How to Waterproofing Boat Seats – 9 Secret Tricks

To keep your boat in good condition, you need to protect it from the effects of water and sun damage. One area that needs special attention is your boat seats. Water damage can ruin boat upholstery and decrease the lifespan of seats. There are several ways you can waterproof your seats, keeping them looking and feeling like new.

This article will teach you how to waterproof your boat seats. We’ll cover everything from sprays to heaters: by the end of this piece, you should be an expert on keeping your boat in top shape!

Why are waterproofing boat seats important?

Waterproofing boat seats is crucial for several reasons:

  • Durability: Waterproof seats are less susceptible to wear and tear, ensuring a longer lifespan for your investment.
  • Comfort: Sitting on wet seats can be uncomfortable and lead to a less enjoyable boating experience.
  • Mould and mildew prevention: Waterproof materials help prevent the growth of mould and mildew, which can cause unpleasant odours and potential health issues.
  • Aesthetics: Waterproof seats maintain their appearance and colour, adding to the overall appeal of your boat.
  • Easy maintenance: Waterproof seats are easier to clean and maintain, saving time and effort in the long run.

9 Secret Tricks for Waterproofing Boat Seats

1 – Use a Waterproof Spray

A waterproof spray is a quick and easy way to protect your boat seats from water damage. It creates a barrier between the upholstery and the water, preventing water from penetrating the fabric. Here’s how you can apply a waterproof spray to your boat seats:

  • Clean your boat seats with soap and water and let them dry completely.
  • Shake the waterproof spray can well and spray it evenly over the entire surface of your boat seats.
  • Let the spray dry completely before using your boat.

Top Waterproof Sprays:

  1. Fabric Waterproof Spray – A powerful waterproofing spray that also offers UV protection for marine fabrics. Price on Amazon: $24.99
  2. Star Brite Waterproofing Spray – Specially formulated for marine applications, providing excellent water repellency and sun protection. Price on Amazon: $22.99

2 – Apply Marine-Grade Vinyl Protectant

Marine-grade vinyl protectant is a specially formulated product that protects vinyl upholstery from UV rays, saltwater, and other environmental factors. It provides a layer of protection that helps prevent cracking, fading, and discolouration. Here’s how you can apply marine-grade vinyl protectant to your boat seats:

  • Clean your boat seats with soap and water and let them dry completely.
  • Apply the vinyl protectant evenly over the entire surface of your boat seats using a clean cloth.
  • Let the protectant dry completely before using your boat.

3 – Use a Moisture-Wicking Cushion

Moisture-wicking cushions are designed to absorb moisture and keep your boat seats dry. They are made from foam, polyester, and nylon, designed to wick away moisture. Here are the benefits of using moisture-wicking cushions on your boat seats:

  • Keeps your boat seats dry
  • Prevents mould and mildew from forming
  • Reduces the risk of bacteria growth
  • Provides additional cushioning for a more comfortable ride

4 – Install a Boat Seat Cover

A boat seat cover is a simple and effective way to protect your boat seats from the elements. There are several types of boat seat covers available, including:

  • Canvas covers: These are durable and provide excellent protection from the sun, rain, and wind.
  • Neoprene covers: These are made from a synthetic rubber material resistant to water and UV rays.
  • Polyester covers: These covers are lightweight and easy to install.

Here’s how you can install a boat seat cover:

  • Clean your boat seats with soap and water and let them dry completely.
  • Adjust the cover over the seat so that it fits snugly.
  • Secure the cover in place using the straps or hooks provided.

Top Boat Seat Covers:

  1. Classic Accessories Stellex Boat Seat Cover – A durable, all-weather protective cover that fits most boat seats. Price on Amazon: $25.00
  2. iCOVER Boat Folding Seat Cover – A heavy-duty, water-resistant cover designed specifically for folding boat seats. Price on Amazon: $18.75
  3. Leader Accessories Waterproof Boat Seat Cover – A high-quality, UV-resistant cover that offers excellent protection for various boat seat sizes. Price on Amazon: $29.99

5 – Create a DIY Boat Seat Cover

You can create your boat seat cover if you’re handy with a sewing machine. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fabric: Choose a fabric that is waterproof and UV resistant.
  • Sewing machine: You’ll need a sewing machine to sew the fabric together.
  • Thread: Choose a thread that is strong and durable.
  • Scissors: You’ll need a pair of scissors to cut the fabric to size.
  • Velcro: Use Velcro to secure the cover in place.

