Care and Maintenance Instructions

Care and Maintenance Instructions

NOTE:  These products are water resistant, not waterproof.  Please read instructions thoroughly*

Loose male snaps are provided with all cushions in the instance that your snap locations vary from the original templates we procured for replication.  5200 Marine Adhesive or provided screws can be used to install loose male snaps if necessary.

Any personal modifications to our products voids all warranty terms.


Wood Maintenance Instructions

All wood has SPRAYED on varnish as we produce these in bulk so they are ready to ship when you order.  This rarely can at times cause drips in the varnish.  It will be up to the customer to repair (or leave as is) as the wood requires maintenance prior to use and will not be refunded or replaced.

The majority of our mahogany parts and all of our teak parts are comprised of solid or solid laminate wood.  Many parts are made up of more than one piece of solid wood in order to reduce waste and create specific shapes.  Small parts susceptible to warping are built with OEM style veneer.  They are kiln-dried and treated with the bare minimum 5 coats of sprayed Pettit Captain's ZSpar varnish (unless otherwise stated; ie: bare teak parts) to get you on the water immediately if necessary.  The parts can be installed on your vessel without additional coats of varnish however, if no additional varnish is applied prior to first use these maintenance instructions will be required at the end of your first boating season (not including areas with year round boating).  It is highly recommended to add your additional coats of varnish prior to installation. 

To maintain and preserve the look of your varnished wood, it is recommended to apply a fresh coat of varnish annually, or bi-annually if the wood has year round exposure to weather.  The more coats you apply, the longer you will have before your next maintenance is required.  For smaller parts you may also consider using the aerosol version found here (click here for application video). If you wish to further decrease the maintenance required on the wood, adding Epifanes immediately will create a high gloss look and further protect the wood from the elements. 

The annual upkeep process is simple and straightforward. We recommend Z Spar Captains varnish made by Pettit. To prepare the surface for a fresh coat, using 220 grit sandpaper, lightly sand the surface going with the grain (same direction of the grain) until all the "gloss" from the surface is removed.

Once you are finished sanding, clean the surface well and be sure to remove any dust. Using a foam brush or high quality paint brush, brush on one coat and be sure you are brushing with the grain. You may notice some brush marks, however these marks will go away shortly after brushing, prior to drying. You can repeat this process for multiple coats. If you have experience with spray guns, you can thin the varnish with a "thinner" and spray the varnish on. In the unlikely case that there are unsightly brush marks, or an "orange peel" surface in the new coat, you can smooth the surface by wet sanding with 400 grit paper, then 1,000 grit paper, followed by buffing with a high speed buffer using automotive rubbing compound, then apply a coat of wax to finish it off. This will result in a flawless, wet looking surface.  This last method can also be used to remove any possible packing foam marks left during shipping due to the hot weather in Texas.

Maintenance timelines can be extended by applying more layers of varnish or Epifanes and is highly recommended.

It is not recommend to wait to do maintenance work until bare wood begins to show.  We custom mix our stains to match wood from multiple different forestries so we cannot provide you with an exact stain to match your specific product. If you have waited to do your maintenance work for a longer period of time and your wood is now showing signs that it needs to be brought down to bare wood, it is recommended you do the first layer of varnish mixed with Pettit Brushing Thinner to allow the wood to absorb the varnish and tint.  You should also do test swatches on the underside of your pieces to determine what stain will work best. MinWax golden oak or red mahogany should be tested first.

While bare teak wood will require faster maintenance, it will be done far more often.  Bare teak will needs regular generous application of teak oil for protection from the elements and to keep the wood from becoming brittle.

Lastly, all removable cushions should be stored off of the wood and a ventilated cover should be utilized when the boat is not in use to ensure moisture is not trapped between the wood and vinyl.  Should cushions or other items be left in place and moisture trapped OR the wood be left wet especially in fluctuating temperatures, the wood will develop a foggy appearance.  In this instance, the wet sand + buff method described directly above will rectify the problem OR lightly scuffing with 220 or scuff pad and brushing on a new coat of varnish per your standard maintenance.

