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Care & Feeding of Vinyl Upholstery
Expert Advice On the best way to keep your boat looking great

Care of Vinyl Upholstery


The vinyl on your boat is formulated to stand up to harsh conditions but it’ll last a lot longer with a little care.  The two most important things you can do are

·      Keep it clean

·      Keep it out of the sun. 


Obviously it’s hard to find shade out on the water but if you have a choice, get a covered slip.  Failing that, keep the vinyl covered with canvas covers when you’re not using the boat – not just the seats but sunpads as well.  Vinyl covers in enclosed decks will also keep their good looks longer with window covers that block the sunlight.  You might also consider UV inhibitors formulated specifically for vinyl upholstery.


Keep it Clean

Clear up any sand or dirt that gets tracked from shore onto the vinyl as soon as you can.  Otherwise the fine gritty edges will chew into the vinyl and start breaking it down.  A little water, or water and mild soap rinsed and dried will probably do the trick.


Routine Cleaning

Depending on how often you use your boat, you should set aside a couple of hours to give the vinyl a good wash – even once or twice during the season.  Experts recommend a two-step process.

1.   Mild soap and water, applied with a soft cloth, rinsed and dried (Try not to let water pool in the seams).  This removes any dirt and sunscreen to make the next step a deeper cleaning. 

2.   When the vinyl is completely dry, apply a vinyl cleaner, following directions. 



Some stains cannot be removed, such as ink or markers.  You’ll do more harm than good trying to get them out with harsh cleaners bleach or ammonia or solvents.


Superficial stains can sometimes be removed with a Magic Eraser but be gentle.  If you use too much pressure you’ll sand down the vinyl.  There are stain removal products specifically for vinyl upholstery that’ll help. 

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