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.
New Boat Upholstery, Repair Boat Seat Cushions
There's more to marine upholstery than fabric and foam. 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 requires fewer seams, so it tends to repel moisture and debris better than other techniques. Some boat owners like the sleek look of a waterfalled cushion. Others prefer the precision of a cushion with squared edges.
The seams in a waterfalled cushion are often concealed or minimized using a technique called Blind Stitching. This is a single stitch line with a plain seam. Blind stitching is popular with boat owners who want their upholstery to have a clean, streamlined look. The seam allowance under a blind stitch can fray, so the fabric's edges are usually serged or "hot knifed" before they're stitched together.
Top Stitching is another popular technique. A marine top stitch is a blind stitch offset with a parallel decorative stitch. The double line gives the top stitch added strength. This method is great for boat owners looking for crisp edges, precise shapes and secure seams. While a top stitch is strong, it's not waterproof.
A Marine French Stitch looks a little bit like a baseball seam. Some customers prefer a French seam to decorative welting (see below). This technique starts with a blind stitch. The two seam allowances on the reverse side are then folded over and reinforced with fabric backing. The backing and seam allowances are held in place with a double line of decorative stitches. A French seam allows the fabric to lay flat, but it's the least water resistant stitch so you don't see it on boat decks very often.
Strictly speaking, a Corded Seam or Welt is not a stitch, but it's a popular way to "dress-up" a seam. A welted edge starts with a strip of matching or contrasting fabric wrapped around a cord. The finished cord is then sandwiched inside a blind stitch to enhance the cushion's appearance. Some prefer the look of a welt, but there's a downside. Unless you're careful, a welt will collect dirt and debris. What's more, normal wear and tear — sliding back and forth across the cushion — can abrade the welt. It's not a big deal, just something to be aware of if you prefer a welted edge.
Generations of Puget Sound mariners have trusted Mac's for premium boat cushions, boat interior upholstery and yacht upholstery.
We also design, fabricate and install custom helm seat covers, bow cushions, deck chair cushions, galley cushions, V-berth cushions, cabin cushions and deck cushions.
Shop & Compare Prices
Drop by our showroom to view marine vinyls and fabric samples. See the latest patterns and colors from Sunbrella®, Spinneybeck, Duralee, Majilite, Robert Allen, Stamoid Marine, Ultrasuede, Kravet and Naugahyde®.
After viewing fabric samples, check out our boat cushion foams. They're available in a wide range of densities and sizes. We'll help you find the perfect combination of fabric and foam to meet your needs. And because we're close to the waterfront you can count on us for quick custom fittings.
Mac's Marine Canvas Shop
Custom Boat Canvas
Our marine canvas shop is conveniently located near the Ship Canal and Fishermen's Terminal, just four blocks south of Mac's Upholstery.
The canvas shop specializes in custom boat enclosures, custom yacht enclosures, Makrolon® enclosures, dodgers, boat covers and windows. Visit our marine canvas page here.
Give us a call or visit our shop if you need marine upholstery repaired. Mac's Upholstery patches holes and replaces zippers. We repair boat cushions, seat covers, bimini tops, helm seats, bow cushions, marine mattresses, cockpit covers, and mooring covers. We're also the place to go for marine carpet replacement, hull liners, custom boat seats, pontoon boat upholstery, commercial galley chairs, custom boat covers and settees.
Naugahyde® Sample Colors & Textures
The vast array of vinyl samples in our showroom have one thing in common; they're premium grade vinyls from established manufacturers such as Naugahyde®.
Naugahyde is a pioneer in coated fabrics. The company's orginal vinyls had a reputation for cracking and fading in harsh environments. Today's Naugahyde is nothing like the old stuff; it's a popular, superior quality vinyl with outstanding durability and exceptional performance. Here are just a few of the colors and styles Naugahyde® offers for boaters. Roll your mouse over the color swatch to display its name:
Manufacturing a V berth cushion can be challenging. For one thing, the shape of a V berth varies dramtically from boat to boat. Cushion configuration, size and density 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 correctly sizing each cushion is critical.
Custom Fit V Berth
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 Seat Covers
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.
Sea-Doo Seat Covers
Sea-Doo Seat Covers
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.
Pleated Sun Pad For Seaquest
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.
Color-Matching Boat Cushions
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.
Marine Grade Vinyl
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 Mac's will be durable and flawless.
Bow Cushions For Yacht
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 the cushions is so important.
Notice the bottom two cushions on the far left. Cushion 'B' is rectangular; the parallel stripes extend all the way down the cushion. 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
Helm Chair For Luxury Yacht
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.
Reupholstered Helm Chair
Reupholstered Helm Chair
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.
Speedboat Seat Repair
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.
Damaged Speedboat Seat
Damaged Speedboat Insert
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.
How Not To Build Marine Cushions
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.
Original Boat Cushion
Plastic Under The Cover
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.
Ez-Dri & Dacron Layer
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.
Boat Carpet Replacement
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.
Bayliner Deck Stripped
Installing Glue-Down Carpet
Glue-Down Carpet Installation
Bayliner Capri After New Carpet
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.
Why We Don't Use Cheap Fabrics
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.
Standard Grade Vinyl
Marine Grade Vinyl
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.
Quality In Every Detail
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.
We only use durable, marine grade vinyl
Using two Velcro bands instead of one ensures cushions stay put even in rough seas
Seams are meticulously stitched using heavy-duty thread
To maximize air circulation, we drill a series of precision vent holes in the back of the cushion
Gusseted zipper pockets keep the zipper slider in place
Our premium quality upholstery foams and marine foams perform years longer than standard foam
Recover Grady-White Cushions
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.
Damaged Bench Seat
Damaged Boat Cushion
Recovered Boat Cushion
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
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.
Cushion With Sharp Curves
Wrinkled Fabric Before Steam
Steam Smooths The Fabric
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.
Beneteau Sailboat Settee
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.
Main Salon Starboard Sette, 42 Foot Beneteau Sailboat
Notch For Armrest
Support Bar Notch
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.
Using Design To Fight Mold & Mildew
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.
Mold & Mildew Collect In Seams
Redesigning Cushion Cover
Sleek & Sanitary
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.
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.