Swivel Boat Seats: Pros, Cons, and Considerations

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If you are an avid boater or angler, you know the importance of comfortable and functional seating on your boat. Swivel boat seats have become increasingly popular in recent years, offering a range of benefits for boaters. However, swivel boat seats have pros and cons, as with any equipment.

In this blog post, we’ll look closer at the advantages and disadvantages of swivel boat seats, helping you decide whether they are right for you.

What are Swivel Boat Seats?

Swivel boat seats are specially designed seats that allow the passenger to rotate the seat around its axis. These seats can be adjusted to face in any direction, providing passengers with better visibility on a boat. Swivel boat seats are in various designs, sizes, and materials.

They offer several benefits, such as improved comfort, versatility, and safety. However, they also have some drawbacks, including reduced stability, limited space, higher cost, and maintenance requirements.

Swivel boat seats can be an excellent addition to any boat, but it’s essential to consider both the advantages and disadvantages before purchasing.

types of Swivel Boat seat

photo: mylovelyboat team

Swivel boat seats are a popular addition to boats, providing ease of movement, comfort, and increased functionality. Whether you are in the market for a new boat seat or want to replace an old one, it is important to understand the different types of swivel boat seats available. Here are some common types of swivel boat seats.

  • Captain’s Chair: This type of swivel boat seat is designed for the captain or helmsman of the boat. It typically features a high backrest for added support and comfort and armrests for added stability. Captain’s chairs often come with a built-in swivel mechanism, allowing the captain to turn and face different directions quickly.
  • Bucket Seat: Bucket seats are a common choice for the captain and passengers on a boat. They are characterized by their deep, contoured seat and high backrest, which provide excellent support and comfort. Bucket seats often come with a swivel base, allowing for easy movement and access to different areas of the boat.
  • Folding Seat: Folding seats are popular for smaller boats or boats with limited space. These seats can be easily folded up and stored when not in use, saving valuable space on the boat. Many folding seats also come with a swivel feature, allowing for flexibility in positioning.
  • Pedestal Seat: Pedestal seats are mounted on a pedestal base, which provides additional height and stability. These seats are often adjustable in height, allowing boaters to find their preferred seating position. Pedestal seats usually feature a swivel mechanism, enabling easy rotation and maneuverability.
  • Bench Seat: Bench seats are a simple and versatile option for larger boats or seating multiple passengers. They can be found in various lengths and widths, accommodating different seating arrangements. Some bench seats have a swivel function, allowing easy access and convenience.

The Pros and Cons of Swivel Boat Seats

The Pros and Cons of Swivel Boat Seats
photo: mylovelyboat team

Pros of Swivel Boat Seats

Swivel boat seats are a popular choice among boaters for several reasons. These seats offer a range of benefits that can greatly enhance your boating experience on the water. Here are seven pros of swivel boat seats:

  • Comfort: Swivel boat seats are designed with comfort, providing ample support for your back, arms, and legs. The contoured seats, high backrests, and armrests make for a comfortable seating experience, allowing you to relax and enjoy your time on the water without discomfort.
  • Flexibility: Swivel boat seats offer a high level of flexibility, allowing you to move around quickly. The swivel mechanism lets you rotate the seat, easily facing different directions or reaching for items within your reach. This flexibility adds convenience and ease of movement while on the boat.
  • Visibility: Swivel boat seats provide excellent visibility and a better vantage point. Whether you’re the captain or a passenger, swiveling the seat gives you a clear view of your surroundings, ensuring safer navigation and enhanced enjoyment of the beautiful scenery.
  • Convenience: Swivel boat seats offer convenience in accessing different areas of the boat. Instead of getting up or manoeuvring around, you can rotate the seat and effortlessly access various parts of the boat. This is particularly useful for reaching storage compartments, ropes, or equipment.
  • Social Interaction: Swivel boat seats promote social interaction among passengers. You can easily face and converse with other passengers, creating a more enjoyable and connected boating experience.
  • Versatility: Swivel boat seats come in various types, such as captain’s chairs, bucket seats, folding seats, pedestal seats, and bench seats. This wide range of options allows you to choose a seat that best suits your needs, preferences, and boat layout.
  • Safety: Swivel boat seats contribute to safety on the water. With the ability to swivel and easily access different areas of the boat, you can quickly respond to emergencies or potential hazards, reducing the risk of accidents or injuries.

