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How Much to Reupholster Boat Seats – Reading This May Help You Save More

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

how much to reupholster boat seats

While there are numerous factors to consider when calculating, according to our research boat upholstery repair cost, the national average in the US ranges between $600 to $3,500. This estimate only takes into consideration the costs paid by boat owners in recent years, 2020 to 2021, to be exact.

The reupholster boat seats cost is dictated by factors like the type of fabric or grade of vinyl, your location, the repair service you work with, and the number of seats. Read on to know how much to reupholster boat seats and how most boaters penny-pinch when reupholstering their vessels’ seats.

Expect To Pay More If You Choose A Full Reupholstering Job

Marine-grade boat seat upholstery typically connotes high-quality, long-lasting materials like vinyl, polyester, and artificial leather. Most use vinyl and, naturally, they’re not cheap. Reupholstered boat seats tend to cost more than their dining room chair counterparts if done by a professional for this reason.

In an answer to the topic on the Asking Lot website, the reupholster boat seats price per square yard of vinyl fabric is between $40 to $60. It also uses a layback seat job using existing hardware as an example. The entire service cost only ranges between $600 to $1,200 since it didn’t involve purchasing any new equipment.

According to a 2021 discussion on Cruisers Forum, opting for a complete replacement of upholstery and cushions cost one boater exactly $3,500. They also noted that since fabrics vary in price, this total could increase or decrease based on that one aspect. Of course, this is always relative to the number of seats on board.

Take Note Of Factors That Increase Price Variability


For one, in the US, professional reupholstering services charge by the hour., a blog run by an avid boater who has done several reupholstering jobs in the past, stated that professional services charge at least $80 per hour. This is especially true for projects where you want plenty of seat customizations and generally high-value boats over $8,000.

On the other hand, according to, hourly rates can go from as low as $55 per hour to $150 per hour. They’ve also prepared a helpful table for every kind of reupholstering job for seats you may avail of with its respective average cost. One caveat, though: their figures haven’t been updated since 2018, so expect these costs to be a little higher now.

Incidentally, Begin Boating has also noted that marine vinyl prices can dip from $20 to $15 for every yard. Some other types of specialty vinyl can balloon that figure to $100 per yard. If you want to dive deeper into what factors and steps dictate reupholstering cost, with a sample invoice.

Damage Will Bump The Price Further

If there are any damages present due to mildew, UV rays, or the elements, this also adds up to the total expenses. After all, the professional upholstery service may need to refurbish the seat first before proceeding with it. Either that or you can take care of the damage yourself, which should require a vinyl repair kit.

With all things considered, these facts should give you an idea of why there’s so much variability when determining the average cost to reupholster a boat. The cost to reupholster pontoon boat seats can be entirely different from the cost of a johnboat’s simply because the latter has fewer vinyl seats to accommodate. And that’s obviously just one factor.

How Much To Reupholster Boat Seat & A Couple Of Proven Tips To Save Money


1. Consider doing some of the steps yourself.

For instance, you can take the time to remove the current upholstery already, which could help decrease service expenses. If you’re recovering boat seats, you can do the initial step of cleaning any tears yourself using rubbing alcohol, for example.

We’re confident that decreasing the required workload will make you more likely to cut costs when dealing with a professional repair service. Do take note that this kind of prep work does require a standard vinyl repair kit.

Here is the detailed guide to reupholstering boat seats for your reference.

2. Choose a cheaper but no less marine-ready fabric.

Yes, this may seem obvious, but it still has to be said. In fact, you don’t even have to sacrifice or forgo vinyl altogether.

For instance, did you know that there are marine fabrics available that aren’t completely made of vinyl? They choose to combine vinyl with other viable materials like polyester, for example. This way, you still maintain or even increase the durability of the upholstered seats.

3. Prioritize local family-owned upholstery shops.

Another great tip from The Pricer involves looking for family-owned upholstering services in your area. Not only do they offer various customization options but they tend to have lower rates, too. It’s a given that you’ll do careful research, but it does pay off to be on the lookout for these kinds of stores due to their economic benefits.

4. Opt for cheaper yet still top-notch services abroad.

There are many high-quality craftsmen and specialty upholsterers in other countries with far more reasonable rates than in the States. Keep this in mind if you’re planning a trip abroad. This is proven in the same above-mentioned Cruisers Forum discussion, where a UK-based boater paid for the full reupholstering of a 42-foot boat for only $1,800.


Ultimately, if you’re aiming for close to perfect results in your boat upholstery, we can’t ignore the value of professional services in this regard. Costs can be summed up by these two points:

  • You let the shop do all the upholstering plus extra work and take the most expensive route.
  • Or, you stick to your specific requirements and avail of the exact services to fulfill them. This, along with the tips we shared here, can save you thousands of dollars.

Hope you have found the answer to the question “How Much to Reupholster Boat Seats” after reading this article. If you like or have something to share, do not hesitate to comment below this article. I would love to hear about your experience.

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