How to Protect Boat Seats from Sun?

The sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage the vinyl of your boat’s seats. Long exposure to these rays is probably the number one reason for fading and cracking. 

You can’t rely on its inherent durability though. Although vinyl seats are durable, by taking some precautions, you can extend their functional life.   

In this blog post, we’ll tell you how to protect vinyl seats the right way. We’ll give you a step-by-step process for keeping your vessel’s seats functional and looking great for a long time. 

Let’s get started. 

How to Protect Boat Seats from Sun

The vinyl material can effectively resist the sea environment. But, these vinyl seats are continuously exposed to direct sunlight. So, as a boat owner, you want to take some extra measures to ensure your seats don’t expire sooner than they should. 

Now, fading or discoloration is one of the consequences of long exposures to the sun. Although this isn’t directly a durability issue, you’ll have to compromise on your seats’ aesthetics.   

More importantly, exposure to direct sunlight can induce cracks in your vinyl seating. So, if you leave your seats unprotected, you could end up replacing them a lot sooner than you’d like.  

With that out of the way, let’s look at some actionable tips on effectively shielding your boat’s seats from direct sunlight.  

Implement these tips if you want to prolong the aesthetic and functional life of your vessel’s seats. 

Keep them Clean

Before using any other protective measures, the most important thing to ensure is that everything is clean and tidy. 

Regularly washing the accumulated dirt and dust will be helpful in keeping the dangers of direct sunlight at bay. 

Whenever you’re not on your boat, clean the vinyl thoroughly. Your goal should be to leave no stains or dirt on the surface. 

However, avoid using a cleaning solution; generic ones may have chemicals that can cause further problems. Just use a common dishwasher and simple water to avoid damaging the vinyl material.  

If you still want to use a chemical cleaner, just make sure it’s not made of anything that can damage the vinyl. 

Use a Shaded Area

The second, and probably the most obvious thing you can do is find a clean, shaded area for your boat. This is especially important for the off-season when your boat needs to be stored away for a longer period of time.  

But, even during use, storing your boat in a place where there’s no direct sunlight would be the right thing to do. 

However, remember that exposure to sunlight isn’t all bad. In fact, it’s important for keeping your seats dry and free of mold. Though, it’s not an alternative to drying up your seats with a clean, soft cloth after every use.   

Cover them Up

When you’re not using the seats, simply cover them. Seat covers are quite resistant to harsh UV rays, providing effective shielding to the underlying vinyl. 

Plus, with good seat covers on, you also won’t have to worry about rainwater, seawater, strong winds, and other elements. 

But, what if you don’t have a shaded place?

Or, maybe you don’t want to go through the hassle of covering your boat’s seats after every use? 

Use a Protectant

A protectant, as the name suggests, provides a protective shield to the underlying vinyl material. Coating boat seats with it is a great way to make sure they remain safe for a long time. 

Vinyl protectants come in a spray form. When you apply them, they form a protective film on top of the vinyl material.  

Here’s how to apply it on vinyl:

  • Spray it  
  • Expand it to every nook and corner with a clean, dry cloth
  • Let it settle for around 25 – 30 minutes

Take the second step seriously. Why? Because you don’t want to leave any areas unprotected. 

Prevent Mold Formation 

Prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays is something you want to avoid. But, remember that moisture buildup can result in mildew growth, which leads to cracks. 

So, if your vinyl seats aren’t getting enough heat from the sun, use a clean cloth to keep them dry. 

Cracking Prevention

Cracking of the vinyl is the normal result of not doing anything for effective protection against UV rays. 

But, how to Keep Boat Seats from Cracking? Just follow all the protective measures discussed above: Clean your seats regularly, keep them dry, and apply a protective coating/cover.

If you’ve read this far, you should be able to make your seats last a long time by effectively shielding them from the sun.