After all those high speed, sun soaked times out on the water this season, do your jet ski seats need a refresh? If your seats look brittle and cracked you can reupholster them following our latest how-to tutorial. We’ll show you two different methods of seat re-upholstery as we recover the seats on a 3 person PWC.
On our personal watercraft, the back seat had vinyl molded to the foam. Instead of trying to remove the foam we just added a new layer of vinyl on top of the old. On the front seat, the vinyl was not molded to the foam, so we removed the old vinyl and completely replaced it. The construction methods for both seats were also a little different. To create a tight fit on the contours of the back seat, we sewed multiple fabric panels together to mimic the shape of the seat. For the front seat, we let the fabric contour more loosely over the seat. Since PWC seat styles can vary greatly, you can take the principles from these two methods and apply them to your seat recovery project.
We chose to use Allsport 4-Way Stretch Vinyl for this project. This material is perfect for personal watercraft seats because it’s stretchable, pliable, durable and easy to clean. The 360-degree, 4-way stretch of this vinyl makes it easy to pattern and upholster with as well. Even though the fabric is easy to stretch, it’s still a good idea to have at least one other person to help you pull the vinyl snugly while stapling it in place.
When upholstering with vinyl, it’s a good idea to use staples with a 1/2” crown. The crown of the staple is the flat part that you see when it’s installed. The 1/2” crown is thicker than traditional staples. Vinyl has a tendency to want to rip through staples so these higher crown staples will hold the vinyl better without ripping.
In this video you will learn how to pattern and sew panels for a contoured seat, pull and staple the vinyl, replace corner patches, and recover a handle bar.
- • Vinyl (we used Allsport 4-Way Stretch Silver Met Vinyl)
- • V-92 polyester thread
- • Stainless steel staples
- • HH-66 Vinyl Cement
You can find all the materials needed to recover your personal watercraft seats at www.sailrite.com.
Have you ever re-upholstered a PWC seat? Share your tips and advice with us in the comments!