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DIY Boat Seats

by Liz Tomas; Updated October 25, 2017

Items you will need

  • Plywood

  • Saw

  • Sandpaper

  • Screws

  • Drill

  • 2 Aluminum rods

  • Metal rods

  • Marine adhesive

  • Foam

  • Waterproof material

  • Cushions

There are many different types of boat seats. The purpose of the boat seat is for comfort as well as for safety, as there are often conditions when standing on a boat is dangerous. Additionally, some boat seats, like fighting chairs, are used for specific activities such as fishing. There are collapsible seats, bench seats and many other styles. Building your own boat seat allows you to customize the seats specifically for your boat and your own personal needs.

Cut two pieces of plywood to the desired shape and length. The plywood can run all the way across the back of the boat as a long seat or it can be cut shorter and fit only one or two people. The exact length of the board will depend on your boat. One piece of plywood is the boat seat and the second is used for the back of the seat. As an example, the boat seat may measure 4 feet by 1.5 feet and the back section of the seat measures 4 feet by two feet.

Sand down all the edges of the plywood using sand paper. The goal is to get rid of any sharp edges.

Screw the pieces of plywood onto two bent aluminum rods. Using the measurements from step one of the section, the rod before the bend for the seat section should measure 1.25 feet and the section after the bend for the back section will measure 1.75 feet. The rods are placed equidistant about 3.5 feet in from the edge of the seat. This acts as a frame and provides support for the seat. Use a drill and screws to screw the plywood to the rods.

Cut four pieces of plywood to equal lengths. For our seats the two foot by one foot is a good size. If you want the seats higher off the ground, increase one foot to one and a half feet or two feet.

Screw the pieces of plywood together to form a box with a hole in the middle. Insert the screws at the corners. Provide additional support by inserting metal rods to the back of each piece. The rods will run from top to bottom when the box is placed down on the ground with the open space facing up. Think of the rods as a frame.

Secure the box to the deck of the boat with marine adhesive.

Sit the boat seat onto the box and secure in place by screwing the seat into the box with a drill and screws.

Cover the seat with foam and fabric or use cushions. For foam you will cut out the seat shape from the foam and glue the foam in place. Cover the foam with your choice of waterproof material.

About the Author

Liz Tomas began writing professionally in 2004. Her work has appeared in the "American Journal of Enology and Viticulture," "BMC Genomics" and "PLoS Biology." She holds a Master of Science in food science from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from the University of New Hampshire. She is pursuing her Ph.D. in oenology at Lincoln University.

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