Repair A Tear In Vinyl Fabric Covering One Of The Seats In Your Motorboat

If your motorboat has a large tear in one of its vinyl-covered seats that you would like to repair before taking your watercraft to a community lake this spring, patch the damaged material by completing the following steps. Once finished, the fabric will remain intact as long as you continue to care for it properly.


  • vinyl cleaning agent 
  • lint-free cloths
  • safety pins
  • sewing scissors
  • marine thread
  • tapestry needle
  • tube of waterproof epoxy sealant
  • thin paintbrush
  • damp sponge
  • vinyl patch
  • ruler
  • plastic putty knife or scraper

Clean, Secure, And Sew The Vinyl Fabric

Spray a small amount of a vinyl cleaning agent onto a lint-free cloth. Wipe the portion of the vinyl fabric that contains the tear to remove dirty residue. Dry the fabric with a clean cloth. Use safety pins to temporarily secure the edges of the tear. Cut a piece of marine thread that is long enough to mend the torn fabric and insert one end of the thread through a tapestry needle's eye. Double the thread before knotting the ends.

Sew the torn vinyl fabric with a basic straight stitch. This type of stitch involves inserting the needle through both edges of the tear and pulling the needle straight through the fabric before inserting the thread through both edges from the opposite side of the fabric. Once the fabric has been mended, trim the ends of the thread and knot them. 

Apply Sealant And A Vinyl Patch

Use a thin paintbrush to apply an even coat of epoxy sealant over the repaired area. Wipe away excess sealant from the fabric with a damp sponge. Wait for the sealant to dry. Waterproof epoxy will provide the repaired area with an additional layer of protection and will prevent the thread from coming loose. Measure the length of the repaired area and purchase a self-adhesive vinyl patch that is slightly larger than the mended portion and that is close to the color of the material that is covering the boat's seat.

Remove the backing from the vinyl patch before securing the patch over the repaired portion of the fabric. Press the patch down firmly. If there are any wrinkles in the patch, move the tip of a plastic putty knife or scraper firmly over each wrinkle to eliminate all of them. 

The repaired fabric will not be susceptible to additional damage as long as it is maintained. Always clean the seat's surface with non-abrasive products that are designed for use on vinyl. For assistance, talk to a professional like Boater's Landing.