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OK, I'm redoing the seats in my Javelin R20.  The ones in it a fairly plain Jane but have lasted 20 years and actually still look presentable, just showing their age and sun damage.  I'm considering dressing them up a little, maybe pleating the cushions and backs and a few other fancy details.  My problem is, I know for every seam I add, I add an additional place to cause early seam failures.  The other problem is I don't store under a shelter, just a canvas cover.

For those that have or have had boats with pleated seats or seats with a lot of extra stitching etc, how did they hold up over time. 

It's not like it's a lot of money (about $50) and a days time, but even at that, I don't really care to do all this work and it look like crap in a couple of years.  Six to ten years I can live with, but I've seen some mighty bad looking seats in boats that were less than five years old.  Which I know a lot has to do with the quality of materials used, and I'm using high grade vinyl and thread.   

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My boat is 10 years old.  It was kept under a carport for the last 3 years I've had it, I don't know how the previous owner stored it.  Based on how it looked when I bought it, I'd say it was either carport or boat cover kept. 3 of the of the seams on each chair are breaking, due to the stitching starting to dry rot.  I am actually planning on getting them both redone next week.

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My 30 year old Ranger has pleated seats and they are still in great shape, nothing is coming apart. The boat has been garage kept it’s entire life. The sun has taken its toll on the gel coat, but you could never tell how old the seats were from just looking at them. I’d have to say that how the boat is stored will determine how long your upholstery will hold up. 

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My 20 year old boat has been cover stored only and the seats still look great. Seams are fine.

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A regular, generous coating of a UV inhibitor such as Armorall will go a long way to keep the material and pleats from getting sun burned.

 

You can also cover the seats with a tarp when the boat is not in use.

 

Somehow I believe you already know this.

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Actually, I've never used any kind of protectant on vinyl.  A high quality, marine grade vinyl and polyester thread should not need any, plus I think chemicals in a lot of those actually cause the vinyl to dry out and crack worse.  I do keep a good quality cover on it when not in use but the tops of the seats have gotten a large brown area and is getting very hard and dry. 

Having bought, sold and traded probably over 100 boats in the past 60 years and also doing a little trading in vehicles and restoring several old classic cars, I found it smarter to buy and commercial, walking foot sewing machine and learn to do my own upholstery many years ago, rather than pay someone to do it.

For a number of years I was using an old metal gear Singer, home machine.  Then I bought a Consew 226 back about 1980 and I bought (stole) a like new, Consew 255RB-1 at auction about 10 years ago for almost nothing  and have just kept them both.  Over the years, I've actually gotten pretty good at upholstery, since I only have to satisfy myself, and sometimes the wife with a piece of furniture, makes things a lot easier. 

I'll post some pictures when done.  I'm still on the fence with the idea of making them look a little better or just go back like they were.  I was just checking and I don't have enough sewfoam to do both seats if I change them, which means I would have to order more and wait another week, and the wife is wanting the sewing machine and all my junk out of the din where I'm working on them. 

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What tends to break boat seat cushion seams is using the seat for a step. If your center seat is used as a step from the back deck to the cockpit, that seat bottom shouldn't have a lot of seams. Otherwise passenger and operator boat seat seams last a long time with normal cleaning and care.

Tom

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15 hours ago, Way2slow said:

Actually, I've never used any kind of protectant on vinyl.  A high quality, marine grade vinyl and polyester thread should not need any, plus I think chemicals in a lot of those actually cause the vinyl to dry out and crack worse.  I do keep a good quality cover on it when not in use but the tops of the seats have gotten a large brown area and is getting very hard and dry.

Did you ever stop to think your problems are a direct result of your first statement?;)  Not putting anything that has moisturizers and UV protection on your seats most definitely shortens the life and also allows the stitching to rot.   Ranger recommends 303 for the seats, that's what I use and my seats look brand new in a 2005.  You also have to be very careful on what cleaners you use because they will dry out the vinyl.  Armor All was responsible for the drying and cracking of many, car seats and dashboards and boat interiors through the years and it will never touch my vehicles or boat.  I would hope they have changed their formula and is now safe but I won't take the chance.  

