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Old 11-02-2005, 06:03 PM
Kevin 89MC's Avatar
Kevin 89MC Kevin 89MC is offline
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Boat: 1989 Prostar 190, 351 Indmar
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re-doing upolstery by myself?

My seats have really taken a beating in the last few years. Mainly, my observer's coushin. In '89, they used a perforated fabric, and there was a seam about 4" from the front edge. When I bought it in '96 there was already a small tear at the seam, and now it's about 2 feet long. I took it to a local marine upolstery shop, and they could not match the color & pattern. They could get close on the color, but really recommended against the perforations. It appears that some of the perforations now do have holes through the fabric, which means that water gets inside, and can sit in the foam, and the wood base. I may re-uposter the whole thing down the road, not enough $ right now. He said about $150 for the one piece. Ouch! Then I got to thinking, maybe I should try my hand at the observer's seat. I'm fairly handy, and it can't get any worse than it is now! I searched all the upolstery threads, and it doesn't appear that anyone has done the work themselves. If so, can anyone point me to the threads? Doug, I know you did your small extension. That turned out great! Does it seem that doing the bench would be manageable? It appears that MC still does have some skins, so I'll have to inquire. I'm assuming having them pre-cut would make it much easier? If it's not too hard, maybe I'll re-do it all myself! Any special tools required? I've got a hand powered stapler and stainless steel staples. Any thoughts on the perforated vinyl? I suppose it gives a bit more slip resistance, but all the new boats have smooth vinyl, right?
TIA,
Kevin
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1989 ProStar 190 with "Safe T Top", 351 Ford, GT 40 heads painted Ford Blue, Elec. Ign, 1:1, 720 hours, 4 blade prop, PP 6.5, removable platform brackets, custom color from factory, hot water shower, Boat Buddy & LED lights on trailer
2010 D3 Z7, 2 @ 32 off, 34 mph so far
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  #2  
Old 11-02-2005, 08:28 PM
Lance Lance is offline
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Boat: 1987 Prostar 190 PowerSlot, 2004 22' Bennington Pontoon 90 HP Mercury 4-stroke
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If you can get the skin from MC I would assume this sould be as easy as removing the old skin by removing the staples. Then get a staple gun and some stainless steel staples and staple away. Maybe change the foam when you have it appart. Of all the pieces I would think this would be the easiest to redo.

I plan to do about the same but am waiting until my garage is complete. I bought a full set of skins plus an extra set for the seat bottoms since those take the biggest beating. I will replace the bottoms this winter on my '87 and then redo the full interior (including carpet) in a couple of years and hope I can get another 20 years out of it.

Let us know if you make a go at it and your results.

Lance
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  #3  
Old 11-03-2005, 07:56 AM
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Hoff1 Hoff1 is offline
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Kevin,
I recently did some upholstery work myself. The quotes I got for repairing my ripped vinyl were a little steep, something like $275 per section. Especially, when I knew that the material cost would be something like $30 or less. Iím waiting on my ďafterĒ pictures to develop (still marinating at the film store) before I posted a thread. Also, I was a little embarrassed to say I new how to use a sewing machine (stupid home economics class).

My results were good, but I should have chosen a wiser thread material. Need something water resistant, but very strong. Depending on what you are doing, it can be fairly easier or fairly difficult. The gray color on my seats is paper thin, and has been completely destroyed. Check out the picture.

This picture is from early last year, it was much worse at the end of this summer. I took the skin off, cut the thread for just the gray section, and then sewed in a new piece of gray vinyl. The ski locker hatch door took about 2 hours to complete (start to finish) and looks brand new IMO. The back rest for the back seat to much longer because of the complicated intersections of the different colors where they come to a point. I think used the sewing machine for about 1 hour and hand stitched for 4 hours. Doesnít look perfect, but compared to the original picture itís night and day. Getting the skin back on was a super challenge for the back rest. I looked like a cat with a front paw trapped in their flee collar. Used stainless steel staples also.

Let me know if you have any questions, and just don't tell my friends that I sewed the vinyl myself.
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Old 11-03-2005, 08:55 AM
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BrianM BrianM is offline
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Boat: 1988 Prostar 190
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoff1
just don't tell my friends that I sewed the vinyl myself.
Hey don't sell yourself short. I would be telling all of my friends that I sewed it myself. Nothing wrong with that. Can't wait to see an after picture.
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  #5  
Old 11-03-2005, 08:57 AM
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Workin' 4 Toys Workin' 4 Toys is offline
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A side tip for you. I think you will want to get an electric or air powered stapler. The hand powered ones just don't do the trick. The staples need to be SET into the fabric, not just lay on top as most hand staples will do. Not to mention, if you end up doing all the seats, using the hand stapler will end up being soo much more effort you may throw in the towel before finished. And yes, stainless steel, aluminum, or galvanized staples are a must. No steel.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 11-03-2005, 09:39 AM
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Kevin 89MC Kevin 89MC is offline
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Thanks guys! I figured this might be a good excuse to buy another power tool (electric stapler, not the sewing machine!) I may see if my mom still has a sewing machine, I know my wife doesn't! I wouldn't be afraid to try it, but only because it's for a boat, not a dress! If all goes well, maybe I will have to see if Black & Decker makes a sewing machine.
Hoff1, I can't wait to see the results! The more I think about this, the more I want to give it a shot. Doing the bench and driver's seat cushion first should hopefully get me off on the right track. Especially using replacement skins, if they don't break the bank. If that goes well, then I can venture into doing some custom work on the seatbacks, engine cover, etc.
Kevin
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1989 ProStar 190 with "Safe T Top", 351 Ford, GT 40 heads painted Ford Blue, Elec. Ign, 1:1, 720 hours, 4 blade prop, PP 6.5, removable platform brackets, custom color from factory, hot water shower, Boat Buddy & LED lights on trailer
2010 D3 Z7, 2 @ 32 off, 34 mph so far
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  #7  
Old 11-03-2005, 09:53 AM
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Workin' 4 Toys Workin' 4 Toys is offline
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Husqvarna Viking
Is the only Machine to get. (Not that I know )
You could buy all the equipment and material you need to do it yourself if your not affraid of it and still probably come out ahead. And if not, at least learn a valuable lesson. Leave the stitching to Mom, or maybe you could get her to help.
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Old 11-03-2005, 10:11 AM
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pilot02 pilot02 is offline
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Boat: 1989 Tristar 190
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I'm close to completion on mine and have done ALL of the work myself from redesigning the color scheme, locating suppliers (B&A if you're in Atlanta for replacement foam, marine vynil, thread, etc.) Pics are located on the board under tristar 190 restoration and a few of the guys here have seen the boat (Mag Mania).

Last edited by pilot02; 11-03-2005 at 10:14 AM.
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  #9  
Old 11-03-2005, 10:15 AM
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Wouldn't let me add a pic.
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  #10  
Old 11-03-2005, 10:18 AM
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3rd time's the charm....
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