Cons of Swivel Boat Seats

While swivel boat seats offer many benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks. Here are five cons of swivel boat seats:

  • Cost: Swivel boat seats can be more expensive than other boat seats due to their added features and design.
  • Mechanical Issues: The swivel mechanism on swivel boat seats can sometimes break or malfunction, requiring repair or replacement. This can be an additional cost and a hassle to boaters.
  • Maintenance: Swivel boat seats require more maintenance than other boat seats due to their complex design and added moving parts. Lubrication and cleaning are essential to prevent rust or corrosion and ensure seat longevity.
  • Bulkiness: Swivel boat seats are generally bulkier than others because of their rotating mechanism and added support features. This can take up more space on the boat and make it more crowded, limiting the seating capacity.
  • Installation Difficulty: Not all swivel boat seats are easy to install, and the process can sometimes be complicated, especially if you have an older boat with a non-standard seat base. This can be time-consuming and require professional installation at additional cost.

How to install swivel boat seats?

How to install swivel boat seats?

Installing swivel boat seats can greatly enhance comfort and convenience on your boat. Whether you’re upgrading your old seats or adding new ones, here are some easy steps to guide you through the installation process:

  • Choose the location: Determine where to install the swivel boat seat. Consider factors like visibility, accessibility, and balance. Ensure the seat won’t obstruct any controls or movement on the boat.
  • Gather your tools: Before you begin, gather all the necessary tools and materials. These may include a drill, screwdriver, measuring tape, level, wrench, and the swivel boat seat kit.
  • Remove the existing seat: Remove it from its mounting base or pedestal if you are replacing it. Use a wrench or screwdriver to loosen and remove any fasteners or bolts holding the seat in place.
  • Prepare the mounting base: Attach the swivel base to the boat deck using the mounting holes as a guide. Ensure it is securely fastened and level. Use appropriate hardware and consider adding reinforcing plates if needed.
  • Install the seat: Place the seat onto the swivel base and align it with the mounting holes. Insert and tighten the necessary bolts or fasteners to secure the seat. Double-check that the seat is stable and doesn’t wobble.
  • Stability test: Gently rock and test the seat for stability and balance. If it feels unstable, revisit the installation and make any necessary adjustments or tighten loose screws.
  • Reattach accessories: If your swivel boat seat has additional accessories, such as armrests or cup holders, attach them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Refer to the manufacturer’s specific installation instructions for your swivel boat seat. While these general steps provide a broad overview, each seat may have unique requirements. Installing swivel boat seats can be straightforward, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable boating experience.

Swivel Boat Seat Maintenance and Care Tips

Swivel Boat Seat Maintenance and Care Tips
photo: mylovelyboat team

Swivel boat seats are a comfortable addition to your boat and require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Here are some important maintenance and care tips to keep your swivel boat seats in top shape:

Regular Cleaning:

  • Use a mild soap and water mixture to clean the seat upholstery regularly.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that may damage the fabric or vinyl.

Inspect and Tighten Fasteners:

  • Periodically check all fasteners, bolts, and screws to ensure they are tight and secure.
  • Replace any worn-out hardware to maintain stability.

Protect from the Elements:

  • Cover your swivel boat seats to protect them from sun, rain, and other weather elements when not in use.
  • Use protective covers or store the seats in a dry, sheltered area during winter.

Lubricate Swivel Mechanism:

  • Apply a silicone-based lubricant to the swivel mechanism to keep it functioning smoothly.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for lubrication frequency and product recommendations.

Monitor for Signs of Wear:

  • Regularly inspect your swivel boat seats for signs of wear, such as torn upholstery or loose stitching.
  • Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage and ensure passenger safety.

best swivel boat seat and accessories


FAQ – Pros and Cons of Swivel Boat Seats.

Are swivel boat seats more comfortable than fixed seats?

Swivel boat seats offer enhanced comfort compared to fixed seats as they come with padded seats, armrests, and adjustable height and position, which can help reduce fatigue during long boating days.

Are swivel boat seats suitable for all types of boats?

Swivel boat seats can be used in various boats and are easy to install and remove. However, choosing the right size and type of swivel boat seat is essential to suit the boat’s size and intended use.

How much do swivel boat seats cost?

Swivel boat seats can be more expensive than fixed seats, particularly if you opt for models with advanced features. However, they are worth the investment for boating enthusiasts who prioritize comfort and functionality.

Can swivel boat seats be used in any boat?

Yes, swivel boat seats can be used in various boats and are easy to install and remove. However, choosing the right size and type of swivel boat seat is essential to suit the boat’s size and intended use.

Do swivel boat seats require maintenance?

Yes, swivel boat seats require maintenance and repairs, particularly the swivel mechanism, which can be prone to wear and tear. It’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance and lubrication to ensure smooth operation.


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, mylovelyboat.com

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