Marine Vinyl: How to Repair Cracked Vinyl Upholstery

May 28, 2021

If your boat sat in storage all winter, it might be time to make some repairs to your marine vinyl before launching your boat on the water.

As temperatures rise and the days get longer, it’s time to get your boat ready for summer fun. Once you get your boat out of storage, you’ll have to perform some key maintenance before loading up the fishing poles. Each year when you take your boat out of storage, you’ll need to check the battery in case it needs to be recharged or replaced after sitting idle all winter. While you’re at it, check the oil, filters, and spark plugs. It’s a good idea to start the summer boating season with an oil change so engine trouble doesn’t cramp your summer days. If you see any corrosion, you need to call a mechanic. It’s smart to check the hull for cracks and propellers for bends when the boat is out of the water.

The last step you’ll need to take before hitting the lake is to do a gear safety check and give the interior and exterior of the boat a good cleaning. While you’re cleaning your boat’s interior, take note of any fading or cracks on our marine-grade vinyl. If you see any problems, they will need to be fixed.

Any seasoned boat owner knows annual repairs are the price you pay for early morning fishing trips and towing your kids on inner tubes. While a new boat will require less maintenance, there will still be costs associated with keeping your boat in tip-top shape. One way to save money is to tackle easy maintenance tasks on your own. If you have time on your hands, you can make the repairs to your marine-grade vinyl on your own with a bit of elbow grease and a good tape measure.

While doing your own repairs can save you money, some tasks are better left to the professionals. If this interior job sounds too big to tackle on your own, the skilled mobile technicians at Creative Colors International Inc. will come to you to make any repairs to your marine-grade vinyl.

Three-Step Guide to Replacing Damaged Vinyl

Even with proper care, your marine-grade vinyl will fade over time or suffer from tears or punctures. Car keys in someone’s pocket are a common culprit for puncturing one of your boat seats. Duct tape is a quick fix if you get a tear, but it’s not a long-term solution. You can also purchase a vinyl patch repair kit as a short-term option to seal up the tear. However, it may be more cost-effective to replace the marine-grade vinyl on your seat cushion. Here is a quick and easy tutorial for replacing the vinyl on one of your boat’s cushions by yourself in just three steps.

  1. Take off the damaged vinyl. Flip over the cushion and use a screwdriver to remove the staples holding the damaged vinyl in place.
  2. Cut the new vinyl. Lay out your new vinyl and use the old vinyl as a guide to trace the pattern on your replacement material. Follow the lines and cut the vinyl.
  3. Staple it up. Wrap the new fabric around the cushion and plywood backing. Use a staple gun to secure it.

Time to Call the Experts

If the customers at your marina are not the DIY crowd or the interior of your boat needs a major overhaul, CCI is ready to help. CCI’s skilled technicians can refresh your boat’s interior to look like it did on its maiden voyage. CCI can also restore carpeting, beds, ceilings, boat tops, and engine enclosures. Our technicians can repair and re-dye tears, holes, scuffs, and scratches to refresh the appearance of your watercraft for a fraction of the cost of an entire replacement.

Marine-Grade Vinyl Stands Up to Elements

Marine-grade vinyl is a durable option for the interior of your watercraft. Standard vinyl is not an optimal choice for a boat or recreational vehicle. Your pleasure craft needs a material that will hold up to the elements and stand the test of time. Marine vinyl is water-resistant and built to withstand the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. It lasts longer than other types of vinyl and does not fade as quickly. It’s also stain-resistant and holds up to frequent cleanings, which helps keep your boat fresh.

Tips for Keeping Your Refurbished Vinyl Fresh

Now that you’ve invested in your boat’s interior and refurbished your marine-grade vinyl, CCI suggests taking some steps to prolong the life of your new investment.

  • Try to keep your interior dry. If you’re enjoying fun on the waves, expect that your boat’s seats will get wet. Try not to douse them in water and take time to towel-dry your seats once you dock the boat for the day.
  • Clean your seats on a weekly basis. Grime and dirt will build up over time and wear down your marine-grade vinyl. Take time every week to deep clean your seats with dish soap, water, and a soft-bristle brush. Don’t forget to towel-dry the seats after you clean.
  • Treat spills in double time. Spills and stains are going to happen. Stay away from products that offer a quick stain-fighting solution. They may be made of abrasive ingredients that will damage your vinyl in the long run. Typically, a combination of mild dish soap and water will do the trick if you act quickly after a spill.

If your marine-grade vinyl needs repaired or you need a boat restoration, contact the professionals at CCI to get a free quote and see how we can make your boat shine this season.