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The Best Marine Upholstery Fabrics

Written by J. Harvey / Fact checked by S. Numbers

Boat designing is one of my favorite boat care tasks and maintenance as it is challenging yet exciting. It gives me a sense of accomplishment when I can make my boat design idea come to life. My family loves to go on boat trips, so it is essential to maintain an attractive and comfortable vessel.

best marine upholstery fabric

However, before you can relish a certain style and comfort, you will have to experience the difficulty of choosing appropriate fabric for your vessel. Therefore, I created this review of the best marine upholstery fabric to help you select long-lasting and high-performing materials for your marine vessel.


Top 1
 Ottertex Marine Upholstery Fabric

  • Easy to use and clean
  • UV resistance
  • Sturdy, thick, and pliable

Top 2
Plastex UG-955 Marine Fabric

  • Simple usage and cleaning
  • Heavy-duty vinyl material
  • Water and stain resistance

Top 3
Bry-Tech Marine Upholstery Fabric

  • Premium vinyl material
  • Waterproof and UV resistant
  • Durable, thick, and stretchy

Best Marine Upholstery Fabric Reviews

1. Ottertex Marine Upholstery Fabric

I wanted to give my deck boat to my niece as a gift, but she wanted a white-themed boat. So, I planned to re-upholster my craft with a fabric that suits her preferences. That’s when my friend told me about this Ottertex Marine Upholstery Fabric in white.

It is constructed from heavy-duty polyester, making it sturdy, thick, and pliable. At first glance, I thought it would be stiff and rigid to work with, but I realized that it is ideal for re-upholstering when I prepared the materials. Its quality enables you to use it almost anywhere, either indoors or outdoors.

I also like how it is easy to use and clean. Yes, this fabric may somehow be heavy but attaching it to your cushions, seats, pillows, or pads is simple. In my case, I used a marine adhesive to install it on my boat seats and other accessories, but you can also sew the fabric. For over four years of using this fabric, I only use a damp cloth for cleaning.

This fabric has an excellent waterproof capacity along with UV resistance of up to 500 hours. When I first used it on my boat seats, I was amazed at how well it holds up against water splashes and rain. Although it dramatically repels water, I still coat it with a marine sealant to increase its protection capabilities. I also noticed that it could resist extreme sunlight well.

However, this product is not mildew-resistant, so I used it as a boat interior upholstery fabric the second time I redesigned my boat. It is easier to maintain its condition if it’s not exposed to rapidly changing weather, mainly because mildew is a usual problem in humid places. Nevertheless, you can still use it outdoors if you prefer.

What We Like
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Constructed from heavy-duty polyester
  • With UV resistance of up to 500 hours
  • Has an excellent waterproof capacity
  • Sturdy, thick, and pliable

What We Don’t Like
  • Not mildew-resistant

If you want a boat material upholstery that you can use for other purposes, this product might be your solution.

2. Plastex UG-955 Marine Upholstery Fabric

My friend offered to re-upholster my boat as a birthday gift because he knew that I’m currently occupied with other matters. I told him that I wanted leather-looking boat seats, and after just one day, my boat is ready! It is significantly different thanks to the Plastex Marine Upholstery Fabric, a black-colored fabric for boat seats.

I was amazed by its appearance and tested it immediately on water. I intend to buy another set for my other boat because its performance and quality is exceptional. Its stain-resistant feature and construction allow for simple usage and cleaning. You can remove every spill, stain, and dirt by wiping with a damp cloth. Moreover, because it is crafted with heavy-duty vinyl, it is sturdy, thick, and pliable. I love how easy it is to work with this material.

I’ve read other reviews saying that it is not waterproof, and I agree with them. I was once on a trip when a rain shower poured down, causing moisture to seep into my boat seats. It may not be entirely waterproof, but it still offers excellent water and stain resistance. Plus, after coating it with marine sealant, it holds well against heavy rain.

It also features UV resistance with light fastness, meaning its color will not fade. However, its fade resistance is limited to 500 hours. Other than that, its performance is comparable to other expensive marine upholstery supplies.
What We Like
  • Simple usage and cleaning
  • Crafted with heavy-duty vinyl
  • Features UV resistance with a lightfastness
  • Offers excellent water and stain resistance
  • Sturdy, thick, and pliable
What We Don’t Like
  • Color may fade quickly over time
I recommend this to every boater because it is worth the money for aesthetic and functional purposes.

