Boat Seat Cleaning: How to Clean & Maintain Vinyl Boat Seats

May 6, 2022

After your watercraft spends the winter in storage or moored at the dock, boat seat cleaning is a necessary chore before your first launch of the season.

Boating and fishing are the largest outdoor recreation activities in the United States, and an estimated 100 million Americans take boats out for a spin each year. More than 310,000 new powerboats were sold in 2020, the highest number since before the Great Recession in 2008, the National Marine Manufacturers Association reported. As summer nears, fishermen start organizing their tackle, adventure seekers shop for new water skis, and parents stock up on sunscreen to prepare for long days on the open water.

Before summer rolls around, it’s important to get your boat in tip-top shape for the season. Proper boat maintenance will extend the life of your boat and help bolster resale value. Boats are built to withstand the elements. Today’s recreational boats are typically made of aluminum or fiberglass. Boat seats are covered in marine-grade vinyl. It is water-resistant and inhibits the growth of mildew or mold when your boat interior gets wet. Marine-grade vinyl is hardy and offers protection from the ultraviolet rays of the sun, which can crack or fade regular vinyl.

How to Clean Your Boat

Despite the durability of your boat, regular maintenance and cleaning are key. If you are wondering how to clean dirty vinyl boat seats or remove exterior residue, experts from Creative Colors International offer tips on how to clean boat seats and advice to make your watercraft shine.

Boat interiors need to be rinsed with fresh water once a week, even when your boat is parked at the dock. Marine carpet needs to be vacuumed to pick up loose dirt and then scrubbed with a mild soap.

Learning how to clean vinyl boat seats requires a bit more finesse.

Use the Right Tools. Always use a soft, microfiber cloth to clean your boat seats. Avoid using a brush to scrub the seats as it can degrade the material or leave scratch marks.

Never Use Harsh Cleaners. CCI recommends using a gentle soap or special boat seat cleaner to remove tough stains. Harsh cleaners, including bleach, will damage your marine-grade vinyl. Gently wipe the seats down with soapy water, rinse and repeat if necessary.

Apply a Vinyl Treatment. Depending on the age of your boat, it may be necessary to occasionally apply a vinyl treatment to your seats for extra protection. Follow the guidelines in your owner’s manual.

Regular cleaning is an easy task for any boater, but if your boat seats need more than just a quick wash, a CCI service technician can make them sparkle. Over time, even the most well-maintained watercraft start to show their age. CCI knows how to get boat seats white again. Our technicians can repair and re-dye tears, holes, scuffs, and scratches in your boat upholstery to save you up to 90% in replacement costs.

The exterior of your boat needs to be washed twice a week and then scrubbed with a gentle soap and a sponge. Follow the wash up with a buff and wax.

CCI Serves Boat Industry
In addition to serving individual boat owners, CCI is the leader in providing B2B repairs and refurbishing. If you are a boat dealer or are responsible for a marina, CCI can help you provide superior customer service to your clients. Our service technicians can come to your place of business and make necessary repairs to enable your customers to get out on the water. Our technicians can restore many components on the boats in your care, including boat seats and upholstery, carpeting, beds, ceilings, boat tops, and engine enclosures.

We Can Fix That!

CCI is ready to help make your boat seaworthy. If your boat is starting to show its age or your pre-owned fleet needs sprucing up before shoppers hit your store, click here to contact CCI and request a free quote.