Durable New Vinyls
Open Weekdays 7:30 to 5
5015 15th Avenue NW Seattle, 98107
Mac's custom manufactures pleasure boat upholstery and yacht upholstery. If you need boat cushions, mattresses, curtains, marine upholstery foam, or helm seats, call Mac's. If you're looking for boat seat covers, galley seats, railings, foam, or speed-boat interiors, call Mac's. We also carry a large selection of marine grade carpet and vinyl upholstery.
We're in Seattle. We only work on boats in Washington & Alaska.
There's more to marine upholstery than foam and fabric. The method of stitching, for example, can make a big difference in water resistance, performance and style.
When fabric is simply draped over the foam it's called waterfalling. This method is sleek and keeps the water out, but the edges are rounded.
Top stitching allows for crisper edges and a cleaner look. A top stitch is extremely strong, but not waterproof.
A wayward stitch is sort of like an upside down top stitch. It's not waterproof, but the seam is pointing down so it drains better. The wayward stitch is used in many marine applications.
A French stitch looks like a baseball seam. It allows the fabric to lay flat. Some like the way it looks, but it's the least water resistant stitch so you don't see it on boat decks very often.
Strictly speaking, welting is not a stitch, but it's an excellent way to "dress-up" a marine cushion. The downside is the welt itself. Normal wear — sliding back and forth across the welt — puts pressure on the stitching underneath. It's not a big deal; just something to be aware of if you prefer a welted edge.
Mac's is the place to go for boat upholstery, boat interior upholstery and yacht upholstery. We manufacture custom helm seat covers, bow cushions, deck chair cushions, bunks and mattresses.
We also design, fabricate and install curtains, draperies, galley cushions, V-berth cushions, cabin cushions, deck cushions, boat cushion foam and marine carpet. Our showroom stocks literally hundreds of marine upholstery fabric samples. We have dozens of foams to choose from. We'll help you find the perfect fabric and foam for the demanding marine environment.
Mac's Upholstery is the leader in vinyl boat seat repair, boat seat foam, speed boat seats, boat seat covers and boat seat cushions. Because we're close to the waterfront you can depend on us for quick custom fittings and installation.
Our boat upholstery and canvas shop is conveniently located near the Ship Canal and Fishermen's Terminal, just four blocks south of Mac's Upholstery. The yacht canvas shop specializes in custom boat enclosures, custom yacht enclosures, Makrolon® enclosures, dodgers, boat covers and windows.
Give us a call or stop by our showroom if you need boat cushions, seat covers, bimini tops, boat seat repairs, helm seats, bow cushions, marine mattresses, cockpit covers, mooring covers, or marine foam replacement. We're also the place to go for marine carpet replacement, hull liners, custom boat seats, pontoon boat upholstery, pillows, commercial galley chairs, custom boat covers or settees.
Mac's Upholstery carries the finest upholstery foam, fabrics and marine grade fabrics including: Sunbrella, Spinneybeck, Duralee, Majilite, Robert Allen, Stamoid Marine, Ultrasuede, Kravet, Laura Ashley and Ultraleather.
Manufacturing a V berth cushion can be challenging. For one thing, the shape of a V berth varies from year to year and model to model. Cushion configuration, size and density will also differ based on a boat owner's preferences.
Here's an eight piece V berth we built for a Sea Ray owner. As you can see, each cushion for this V berth is a different shape. They also fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, so getting the shape right is critical.
Selecting the right fabric is just as important. Many boat owners prefer Sunbrella®. Sunbrella's marine fabric is manufactured from solution-dyed acrylic, so it's color fast and virtually indestructible. It can be a little on the stiff side, however. The fabric we used for this V berth is much softer; 100% woven polyester with a Crypton finish. In addition to being soft, it's extremely durable. It's also stain, fade, abrasion, bacteria and odor resistant. In other words, perfect for this application.
Sea-Doo, best known for its line of sporty personal watercraft, also manufactures speed boats. Speed boat seats take a lot of abuse during the summer. It's not uncommon for Sea-Doo seats to need repair every two or three years, especially if teenagers are bouncing around the boat.