3. Bry-Tech Marine Upholstery Fabric

The Bry-Tech Marine Upholstery Fabric is among my most favorite material to work with because of its outstanding features. It is inexpensive but guarantees high-quality and professional outputs. Let me share with you my take on this fabric.

The product is easy to use and clean. Usually, the vinyl pieces I work with are stiff and not stretchy, but this fabric is different. Wrapping and attaching it to my boat upholstery is simple with staple guns. You can also use outdoor glue if you prefer. For cleaning, all you need is a damp cloth.

It is durable, thick, and stretchy thanks to its premium vinyl composition. While working with this material, I noticed how strong it is because even after a series of pulling and stretching, it remains firm and holds the shape of my boat’s upholstery.

What I love most about this product is that it offers abrasion and flammable resistance. This fabric is bright white, so I am sensitive to scratches and marks. Fortunately, it can stand against intense friction from various elements or movements. I also like that it doesn’t melt after being exposed to extreme heat.

In line with that, it has exceptional waterproof and UV resistance. I already expected that a marine-grade vinyl upholstery fabric should possess this quality, but it exceeds my expectations. It dries up quickly after being soaked in heavy rain, and its color doesn’t fade even when exposed to harsh sunlight for prolonged periods.

However, I noticed that it has a strong odor upon opening. So, I advise you to take it to an open area before you start working with it. If you are not sensitive to smells, this will not be a problem.
What We Like
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Made with premium vinyl
  • Exceptional waterproof and UV resistant
  • Offers abrasion and flammable resistance
  • Durable, thick, and stretchy
What We Don’t Like
  • Noticeable strong odor upon opening
Based on its overall performance, I strongly recommend this product for boaters looking for the best marine vinyl fabric.

4. Marine Vinyl Fabric Marine Upholstery Fabric

Marine Vinyl Fabric is among the best brands producing quality upholstery for boats. Honestly, I was intrigued when I first heard of their name because my friend gave me a good pitch regarding their Marine Upholstery Fabric in white. Most of my pontoon boats are covered with white upholstery, so I gave this a try.

This product is easy to use and clean. My friend told me to use glue to stick it on my boat seats because it makes the fabric stronger than sewing. However, I mixed both stitches and adhesive to ensure security. I also stapled some onto my bench seats. Everything seemed to hold up well since I didn’t have to repair them immediately. You can wipe clean the fabric whenever you need.

It is made with heavyweight polyester materials, making it waterproof, durable, and flexible. Its material allows you to cut and fit the fabric quickly to every boat article. It is indeed workable and saves you time and effort because it repels water exceptionally.

I love this product because it offers excellent scratch and dirt resistance. I find it essential for boat fabrics to provide abrasion and grime resistance, especially those with neutral color because any marking is noticeable. Besides that, it is also protected with an anti-ultraviolet solution that allows the fabric to withstand harsh sunlight.

However, I noticed that creases might be challenging to remove. Some of the spare fabric that I kept in storage from the first time I bought this product, became wrinkled, and I had to straighten it with heat.
What We Like
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Made with heavyweight polyester materials
  • Offers excellent scratch and dirt resistance
  • Protected with Anti-Ultraviolet solution
  • Waterproof, durable, and flexible
What We Don’t Like
  • Creases may be challenging to remove
Regardless of its single downside, I highly recommend this product for boat owners looking for a top-rated marine fabric for boats.

5. VViViD 4336914320 Marine Upholstery Fabric

Are you looking for a boat upholstery fabric? If yes, then check out VViViD Marine Upholstery Fabric in white. When I first saw this material, I thought it was just like the other brands claiming to be built for marine purposes, but I was wrong.

First, it is made with high-quality vinyl that is sufficient to stand against different marine conditions. I like its textured front and polyester back. The faux leather style gives off a natural vibe to my boat, which is enticing for everyone who sees it.

