How to Pick Boat Seats

How do you prefer your boat seats?

In this article, we get you aboard some important reminders in choosing the right boat seats, regardless of style, design, or anything in between.

Cheap vs Affordable Boat Seats

Bear in mind boat seats that are inexpensive and can last for a reasonable amount of time.

There’s a difference between cheap and affordable boat seats. The former means something that’s budget friendly but may have quality issues that can compromise convenience and longevity. However, the latter implies the opposite despite of being inexpensive.

For example, you bought a boat seat worth $50 but the seat’s back quickly bends and becomes too soft in only a couple of months, which can be a liability for back support. As a result, you decided to buy a new one for $150. This time, it’s water-resistant and took a year before it gradually wears down.

The cost of boat seats usually depends on the brand and where the boat seat’s made from. Overall, you can purchase decent new boat seats around $70-$100 but they can go beyond $200 if you’re looking for some slightly expensive and or premium ones.

Boat Seat Foam

While boat seats are obviously meant for the maritime navigation environment, take note that not all boat seats are intended to be put in the same location because their foams have varying features and purposes.

A few boat seat foams are:

  • Closed-cell Foamdoesn’t let water to pass through it which makes it commonly found on boat seats in the cockpit area or where the boat’s navigation controls are seen. Its firmness won’t let you sink in your seat.
  • Reflex Foam – gets its sea green shade from its biocide treatment. It reduces mold and mildew accumulation. Its firmness is on the moderate level that makes it commonly used on interior (saloon) seats.
  • Dry-fast Foam – doesn’t hold water because of its raw or exposed layer which typically allows water to pass through. Its breathable factor makes it useful for seats and mattresses found in sleeping quarters.

Boat Seat Installation

Installing your boat seats can be intimidating at first but it becomes fairly easy once you get accustomed to it. The only trick is to figure out where you’re going to put them with the correct mounting hardware.

Some mounting options are:

  • Installing your boat seat on a bench in the absence of a standard swivel – Use a clamp on swivel by positioning it at the center of the bench. Attach the retainer brackets one in front and the other at the back. Then manually tighten them including the back bump screws. Lastly, create holes using a driller with 1 and 1/8 bit, and secure the screws with a Philips screwdriver.
  • Installing your boat seat on a flat top box slider – Use the removable slider and put it in a way that lets the boat seat rotate on different sides. Mount the sliders with the #14 self-tapping stainless screw that’s about 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches long (3 for each slider). The purpose of a slider is it lets you move the swivel in and out, and eventually detach the boat seat when you have to.
  • Aligning the seat on the swivel – Remove the mounting hardware and replace it with studs that are two-inch quarters. Then, carefully screw them down for 3/8 to 1/2 inches.

Boat Seat Size

Boat seat size matters because it also spells comfort. There’s a 16-inch, low-back Weis boat with a plastic base and backing, if you’re only after the basic sitting preference.

There’s also one that’s 17-inch wide and high back, if you need something where you can relax your back during long rides. This is useful especially if you have existing back problems and don’t want to aggravate them.

But how will you know if you have chosen the correct boat seat size?

Measuring the Size of Your Boat Seat

Surprisingly, you can’t measure the boat seat size based on the boat seat itself. Instead, you need to determine the overall length at the base of the seating area from inside.

Don’t forget to include the depth of the seating platform and the height of back wall’s seating area. For boats with built-in side storage compartments, you need to measure the inside width between storage compartments.

How Tall Should Boat Seats Be?

If you’re installing boat seats with a typical, standard boat size in mind (that’s 30-35’), here’s a few pointers in terms of the height:

  • Compact boat seats – at least 10” with seating areas of 12”-15”.
  • 4-piece bass boat seats – at least 12” with seating areas of more than 14”.
  • Fold-down boat seats – almost universally compatible with any boat but need a seating area that’s more than 15”.

How Do You Clean and Restore Boat Seats?

Caring for and maintaining your boat seats is easier than you think. Just follow these simple steps and you’ll be able to preserve or even prolong your boat seats’ intended lifespan.


Choosing the right boat seats not only helps you maximize your boat’s available space but also lets you navigate the waters at your own convenience. While having an attractive boat seat is a plus, never forget that your comfort should still be at the helm of your priorities. Tell us what you think by commenting below.        

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