How To Protect Your Boat’s Vinyl Seats
Just like you apply sunscreen to protect your skin — you also need to think about protecting your vinyl boat seats from the effects of sun, weather and time. In this all-hands-on-deck blog, we will walk you through some of the best ways to protect your boat’s vinyl upholstery to prevent future needs for vinyl seat repair and to keep it looking as good as new!
Step One: Clean Your Boat UpholsteryTo clean vinyl surfaces in marine upholstery, use a good-quality boat vinyl cleaner — such as Gold Eagle’s 303® Multi-Surface Cleaner. This cleaner cleans and brightens all water-safe surfaces, without leaving any residue or streaking behind. It will keep you from having to carry 15 cleaning items with you for the job. You need a soft brush, a few clean cloths, a toothbrush for crevices, and your quality vinyl cleaner.To clean boat upholstery, follow the directions on the product you choose. The general way to clean vinyl is to:
- Spray a light coat of vinyl seat cleaner directly onto the seat and let it sit for about a minute. In the meantime, organize your cleaning supplies.
(TIP: If using an old towel, cut it into quarter segments, as the smaller pieces make it easier to get into crevices and between cushions.)
- Now that the cleaner has sat a bit on the surface, take the soft brush and work over the vinyl in circular strokes, applying very little pressure. Vinyl is tough, but the 303® Multi-Surface Cleaner does the work for you.
- Go over the entire surface of the seat in segments.
- Use the towel to remove the dirt and grime that the cleaner loosens.
- When it comes to the piping and down into creases, use the toothbrush, just as you did the soft brush. Spray the cleaner directly onto the brush. Then follow with a clean section of towel.
(TIP: Always use a clean portion of the towel so that you are not just re-applying the dirt to the seat.)
Step Two: Protect Your Vinyl Boat Upholstery
After your vinyl boat seats have been thoroughly cleaned, protect them with a product like 303 Aerospace Protectant. Safe and effective for rubber, vinyl and plastic surfaces, this product provides superior UV protection to prevent fading and cracking of the vinyl, repels smudges, dust and other stains, and leaves a dry, matte finish with no greasy feel.
To protect your boat seats, follow the directions on your product. For protectants like 303 Aerospace Protectant, the general guidelines are:
- Spray the protectant on the cleaned vinyl surface, and wipe the area completely dry.
- For greater bonding and longevity, buff a few times with a dry cloth.
- Repeat this process, along with cleaning, every three to five weeks in order to maximize UV protection
Be sure to follow this cleaning and protecting protocol every time you use your boat and, when your boat is sitting, at least weekly. Doing so will help ensure that your boat’s vinyl surfaces stay clean, protected, and looking beautiful for years to come!
What to Do When Your Boat Seats Are Damaged
Vinyl, while strong, sometimes is not strong enough. Either you’ve bought a boat that was not well cared for, or someone sat in the seats with a sharp tool in his or her pocket — and now your boat’s seats are damaged. Holes, rips, cracks, and tears happen. To help keep water and salt out of the inside of your upholstery, replace damaged vinyl as soon as possible.