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Old 01-21-2022, 03:15 PM   #1
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Boat cushion upholstery cost?

My wife wants to have our bed cushions and pilothouse cushions re-upholstered so I took a couple to a trim shop for a quote. I was gi9ven a quote of $1,000 EACH CUSHION!!, so $5,000 total. This seems waaay out of the ballpark for work like this. I used to be a sailmaker and know what is required. Thios quote makes no sense. Is this gouging?
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Old 01-21-2022, 03:35 PM   #2
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I look for upholstery shops that are not in the Marine or auto business. You do need to be careful and spec the materials out like plastic zippers and sunbrella or ultra leather. I find the price drops by over half the price.
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Old 01-21-2022, 03:35 PM   #3
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If you have experience making sails why not look for a walking foot machine and DIY? A little practice on smaller projects would get you familiar.
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Old 01-21-2022, 04:45 PM   #4
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Prices for that kind of work have always been high (you know, boats...), but lately it's even worse. Completely unreasonable in my opinion, but that's the ballpark lately. We had one done last summer (well, last year, took six months from the time we dropped it off to the time we picked it up). It was kind of odd shaped, about seven feet long, 18" wide with a big curve. It's a bench that runs along the side and front of the upper helm seating area. Well, here's a photo, so you can see what I'm talking about. Cost about $750. Of course it does have that colored stripe and we did have them duplicate the stripe. Would have been cheaper if we let them skip the stripe. I am really thinking about trying to do it myself and buying a walk-foot machine. One bench and I could buy a used Sailrite machine.
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Old 01-21-2022, 05:02 PM   #5
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If you have experience making sails why not look for a walking foot machine and DIY? A little practice on smaller projects would get you familiar.
I'm in the middle of a full electronics refit and have little band width for another project. And, after 13 years sails and canvas work I shouldn't practice on 'smaller projects'.
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Old 01-21-2022, 05:30 PM   #6
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Buy a sailrite m/c. Your an ex sailmaker, You should have no problem. Sailrite even have dozen's of "How To" videos. I've done my own stuff, savings are huge.
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Old 01-21-2022, 05:40 PM   #7
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Cost of Cushions

Having been down this road before I can confirm the costs of reupholster and even new cushions are high. Standby a few days and I'll let you know the quote for a few items we are working for our little Sandpiper (day sailor). We visited Jeddy our interior decorator person used on our last four trawlers and walked away nervous....

I'll look for a receipt when we replaced all cushions, carpet and window coverings on N3522. I want to say it was $10K about seven years ago.

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Old 01-21-2022, 05:52 PM   #8
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What does that price include? Was it for all new fabric including foam?

We've spent $500 this past year on high quality foam from the Foam Factory for foam for our V-berth cushions and the ass-end part of out PH and dining settee cushions. We're cutting the foam to fit the old material. I don't have a hard time believing that price could be that much for a quality job and quality materials.

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Old 01-21-2022, 06:35 PM   #9
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Yep, find a non-marine shop. I got quotes to make pfifertex window covers for our boat - $2500 just for labor. Found an upholstery shop at home (Jackson, MS) to make them for $350. I supplied the material and had the old covers for them to copy (they were badly faded). She did a beautiful job. I applied the snaps to match the studs on the boat so I could get them stretched and taught. They are not in the photo to your left.
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Old 01-21-2022, 06:51 PM   #10
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We are having all new canvas and seat upholstery on our new boat. For the 10 seat cushions it is $6,000. They are using Sunbrella Horizon vinyl which has a warranty against pinking. There will be an accent strips in the seat backs but not as complex stripes as Formula did originally, we prefer a simpler cleaner look. They gave a break on the upholstery work since they were doing the canvas work at the same time. This is the best shop in our area and do really nice work. I used to do all the canvas work and have a great Sailrite sewing machine but the arthritis in my fingers wonít let me do this big a project anymore.
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Old 01-21-2022, 07:08 PM   #11
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Based upon my personal experience, "as much as they can get".
They will look at the size of your boat plus the difficulty of the work.
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Old 01-21-2022, 08:55 PM   #12
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We had ours done at an auto upholstery shop. Marine canvas specialty shops are grossly overpriced.
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Old 01-21-2022, 11:30 PM   #13
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I bought a used Sailrite and just learned. The cost was so outrageous I figured I could by the equipment and materials, dedicate some amount of time to learn, save thousands and then spend that money on electronics. Which is what I did. And I still have a Sailrite that has gone way up in value.

But I do understand the bandwidth. But for the cost I just increased my bandwidth by lowering my time expectation.

I made all the cushions, just got done with 6 of 11 window covers and am nearly done with windlass cover. I probably spent $1500 on all equipment and materials (still have tons of materials) and have probably 20-25 man hours learning and doing. But the savings paid for my Garmin package and then some. In fairness though..all of my interior cushions were the simple box cushions. Each one took about 2-3 hours.
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Old 01-22-2022, 07:08 AM   #14
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In my experience, any sewing/upholstery work from a marine shop costs approximately wtf?!? dollars.
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Old 01-22-2022, 07:15 AM   #15
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Going through this now.
New foam and reshaping for lounge, dinette and bench seat in wheelhouse.
Doing it in cream leather

Some mobs quoted several thousand more in cream vinyl
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Old 01-22-2022, 08:34 PM   #16
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Local non marine shop is making new covers for my bench cushion seats and backrest. About 2 feet long an 18 inches deep. Using my sunbelt and reusing existing foam. $95/cushion. I thought that was very reasonable. Box cushions with piping.
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Old 01-22-2022, 11:00 PM   #17
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Summerlivingdirect.com - made all of my custom salon cushions for 1/3 of what the local lone wolf guy with a portable setup wanted, and 1/8 of what the local canvas shop wanted.

They are sunbrella with leather welting and look and feel great.
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Old 01-22-2022, 11:19 PM   #18
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I have made a lot of canvas but in this case spending $400 for 4 cushions was worth it. I am not yet retired so my "project" time is limited so better to outsource cushions and focus on these other areas(electronics updates for example). I actually enjoy boat sewing projects and had I been retired might have made a different decision.
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Old 01-23-2022, 12:16 PM   #19
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I have made a lot of canvas but in , this case spending $400 for 4 cushions was worth it. I am not yet retired so my "project" time is limited so better to outsource cushions and focus on these other areas(electronics updates for example). I actually enjoy boat sewing projects and had I been retired might have made a different decision.
Yes Ken, I concur. Although I love creating things with my hands, cushions can wait but AIS, RADAR and Autopilot cannot. Safety first.
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Old 01-23-2022, 12:47 PM   #20
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Without knowing the size of the cushions or the fabric selected it is not really possible to say this is out of the ballpark. That said we had our settee and v-berth reupholstered and yes it was expensive, a couple thousand each. In our case the settee has a curved cushion and we had new foam. The shop was just an upholstery shop, not a marine specialist. Anyway, my reaction is that you're not necessarily out of the ball park but on big job it always makes sense to get a couple of estimates if that's an option. In our case the prices were pretty comparable.
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