It is durable yet soft and flexible. Its backing supports the overall stability of the film, allowing you to work with it seamlessly. It is also workable, making it easy to install and clean. I finished repairing my pontoon boat in the morning by using marine adhesive for installation and immediately went into the water that evening. Its fabric is also a wipe clean away, so you’ll never have to worry that it may turn into a nasty eyesore.

Next, it has excellent UV and dirt resistance. Based on experience, some of my boats covered with white fabric developed pink spots after several trips under the sun, but this fabric remains white and spotless even after years of use. I also like how dirt doesn’t accumulate quickly on this fabric.

Needless to say, it is waterproof and weatherproof, withstanding intense rain and continuous water backsplash. However, this fabric may be thin for others. My brother used this for his boat and it was torn because of too much stretching during installation.
What We Like
  • Easy to install and clean
  • Made with high-quality vinyl
  • Has excellent UV and dirt resistance
  • Waterproof and weatherproof
  • Durable yet soft and flexible
What We Don’t Like
  • Fabric may be thin for others
Although it falls short in thickness, it is still one of the best fabrics for boat cushions.

6. Payless Fabric Marine Upholstery Fabric

Suppose you are looking for a boat seat upholstery material thicker than regular canvas and intended for marine or outdoor use. In that case, the Payless Fabric Marine Upholstery Fabric might be your answer. When I first heard of this product, I was amazed by their wide color options, but the most striking shade for me was the Dove Gray. It complements well with other colors and is pleasing to the eyes.

Besides that, this fabric is made with high-grade vinyl, which is an ideal material for marine or outdoor use because it is impenetrable by water. It is also equipped with anti-ultraviolet solutions to protect against various outdoor elements.

In line with that, it offers excellent mildew and fade resistance. Normally, molds and mildews will cover my boat seats quickly, but the seats covered with this fabric have no mildew build-up even after a few months of storage. I also noticed that the color doesn’t fade while being exposed to harsh heat and heavy rain. I’ve been using this fabric for three years now, and it still looks new.

In addition, it is favorably both durable and workable, making it easy to install and clean. It only took me a few hours from preparation to installation, and the result was flawless. It has no wrinkles, even in rounded corners. Maintaining the fabric’s cleanliness requires minimal time and effort with a clean damp cloth to wipe away dirt and stains.

For me, its weight is just right, but when my brother tried to install it on his boat, he told me that it is somewhat heavy for him. Other than its weight, he’s satisfied with its performance.
What We Like
  • Easy to install and clean
  • Made with high-grade vinyl
  • Offers excellent mildew and fade resistance
  • Treated with Anti-Ultraviolet and waterproof solutions
  • Durable and tough yet workable
What We Don’t Like
  • Fabric may be heavy for some users
Although there’s a small downside, it is still a commendable marine upholstery material that every boat owner must try.

7. Bry-Tech Marine Upholstery Fabric

I wanted to redo my bass boat’s overall design, and it took me months before I found this Bry-Tech Marine Upholstery Fabric. This boat upholstery material is different from the rest as it features a pleated design, which caught my attention. With this style, I don’t even have to fold the material manually.

This black-colored pleated fabric is easy to use and install. I attached it to my boat seats with a staple gun, and the output is superb. Even my neighbor asked me where I bought this material because it is aesthetically pleasing once installed.

It is made with premium vinyl that is specifically crafted to withstand any circumstances. Due to its construction, it is soft, thick, durable, and pliable. Although it is bulky, I still added cushion and padding to provide additional comfort. These features surely make your life easier, especially when you are installing them alone.

This product is one of the best marine upholstery fabrics not only because of its design but also because it offers excellent water, UV, tear, mildew, and flame resistance. It is rare to find a marine material that provides style and all-around protection, but you can find these features in this product.

However, it has an overpowering smell at first. I still remember the exact odor that filled our house when I opened the box. If you are sensitive to smell, I suggest opening the product outside of your home. Although it disappears after some time, it can still be uncomfortable.
What We Like
  • Easy to use and install
  • Made with premium vinyl
  • Features a pleated design
  • Offers excellent water, UV, tear, mildew, and flame resistance
  • Soft, thick, durable, and pliable
What We Don’t Like
  • Has an overpowering smell at first
Its overall performance will exceed your expectations, especially if you want something that serves its purpose, but is stylish at the same time.

