How Much Does Boat Upholstery Repair Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 14, 2018

Boat upholstery refers to the material that covers the seats on a boat, and if you recently bought a used boat that has older seats, or if the upholstery is worn out due to the weather, you may be considering getting the seats reupholstered to create a newer appearance.  Reholstering, most of the time, will be much cheaper than buying new seats.

IMG_9580 by Chadsci, on Flickr
IMG_9580” (CC BY 2.0) by  Chadsci

How much does boat upholstery repair cost?

The cost of reupholstering boat seats will depend on the material/fabric being used, the number of seats, where you live and company doing the job.  Overall, the price per seat cushion is usually around $100 to $300+.  Shops will always have a minimum hourly and job rate, which usually starts at $55 per hour and can be as high as $150.  Refer to our table below to see what most jobs can cost you.

However, the price increases as the workload of the job require more than just changing a set cover.  On a forum thread at Thehulltruth.com, for instance, a forum member said an upholstery job that included two bolsters, a leaning post seat, seat back, and the two small back cushions can cost $1,000 to $2,000.

A forum member on iBoats.com said he just came back from the upholsterer and was charged $1,100 for four-seat bottoms, the sun deck and the bench back.

Indycovers.com, a family owned boat upholstery service, for instance, offers an estimate for layback seat panels that use the same seat frames, foam and hardware (if they are still usable) at $290 each.  A sample upholstery job for layback seats, complete with new frames (using existing hardware and seat box), is priced at $345 each, according to the company’s website.

Part of the BoatAverage Price
24" x 24" seat/back$100
24" x 36" seat/back$150
24" x 48" seat/back$200
24" x 60" seat/back$250
24" x 96" seat/back$300
front sleeper lounge$150
flip flop seat back$100
arm rest with cup holder$100
captains chair with arms$500
captains chair with or without arms,$600
24" x 24" sink base$200
24" x 8 or 8.5 foot rear deck pad$250 per piece
bolster seat$450
lounge seat$550
engine cover$350
bass boat pedestal seat without/with back$100
bass boat deck pad$400
bass boat full width seat back$400
jet ski seats$600
pontoon deck replacement$1,000



Boat upholstery repair overview

The estimates mentioned above will include the fabric, labor charges and supplies.  To confirm your job, most companies will ask for at least a 50 to 85 percent down deposit, which of course, will be applied to your final job.  Before a job begins, you will discuss what reupholstering, the colors, the fabric, carpet and designs you want.

A professional, when reupholstering your boat fabric, will use a marine vinyl with an “hour” guarantee against Ultraviolet resistance.  The higher this number is, the longer it’s rated to withstand the harmful sun UV rays.  Most fabric will have, at a minimum, 1,000 hours or so.

What are the extra costs?

Most marine-quality fabric can cost about $40 to $60 per square yard without professional help.  Generally, the more expensive the material, the more protection it will provide and the longer it will last.  Higher-quality fabrics, if you were to want it, would cost more.

Some professionals can rebuild a seat if it were to have a structural problem for an additional fee.

If you do decide to reholster the entire boat, some professionals may often recommend installing a new stereo and speakers at the time since the wires will easily be accessible.  While optional, if you do choose to install a new stereo system, this can be an additional cost to consider.

Tips to know:

Always make sure to keep your boat upholstery clean at all times.  This will ensure a longer life for your upholstery.  You should also cover your boat when not in use and winterize it in the off-season.

Lakeside Canvas recommends reholstering the entire boat as piecing together one seat at a time can cost much more in the long run due to the time involved; plus, the colors, when the project is done, may not match as you envisioned.  It can also help in the future because, once one seat starts to wear, there’s a good chance the rest of the fabric will follow.

How can I save money?

Before signing up for an upholsterer, do some legwork and research different fabric suppliers.  According to experts, the prices for exterior fabrics used for marine applications only vary by a couple dollars per yard, contrary to what most upholsterers say to their clients.  Once you have done some research, look for a family-owned upholstery shop that does custom work.  This is because the family-owned businesses are known to offer considerably lower prices than commercial upholsterers.

Don’t go with the first estimate you received.  When using any professional, always try to get as many quotes possible to see what kind of price range you’re working with.


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Average Reported Cost: $3800

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  1. Erik (tempe,  Arizona) paid $3800 and said:

    Erick

    Was it worth it? Yes

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