Pick the Right Cushions for Nautical Use

If provided with the opportunity, few things are better than spending a warm summer day on the water, relaxing on a boat with friends or family. But as anybody who has owned or used personal watercraft knows, the elements can take quite a toll on these things. Sun, heat and humidity are all detrimental factors and some of the most damage-prone areas on watercraft are the soft seats and cushions that make boating so enjoyable. It takes a special kind of material to stand up to use as boat pads but by implementing the right materials, these cushions can offer a long and enjoyable life to their users.

There are two primary kinds of materials that should be considered for use as boat foam cushions. One is open-celled quick-drying foam. This material is specially engineered with very wide cells that drain moisture and allow the passage of air to dry the foam’s interior. The best quick-drying materials also include an antimicrobial additive in the formula to ensure that any moisture unable to immediately evaporate does not cause rot and damage the material. When used in boat cushions or even a marine bed¸ these materials should be paired with a breathable outdoor covering fabric that allows air to dry the material. Regular open-cell foams are absorbent and prone to waterlogging and rotting over time, even when encased in a waterproof material. Moisture will always find a way in over time, through seams or tiny punctures in covers, leading to ruined cushions.

The other option, perfect for vinyl covered seats, is gym rubber. This closed-cell material is non-absorbent and water resistant in addition to being antimicrobial, three ideal traits for long-term use in a marine environment. Gym rubber is firm enough for stable seating but soft enough for comfortable enjoyment. Either option is a smart choice for outfitting your boat and can ensure years of on-the-water enjoyment.