8. Plastex AP-892 Marine Upholstery Fabric

My father wants to redo his boat seat vinyl because he wanted to take my mother on a trip for their anniversary. He asked me for a favor to find a material that will match his modern-themed boat. So, I looked for different options until I found this gray Plastex Marine Upholstery Fabric.

It is made with quality vinyl that has a neutral shade to match any occasion. Plus, once it is installed, it gives off a stylish appearance resembling genuine leather. My father was very pleased with the results, and covered all his boat seats with this fabric.

Further, this product is easy to use. All I did was use an adhesive spray to stick it onto the boat seats. Additionally, it is strong, thick, and stretchy. After several pulls and folds, all seats were covered excellently. Cleaning this fabric is also not a problem. You can use a sponge or soft-bristled brush to scrub the material with mild soap and water. Remember to rinse thoroughly, then wipe off the excess water, and let it dry naturally.

This product also has great waterproof and tear resistance. My father once told me that a typhoon destroyed his boatshed, and his boat was left soaked under the heavy rain. When he returned to check on his vessel, its condition seemed like no rain had passed by! Plus, there are only minimal scratches on unnoticeable parts of the fabric. From that experience, I can say with confidence that it holds up against various elements.

The only downside of this product is that it emits a strong paint smell upon opening. So, I suggest working in a well-ventilated space to get rid of the odor quickly.
What We Like
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Made with quality vinyl
  • Great waterproof and tear resistance
  • Can hold up against various elements
  • Strong, thick, and stretchy
What We Don’t Like
  • Emits a strong paint smell upon opening
For boaters looking for an affordable yet quality looking vinyl, I highly suggest using this fabric.

9. VViViD 4336914342 Marine Upholstery Fabric

When I bought a bowrider from a friend, he suggested that I consider re-upholstering because he stopped caring for his boat several years ago. I immediately looked for a replacement that is identical or at least close enough to its original look. That’s when I found this VViViD Marine Upholstery Fabric.

It is made with excellent-quality vinyl with polyester backing to ensure reliable performance on various surfaces. Although, I’ve read reviews that it looks thin and cheap, that’s not the case, in my experience. It looks like genuine leather and matches my boat’s modern look.

It offers durability, thickness, and flexibility because of its construction. This boat seat material is sturdier than the fabric it was replacing. It doesn’t tear quickly and holds the seats’ shape accordingly. Moreover, it requires simple installation. All I did was use an adhesive spray to install it on my boat seats. For cleaning, wiping the fabric with a damp cloth is all it takes to restore it to its excellent condition.

I like this product because it features great UV, scratch, and grime resistance. I bought this product three years ago, and I haven’t replaced it since then. Sunlight quickly degrades other vinyl, but this fabric withstands extreme sunlight without any sign of fading or deterioration.

I also like that it is waterproof and weatherproof. I don’t have to worry that outside elements, like water splashes and heavy rain will damage my boat seats at any time. Besides, I could economize the moment I used this product because of its low maintenance cost. However, there’s a harsh smell that may take some time to disappear. So, I suggest leaving the fabric in an open area for a particular time before working with it.
What We Like
  • Simple installation and cleaning
  • Made with excellent-quality vinyl
  • Features great UV, scratch, and grime resistance
  • Waterproof and weatherproof
  • Offers durability, thickness, and flexibility
What We Don’t Like
  • The harsh smell may take some time to disappear
Although there’s a small drawback, I still suggest this fabric for boat owners who want faux leather textured marine fabric.

10. USA Fabric Store Marine Upholstery Fabric

My friend suggested the USA Fabric Store Marine Upholstery Fabric in the color of Pacific Blue to match my newly bought deck boat’s theme. I had high expectations because of my friend’s feedback, and indeed, it did not disappoint.

This product is easy to use. Preparation and installation took me only a few hours, and after several stretches and stapling, my boat looks brand new with this high-quality fabric. For cleaning, all you need to do is wipe the dirt or stains using a damp cloth and let it air dry.

