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BradM

1900v Seat Cushion to Starboard "How to"

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Between Facebook, and some folks here, I thought I would post how I made the forward seats for my 1900v. Like most of us with this boat or similar models of this era, we walk all over these cushions; much more so than sit here. I took my interior out on more than one occasion to have it reupholstered only to have the shop fall through or something come up requiring the use of my boat (fishing). Hating the looks of what I had and my growing frustration, I needed a solution that I could do at home and on my time…no one responsible for the deadline other than me.

After a lot of research and looking around, I decided on King Starboard for my new seat base material. The OEM stuff under the upholstery and foam appeared to be expanded polystyrene or something or that nature. While light, it was just too light for my liking. I’m a big boy and most of my fishing buddies are too. I knew that I was going to be covering whatever I made with SeaDek, as I have that on my cooler and stand on there all the time. I like the ease of clean up and the sure footing SeaDek provides and a little cushion too. The best deal I could find on Starboard was through Boat Outfitters. They will cut what you need at a fair price. I opted for two pieces of  ¾” thick in the Arctic White color measuring 15”x 48” which was roughly the overall size of my current cushions +/- an inch in either direction ($193 including tax and shipping). As for SeaDek, I purchased their large sheet of textured material ($149 for a roll) directly through SeaDek. I am local to Gemlux, and scoured their discount page for a little bit and made a few trips to their shop on my lunch breaks. I decided on new compression latches in the 2” size as well as four friction hinges. I was out the door for less than $50.00. Score!

Now that I had all my material, less fasteners, I was ready to begin layout. I removed the old seat cushions and pulled all 2 million staples out of one (flip over for port to starboard, no need to remove material off both cushions). This gave me a template to trace onto my piece of Starboard. I knew I would be moving the compression latches, so I left those holes out until I had the new bases mounted in place, and then located where the new holes would be. I planned on using my router to cut the Starboard, but due to poor planning and time constraints, I had to use my jig saw. I picked up a couple of Bosch blades that were like a skeleton of a blade. The idea behind this is to dissipate heat quicker than a solid blade. I do not know if this helped, but nothing melted and I had clean cuts. Try not to disengage and reengage the material a lot as these “stop and go’s” create ridges in the edge versus a clean edge. Not to fret, this stuff sands pretty well too!

Locating the hardware…I really wanted to flip the opening of the hatches so they opened from the inside, rather than from the outside to the inside. I didn’t do this for a few reasons though. 1) Being that I have a toddler and I didn’t want him messing with them and have one close on his arm/hand on accident. 2) I always load these compartments from outside the boat…bonus. 3) I was concerned about the amount of material to mount the hinges on, and if it would hold up to the weight and misuse of careless folks (wife’s friends). So, I kept them where they were, although I did relocate the mounting points a few inches in outboard of where they were. I also installed new T-Nuts on the top side of the hatch. The OEM ones are just hammered into the material and left as is. Not a big deal since they foamed and covered, but this little protrusion would be an obvious bump in the SeaDek in all four spots the T-Nuts are. I used a spade blade to countersink and flush the T-Nuts with the Starboard. I recommend a pilot hole, but not too large as the bit will want to wonder. Once you get them flush, drill through with the proper size bit for the new bolts/machine screws. Just like not wanting the appearance of ‘bubbles’ in the SeaDek from the T-Nuts, I didn’t want voids where the threads were either. I ran a Q-Tip from the bottom side up, until it was almost flush with the threaded hole. Then I mixed up some two part epoxy and filled in the hole, and sanded flush with the Starboard when it hardened.   Not that you have to, but I bought a piece aluminum flat bar from my local Ace, and cut it the length from hinge to hinge. I ran a piece on the underside of the fiberglass to help distribute the moment of inertia when operating the doors. Between the weight of the material and the friction hinges, I figure it helps more than hurts. Locating the compression latches is pretty straight forward. I ended up using the center location on the OEM piece, but had to move it closer to the edge that it would latch to. This is because I went with a smaller latch as mentioned earlier. ***I cut the compression latch holes with a holesaw. Don’t!*** Way too much heat and it melted into a mess. Nothing that wasn’t easily fixed, but this was my only mistake and knuckle headed, self-inflicted problem during this job. I did the other side with the same hole aw, but paced myself and squirted a bunch of water on the material and holesaw during the process.

Sticking the landing. My biggest concern with this project was the SeaDek and the possibility of absolutely ruining $150 worth of material. I cut a small piece off with a razor knife and made a few cuts for practice. Easy enough to cut and work with, but would it stick to the Starboard? I unrolled my SeaDek in the grass and put some weight on the ends to keep it that way while the sun worked on it while I prepped the Starboard. I roughed up the surface with 80 grit and wiped it down with acetone….a couple times! REMEMBER HANDEDNESS (left/right) AND TOP versus BOTTOM when doing this step. I was ready to trace my new Starboard piece onto the SeaDek, and did so leaving about an 1/4” all the way around and covered right over the compression latch hole, too. I nervously peeled the backing off, and laid it down, progressively removing the backing as I went. No big deal. I have a router, and for $50 and a trip to Harbor Freight, you can too. I used my router with a quarter round bit with a built in guide to finish the edge of the SeaDek flush with the Starboard; just set the depth for the reveal you want and go. Concerned with the base of the router sticking to the SeaDek and causing sticking issues, I ran clear box/packing tape over the surface I planned to run the router across….this was totally unnecessary as it would turn out. The router base runs just fine over SeaDek, no sticking issues at all. Poke a hole where the latches go, and run that too. Easy as 1-2-3! Once stuck and trimmed, I put the piece SeaDek down and stacked whatever weight I had on it for a couple of days….I wanted to make sure it stuck and stuck well!

Done. From beginning to end I probably had 10 hours of thinking about all the mistakes I was going to make, and 3-4 hours of actual labor. Not that you need a lot of tools, for this project, but there are some that make it easier. Note the table saw in the background…never used it. Not once. Well, I did use it for a table a bit, but not to cut. I already owned every tool I used, but relied on my jig saw for the cuts, router to clean up the SeaDek (not necessary, but nice), drill and bits, combination square, razor knife/blades and that’s about it. I have 6-7 months of use on these pieces now and I love them. They’ve worked flawlessly and look good too. And yes, I did recover the backrest at the cooler seat and the leaning post too, but that’s a different thread.

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LatchRecess.png

NewLidLatch.png

RoutedSeaDek.png

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30 minutes ago, SCFD rtrd. said:

Wow, look at the brain on Brad. Man, that's a good looking job and nice up-grade.

This made me laugh....Appreciate it. Too much detail is almost enough, right? Hopefully it helps people out who want to tackle this job but are as concerned as I was. I much rather work on hot rods and build engines though. 

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Brad, I got a little confused about the routing. Did you route the SeaDeck and Starboard at the same time, after the SeaDeck was stuck to the Starboard??

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4 hours ago, SCFD rtrd. said:

Brad, I got a little confused about the routing. Did you route the SeaDeck and Starboard at the same time, after the SeaDeck was stuck to the Starboard??

Yes and no. I routed the Seadek after it was adhered to the Starboard. The edge of the Starboard is 100% intact, as I only rounded the edge of the Seadek. 

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