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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 slightly. 5200 Marine Adhesive or screws can be used to install loose snaps if necessary.
Wood Maintenance Instructions
The majority of our mahogany parts and all of our teak parts are no longer OEM veneer but solid or solid laminate wood. They are treated with 5 coats of Captain's ZSpar varnish unless otherwise stated. The parts are ready to install on your vessel with or without additional coats of varnish. 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. If you wish to 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 California.
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 be left in place and moisture trapped, the wood will develop a foggy appearance. In this instance, the wet sand + buff method described directly above will rectify the problem.
Important Upholstery Care Instructions
*This is a guide to properly care for your new upholstery to ensure a long life and sustained durability.*
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.
The most common method used in boat upholstery is the use of plastic (plastic bag) to create a barrier around the foam. In theory, you would think this would be sufficient in keeping water out, but unfortunately has not proved to be the case. Whether it be small non-visible holes or general degradation of the plastic that often occurs after a short time, it actually works against preserving the upholstery. This is because once water makes its way through the plastic, it remains saturated in the foam from the inability of the water to evaporate through the plastic.
If you are reading this, chances are you are replacing an old "plastic wrapped" cushion that is either still wet, or has evidence of prolonged water intrusion such as mold. Now you may ask, how do you avoid this? Well, there is no easy or short answer. We do not use plastic around the foam for the above mentioned reasons, and since the foam will absorb water, there are two things that are employed. First, the vinyl is sown together using a needle size that has the same diameter as the thread, leaving much less opportunity for water to get past the vinyl into the foam. Since there is no plastic, water has the ability to evaporate should any get in.
The second 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 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, but it will expose the vinyl directly to the elements. 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.
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*