It is crafted with standard vinyl, making it water repellent. Like any other boat vinyl upholstery, it is ideal for replacing your marine vessel’s aged seats. This product is sturdy yet soft, allowing you to handle it with ease. Even though it is not as stretchy as other vinyl, it will not quickly tear even if you pull it over your seats’ corners.

Further, it features exceptional mildew and UV resistance. Mildew is common in humid places, and my location is not an exception. Typically, my boat seats will be covered with mildews after a few weeks of storage, but my boats with this fabric remain spotless. All I have to do is wipe away the accumulated dirt, and they’re good as new. Plus, the color doesn’t fade even after extended exposure under the sun.

What I like the most about this product is that it comes with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. If you are not content with the fabric’s performance, you can return it and ask for a replacement. However, in my case, I was satisfied with it and am planning to buy more for future use.
What We Like
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Crafted with standard vinyl
  • Features exceptional mildew and UV resistance
  • Sturdy yet soft
  • Comes with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee
What We Don’t Like
  • Not as stretchy as other vinyl
This quality vinyl is ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. I highly recommend this product for boat owners looking for an excellent but affordable fabric.

11. AquaGuard Marine Upholstery Fabric

I was looking for a boat seat cover material that will match the under-the-water theme of my boat when I saw the AquaGuard Marine Upholstery Fabric in turquoise. This product is intended for marine and outdoor purposes.

Although it took me hours to install this fabric, it is still manageable as I only need to pull and stretch it while stapling its edges to the seats. The cleaning process is hassle-free as all you need is a damp cloth to wipe away stains and dirt.

It is constructed from polyester and polyester blend, making it durable and resilient. In general, it is thick, strong, and supple. I like how easy its high-quality material doesn’t tear down quickly despite stretching and pulling on all sides. However, it might be a little bit bulky when sewing, so make sure you find the correct needle.

Additionally, it is protected with an anti-ultraviolet solution, which allows the fabric to stand against harsh sunlight. I also noticed its exceptional waterproof and abrasion resistance.

I left my boat without any cover idle for an extended period under various elements because I was out of town. When I came back, all I did was clean the seats with soap and water and dried them naturally. After washing, it looks like I didn’t even leave it outside. I have been using this product for several months now, and I don’t see any sign of wear and tear.
What We Like
  • Quick installation and cleaning
  • Constructed from polyester and polyester blend
  • Protected with Anti-Ultraviolet solution
  • Exceptional waterproof and abrasion resistance
  • Thick and strong yet supple
What We Don’t Like
  • Might be a little bit bulky when sewing
This fabric exceeded my expectations, and I want other boat owners to experience the benefits of this affordable and quality boat fabric as well.

12. Mybecca Marine Upholstery Fabric

The Mybecca Marine Upholstery Fabric caught my attention as I was looking for a replacement for my deck’s boat seat fabric. Honestly, I did not include this product in my initial list of options, but it is the only fabric that matches my needs at that time. So, I tried buying one and didn’t expect too much.

Upon receiving the product, I was surprised by the product’s quality. It is soft yet slightly thick and durable. When I tested the fabric by wrapping it around my indoor couch cushion, I found that it didn’t tear quickly even after cutting, stretching, and folding.

This product is very easy to install. All I did was stretch and staple the fabric to hold the seat’s form. You can also sew this fabric if you like. I also didn’t have any problems with cleaning the product once it is installed. You can use a damp cloth to wipe away any dirt or spills.

What stood out for me is its faux leather material, making it ideal as a boat cushion fabric. Faux leather is an excellent alternative for genuine leather, especially if you want to economize. Although other fabric made from the same material looks like a natural leather rip-off, this product begs to differ. It has higher quality than other fabrics with the same material and price.

I also like that it offers high resistance to water, stains, abrasions, and heat. I like how it holds up against various harsh conditions, like extreme sunlight or heavy rain. I also like that this product requires low care and maintenance. It will continue to remain in its peak condition without the need for expensive solutions or cleaners.

However, I noticed that the fabric might be uncomfortable to use during hot weather. You’ll find your legs and thighs sweating if you sit on this fabric at high temperatures. So, I sometimes put a cotton fabric to cover the seats before sitting on them.
What We Like
  • Easy to install and clean
  • Made with faux leather
  • Offers high resistance to water, stains, abrasions, and heat
  • Requires low care and maintenance
  • Soft yet slightly thick and durable
What We Don’t Like
  • Fabric may be uncomfortable to use during hot weather
Regardless of its drawback, I would recommend this product to boat owners as it is indeed value for the money.

