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Old 09-02-2017, 06:09 PM   #1
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Marine upholstery fabric choices

I'm starting down the road of re-upholstering my boats interior cushons.

The issue at hand is what material to use.

The application is all indoors. two settes, and the helm seat.

The interior of the boat is dry of course, but we do boat in a very rainy enviroment. We also have dogs and keeping them off the furniture is not a viable option.

What I want is something durable. I do not want a dog claw to ruin my hard work. I also want some spill resistance. It's not like we spill stuff on the cushons, I just would not like a small spill to ruin a cushon.

What would you use? Vinyl or fabric? Which material? Cost is not really an issue but a fabric that is fairly to work with is. I have even considered leather because of its durability, but gosh the stuff is plenty tough to work with, and it has no elastic properties at all.
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Old 09-02-2017, 06:20 PM   #2
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Sunbrella now has a broader line of fabrics including stuff more suitable for interior furniture. I know a couple of people who are very happy with it.
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Old 09-02-2017, 06:24 PM   #3
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One word......Scotchguard........and take the time to spray the
upholstery with several coats and let it dry between coats.
I used this on my yacht upholsteryfor many years and never had a stain that didn't sponge off.
Dogs are something else, all I can think off is to go for a flatter material without raised stitching that would catch on their claws. I guess it also depends on whether you have Great Danes or Chihuahuas.
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Old 09-02-2017, 07:04 PM   #4
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go to Sailrite - Fabric, Canvas, and Sewing Machines Since 1969

they offer everything you need. knowledge, materials, machines.

Awesome site. Seriously.
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Old 09-02-2017, 07:14 PM   #5
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Sunbrella. Preferably in a color near matching the dogs' hair color if they are shedders.

To clean use Woolite.

Then add 303.

If your dogs are big
scratchers, all bets are off.

Oh,...and a small beater bar vacuum.

Works for our yellow lab.
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Old 09-02-2017, 07:33 PM   #6
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Hmmm

Lots of people like Sunbrella


Here's a couple of photos of my interior now
As you can see the seats are vinyl.
The salon cushons are in really good shape. The helm seat needs re-done, and the pilothouse cushons are starting to crack a bit as well.






Here's a photo of the Sunbrella sheer curtains

I was thinking of using this fabric


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Old 09-02-2017, 07:40 PM   #7
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How long have the current coverings lasted? If you like what you have is there good reason to go with something different? Maybe it`s time for a change/redecorate, but if not, worth considering.
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Old 09-02-2017, 07:48 PM   #8
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How long have the current coverings lasted? If you like what you have is there good reason to go with something different? Maybe it`s time for a change/redecorate, but if not, worth considering.
The boat is 16 years old and the cushions are OEM.

I was thinking of doing the pilothouse cushons this fall/winter and deciding on the salon later since the cushions there are in good shape.

The helm seat really needs re-upholstery.
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Old 09-02-2017, 09:44 PM   #9
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I would use a Sunbrella fabric. They make lots of furniture grade fabrics now. The last very well, are easy to sew and are softer than the exterior canvas grade.
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Old 09-03-2017, 12:12 AM   #10
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A timely thread.
We are in the process of choosing a new interior upholster fabric too. Our present cushion covering is less than 10 yrs old. We had it professionally sewn but ordered the fabric on line. It is navy blue and it very quickly became evident that it was not tolerant of sunlight. Ours has been the boat with the curtains drawn since that realization, and now, with fading being the only defect, we will be replacing it this winter. I don't know how you can guarantee that the fabric will not fade, other than by choosing a much lighter colour, so that may be what we do.
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Old 09-03-2017, 12:57 AM   #11
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That is why I like Sunbrella, it is solution dyed and doesn't fade.
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Old 09-03-2017, 01:20 AM   #12
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I switched from vinyl to ultra leather and love it. I don't know how it would hold up to dogs though.
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Old 09-03-2017, 01:48 AM   #13
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My 2005 Catalina 400 has the OEM Ultra Leather cushions. They were off white and held up amazingly well. We are beginning to think about replacing the fabric in our North Pacific (won't be soon) and my wife keeps mentioning how much she likes the ultra leather in the Catalina. It is cool in the summer and not cold in the winter. Cleans well and has stood up to all the abuse I can give it.
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:02 AM   #14
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A timely thread.
We are in the process of choosing a new interior upholster fabric too. Our present cushion covering is less than 10 yrs old. We had it professionally sewn but ordered the fabric on line. It is navy blue and it very quickly became evident that it was not tolerant of sunlight. Ours has been the boat with the curtains drawn since that realization, and now, with fading being the only defect, we will be replacing it this winter. I don't know how you can guarantee that the fabric will not fade, other than by choosing a much lighter colour, so that may be what we do.
Keith

We'll be at the Ganges Marina docks on Monday afternoon. Our Sunbrella interior cushions have held up very well, call and come have a look.
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:53 AM   #15
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We have ultra suede in our Navigator's pilot house. This fabric cleans easily, is comfy to sit on and dog hair vacuums off easily! I am a big fan.
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Old 09-03-2017, 07:28 AM   #16
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"The interior of the boat is dry of course, but we do boat in a very rainy enviroment. We also have dogs and keeping them off the furniture is not a viable option.

What I want is something durable. I do not want a dog claw to ruin my hard work. I also want some spill resistance. It's not like we spill stuff on the cushons, I just would not like a small spill to ruin a cushon."


What ever you chose create it as removable cover s so the can be washed.

Even just a sit down with a sea water wet bathing suit needs to be washed out.
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:18 AM   #17
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Sunbrella now has a broader line of fabrics including stuff more suitable for interior furniture. I know a couple of people who are very happy with it.
Sunbrella is a sponsor of Ship Shape TV. They are constantly on the show doing projects on boats. They make hundreds of different fabrics, not just boat canvas. I would look no further than Sunbrella.

They have an extensive website and they have designers. I don't know if they offer personal design services or not but I'm sure they could refer you to someone local who can give you professional design options and do the work if you're not planning on doing it yourself.
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:22 AM   #18
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A timely thread.
We are in the process of choosing a new interior upholster fabric too. Our present cushion covering is less than 10 yrs old. We had it professionally sewn but ordered the fabric on line. It is navy blue and it very quickly became evident that it was not tolerant of sunlight. Ours has been the boat with the curtains drawn since that realization, and now, with fading being the only defect, we will be replacing it this winter. I don't know how you can guarantee that the fabric will not fade, other than by choosing a much lighter colour, so that may be what we do.
Sunbrella guarantees many of their fabrics against fading. On a recent episode of Ship Shape TV they showed a jar of samples that had been soaking in bleach for weeks.
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:26 AM   #19
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As mentioned above, Scotch Guard creates spill resistance. You can buy it in a spray can and apply it yourself. I bought some chairs for my home and paid the extra $50 for Scotch Guard. I looked through the warehouse door and could see the guy spraying them with a garden sprayer.

They have held up well for over ten years.

Back to the boat, a fabric with a pattern rather than a solid color will minimize the appearance of any spills or damage from the dogs. Or even dog hair.
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:36 AM   #20
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There are three choices from my perspective. They are Sunbrella, Ultrasuede and Ultra Leather. Sunbrella makes some very nice fabrics. I have had Sunbrella in my sailboat for 15 years and the chushions still look as good as new. I have Ultrasuede on the power boat because I wanted a more "plush" feel. They are still in near perfect condition after 7 years.
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