Best Way to Measure for Pontoon Boat Seats

Napello pontoon boat seats

There are many benefits to replacing and upgrading your pontoon boat seats. The best part is customizing the layout to suit your needs. It’s an easy task that just takes a bit of preparation. That’s what we are here for – to walk you through the process.

This article will review everything you need to know so you can relax in style with your new pontoon boat seats!

Why Do I Need To Replace My Furniture

Inside view of Napello pontoon boat furniture
Photo by Overton’s

Boat furniture takes a lot of abuse. Constant sun exposure can lead to fading and cracking. Consistent wake sprays can lead to mold and mildew buildup if water gets trapped, and kids treating the seats like a jungle gym can lead to punctures and tears.

Replacing your pontoon boat seats with a more updated style is also a great way to keep your boat looking new, so you can resist your urge to trade in for an updated model and take on another monthly payment.

If you plan to sell soon, it’s also a great way to increase resale value and ensure you get as much back as possible.

How to Measure for New Pontoon Seats

Measuring pontoon bench seat
Photo by Overton’s

You’ll need to take a few measurements to get the right pontoon boat seats. These measurements will vary depending on one of two options. The first option is to stick with the same layout you already have. In this case, you’d simply need to measure your existing seats to find the correct replacements.

The second option would be to change your layout. This gives you a fun and exciting new way to enjoy your boat. In this case, you’d need to measure your deck space from the inside of the rails front to back and side to side. Leave 1” of space free from the rails for the cushions.

Don’t forget about your gate locations when measuring.

Below is a diagram showing all the necessary measurements of pontoon boat seats.

Pontoon boat furniture measurement diagram
Photo by Overton’s

A- Distance between port and starboard rails

B- Distance between rear rail and side gate

C- Distance between front rail and side gate

D- Shape of corners, i.e. round or square

Types of Pontoon Boat Seats 

Pontoon boat seat types
Photo by Overton’s

There are many different types of pontoon boat seats. The most common consists of bench or lounge seats, captain’s chairs, lean-back seats, and corner seats.

Bench Seats 

Pontoon bench seat storage
Photo by Overton’s

The most common type of seating used on pontoon boats is the bench. It offers space for multiple guests, and most have integrated storage underneath. Depending on the layout, they are typically installed on the boat’s sides and offered in two pieces: the seat base and the seat top. The length varies with common measurements of 27”, 36”, etc.

Captain’s Chairs

Two captain's chairs in pontoon boat
Photo by Overton’s

The Captain’s Chair is used by the boat’s operator, otherwise known as the captain. These bucket-style seats are also sometimes found in the front or rear. With high backs and armrests, they provide the ultimate comfort.

Lean Back Seats

Lean-back seats in pontoon boat
Photo by Overton’s

The ultimate way to relax on a pontoon boat is in a lean-back or reclining seat. Typically rear-facing, these seats, when combined with a bench seat, let you stretch out and soak up the sun.

Corner Seats

Corner seats in pontoon boat
Photo by Overton’s

Corner seats are great transition pieces connecting one piece of furniture to the next without wasting any dead space. They often join two sections of bench seats to form a continuous seat.

If you don’t want to pick out each piece individually, you can opt for a complete package that includes everything you need to outfit your deck.

Tips for Installing New Pontoon Seats

Once you have your seats picked out, you’ll want to install them. If you’re replacing your seats in the same configuration, mark the locations of everything so the new seats go back in the same place the old seats came out. Please note that you may need to drill new holes into the deck, as the old mounting holes may not align with the existing ones.

Once you have the deck clear, inspect the flooring. If the carpet or vinyl shows signs of wear, replace it before installing new seats. You’ll also want to inspect the flooring underneath the carpet/vinyl. You must address any issues here before you install your seats.

If you change your layout or start fresh, begin with the center console. Mount it to the floor directly in front of the captain’s chair. Most center console hoods can be removed to access all the wires easily.

Once you mount the center console, install your corner seats. You can leave the seat pad off for easier mounting, but we recommend keeping the seat back in place to avoid clearance issues with the rail. You can then follow up with your benches and lean-back seats. Make sure all furniture is secured to the deck with the proper hardware.

Can I Reupholster My Old Pontoon Boat Seats?

Yes, you can choose to reupholster your old seats instead of replacement. However, you’ll need to remove all the seats and find a way to haul them to a local upholstery shop. You’ll then need to ensure they use marine-grade vinyl and check that the foam is in good shape. If it’s damaged or contains mold/mildew, it must also be replaced.

If your old seats require extensive repairs, they could quickly exceed the cost of a new set, which is why we usually recommend full replacement.

Replacing your pontoon seats can be a fun and exciting task. However, it’s important to plan correctly to ensure a good fit. Hopefully, you feel confident enough to tackle the job yourself. If not, most of your local marinas will be able to assist with this. Be sure to check out some of our other marine articles below.

Be sure to drop us a comment if you’ve replaced your pontoon boat furniture to let us know how it went!


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