How to Re-Cover a Personal Watercraft Seat

Item # X-HT-200636

After all those high speed, sun-soaked times out on the water, do your jet ski seats need a refresh? If your seats look brittle and cracked you can reupholster them following our step-by-step video tutorial. We’ll show you two different methods of seat reupholstery as we re-cover the seats on a three-person PWC.

New upholstery on a personal watercraft seat.

Finished PWC Seat

On our personal watercraft, the back seat had vinyl molded to the foam. Instead of trying to remove the foam we just added a new layer of vinyl on top of the old. On the front seat, the vinyl was not molded to the foam, so we removed the old vinyl and completely replaced it. The construction methods for both seats were also a little different. To create a tight fit on the contours of the back seat, we sewed multiple fabric panels together to mimic the shape of the seat. For the front seat, we let the fabric contour more loosely over the seat. Since PWC seat styles can vary greatly, you can take the principles from these two methods and apply them to your seat reupholstery project.

We chose to use Allsport 4-Way Stretch Vinyl for this project. This material is perfect for personal watercraft seats because it’s stretchable, pliable, durable and easy to clean. The 360-degree, 4-way stretch of this vinyl makes it easy to pattern and upholster with as well. Even though the fabric is easy to stretch, it’s still a good idea to have at least one other person to help you pull the vinyl snugly while stapling it in place.

Brian lends Matt a hand in the reupholstering of this PWC seat.

Brian lends a helping hand as Matt G. staples the vinyl in place

When upholstering with vinyl, it’s a good idea to use staples with a 1/2” crown. The crown of the staple is the flat part that you see when it’s installed. The 1/2” crown is thicker than traditional staples. Vinyl has a tendency to want to rip through staples so these higher crown staples will hold the vinyl better without ripping.

In this video you will learn how to pattern and sew panels for a contoured seat, pull and staple the vinyl, replace corner patches and re-cover a handle bar.

Video Chapters:

  • Patterning Vinyl for Aft Seat -- 4:30 min.
  • Sewing Aft Seat Panels -- 7:30 min.
  • Removing Corner Protectors -- 13:27 min.
  • Stapling Vinyl -- 14:15 min.
  • Trimming & Replacing Corner Protectors -- 20:36 min.
  • Re-covering Forward Seat -- 21:36 min.
  • Re-covering Handle Bar Pad -- 30:51 min.
  • Materials List -- 34:11 min.

Materials List:

  • Vinyl (we used Morbern® Allsport 4-Way Stretch Silver Met Vinyl #104181)
  • V-92 Polyester Thread (we used sliver/nickel #100077)
  • Sailrite® 21 Gauge 1/2" (12mm) Staples 10,000/Box (Stainless) #8012SS
  • HH-66 Vinyl Cement #103759

Tools List:

  • Sailrite® Short Nose Staple Gun #121410
  • Pony Clamps #50211
  • Tape Measure #102986
  • Sewing machine
  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • Screwdriver
  • Needle-Nose pilers

Have you ever reupholstered a PWC seat? Share your tips and advice with us in the comments!