Pontoon boats come in lots of shapes and sizes, some are long and luxurious with expensive lounge areas and bars, others are shorter and made more practical for fishing, and some are down the middle; for good old family fun. But no matter the length or design, as owners of such beauties, we can all agree on one thing; pontoon boats always deliver joy! This is your pontoon guide to replacing pontoon seats.
So what happens when pontoon seats wear out over the years of use? Well, you replace them of course! You don’t have to wait for the seat fabric to start tearing or the foam to crumble in order for you to replace them, you may just want to change up your boat’s look into a fresh, new, and more modern style. Whatever your reasoning behind it, I’m here to help you get it done right with all the information you need to achieve the best possible results. Let’s dive in!
What Makes a High-Quality Pontoon Seat?
First and foremost, before getting to the process of replacement, you want to actually pick seats of good quality. Pontoon seats are designed in a rather unique way which offers far more seating and floor space compared to other boat types of similar sizes. But even with such a design, pontoon seats come in numerous shapes and materials that you may find it hard to choose one.
Right off the hat, you want to pay the utmost attention to the material used in both the cushioning and outer coverings. All pontoon seats should have foam as padding to endure getting wet. If they don’t contain foam padding, you’re looking at low-quality seats.
The “wrapping” of a pontoon boat seat should be durable to resist tears, cuts, and mildew infestations. Various leather fabrics can be used but the one you can commonly see in pontoon boats is marine-grade vinyl. It’s the go-to material for exposure to all sorts of elements, all the while being easy to clean and maintain for a long time.
You should also take into consideration the appearance of your pontoon boat seats as it really adds to the whole enjoyable experience as well as its resale value. Pick seats that resist UV rays and color fade for a vibrant interior.
Another thing to take into account is the materials used in the construction of the seat’s skeleton. You’ll find many options including stainless steel, anodized aluminum, and fiberglass. They’re all solid options, but if you’re on a tight budget, pressure-treated plywood is a cheap alternative.
The last thing that ensures you’re investing in a high-quality pontoon boat seat is the warranty, long-term ones with flexible conditions to be exact.
How to Measure Pontoon Seats and Furniture?
The key to perfect replacement pontoon seat is ordering the correct size. To accomplish this, you need to accurately measure the dimensions of your layout. We typically use the rails on a pontoon boat for taking these measurements as they act as constant guides for further precise estimation of how much seating room is really available on your pontoon boat.
The measurement process doesn’t have to be complicated, just closely follow the instructions and you should have no problems.
- Rear Length
Measure starting from the inside of the rail running across the rear width of your pontoon boat till the beginning of the middle gate on both sides of the pontoon boat.
- Rear Width
This is particularly important in order for you to know the amount of space available for pontoon furniture on the rear area of your boat and the possible seating arrangements you can have. Measure starting from the inside rail on one side of the pontoon boat all the way across to the opposite inside rail of the other side.
- Front Width
This dimension actually includes two individual measurements because of the gate located at the front of a pontoon boat. On the right side, start from the inside of the rail on the right corner and measure all the way to the corner closest to the right side of the front gate. Repeat the same process on the left side and you’ll get two measurements that don’t involve the width of the front gate.
- Front length
Measure from the beginning of a center gate closest to the front of the pontoon boat till the inside of the rail which runs across the front width.
Remember to factor in the support bracings attached to the rails. These braces can cause faulty measurements and, consequently, disrupt the installation of pontoon seats. Double-check your measurements to avoid ordering the wrong sizes as well as save the money of reshipping the furniture back to the manufacturer.
What Tools do You Need for Removing and Reinstalling Pontoon Seats?
You need a few power and hand tools; a cordless drill, a socket set, a few screwdrivers, and a carpet scraper.
How to Install Replacement Pontoon Seats
To replace your current pontoon seats, you obviously need to remove them first. Begin by detaching the seats by removing all the hardware mounting them to the pontoon boat. Then place the hardware in labeled bags so you can easily find them for later reinstalling without losing any parts.
If you wish to keep any of the covered pieces such as seat cushions and backrests, make sure to disassemble the seats after you remove them.
Replacing vs Reupholstering Pontoon Seats
Generally, it costs less to replace pontoon seats with new high-quality ones. Why? Well, to reupholster, old seats have to be taken apart and new patterns are made. Chances are, the foam paddings will also need to be replaced which means making patterns for the foam. All the time invested in this process raises the expenses.
Wrap Up and Where to Find Replacement Pontoon Seats
There you have it, a detailed guide on how to replace pontoon seats. Remember, this process is as easy and simple as you make it. I can’t stress enough on how crucial it is to have accurate seating measurements as well as deal with well-known trusted manufacturers. Below are the most popular seat sizes that fit most pontoon boats.