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Installing Marine Upholstery

Does Veada offer matching marine vinyl, welt cord piping or hidem welt trim?

Yes! As the manufacturer, Veada has cut yardage available of marine vinyl, welt cord piping and hidem welt trim in any color. Build and match colors until your heart's content!

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What does marine vinyl weight or thickness mean?

Marine vinyl is often referred to by its thickness or weight. The industry average is 28-29 oz per linear yard. Approximately 75% of the marine vinyl that Veada uses is 29 oz - the remainder is 30-34 oz. Weight is specific to the color used. For example, a 29 oz blue marine vinyl cannot be upgraded to the same color at 32 oz. A new color will have to be chosen.

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What can I do to repair a hole in my boat vinyl?

Pin holes or small tears can be repaired in several ways. The most cost effective way to prevent a hole from getting bigger is the use of Veada's vinyl repair kit. This is a clear patch system that keeps the vinyl tight and prevents further tearing or 'gooing'. At times, colored duct tape may be used as a temporary solution to protect marine vinyl tears.

The surest way to repair boat upholstery is to remove the upholstered cover and sew in matching marine vinyl or sew a completely new boat seat cover. Ask an upholsterer for help before attempting re-upholstery projects on your own.

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I'm recovering a boat cushion. How do I recover my boat seat?

Check that Veada does not sell a similar boat cushion before recovering - Veada can often sell cushions separate from one of its completed benches. If you have determined to reupholster your boat cushion, take before pictures from several angles to aid in the boat cushion recovering. (moderate - advanced technique) Ask an upholsterer for help before attempting re-upholstery projects on your own.

Suggested marine upholstery products:

  1. Remove the trim and upholstery staples from the underside of the boat cushion with a staple remover. Some boat cushions may have additional staples between the marine foam and marine plywood.
  2. Remove the boat cushion cover and open up the stitching with a seam ripper tool. If making an exact boat cushion replica, you will use this existing vinyl as a pattern for the new marine vinyl.
  3. Determine if you can reuse your existing marine foam and marine plywood. If the marine foam is waterlogged or lost its 'spring,' replace it with new marine foam. The original foam was likely thicker than it is now. As a benchmark, pontoon cushion foam is often around 3" thick; with the large cushion bolster around 5" thick. The marine foam should be 3/8" larger than your marine plywood on every side. If the existing marine plywood has de-laminated, rotted or been water logged, replace it with new marine plywood.
  4. Use your existing marine vinyl as a pattern on the new marine vinyl. Weighted objects will help keep the pattern vinyl in place as you trace with a pen or marker. Most new marine vinyl is 54" wide. Try several layouts before cutting to make the most efficient use of the new marine vinyl.
  5. After cutting the new marine vinyl, you are ready to begin sewing. Sew a test portion of scrap vinyl before sewing, making sure your sewing machine is capable of sewing marine vinyl. Marine vinyl is 29-34 oz material and much thicker than clothing or interior fabrics. Veada recommends using industrial sewing machines for marine vinyl applications. Use household sewing machines with care and at your own risk. Veada uses 16 oz bonded polyester thread and industrial grade, size 21 needles in its marine upholstery applications. Replicate your original sew style or create a new sew style fitting to your project. Matching sewer's piping is available from Veada. Take care to make sure accent colors are straight.
  6. After your boat seat cover is sewn, drape it over your existing or new marine plywood and marine foam. The cover will eventually overlap the bottom edge of marine plywood by 1 1/2". Begin by tacking stainless steel staples on the cushion underside in the rear two corners (place staples 3/8" from the edge of the wood), taking care to tighten any slack. If there is any material (Veada calls this pull strip) between the thin foam cushion and the front foam bolster, tack this in place. Continue stapling this portion, with a staple every 1." Finish tacking the front two corners, taking care to tighten any slack. With the cover tacked by staples in all four corners, finish stapling with a staple every 1" across each side. Trim any excess vinyl to within 1/4" of the staples.
  7. Use black paper cushion underlining to cover the exposed underside wood and trimmed vinyl edge. Staple the black cushion underlining into place, with staples every 1," within 3/8" from the edge of the wood. Trim any excess to within 1/8" of the staples.
  8. Finalize your cushion underside with matching hidem welt trim. Hidem welt trim is 11/16" wide with vinyl flaps on either side, designed to hide upholstery staples. Lay your hidem welt trim 1/8" inside the wood edge. Center your staples between the two vinyl flaps and place a staple every 1." Continue around the bottom edge of your boat cushion until complete. After this final step, your cushion is complete!

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How do I install speakers or cup holders?

Speakers or cups can be installed on many boat seats, arms or helm consoles. The best way to install them is before upholstering. If your seats are already upholstered, feel free to try the steps below. Ask an upholsterer for help before attempting re-upholstery projects on your own.

To install plastic or stainless steel cup holder in your upholstered boat seats (moderate - advanced difficulty):

  1. Determine the installation hole size needed. Veada cup holder inserts require a 3 3/4" installation hole size. If using a 3 3/4" installation hole, make a cardboard pattern 3 3/4" in diameter and a cardboard pattern 3 1/4" in diameter.
  2. With a pencil (test on an inconspicuous area to make sure it can be cleaned later) draw a 3 1/4" diameter circle in the desired location. This initial circle will be smaller than your installation hole by 1/2". With a utility knife, cut an 'X' from one side of the circle to another. Each length of the 'X' will measure 3 1/4". These loose flaps will later be tucked into the hole to keep the marine vinyl in place.
  3. Under the freshly cut vinyl, draw a 3 3/4" diameter circle centered under the 'X' - this will be cut into the plastic or wood frame. The vinyl will need to be stretched from left to right, making space available for the sketched circle.
  4. With the 3 3/4" circle drawn on the foam or frame under the vinyl, use a small Dremel rotary tool to cut out the 3 3/4" circle. Take EXTREME care, stretching the vinyl flaps away from the Dremel tool - snagging the vinyl with the tool can damage your upholstery.
  5. With the installation hole cut out, tuck the vinyl flaps into the installation hole. This will keep the vinyl cover from sliding around and exposing the wood or plastic frame. Insert the plastic or stainless steel cupholder. The cupholder inserts typically rest in the installation hole without mounting hardware. If there is too much 'slop," wrap 1 1/2" wide masking tape around the outside of the cup holder to achieve the desired diameter.

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