How to find the best boat seats
A boat seat buying guide
A day of fun on the water, along with some good company, is an experience well worth looking forward to. One way to make sure everyone on the boat enjoys that next outing in comfort is to equip your craft with luxurious and cool boat seats.
>> What are the signs of quality boat seat construction?
You'll find in shopping for the best boat seats that there are many boat seat designs and brands on the market. You may wonder how to comb through your choices to find high-quality boat seats to install on your craft. Fortunately, the process just requires looking for a few signs of solid construction first and narrowing down your boat seat options from there.
To buy boat seats that are made well, insist on a sturdy frame. Many plastic frames are quite strong and durable, and their relatively light weight allows you to avoid adding excess weight to your boat. Check also that new boat seats feature corrosion-resistant materials in the seat's construction. Aluminum, for example, is a reliable material.
Finally, examine the warranty. The best boat seats are a durable piece of boating equipment, rather than disposable boating supplies, and the manufacturer's warranty terms should reflect this. A solid warranty includes generous replacement terms if you buy boat seats that fail before the warranty runs out.
>> What types of boat seat designs are available?
Your first task in shopping for boat seats is to narrow your choices down to models with boat seat dimensions that suit your boat's mounting locations. Beyond that, you can choose a new boat seat from a variety of styles.
Fold-down seats are the most common boat seat design. They're practical, and taking advantage of their folding mechanism can help protect the seats from water damage or grime build-up. Sport-style seats have a few variations, including bucket and swivel boat seat designs. All are made with plenty of cushioning and solid support, which makes them ideal for absorbing the shock involved in power boating. They are also comfortable to sit in for extended periods in an upright position, making them an excellent choice for installation in speedboats and power boats, where quality boat seats help you sit up and see well over the bow.
For a slightly different kind of active water pursuit, pedestal-style seats are particularly good at assisting you in keeping your footing and balance in rough-water conditions. Boat seat pedestals keep a person holding fishing rods or binoculars in a semi-standing position, providing just enough support to keep you from fatiguing easily while helping you hold an upright viewpoint that provides a good view of what's happening beneath the water's surface.
Days full of outdoor activity on the water call for lots of gear, which is why you may want to take a look at jump-style seats in your hunt for the best boat seats. These are built on a frame and often offer storage space underneath, allowing you to stow away a few extra items. This is especially handy when you have guests on the boat for a day and have a varied itinerary, which means that people may be carrying snorkels, hats or deck shoes that they'll need to stash and retrieve at various points.
Finally, for those times on the water when you just want some peace and quiet, consider boat lounge seats. These give you the pampering option of reclining in a flat or nearly flat position. For this reason, you may find them to be the best boat seats for enjoying sunbathing and general relaxation during your day aboard.
>> Are ergonomics and upholstery important in your new boat seats?
Your ideal pleasure boat trip may involve plenty of activity, like water sports or wildlife viewing, and the best boat seats will be ones designed with comfort in mind. This is why you should always consider ergonomics when selecting boat seat designs. As with office and home seating, a waterfall front to the seat cushion can help maintain circulation and comfort. Because boat seats are used in a moving vehicle, it's important that they have good cushioning against the shock of the ride.
Good seat ergonomics help alleviate fatigue caused by boat vibration and by a sitting posture that is less than ideal. Giving your passengers the option to recline fully flat or just to adjust their own angle of recline helps passenger comfort even further. It can also provide extra visibility as needed, when you choose to push your chair forward for a better view.
The support provided by a solid frame and high seat backs can help maintain your comfort as well, which should be a major goal of most boat accessories. Besides a high back, lumbar support is another premium feature that signals a quality boat seat. The best boat seats tend to have premium upholstery as well, and the upholstery often does double duty.
For example, camouflage upholstery can keep hunting boats' visibility low. Marine-grade vinyl upholstery is sturdy and lasting in the face of water, salt, sun and even sand. Mesh upholstery is worth considering as well. Its springiness can help prevent sitter fatigue, and the nature of its fabric results in one of the best boat seat features to have: seats covered in mesh tend to release water, which means you can stay relatively dry during your time aboard your boat too.
While you're shopping for boat accessories, toss in some boat cushions to make your new boat seats even more appealing and comfortable. Simply installing new boat seats probably provides an instant upgrade to the look of your boat's interior, but it's often useful to spruce up the look even further with some decorative cushions in marine-suitable fabrics. You'll be amazed at how comfortable and stylish you can make your boat, once you get started.
Although it's important to have a mechanically sound and safely operating boat, the comfort of you and your passengers is an important part of how well you enjoy your time on the boat. Give everyone a comfortable place to rest by installing the best boat seats you can find, and you'll be amazed at how quickly your boat becomes a popular place to hang out on the water.