How To Protect Boat Seats From Sun Damage? (5 Proven Ways)

One of the primary concerns for boat owners is sun damaged boat seats. The damage can range from mild discoloration to severe cracking, compromising not only the aesthetics but also the comfort and lifespan of the seats.

Many boat enthusiasts often wonder how to protect boat seats from sun damage, ensuring they remain in pristine condition season after season.

The importance of understanding how to protect boat seats is paramount, and there are various effective methods to shield them from harmful UV rays.

Have you ever wondered what to put on boat seats to protect them? Or maybe you’re looking for solutions like boat seat covers for damaged seats?

In this post, I’ll explore some practical ways to protect boat seats from sun damage and ensure that they continue to guide you on your nautical adventures for years to come.

How To Protect Boat Seats From Sun Damage
Boat Seat

5 Best Ways To Protect Boat Seats From Sun Damage

  1. Regular Cleaning and Maintenance
  2. Apply UV Protection Spray
  3. Choose High-Quality Seat Covers
  4. Keep Seats Out of Direct Sunlight
  5. Install A Bimini Top

1) Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

A man cleaning Boat

Regular cleaning and maintenance are one of the best ways to protect your boat seats from sun damage.

Now, you might be thinking, “Arrr, cleaning, and maintenance is a chore, and who has time for that?”

But let me tell ya; it’s worth it to keep your boat looking shipshape.

Start by giving your boat seats a good scrub. Don’t just hose them down; that won’t do the trick. Grab some soap and water, and get to scrubbin’. But don’t use any harsh chemicals, or you’ll end up doin’ more harm than good.

Next, dry those seats off with a towel or let them air dry. It’s important to get them completely dry to prevent mold and mildew from forming.

Pro tip: keep in mind to avoid using abrasive materials on your seats, like sandpaper or steel wool. These can scratch and damage the material, making it easier for the sun to do its dirty work.

2) Apply UV Protection Spray

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Sun’s harmful UV rays can cause some serious damage to your boat seats. From fading colors to cracking leather, the sun is no friend to your precious seats.

And let’s not forget the discomfort of sitting on scorching hot vinyl or leather seats!

That’s where UV protection spray comes in.

This miraculous spray acts as a barrier between your seats and the sun’s UV rays, preventing damage and extending the life of your seats. It’s like sunscreen for your boat seats!

Okay, but how do I apply this UV protection spray? It’s easy as pie, my friend!

Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Clean your boat seats: Make sure your boat seats are clean and free of any dirt or debris. You don’t want to seal in any grime or dirt that could cause further damage.
  2. Shake well: Give your UV protection spray a good shake to ensure it’s well-mixed.
  3. Apply the spray: Hold the can about 6 inches away from your seats and spray in a back-and-forth motion. Make sure you cover all areas of the seat, including the sides and edges.
  4. Let it dry: Allow the spray to dry completely before using your boat.

And voila! You’re done. It’s that simple. You can even reapply the spray every few months to keep your seats protected.

Read more How Should You Pass A Fishing Boat

3) Choose High-Quality Seat Covers

One of the best ways to protect your boat seats from sun damage is to choose high-quality seat covers.

Just like a warrior wears a strong shield to protect himself from the enemy’s attack, high-quality seat covers act as a barrier against the harsh sun’s rays.

These covers not only provide protection against sun damage but also offer several other benefits. They can safeguard your seats against spills, stains, and scratches, making them last longer and look better.

There are various materials that are effective in protecting against sun damage, such as –

  • Canvas
  • Polyester
  • Neoprene

These materials are durable and resistant to fading, ensuring that your boat seats remain protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

If you are looking for high-quality covers to protect the boat from sun damage, I would highly suggest you buy an Overton’s Boat Seat Cover.

Some of the best boat seat covers for damaged seats:

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4) Keep Seats Out Of Direct Sunlight

If you want to protect boat seats from sun damage, the best and easy way to do it is to keep them out of direct sunlight.

Now, you might be thinking,

“But I’ve got a boat cover – that should be enough, right?”

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but a boat cover alone isn’t enough to protect your seats from sun damage. While a cover can certainly help, it’s not a foolproof solution.

Plus, let’s be honest – taking the cover on and off can be a real pain in the stern.

So what’s the solution? It’s simple – keep your seats out of direct sunlight.

If you’re mooring your boat, try to find a spot in the shade. If that’s not possible, invest in some shade cloth or a canopy to create your own shady spot.

And if you’re out on the water, make sure to position your boat so that the seats aren’t getting direct sunlight.

But what if you have vinyl seats, they can handle the sun, right? Wrong, my friend.

Even vinyl seats are susceptible to sun damage.

Sure, they might be more durable than cloth seats, but that doesn’t mean they’re invincible. In fact, vinyl seats can actually be more prone to cracking and warping than cloth seats.

So what can you do to protect your boat seats if you can’t keep them out of direct sunlight? Well, there are a few things you can try.

  • Make sure to clean your seats regularly. Dirt and debris can act like sandpaper on your seats, causing even more damage.
  • Apply a protectant to your seats to help prevent cracking and fading.
  • Consider investing in seat covers or cushions to provide an extra layer of protection.

5) Install A Bimini Top

A Boat With Bimini Top

Last but not least, just install a Bimini top.

Bimini top is a great way to protect your boat seats from sun damage.

It can be easily installed, taken off in minutes when you need more shade, and made of many different materials, including canvas and vinyl.

The most common material used for biminis is PVC, which has many benefits over other materials like canvas and vinyl; it is lightweight and durable.

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Read also How Much Does A Fishing Boat Weigh


Does Spray Sunscreen Damage Boat Seats?

Yes, spray sunscreen can potentially damage boat seats, as it may cause stains on fiberglass and vinyl surfaces.

Is Dawn Dish Soap Safe For Boat Seats?

No, using Dawn dish soap on boat seats is not recommended, as the chemical compounds in the soap can potentially cause permanent damage to the vinyl material over time. It’s best to use cleaning products that are specifically designed for use on boat seats to ensure their longevity and appearance.

Can You Restore Boat Seats?

Yes, boat seats can be restored through boat seat repair services for various materials such as marine plastic, vinyl, fabrics, and upholstery.


Protecting your boat seats from sun damage is essential if you want to prolong their lifespan and maintain their quality.

Failing to do so is like planting a seed in parched soil and expecting it to thrive. The sun is a formidable foe, and you need to employ tactics such as covering your seats, using protective sprays, and keeping them clean to keep them safe.

Ignoring this can lead to disastrous consequences, just like a captain who sails into a storm without any preparation. It’s like a game of chess, and your seats are your queen, a valuable asset that you need to protect at all costs.

So don’t wait until it’s too late; take action now, and your boat seats will thank you for it. They are the heart and soul of your boat, and they deserve to be treated with care and respect.

With these tips in mind, you can enjoy your time on the water without worrying about the harmful effects of the sun.

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