your Seats For Repair

You can purchase VinyLIFE Vinyl Cleaner & Protectant. This will help cleanse the area. Next, you would have to remove all the sticky materials (if any) on it like any stickers, stick-on, etc.

All the adhesives and sealants have to be washed away. Make sure the surface is not oily and wash it off. One can always get Release Adhesive & Sealant Remover to make this task easier.

You can also use alcohol as an alternative to the Release Adhesive & Sealant Remover. Also, use scissors to cut out any loose threads. Have a closer look at the area.

Observe it. Is there something else to remove as well? How much is it torn or cracked? We need to be extra careful while handling this situation because we don’t want to ruin things even more.

We also do not want this to happen again so introspection is necessary. So, these were the initial steps in preparation for your vinyl boat seat before repairing it. Now let’s get on with the main task.

2-Basics to Fix Cracked Boat Seats

Analyze whether the vinyl boat seat is cracked or torn apart. This is important so you know exactly what to do. In the case where your boat upholstery is torn.

All you need to do is get the vinyl repair kit and then prepare the area that needs to be recovered. The steps are explained above. After all, comes the next step in which you iron this area.

You bring the torn part together and run the iron on it. The temperature of the iron should be moderate. Iron it for a few seconds and on top of it, place the repairing sheet so that it sticks to the area.

Place a graining sheet on it and iron it again for a few seconds. After all, this, wait for some time so that the torn part cools off a little, and check whether the whole of the torn part is covered or not.

Please note that the ironing time should be according to the size of the ripped area. The bigger the torn-up part, the more the ironing time ( preferably a minute or so). If the concerned area is smaller then just take a few seconds.

If your boat seat is cracked, then what to do? Let me explain. You would need to first clean that specific spot with some cleansing solutions and damp cloths so that there is no filth left. Get a dry napkin to unwet the spot.

Purchase a vinyl repair kit from a nearby boat upholstery shop. You will find a repair compound along with the applicator in this vinyl repair kit. Use this on the spot if you want to repair it.

Apply the compound with the help of the applicator. Spread this on the whole area that is needed to be restored, with a plastic knife.

Do not worry, such plastic knives are cheap and can easily be spotted at any nearby grocery store. Plus, these utensils will not take in the vinyl repair material so it is safe to use.

Now, wait for some time and let the repair compound dry. After it has dried up fully, use 600-grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface.

One can always paint it afterward to match the color of the boat seat. Vinyl spray paint will do the task. This is made available at many auto parts stores.

Applying two coats that are lighter in shade is enough. With the exact color painted, no scratch will seem obvious.

If anyone of you wants an instant solution to repairing your vinyl boat seats, then duct tape can come in handy for all.

This will not be benefiting you in the long run, of course, but for a short amount of period, it is worth a try. In an urgent case or an emergency, this trick can be helpful.

I must say that with the vinyl repair patch kit, the whole situation is much easier to handle. This kit can easily patch up any sort of cracks, cuts, etc on your vinyl boat seat within no time.

No need to panic because this kit is here to save your day. All you have to do is read the instructions in this kit very carefully and you wouldn’t need to show them off to several different repair shops.

Or purchase many different kinds of unnecessary tools that you wouldn’t even know how to use. Just stick to the instructions. That’s it. They are very easy and nothing complicated.

There are many different kinds of vinyl repairing kits all with different types of instructions.

Vinyl Repair Kits

There are different types of vinyl repair kits available in the market. You can select a repair kit according to your requirement. To name a few:

Coconix Vinyl and Leather Repair kit
Tear-Aid Vinyl Repair Patch kit
Liquid Leather Repair and Re-Color Kit
3 M Leather and Vinyl Repair Kit
Permatex 81786 Super Clear Vinyl Sealant Repair kit

How to Prevent Vinyl Boat Seats From Cracking Again

For future protection, it is always better to ensure that after you have gone through this whole process, you are using a vinyl conditioner as well. This will prevent your vinyl boat seat from cracking again in the future.

Boat seat covers will also do the trick. They are pocket-friendly and are easily available at the stores. These seat covers will protect the vinyl seat from tearing apart.

The main aim is to protect the boat seat from direct exposure to the sun. Vinyl boat seats require maintenance.

You do not need experts for this as one can always go look for this vinyl repairing kit. The seats should be repaired the minute after they are cracked, torn, or ripped.

This is because these seats beautify the boat. It is what enhances their charm and so it should be repaired as soon as possible.

Another reason is that the torn-up part may enlarge with time and you wouldn’t want that happening, do you? Certainly not.

If this happens, it would prove to be more costly as you might need to even replace the whole seat with another or repair a larger part now. So, constant maintenance will help reduce your overall cost in the longer run.

Why Do the Vinyl Seats Get Damaged

The question is, why do the vinyl seats get damaged? This is because your seat was exposed to the sun’s rays for quite some time. This is why the seat gets faded and cracked. This can be prevented by covering them up as I mentioned above.

Especially the vinyl boat seats that are not in use or are used very little should be protected from the sun. A tip for pros: Your seat cover should have a vent cap to accommodate air circulation.

A vent cap is necessary as it allows the air to circulate. This is useful to dry off any trapped water inside. For example, if you place a damp mat on the seat for some amount of time, the seat will get stained.

It is not surprising if you find out mold or fungus as well. This happens due to the water that gets trapped from the damp mat inside the boat seat.

Marine vinyl is a porous material. So, if you leave anything on it, it will stain. Don’t leave anything on the seat such as food items, uncapped pens, etc.

It is preferred that the owner should clean the seats at least twice every month. This material needs constant cleansing. Wipe off all the dirt or any sticky stains using soapy water and a brush.

A plastic bristle brush along with marine vinyl cleaner would be the perfect combo. We will not use any strong cleansers and hard brushes in case the outer layer of vinyl does not come off.

The minute you see a stain or a spill on your vinyl seat, instantly wipe/clean it off. Do not procrastinate in this matter.

3M Vinyl cleaner, also known as a protectant cream, is great at doing its cleansing job. In addition to this, it also adds up a protective layer to increase the lifespan of the vinyl.

303 Marine and Recreation Aerospace Protectant, 303 Clear Vinyl Protective Cleaner, and Malco Leather Plastic Cleaner are some of the recommendable cleansers that can be a fantastic addition to your boat’s life hygiene essentials.

Malco Leather Plastic Cleaner is the go-to cleanser for most professionals out there. However, water and soap are still considered to be the classic of all types.


In conclusion, I would say that the more you would take care of your vinyl seat’s cleanliness, the longer it would last. But even if there is some kind of damage done, no issue at all. Just get your hands on the vinyl repair patch kit and you’re good to go!


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