We fabricate custom replacement seat covers for all speed boats, including Sea-Doos. But, if a boat owner likes the color scheme of their upholstery, it may be more cost effective to simply order an identical replacement seat cover kit.
In this instance, the seat cover stitching ripped, exposing the foam padding to destructive UV light. The boat owners put off repairs until the end of summer. By the time they brought the seats to us, the foam was pretty well shot. Instead of restitching a couple of seams, the cushions needed to be rebuilt and both seats needed new covers.
Fortunately, there was a Sea-Doo seat cover replacement kit available, which kept repair costs down. We rebuilt the damaged foam cushions, installed a set of identical covers and that was that; the seats were good as new.
Here's a custom-designed pleated sun pad we created for the bow of a 42 foot Sea Ray. It's fabricated from white and light grey Sequest Vinyl, one of the finest, most durable marine grade vinyls now available.
The snap-down sun pad features a bolstered headrest adjacent to the windshield. The edges are also slightly raised.
There's a hatch built into the SeaRay's bow directly above the V berth. This ventilation hatch doubles as an emergency exit. Since the boat is a privately owned pleasure craft, there's no requirement to have a workable V berth hatch.
For safety reasons, we recommended keeping the hatch functional by building a rip-away cover into the pleated sun pad. We used Velcro® to fasten the padded cover to the hatch so it easily pops open.
During the off season or when inclement weather strikes, it's easy to remove and store the three piece mattress below deck or elsewhere.
Not all cushions in a pleasure craft wear at the same rate. For example, if family or guests prefer sitting in the stern, those seats wear faster than cushions elsewhere. Since there's no sense reupholstering all the seats when only some are damaged, the challenge becomes choosing a vinyl that matches the color and texture of the original fabric.
It's not as easy as you may think. Take the color white, for example. White comes in scores of shades and tones. Some are a little more "blue" than others. Some appear slightly warmer. It's sort of like the difference between fluorescent tubes and standard incandescent bulbs; the light from both are "white", but you definitely notice the difference.
We carry hundreds of vinyls and acrylic-based marine grade fabrics. We'd be happy to suggest a color and pattern to reupholster a boat cushion, but ultimately the customer makes the choice. Whatever the choice may be, you can be sure that any boat cushion reupholstered by Sunmark will be durable and flawless.
Here's an eight piece bow cushion we recently built for a 105 foot yacht. Bow cushions, like V berth cushions, can be challenging. Each bow tends to be a little bit different angle, size and shape. The striped fabric in this picture helps illustrate why correctly sizing and cutting the cushions is so important.
Notice the bottom two cushions on the far left. Cushion 'B' is rectangular; the parallel stripes extend equal distance all the way from top to bottom. At first glance, Cushion 'A' also appears retangular, but look closer and you'll notice how one of the stripes on the cushion doesn't go all the way. That's because this cushion is slightly curved where it meets the gunwale. A less experienced trimmer might have missed this
When the owners of the luxury yacht Southern Cross based near Santa Barbara decided to homeport a second yacht here in Puget Sound, they called Mac's Upholstery. They wanted to upgrade their interior and figured might as well get the best.
We upholstered a number of pieces on board the yacht including an eight piece bridge settee, a nine piece galley settee, the captain's bunk and a pair of helm chairs. Everything was reupholstered in Ultraleather®. While substantially more expensive than vinyl, Ultraleather® is an excellent choice for a luxury yacht.
Ultraleather® has the rich look and supple feel of real leather, but it's easy to clean and a lot more durable. It comes in a range of colors and textures.
Before recovering the helm chairs, we replaced the foam. If boat or yacht seats are exposed to the elements we often recommend Dryfast or EZ-Dri Foam. These are specially engineered large cell foams designed to shed water. Since all of the pieces we upholstered for the yacht were intended for a salon or bridge there was no need for specialized foam.
Seats on a ski boat or multi-sport boat can wear out fast – all the running around on deck, people hopping in and out of their seat. As you can see, this speed boat bucket seat was in desperate need of repair, and not just because of wear and tear. It ripped because the original vinyl was thin and stretched too taut.
