The Ins and Outs of Caring for Your Boat’s Vinyl Seating

The United States is home to some of the best boating spots in the world. In addition to the Atlantic and Pacicof Oceans and the Gulf of Mexico, the country is home to a wide range of other bodies of water. From the Great Lakes to the Long Island Sound, there is no shortage of waters to venture out on here. For people who live near the water, owning a boat can be a lot of fun. There can also be a lot of work that comes with owning a boat. Not only do people want to keep their vessel running great but it needs to be comfortable and look awesome, too. To keep the furniture on board looking its best, people may buy boat seat upholstery kits or do the job of reupholstering vehicle seats on a more regular basis.

Here are some things you can do to keep your boat’s furniture looking its best:

  • Look at the quality of the material on your seats. There are a number of grades of vinyl. When you had the seats put in, you probably learned at least a little about this. Believe it or not, the grade is not an indicator of the quality. The grade refers to the cost to manufacture the material. Moreover, each manufacturer sets their own standard so what might be a high grade in one shop may not be in another. It is, therefore, best to analyze your needs before you head out to select the right vinyl. If you pick the right vinyl for your usage, you will be in a better position. If you are planning to put your boat in situations where it will get more wear and tear, knowing that helps more than what the grade is.
  • Clean smarter, not harder. There are a large number of people who think that bleach is the best thing to use for every cleaning job and that if you smell bleach, you know the area is clean. This is NOT the case with upholstery cleaning. You can check the labels on boat seat upholstery kits and you will see that bleach is used but it is not used in large quantities. Here are some things to do when you want to clean your seats.
    • Start with a damp cloth. This is how you should get rid of grime, dirt, salt, and whatever else has accumulated on the surface.
    • Next, put on some vinyl cleaner. This is where getting boat seat upholstery kits may pay off.
    • Use some fresh water to rinse the area and then dry.
    • If you have mildew or mold, brush it away first. You can also wipe down the area with an ammonia and water mix, one that combines bleach with water, or a solution made from tea tree oil and water. The last one will also make the area smell great.

Your vinyl needs sunscreen, too. The UV rays from the sun can damage just about everything they touch. That means your boat upholstery is not immune. There are a few things you can do:

Start with vinyl that has UV protection built in. If it does, your work in this area will be greatly reduced. If it does not, there are products you can provide to protect your furniture from the ravages of the sun. The last thing you want is your beautiful blue furniture to turn dull and old before its time.

Make sure the products you use to protect yourself do not do damage to your upholstery. You can test your preferred product on your furniture or you can stick to more natural ones. One good bet is to get SPF products that do not have paraben, oil and that are not too greasy. The good news on this front is that there are a ton of products out there now that can protect your skin with your hurting the skin of your boat.

In boat maintenance, as in life, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It can be good to have boat seat upholstery kits but it is equally important to keep an eye on your boat’s vinyl furninture.

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