 

 

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Armor-All is one of those I was referring that I would not put on vinyl.  I use 303 on my wife's VW Convertible canvas top but you can find dozens of post on people having their vinyl seats tearing up in less than five years that used 303 on them.

As for my seats, I think 20 years for a boat that lived it's first five years outside in Phoenix AZ, and the next 14 under a canvas cover in GA, never has seen a shelter, my seat have done extremely well.  Other than one small section, the seams are not coming apart and there are no rips or tears in the vinyl. 

If it wasn't for the fact it only coast me about $40 for one piece of vinyl I had to buy and I can do the work myself, they are not bad enough I would pay someone to recover them.

That's one of the nice parts about being able to do just about any and everything yourself (actually I've never had anyone fix something of mine that was not under warranty).  You can do stuff because you want to and not have to wait until you have to, and then pay through the nose for someone to do it. 

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4 hours ago, WRB said:

What tends to break boat seat cushion seams is using the seat for a step. If your center seat is used as a step from the back deck to the cockpit, that seat bottom shouldn't have a lot of seams. Otherwise passenger and operator boat seat seams last a long time with normal cleaning and care.

Tom

Bingo!

 

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My center seat is removable and still brand new.  It normally sits on a shelf in the garage so no way its going to get stepped on.  The lid on the drink cooler between the seats is the step. 

The biggest problem I have with passengers is my boat is a dual console and they are always wanting to grab the windshield the get out of the seat, even though I have handles on the side of the consoles just for that purpose.

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From Autogeek where I get a lot of my top end detailing products.  I buy 303 by the gallon.  

 

Unbeatable UV protection. 303 Aerospace Protectant has a SPF of 40, the most UV protection offered by any surface protectant. It will prevent drying, cracking, and fading caused by overexposure to the sun. It was originally formulated for aerospace and aviation applications, machines that come much closer to the sun than your vehicle. 303 Aerospace Protectant is the single most effective protectant on the market.

Stain resistant. 303 Aerospace Protectant repels water and dirt, and resists stains. Treated surfaces require less cleaning and will remain in like-new condition. It restores the original finish to vinyl, rubber, plastic, acrylic, finished leather, and fiberglass. 303 is never oily or greasy.

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21 hours ago, TOXIC said:

From Autogeek where I get a lot of my top end detailing products.  I buy 303 by the gallon.  

 

Unbeatable UV protection. 303 Aerospace Protectant has a SPF of 40, the most UV protection offered by any surface protectant. It will prevent drying, cracking, and fading caused by overexposure to the sun. It was originally formulated for aerospace and aviation applications, machines that come much closer to the sun than your vehicle. 303 Aerospace Protectant is the single most effective protectant on the market.

Stain resistant. 303 Aerospace Protectant repels water and dirt, and resists stains. Treated surfaces require less cleaning and will remain in like-new condition. It restores the original finish to vinyl, rubber, plastic, acrylic, finished leather, and fiberglass. 303 is never oily or greasy.

Next week I am getting my driver and passenger seats re-upholstered so I'll have to get some of this to protect it in the future. 

 

BTW, I know nothing about upholstry.  Any clue what to expect as far the price to redo the seats? They look almost exactly the same as the ones pictured above. I'm not going with  anything fancy, just one color and no designs on the fabric.

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Don't have a clue on cost, I've always done my own, but you can bet it won't be cheap

You might want to check into  Wise seat,  https://wiseseats.com/collections/pro-angler-series.  They have several different lines you can look at

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So much for that days work.  I found out those injection molded bucket seats are a total pain in the butt.  My one day job turned into 2 1/2  days, and that was doing them back to the way they were made.  Just finished bolting them back in the boat. 

Now it looks like I may be doing another recliner

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Took longer than you expected but probably saved yourself a chunk of money and have the satisfaction of being able to handle it yourself. How did they turn out?

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Like this. 

