An Outdoorsman’s Guide to Boat Seats

Spending quality time with friends and family on board your water craft is more enjoyable with comfortable, quality boat seats. If you’ve been getting by with old, uncomfortable seats why not take a look at replacing them with new boat seats? In this guide we’ll take a look at the boat seating standards,  the top brands of boat seats and what you can expect to pay.

Boat Seat Standards
One thing to keep in mind as you shop for new boat seats is the type of seating you need to purchase. The American Boat and Yacht Council has published a set of recommendations for boat seat safety. These recommendations place pedestal boat seating into two primary categories:

  • Class A: The boat seat is designed for use when the boat is traveling at any speed.
  • Class B: The boat seat is designed for use only when the boat speed is no greater than 5 miles per hour.

To qualify for either classification, seating must pass several tests, both vertical and horizontal torque and load tests. Look for brands, like Springfield, that incorporate these standards into their manufacturing process.

Top Brands

  • Wise Boat Seats – Wise has been manufacturing seats since 1960. They offer a huge assortment of marine seating as well as truck seats and industrial seating. Wise has one of the best selections of the manufacturers out there, offering 13 categories of products including fishing boat seats, premium bucket seats, pontoon boat seats, camouflage boat seats and designer seats. Wise has a good warranty program; their Designer Boat Seats for example has a 6 year warranty on the frame and a 3 year warranty on the upholstery. Wise is also competitive when it comes to pricing. Their economy fishing boat seat runs $40 and their pro bass boat seats are $20 for the seat only.
  • Springfield Boat Seats – Springfield is another company with a long company history. They began making seating for the marine industry in 1968. With one of the best warranties in the industry, it’s no wonder that Springfield is a popular choice. They offer a limited 5 year warranty on all of their products. Springfield is primarily known for their pedestal stands and the stands are often paired with other upholstered seats. A pedestal with mounting brackets and hardware will run approximately $100-$160 depending on the types of features you select.
  • Toonmate Pontoon Boat Seats – If you’re looking for pontoon boat seats and accessories, you’ll want to check out Toonmate. Their selection of designer and premium seats are available in a huge variety of configurations. You can also custom select your colors and also buy furniture packages which can help save you a fair amount. Expect to pay $160 and up for lounge seats A package that includes 2 bench seats, a corner section seat, bucket style captain seat and a steering console will set you back about $995.
  • Centurion Boat Seat Covers – Once you’ve invested in your new boat seats, it’s a good idea to also invest in covers to keep them in good shape. Centurion produces a line of high quality vinyl seat covers that help prevent fading and cracking that can be caused by excessive exposure to wind and sun. Folding covers range from $15 – $30 depending on the size.

Your boat seats are one of the primary places you’ll spend time on your boat. If you’re looking to improve the comfort, appearance and resale value of your boat – the seating is the perfect place to start. Stick with a known brand that offers a good product warranty and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your purchase will serve you well for many years.

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