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Getting Your Watercraft Ready for Boating Season

Getting Your Watercraft Ready for Boating Season

Spending time on a boat or other watercraft is going to be a great way for friends and family to spend time together this summer. Let us help you – and your customers – get your boats, pontoons or jet skis ready for the water. Whether items have been stored in a shed or covered at the marina, following these important maintenance steps will ensure a smoother transition into a boating season.

1) Inspect the operating systems

These include the hull and propellers. Check for cracks or holes so you can get these fixed to avoid potential leaks while on the water. Make sure the propeller is properly secured and does not have pitting or cracks. These may cause vibrations during operating the boat and cause damage to seals and bearings.

2) Check the Fuel and Electrical Systems

Inspect fuel hoses, connections and ventilations systems to ensure they are working properly. Check electrical connections for any corrosion and test the battery. Replace any belts or cables that are brittle and check fuel levels for engine oil, power steering and coolant.

3) Repair cracks, tears or scratches

Repair all upholstery, wood or plastic surfaces. Make sure seats, safety padding and dashboards don’t have cuts or nicks. A small tear can harbor mold or other germs and can cause cuts or scrapes to passengers. Repairing or replacing damaged fixtures and seating areas can improve the safety and value of the boat.

4) Review safety precautions

Before you put the boat in the water, always do a complete safety check. Remember lifejackets, a first aid kit, and a fire extinguisher. It’s also good to know where the local emergency numbers are located for the area you are boating.

Extending the Life of Your Investments

Following these simple steps can help make the boating season a lot more enjoyable for you and your passengers. There are other benefits too. Keeping the investment safe and in good shape allows for fewer short-term hassles and offers long-term benefits like increasing the lifetime value of your watercraft.

In addition to making the watercraft look nice and keeping them safe, following these maintenance guidelines can extend the life of your investments. Protecting your property and providing routine maintenance services from sun damage, stains, cuts and tears can keep the cost of major repairs to a minimum and can extend the life of your investment. Applying UV protectant regularly will help prevent sun damage. Scheduling an annual maintenance appointment for seat and vinyl repairs can also ensure the boat is as ready for the water as you are.

Call Surface Repair Services at (515) 276-5453 to schedule an appointment today to get your boats ready for the water. We specialize in boats, yachts, pontoons, jet skis and marine crafts of all types. We’ll come to you. We service upholstery to repair rips and tears. We offer full replacement services on vinyl seating and can replace wood or plastic trim and dashes.

The summer has come and gone leaving memories of fun family times in the sunshine. Maybe you spent your weekends suntanning on your boat or around the campfire making s’mores and enjoying RV living. Whatever your activities, there is sure to be wear and tear on your fun toys. Why not take care of those problems now before you put them away for the winter? If you reupholster your boat or recover the seats in your camper now, you’ll be ahead of the game when it reaches 60 degrees and you’re ready to head out to the water or campground. Plus, you don’t want to risk little critters making their home in the cracks of your seat cushions all winter long.

Whether it’s a small tear or you need a full repair and recover to your leather or vinyl seats, it’s worth it to get it done now. Boat upholstery repair can save you big money, versus replacing all your seating in the future. If you do decide to take this step, it’s important to know all of the facts up front. You need to know that what you’re paying for is worth it and ensure that the material the company is using will last. You might also be wondering why you should leave this task to a professional or if you should attempt it yourself. Lucky for you, that information is spelled out below.

Material:

Boats – Marine Vinyl

Choosing a new material for your boat seat restoration will not only aid in the longevity of your boat but will also change the aesthetic and overall look. There are many materials to choose from that make your boat look its best and that will also have the durability to withstand many summers to come. The best material for boat seats you can use is marine vinyl. Marine vinyl is a waterproof or water resistant fabric that can protect the seating surfaces in your boat from water splashes or dripping. Another aspect of this waterproof material is that it is mold and mildew resistant and is UV protected. There are various brands of marine vinyl that each have their own pros and cons. However, the main difference between marine grade vinyl and standard vinyl that makes all marine upholstery stand out is the additional UV protection to prevent color fading and and the mold and mildew resistance.

Cost

Most of the time, reupholstering is cheaper than completely replacing the seats in your boat. However, the cost will generally depend on a few factors such as the material/fabric that is being used, the number of seats that you are having reupholstered, where you live and the boat reupholstering company that you’re working with. In the industry overall, the price per seat cushion is usally anywhere from $100-$300+, plus the minimum hourly job rate. This is a general estimate and does not reflect any one company.

RV/Campers

Unlike boats which have a clear fabric type that is preferred for the industry of reupholstering the seats, RV and campers seat cushions can be reupholstered with a variety of different fabrics. You can base your decision off of matching your current upholstery or create a whole new look by choosing a different material. Depending on the material you choose, you can also spend as much or as little as you want. There are a few factors you might want to consider before you settle on a fabric for your new seats. One consideration may be if you have children, grandchildren, or pets. These lovable little people and pets can cause more messes than usual and are generally harder on items than adults. If you do travel with kids or pets you might want to consider a more durable fabric such as midweight denim. Yes, denim as in the same fabric as your jeans. Denim is a durable and easy-clean fabric. Another option for you might be microsuede. If you are older, travel alone, or aren’t that worried about seat cushions getting dirty or wearing fast, there is always upholstery fabrics.

Cost

Now for the cost, prices can be all over the board depending on the company and fabric chosen. However, dining cushions or other cushions in your RV and camper can be repaired or redone pretty cheaply. If you want specially upholstered cushions you can run into quite a bit of money being spent.

Replacing your boat seats or RV/camper cushions is one easy way to give your outdoor toys a visual boost! In reupholstering and choosing what you want, you are able to show your own style and personality.

Professional Repair or DIY?

Now, should you complete the boat seat repair or reupholster of the seat cushions on your own or leave it to a professional? It can be a relatively easy skill to reupholster some items such as certain chairs, stools, and other furniture. If you mess up on something like that, it’s generally not too big of a concern and you can start over on your DIY home project. However, when considering big ticket items like reupholstering a boat or an RV, even if it’s just a small repair, we suggest leaving it to the pros and consider an upholstery repair shop. You might spend a little more money, but in the end you will be happier with the outcome. Reupholstering is a craft and takes time to learn.

If you do decide to invest in replacement boat seat covers by way of reupholstery, there are a few things you need to remember to keep your boat or RV in tip top shape for next season. Remember to keep your upholstery clean at all times to ensure a longer life. You should also winterize your boat and cover it in the off-season. You may want to think about storing your RV in a building when not used as well. We hope this article was helpful in your decision on whether or not to repair or reupholster your boat or RV. If you decide to hire a professional shop, Call Surface Repair at (515) 276-5453 for any further questions.