Here’s how you can create a DIY boat seat cover:

  • Measure your boat seats and cut the fabric to size.
  • Sew the fabric together, leaving openings for the straps or hooks
  • Attach the Velcro to the cover and the seat to secure it.

6 – Use a Waterproof Seat Cushion

A waterproof seat cushion is another way to protect your boat seats from water damage. These cushions are designed to repel water and prevent it from soaking into the upholstery. Here’s how you can select and use a waterproof seat cushion:

  • Look for a cushion specifically designed for use on boats and made from waterproof materials like neoprene or nylon.
  • Place the cushion on your boat seat and secure it in place using the straps or hooks provided.
  • Remove the cushion after use and let it dry completely before storing it.

7 – Seal Seams with Waterproof Tape

Sealing the seams on your boat seats with waterproof tape effectively prevents water from seeping into the upholstery. Waterproof tape is designed to create a watertight seal that prevents water from penetrating the fabric. Here’s how you can seal the seams on your boat seats with waterproof tape:

  • Clean the area around the seams with soap and water and let it dry completely.
  • Apply the waterproof tape to the seams, making sure to overlap the edges for a watertight seal.
  • Use a heat gun or hairdryer to activate the adhesive on the tape.

8 – Store Boat Seats in a Dry Place

Storing your boat seats in a dry place when not in use is important in protecting them from water damage. Moisture and humidity can cause mould and mildew to form on the upholstery, which can be challenging to remove. Here are some tips for selecting the proper storage location for your boat seats:

  • Choose a dry, cool, and well-ventilated area
  • Avoid storing your seats in direct sunlight
  • Cover your seats with a protective cover to prevent dust and dirt from accumulating

9 – Use a Boat Seat Heater

A boat seat heater is a great way to keep your seats dry and comfortable, even in wet conditions. These heaters are designed to keep you warm and dry by generating heat that dries out the upholstery. Here’s how you can use a boat seat heater:

  • Install the heater according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Turn on the heater before using your boat.
  • Adjust the temperature as needed to stay warm and dry.

Read More About Boat Seat:

FAQ – Waterproofing Boat Seats

Waterproofing Boat Seats
photo: pixabay,canva

Can any fabric be waterproofed?

No, not all types of fabric can be effectively waterproofed. Natural fabrics like cotton and silk are generally not waterproof and require unique treatments to make them water-resistant. Synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon are often naturally water-resistant but may require additional treatments to maintain their waterproof properties.

How often should boat seats be waterproofed?

The frequency of waterproofing boat seats depends on several factors, including the type of material, the frequency of use, and the exposure to the elements. As a general rule, it is a good idea to waterproof boat seats at least once a year or more frequently if they are heavily used or exposed to harsh conditions.

Can boat seat covers be waterproofed?

Yes, boat seat covers can be waterproofed to provide additional protection against water damage. This can be done using waterproofing sprays or selecting covers made from waterproof materials.

How long does waterproofing last on boat seats?

The durability of waterproofing treatments can vary depending on several factors, including the type of treatment used, the quality of the material, and the conditions to which the seats are exposed. Generally, most waterproofing treatments will last several months to a year before needing to be reapplied.

Can I use regular fabric protectants on my boat seats?

While regular fabric protectant sprays may offer some water resistance, they are not designed for use on boat seats, which are exposed to harsher conditions. For best results, it is recommended to use marine-grade vinyl protectants or other products specifically designed for use on boats.

Can I use a hairdryer to dry my boat seats?

While using a hairdryer can help speed up the drying process for wet boat seats, it is not recommended as it can cause damage to the upholstery. Instead, using a moisture-wicking cushion or allowing the seats to air dry naturally is recommended.

Can I waterproof leather boat seats?

Yes, leather boat seats can be waterproofed using specialized products designed for use on leather. Following the instructions carefully and testing the product on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire seat is important.


I am a freelance writer passionate about watersports and the great outdoors. I have many years of experience in the marine industry, and I enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise with others so that they can get the most out of their boating experiences. I like fishing, kayaking, and exploring new destinations by boat whenever I have time. Contact Us: Linkedin

Kaosar Ahamed

owner and writer,

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