Fortunately, the bolster arms were in good shape and the foam was okay, so we focused our attention on the seat insert. Instead of repairing it with the same substandard material, we used a stronger vinyl with a little bit of stretch. We also increased the seam allowance so there was more "give" in the padding. After installing a new pedestal the seat was good as new.
Every once in a while we come across a real head scratcher; these boat cushions, for example.
They're fabricated with Ez-Dri® foam. Ez-Dri is perfect for boat cushions. It's manufactured with stiff polyurethane and extra large cells. Instead of absorbing water the way most cushions do, this stuff is engineered to promote drainage; water goes right through one side and out the other. Matched with a quality marine fabric such as Sunbrella, an Ez-Dri cushion drains in no time. And since there's plenty of air circulation, they tend to stay fresh.
The people who made these boat cushions wrapped them in waterproof plastic, evidently to keep the foam dry. Maybe you can see where we're going with this. Ez-Dri is designed to soak up and discharge water. Covering it with plastic defeats the whole purpose. Instead of draining water, the plastic allows water to pool under the fabric. Plastic covers create the perfect environment for mold and mildew.
And that's not the only thing wrong with these. The white material covering the foam is Dacron®. We use Dacron all the time. It's an excellent way to soften a cushion. It gives the cushion more body, a little bit like a pillow. The thing is, these cushions were built with the Dacron on the bottom instead of the top. It doesn't do any good on the bottom.
It's a good thing they brought these in. Before building new covers we cleaned and re-engineered the cushions so they perform the way they're supposed to.
In addition to marine upholstery and boat cushions, we install custom snap-in and glue-down carpet for any size pleasure craft. This 19 foot Bayliner Capri illustrates how it's done.
The process begins with the boat owner selecting a replacement carpet. The owner could have gone with an entirely different look – there are plenty of alternative styles and colors available. Instead, he decided to stick with the original rubber-backed burgundy.
After sizing the replacement carpet, we strip the old flooring, scrub and prep the fiberglass deck, then begin the actual installation. This is where experience is all important. The carpet needs to be a perfect fit because there's no floor molding to cover frayed or misaligned edges. What's more, this sort of flooring doesn't stretch the way standard carpeting stretches. You have to get it right the first time.
Customers occasionally ask why we only use marine grade fabric when upholstering boat interiors and cushions. The pics below help illustrate why. The first two show a standard grade red vinyl purchased by a customer to reupholster his boat cushions. The vinyl looks and feels great, but look what happened when we stitched through the material.
As you can see, the vinyl chipped around some of the thread holes. Adjusting thread tension didn't solve the problem. The vinyl face and thin backing on this fabric simply couldn't cut the mustard.
After seeing the problem, the customer agreed to use the marine-grade vinyl we recommend (second row). It looks and feels the same, but the vinyl is more durable and the backing is sturdy. Sewing this fabric into cushion covers was a breeze — the stitching turned out perfectly.
You'd think the better vinyl would cost more, but not in this case. Our superior quality marine grade vinyl turned out to be less expensive. So, be sure to contact us before buying lousy fabric from somebody else.
Our craftsmen fabricate marine cushions with the finest materials. Even using the best foams and fabrics, wrinkles are inevitable. Eliminating wrinkles is one of the biggest challenges we face when fabricating custom marine cushions. Steam is the best way to get the wrinkles out. Here's how we do it.
Generic boat cushions are easy to make. Premium quality, custom-fit boat cushions require the skills of a maritime upholstery craftsman. Here's an example of how pleasure boat cushions manufactured by Mac's are superior.
If the owner of this Grady-White had waited any longer to fix the onboard cushions, it might have been too late. As you can see from the first two pics, the vinyl was already ripped to shreds and the foam was deteriorating.
Recovered Boat Cusion For Grady-White Fishing Vessel
After replacing the bad foam with good stuff, we covered the repaired cushions with superior quality marine-grade foam. The pleated backrest for the aft bench seat would've been difficult for some shops to recreate, but our craftsmen are the best in Seattle. As always, the reupholstered marine seats turned out great.