13. Sunbrella 0297737 Marine Upholstery Fabric

Sunbrella is among the most popular brands manufacturing outdoor fabric. All of their products are innovative and durable, including their Sunbrella Marine Upholstery Fabric. It is made with Sunbrella acrylic fabric, a special material that provides the finest outdoor fabric performance.

What I love about this product is that it has exceptional UV, fade, and stain resistance. The first time I came across Sunbrella fabric was in 2010, and I’m still using it on some of my boats now. All of my Sunbrella marine fabrics are exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods, but they don’t fade nor deteriorate. They also repel mildew and dirt.

I used this product primarily as my boat interior fabric, and it holds up well, even after many years of use. I also used it as my boat’s bimini, and it looks brand new even after being exposed to various elements. Upon using this product, I can say that it is long-lasting, thick, and workable. I thought it would be difficult to stitch through the fabric because it is thick, but I was wrong. Working with this product is simple as it is soft and medium weight.

You can quickly staple and sew the fabric according to your preference. Additionally, cleaning is simple. All you need to do is wash the fabric with mild soap and lukewarm water and let it dry naturally. You can scrub stubborn stains, but use a soft-bristled brush to avoid damaging the fabric.

I also like that it comes with a 5-year warranty, though I have never used it because the product works excellently. The only downside I noticed about this product is that the fabric is not waterproof. Still, it is water-resistant and dries up quickly.
What We Like
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Made with Sunbrella acrylic fabric
  • Has exceptional UV, fade, and stain resistance
  • Long-lasting, thick, and workable
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty
What We Don’t Like
  • Fabric is not waterproof
Sunbrella fabric is an excellent product to rely on, especially if you want long-lasting pieces for your boats.

14. Usauto Marine Upholstery Fabric

My uncle gave me his old cuddy cabin before his family migrated to another country. I immediately examined it for possible modifications and realized that it was still in excellent conditions, except for its boat seats. The covers were severely mildewed with various stains on them.

I tried all the homemade and commercial mildew removers I could think of, but none effectively restored the seats. So, I decided to replace the seat covering material with the Usauto Marine Upholstery Fabric, made with quality vinyl. I used this product to cover my car seats and still had some leftovers to utilize.

Like other marine vinyl upholstery fabric, this product features simple installation. I used a 3M adhesive instead of staples to cover my boat seats to ensure a smooth overall appearance. I also like how easy it is to clean this fabric. During our first trip with this cuddy cabin, my nephew came along with us, and his muddy boots left several marks on my boat seats. Fortunately, it is easy to clean with a damp cloth.

Moreover, it is designed as a heat-sealable fabric. You can heat seal its edges to ensure that it will not fray over time. It also offers great resistance to UV, abrasions, and water. I’ve been using this product for a year now, and it is still in its best condition.

This product is strong and thick, which makes it ideal for indoor and outdoor reupholstering. However, the fabric is slightly stiff, so it is challenging to fold and shape over corners. Other than that, all is well for this product.
What We Like
  • Simple installation and cleaning
  • Made with quality vinyl
  • Offers great resistance to UV, abrasions, and water
  • Designed as a heat sealable fabric
  • Strong and thick enough
What We Don’t Like
  • Fabric is slightly stiff or not stretchy
This product is cheap but valuable. Thus, I highly suggest this fabric for fellow boaters.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Marine Upholstery Fabric


If you feel like you’re making the wrong decision while choosing the best marine upholstery fabric, you are not alone. When it comes to upgrading a boat’s upholstery, almost all boat owners face this issue. If you want to economize and keep your boat at its best condition, it is essential to keep the following factors in mind.


Most boaters say that time will tell if the material is durable or not. However, in my experience, there’s a way to know if the fabric is long-lasting. I always look at the fabric’s structural layers to determine whether it is sturdy.

Some materials are built with several layers to ensure durability, while others are made to be thin but with construction that resembles those of thick materials. Thus, you should always carefully examine the fabric’s layers and structure.


