Why Is Boat Upholstery So Dang Expensive? Here’s The Real Cost…

How Much Does It Cost to Reupholster Your Boat?

Have you taken a look at your boat upholstery lately and noticed how the material is starting to separate and come apart?

If you have ever thought about redoing the upholstery on your boat, you may not know that it can be one very expensive investment that many boat owners are surprised to find out.

Here’s what one boat owner said when someone asked about the high quote they received for reupholstering their boat seat:
“Just an FYI , I had this seat recovered two different times over the years . First time $1,200. , second time was $1,500. . So that price doesn’t sound too bad.”


The Hull Truth
Upholstering your boat can be expensive but it will rejuvenate the look and feel of your entire vessel.

In today’s article, we are going to help you understand why it’s so dang expensive to reupholster your boat interior.

Of course you’d love to know the exact cost to do your project, but in all honesty, that is very difficult to answer.

If you surf the web long enough, you’ll find many boat owners all saying the same thing, that boat upholstery is very expensive because of how much work it takes.

The reason for that can be any or all of the following when it comes to the cost of boat upholstery:

- Hourly Cost of Work
- Simple vs Fancy Designs
- Quality of Work
- Quality of Materials Foam & Wood

The Hourly Cost to Reupholster Your Boat


Many Shops Charge an Hourly Rate Between $55-$150 for Reupholstering Boat Interior.

The amount of hours it takes to do a project depends on many factors and can sometimes be hard to give an accurate estimate.

For example, you may come in wanting only the seat cover done, only to find out that the wood and foam are full of mold and need to be replaced as well.

Here’s what one boat owner had to say about how much it costs to reupholster your boat:

“Good job man. Now that you have done it, you know why it cost so much to have it done, very time consuming.”


The Hull Truth

Simple vs Fancy Upholstery Designs

Boat owners love good looking upholstery patterns, especially the diamond pattern stitching in the seats.

However, what they fail to realize is just how much time that custom work takes.

Boat upholstery by itself is expensive, so when you start adding requests for fancy designs like shapes, piping or decorative elements, know that this will increase the time it takes significantly.

Another thing to note when it comes to fancy designs, especially stitching, is the less life expectancy of the upholstery.

Stitching adds more holes in the material, the more holes in the material means the more weak points where the upholstery will break down the fastest.

Always keep in mind these things when choosing what type of upholstery designs you would like for your boat.

Quality of Boat Upholstery Work

Caribou-Upholstery-British-Columbia-Custom-Boat-Seat-Upholstery copy
Here’s what one boat owner had to say about quality of boat upholstery work:
“If you want high quality, be prepared to pay several times what you probably think. Thousands.....not hundreds.”


The Hull Truth
Depending on how clean and professional you want the look of your upholstery, you’ll obviously need to pay a higher price for that.

If you want to pay less, you’re most likely going to get less quality work.

The real art of boat upholstery is in the corners and the bends.

You’ll easily be able to tell the difference between an amateur and a pro when it comes to these areas.

So depending on what your project is and how many difficult areas will need to be reupholstered, you could end up with really professional looking work or not.

Here at Caribou Upholstery, we know quality takes time and we will never rush, if it means sacrificing the quality of work.

Quality of Materials to Reupholster Your Boat

Not only do you not want to cheap out on the quality of work when it comes to reupholstering your boat, but you most definitely don’t want to cheap out on the materials used.

This is because your boat is highly exposed to the elements that can quickly deteriorate your boat upholstery, if you do not use high quality materials.

We know that many places will be happy to reupholster your boat with such low quality materials to offer you a lower price, but we also know you’ll only make that mistake once.

For the upholstery, there are a few materials that can be used such as:

VINYL: The more common less expensive option

SILICONE: Can be upwards of 3x the cost of vinyl for its comfort, mold, stain and higher UV resistance.

When it comes to high quality materials for your boat upholstery, there are a few key things you want to consider:

ABRASION: How well can this material hold up to abrasions over time. This is usually rated by a “Double-Rub” rating.

MILDEW RESISTANCE: Since your boat is always exposed to moisture, you’ll want to make sure the wood, foam and covers are mold resistant.

USES: Is the selected material recommended for boat interiors?

COLD CRACK: Depending on your geographical location and the use of your boat, you’ll want to know if your upholstery will withstand the cold.

TEAR STRENGTH: The higher the tear strength rating for your upholstery, the longer it will last.

WOOD: You’ll want a high quality wood like marine grade plywood or similar.

FOAM: The foam should be an antimicrobial medium density that is also fast drying.

Caribou Upholstery knows the benefits of using high quality materials and will always make sure we provide not only high quality work, but also high quality materials each and every time.

Protecting Your Investment

Now that you understand how much it costs to reupholster your boat, and you have chosen what’s best for you, we highly recommend you protect that investment so that it lasts longer by using a custom boat cover.

Moisture and damaging UV rays will quickly deteriorate the materials of your boat upholstery if not protected.

That’s why adding a custom boat cover can keep your new boat upholstery looking new for even more years to come.

At Caribou Upholstery, we always recommend protecting your investment with a custom boat cover because we want you to enjoy your boat for longer.

In Conclusion:

Boat upholstery is an investment, and you want to make sure it’s done right the first time.

We know that it can be hard when shopping for boat upholstery materials or services.

Caribou Upholstery in Prince George, B.C. offers quality service at affordable prices. From simple designs to more elaborate ones.

Our experts will do their best to ensure all of the details are taken care of with precision and perfection.


Book Your Free Consultation Today!