Bolstered marine cushions are among the most difficult to upholster, especially when they're long and contoured, such as these from a Yamaha speedboat. Not only are these cushions difficult to pattern, you have to find a fabric that's both tough and easy to stretch.
Spradling Vinyl has pioneered a fabric with a specially engineered flexible backing. It's called Softside™. Durable and easy to shape, it's ideal for upholstering contoured cushions. There are nearly 300 colors and patterns available. The boat owner selected Zander Pearl Grey and Zander Ivory.
Cushions Upholstered With New Vinyl
Even using the perfect fabric, upholstering a monster cushion with sharp curves can be challenging. It requires the right combination of elbow grease and steam to smooth out the wrinkles. In order to keep the upholstery looking good, you have to make sure the fabric tension is evenly distributed. That's where years of experience comes in handy.
You're not going to find a more striking example of new upholstery transforming a run-of-the-mill salon sette into something extraordinary.
Compare the original starboard settee from a 42 foot Beneteau Sailboat (insert in large picture below) to the new one. Look closer and you'll discover subtle design improvements, beginning with the seat decks.
The original seat decks were manufactured the standard way, with flat polyurethane foam. Instead of doing it that way, we built a sturdy foam ridge along the lip. This smartly upholstered foam ridge not only cups an individual snugly into the seat, it lifts their legs a couple of inches, reducing lumbar strain. The back cushions are either contoured or angle-cut for optimum confort.
Rather than snap fasteners, we used velcro. Velcro allows more flexibility in cushion placement. Notches in the cushions to accommodate an arm rest and a mast cable bar are engineered to fit like a glove.
As always, we use only the finest marine-grade foams and fabrics. For this settee, the boat owner selected striking Mediterreanean colors from Sunbrella's marine fabric collection.
The new settee is snug, looks great, and fits the salon perfectly. And thanks to our design improvements and craftsmanship, it'll last for years.
Seattle's damp climate encourages the growth of mold and mildew. When you factor in all the nooks and crannies found aboard boats, controlling mold can be real challenge. And as mentioned in the section below on Pink Stain, mold is not only unsightly and destructive, it can be a health hazard.
A dry environment is the best way to prevent nasty mold and mildew. But, this is the Pacific Northwest. Good luck keeping things dry.
Another approach is almost as effective; eliminate places where mold spores and grime collect, such as deep seams in certain types of boat cushions (above left). Instead of simply recovering these moldy tri-panel cushions, we redesigned them. By removing most of the seams, the freshly upholstered cushions not only look sleek, they now resist mold and mildew.
Pink stain or "pink mold" is a common problem faced by Northwest boaters. The micro-organism that causes the slimey pink film commonly found on shower curtains and boat cushions is actually not a fungal growth, but an airborne bacterium -- Serratia Marcescens.
This stubborn "pink slime" bacteria colonizes moist environments such as bathrooms and boats. It's also a problem in medical facilities where it causes a number of hospital acquired infections. In brief, pink stain is not only ugly, it's dangerous.
We can help. When fabricating boat seats or cushions, the marine upholstery experts at Mac's Upholstery take specific preventative measures designed to discourage pink stain from contaminating your boat upholstery and seats.
If this nasty bacteria ever does appear on your boat cushions, you'll have to keep them dry and disinfect on a regular basis. Reupholstering the cushions the proper way may be the most practical, long term solution.
If you're considering new boat carpeting or marine flooring, you might want to check-out a new product called Infinity Luxury Woven Vinyl®. This stuff is truly amazing. It's not only beautiful, soft and flexible, but extremely durable. It features a unique, heavy-traffic rated backing system ideal for indoor and outdoor use.
This fabric is UV stable so it resists fading. Antimicrobial technology prevents bacterial growth. Soil and stains are easily cleaned reducing the long term maintenance expense compared to other floor covering options. We've posted pics of the current fabric collection below and we have samples at the shop. Here's a link to the manufacturer's website. Definitely worth looking into as a better alternative to marine carpeting.