When buying marine upholstery fabrics, you will certainly come across marine-grade and commercial-grade labels. However, the question is, what’s the difference? I always go for the marine-grade fabric because it is intended to brave against various marine conditions. In contrast, a commercial-grade fabric is mainly made of inferior materials to fit a boater’s tight budget. So, if you prioritize quality, choose marine-grade fabrics


A marine fabric’s overall performance depends on its material. So, it is vital to choose a fabric that is intended for marine purposes, like vinyl. Moreover, a fabric’s resistance to elements and breathability varies from one material to another.


Among the most important factors when choosing marine upholstery fabrics is its waterproof capacity to ensure that you can use it for a long time. If you cannot find a material that is waterproof, go for a fabric that is at least water-resistant.

Resistance to Elements

Choose a marine upholstery fabric that can resist against ultraviolet sunlight, dirt, mildew, and stains. It is important to keep this in mind if you want to prolong your material’s life and ensure its stability. You wouldn’t want to buy a fabric that is good for only one boat trip.

Easy to Clean

Another factor to watch out for is if the fabric is easy to clean. Most marine upholstery fabric I use requires only a damp cloth for cleaning. However, others require scrubbing the material with soap and water. So, if you want to extend your fabric’s life without exerting too much effort, choose wisely.

If you are interested in how to properly clean marine upholstery fabric, please read my articles on the mold removers for boat seats and my guide on the boat vinyl cleaners, they will help you easily clean your boat seat.

The Different Types of Marine Upholstery Fabric

Whenever I go to a marine upholstery shop near me, I always see various marine upholstery fabrics, from artificial leather to polyurethane. However, the most common types of marine material are vinyl and acrylic. Vinyl is sturdier and easier to clean than acrylic, but acrylic is softer. So, choose the right type depending on your needs.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Marine Upholstery Fabric

Many people misunderstand the concept of marine upholstery fabric. Although others may find it a mere boat accessory, it is, in reality, vital to maintain a boat’s overall structure.

  • Aesthetics

Marine upholstery fabric is used primarily to accentuate your boat. Your vessel’s appearance will significantly vary if you are not using a marine fabric. It is expected that your boat’s interior will deteriorate as time passes. Still, if you choose to use such material, you will be able to restore your vessel to its original condition.

  • Protection

Besides your boat’s appearance, another benefit of using a marine upholstery fabric is that it provides protection. It is normal to face various outside elements when traveling on the water. That is why it is crucial to cover your boat’s fragile parts, like the boat seats. You can also protect yourself from getting infected by various bacteria because it is easy to clean your boat.

Honestly, I don’t see any drawback from using marine upholstery fabric other than the additional expenses that it will incur, specifically if you buy several sets of material because you made the wrong choice.

What Is The Best Material For Boat Seats


The best material for boat seats is vinyl, which is the most common for marine upholstery fabric because of its high resistance to water and sunlight. Moreover, it blocks mildews, molds, and dirt from forming on the fabric. Although vinyl is said to be unbreathable during hot weather, most marine vinyl fabric is layered with a breathable lining to let moisture evaporate quickly and enable you to use it comfortably in all seasons.

Which Is Better: Waterproof Or Water-Resistant Marine Upholstery Fabric

Waterproof allows the material to become impenetrable by water and can withstand an intense amount of water. On the other hand, water-resistant means a fabric can repel water but only to a limited volume.

So, if you ask, which is better, waterproof or water-resistant marine upholstery fabric? I would say that waterproof is better than water-resistant because the latter still tends for water to penetrate and damage your upholstery in the long run.

Can I Do DIY Boat Upholstery

It is pretty expensive to depend on a professional if you are working with big projects, so most boat owners choose the do it yourself marine upholstery. Although it is time-consuming, with the proper procedure, materials, and equipment, you can achieve pro-looking marine upholstery.


As a quick brush-up, the best marine upholstery fabric is an excellent way to maintain your boat’s overall appearance and condition. Choose a specifically designed material for marine purposes, like vinyl, which is versatile as you can use it indoors and outdoors. I know how challenging it is to find a suitable fabric, so I hope this review serves as your handy guide.

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