How to Do Marine Upholstery

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Upholstery is a key element to the success of any design, and keeping in mind the environmental conditions affecting that upholstery is equally important. Covering your furniture with various types and styles of fabric sets the tone for the environment you inhabit. When putting marine upholstery on a boat, the environment is even more of a consideration, not just for style and comfort, but to avoid mold, mildew and the wear and tear of the aquatic forces. There are certain materials and tips to help you get the right marine upholstery coverage.

Applying Marine Upholstery

Purchase a durable, UV-resistant material for your marine upholstery, such as vinyl. Vinyl is tough to work with, but according to Marineupholstery.org, it resists the cracking effects of the cold, making it a natural choice for marine upholstery. You can use another water-resistant material, but vinyl tends to be popular and effective for boats.

Cover your high density, closed-cell foam with plastic. This foam is durable and also acts as a flotation device for your marine vessel. The plastic helps the vinyl re-attach to the item you are upholstering and keeps water from entering the foam cushion.

Use your stainless steel staples and screws to attach the plastic and vinyl-covered foam to the items you are upholstering on the boat. You can attach the foam first, then the plastic and vinyl if you prefer. Marineupholstery.org suggests that any sewing of the vinyl on your marine upholstery be done with Dacron thread, and that any zippers used should be of nylon material.


  • As part of your marine upholstery application, you may want to consider a boat top. A boat top helps cover the upholstery inside your boat, which aids in keeping at bay the deteriorating effects of the natural elements. Regular cleaning will also help ensure a longer life for your marine upholstery.

About the Author

Ally Tracy began writing in 1988. One of her poems, "A Kiss," was published in an edition of the "Norton Anthology," and her work includes numerous screenplays, short stories and children's stories. Tracy holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Southern California and a Master of Arts in psychology from Ryokan College.

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