Arts and Crafts

DIY Boat Seat Repair

July 30, 2020

DIY Boat Seat Repair
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I am a corporate banking Senior Vice President with a passion for antiques, crafts, and beautiful interiors. Proud mom of Seth and Lily Lee. 


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Joan Atwood- Artist| Educator | Crafter | Project Inspiration

    One of the bad things about accumulating things such as four-wheelers, trailers, and boats is that as they age, they begin to have issues, sort of like us. In any case, I noticed that one of the seats in our pontoon boat had a couple of sun rot holes and cracks. This definitely is an issue since most of our fishing adventures include grandchildren who are small and love to explore every nook and cranny of their surroundings. I could visualize one of them sticking their little fingers in the holes and enlarging them ten-fold. So I set out on an adventure to create a DIY temporary boat seat repair.

Holes in vinyl

Project Inspiration: 

     I’ve found that you need to keep on top of repairs and/or fixes as they arise. Otherwise, the small things become big and can quickly get overwhelming. I decided to do a temporary fix of the boat seat, anticipating that we would have to have all the seats recovered within a year or two. (That’s not a job that I would want to tackle myself, having recovered a couch and chair in my earlier years. I find it reupholstering a very tough job, and frankly, I’m no longer interested in working that hard.) However, a temporary fix could postpone a more costly endeavor of recovering the boat seats.
While visiting Tristy, I decided to run by JoAnn’s to get some vinyl. I purchased a yard of grey vinyl, knowing that would be enough for my fix-it job. A week later, I decided to fix the boat seat before our fourth of July fishing trip.

Vinyl get local fabric stores


• Vinyl (enough to cover the area needed – I used one yard and had a little left.)
• Scissors
• Sewing machine with thread to match the vinyl
• Velcro strips (I used two packages of the sticky back. I learned that it does not stick well to vinyl, so it did need to be sewn in.)
• Old sheet to cut the pattern to be used

 How-to Video:

 How to Steps for Boat Seat Repair

1. Using the old sheet, place the sheet over the area to be covered and cut it to fit, making it the vinyl pattern.
2. Next, use the old sheet pattern to cut out the vinyl.

Sheet for Pattern

3. Then fold and stitch a 5/8 seam on each side to create a finished look.
4. Next, apply the Velcro strips. Attach one side of the Velcro to the inside of the vinyl and place the other along the sheet’s outside edge. (Originally, I forgot that I would be folding one side around and over-lapping it. But as I fit it, I remembered that I need to do that. I also thought that the sticky back would hold it in place. It did not so plan on stitching the Velcro in place. Live and learn – right?)

Sew to create clean seam

5. Then all you have to do is to fit in around the piece you’re covering. In this case, the boat seat top.

Repaired Boat Seat

     The results were not as terrific as having the seats recovered, but it worked out great for a temporary fix. We took the boat to Flaming Gorge the next day and went fishing for 5 days. The temporary cover never came off during our travels to and from the lake. Lily found lots of things to entertain her, such as playing with the worms and jigs. Hopefully, my fix will last a couple of years and postpone costly reupholstery. In the meantime, we will continue to enjoy our pontoon boat and make more fun memories.


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Joan Atwood and Lily Lee

Joan Atwood has over 30 years of experience in education, working as an elementary supervisor, principal, and teacher, teaching a wide range of grade school children, as well as university classes.  Her expertise includes kindergarten, elementary education, and gifted/talented.  She is an artist with expertise in oil painting and floral arranging.  She enjoys crafting with her grandchildren, wire wrapping pendants, and long walks in nature.

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