The bottom one is what they looked liked.  I had already pulled the back and cushion out and recovered them for both seats before thinking about taking the picture.  They were still good, just cruddy looking like the bucket part.  The sun reflecting off some of the stitching makes them look like they are showing, but it doesn't really look like that.  They look fine.

Like I said, they were still very serviceable, just looked like crap.

I had just finished installing the vinyl on this one, after some warm sun warms it up some, it will smooth on out.

That's my wood fired oven in the background. Gooood pizza's and breads.

 

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They turned out great. I like the oven. Looks like it's a pretty good sized one. I've been thinking about doing one for a couple years but haven't yet pulled the trigger. How bad was it to build?

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oven.jpg.c1e8df9a0e7d8267fa8444626518bcac.jpg

Like most everything else I do, it's somewhat of a high end professional style. I was originally going to build it with refractory bricks but getting to fit right I was going to cut almost every one twice.  I was not going to just put mortar between them to hold them at the proper angles.  To limit build cost I reduced my design from 42"ID to 36"ID.  Then I looked at Forno Bravo's and went with an industrial grade castable refractory and built it modular like theirs to reduce the chance of cracking.  Half way through casting the second section, it dawned on me I had planed on going back to the original 42" size but I was already on my fourth bag of refractory, and at $70 a 55 pound bag, ( I think I used 18 bags) I was not willing to trash what I had done, and start over. 36" is a small as I would want.  It's large enough most of the time but still wish it was 42", that leaves more room for the fire and your larger pizzas are not so close where you have to be very careful about burning the edge.   Also if cooking 16" pizzas, you can only do one at the time.  That's the reason my stand is approx. 6', I could have made it smaller for the 36" but it was for the 42".

It's cast in four sections with 3" thick wall, and 2 1/2" floor which is in five sections.  There is a layer of 2200 degree insulating fire brick under the floor (hearth) and the concrete slab it's sitting on.  The IFB are sitting on a 1" raised island on the slab to ensure no water could possible get to the IFB and also something to fasten the metal lath for the stucco that covers it.  The oven is insulated with four layers of 1" thick 8# fiber blanket 2/3 the way up and 5" the rest of the way over the top. ( pretty close to 100 sqft) Then it's covered with metal lath, then a stucco scratch coat, a brown coat and then a hard coat with a two rows of tile to add some design trim.

The stand is built with 2x2 angle approx. 6' square with a 3 1/2" thick concrete slab, highly reinforced with 5/8" rebar all welded together.  I wrapped it in 3/4" plywood, felt paper, metal lath and stucco like the oven.  I use the stand for wood storage so I put a divider in the middle put arched openings on both ends.

Fired for 18 hours at over 1200 degrees curing the refractory, the bottom of the slab only reached 160 degrees and the top of the dome 130 degrees.  The sides of the dome were only 117 degrees.

The benefit of being modular and high grade refractory is I can build a massive fire in it and have it ready to cook in an hour and after almost a year, there are no cracks, not even a small one.

The IFB can not get wet, nor can the insulating blankets so I put a metal roof over it, just to make sure no water got to it.

The propane tank in the first one is for the torch I use to light the wood. 

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You definitely don't screw around. That is a nice one for sure.  I've not worked with refractory cement. Were you able to create a form for one side then trowel the cement in or did you create a mold and then pour it?  It sounds like you went all out and it was a well thought out build. It also sounds like it's working as planned given the 1000 degree temp difference between inside and out. Very nice work. 

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I will answer this with a PM since this is supposed to be for boats and not WFO's.  I can give you some good info if you plan to build one.

I should also mention something I forgot in the PM.  The oven is only part of the work.  What you don't see is all the other work building the oven generated.  The concrete counter top to the side of it or the 12'x36' concrete slab I had to pour for a patio the wife insisted on to mate up to it, and the flower beds around the patio.

Then there's the log splitter I had to build and a 3'x10' lean too to keep my un-split wood dry so it doesn't rot. 

Now I trying to decide on a fire pit or a fire place, gotta have one of those.

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Wow, you never know what you'll learn when you open a thread. Boat seat covers to wood fired ovens. I love this place. And that oven is awesome. 

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