Specialty Marine 4 oz varnish repair kit


Important Upholstery Care Instructions

*This is a guide to properly care for your new upholstery to ensure a long life and sustained durability.*

*Most cushions are vacuum sealed to reduce shipping charges. 
Some cushions have foam wrapped in plastic.  Follow instructions on this orange card for applying the sealing sticker plastic foam covering before use*


You must view your boat upholstery as fine outdoor furniture. There are some inherent characteristics shared by all types of upholstery. One of the common links is that they both use urethane foam. Foam will absorb water, even so-called "closed cell foam". We have seen many different foam types from different manufacturers, and the unfortunate common link is that water will find a way in - some less than others, but in none the less.

Since foam will absorb water, there are three things that are employed.

First, the vinyl is sown together using a needle size that has the same diameter as the thread, leaving less opportunity for water to get past the vinyl into the foam. 

Second, some of our cushion's foam is wrapped in a plastic bag to keep it sealed from water.  This bag is not intended to withstand over exposure to moisture such as rain, hosing them off, or going over-board.  Once this bag has been compromised it should be removed completely so the foam has the ability to dry.

The third is a basic common sense approach. This means that you should treat your boat upholstery much like you would any other upholstery. Sure, there are differences in the vinyl between different types of upholstery, but there are many other characteristics that are the same. Always be conscience of any water sources, for example, you should never hose down your cushions. Instead, wipe them clean with a damp rag (no wire brushes) and only use non-solvent cleaners. Harsh cleaners such as bleach as well as rough surfaced cleaning equipment will quickly degrade the UV coating on the vinyl and lead to premature oxidation from the sun. Should your cushions become saturated, be sure to take quick action to dry them out. We employ zippers in most of our cushions, which allows you to remove the foam to let dry.  For plastic wrapped foam, if there is water penetration the plastic will have to be permanently removed to allow the water to evaporate. For other cushions that have a wood/plastic core, we cut air vents to allow for quicker evaporation.

Of course, you should still always try to avoid any source of unnecessary water. If the cushions are installed on a vessel that is left outdoors, it is critical to keep them covered. Not covering them will not only allow water intrusion (even with the foam wrapped in plastic), but it will expose the vinyl directly to the elements, animals, and theft.

Leaving them exposed to the marine environment can also subject the vinyl to "pink stains" caused by marine bacteria. To help prevent pinking, you need to eliminate the elements necessary for the bacteria to get established.  To cut the food supply, clean the upholstery thoroughly after each trip. If you're not washing the boat, wipe down all the vinyl with a clean towel at the end of the day.  Mircroban 24 can be used as a stronger method of deterrent. Also, avoid the use of sunscreens containing PABA.  

It is also highly recommended to use a vinyl protectant product on a regular basis. The generally "harsher" environment boat upholstery is subjected to warrants the need of such a product. Read the instructions on the vinyl protectant product and apply it after every use, or as a routine when you clean your boat.  

Lastly, when remove snap on cushions from the boat, grab the snap directly and unclick.  Do not pull the cushion away from the male snap.  Doing so will cause the vinyl, mesh, or flap to tear.

All colors of vinyl are 1.30 mm thick.

All wood cored cushions use 18 mm marine grade plywood with two coats of varnish.

You can find information regarding our foam from our suppliers website here in the "Open Cell Foam Specs Polyurethane" table.  We use the green foam.  *As of 9/27/2017 we have begun to special order the green foam in white for the aesthetic purposes*


Recommended Care Products:

1. 303 Aerospace Vinyl Protectant 

2. 3M Vinyl Cleaner, Conditioner & Protector

3. Mequiar's Vinyl and Rubber Cleaner with UV Protectant

4. Stainless Sealant

5. Stainless (and other metal) Cleaner and Polisher



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