Originally Posted by Mark rsa2au
I am not so sure it was as wide spread as some think. My 99 Sea Ray had perfect vinyl when I sold it for my X5. My mates Malibu is a 2002 and while it has never seen the inside of a garage or fancy vinyl conditioners it is still great apart from nicks etc from people.
When i was looking to buy, I also looked at a centurion and a tige from the same era (budget) and neither had vinyl issues. My 2001 X5 on the other hand is torn on EVERY stitch now.
Must be that some manufacturers coped better with the change in vinyl.
'99 wasn't in the time window for the problems- the EPA mandates didn't start until after that time, although the short-term President at MC, who came from the automotive industry, did cut a bunch of corners and costs that made the '99 MCs less than they should have been. Some manufacturers used crap materials (Bayliner) and if a manufacturer didn't have problems with their material, the better quality stuff was either already in stock or they got lucky with their choice. However, some of what was used in MC boats wasn't made for cushions and backrests- it was made for bolsters and coaming pads, which don't experience the same stretching forces. The backing on this stuff isn't the same as what's used for cushions, which is like T-shirt material and stretches in all directions. Also, the outer surface of the vinyl needs to be strong enough to resist having the thread pull through like a cheese slicer, but not so hard that it cracks when bent. The pitch of the stitching (stitches per inch) is important, too- too fine and the vinyl at the seam will fail easily and too wide, it looks like crap and will pull apart.