Marine Vinyl

It is important to know the components of vinyl if you are choosing it for a personal project.  Today you will learn its components and hopefully this information helps you get most out of your time and money.  

Marine vinyl is made out of three components.  First, it has a polyester backing.  This backing is knitted and helps prevent the vinyl from easily tearing.  Depending on the way it is knitted, the vinyl can vary in elasticity.  Second, we have the glue that adheres the backing to the actual PVC Vinyl.  This glue is extremely important in the making of vinyl.  If it is not glued correctly, the vinyl will detach early the project has to be redone.  Third, the PVC foam layer is the outer layer that we see and feel.  This pvc foam layer can be as thin as 0.05mm to 1.5mm.  Depending on this thickness, marine vinyl can be durable but also may be too stiff for certain projects.  It all depends on the elasticity requirement of the piece you are recovering. 

When it comes to choosing the correct thickness of vinyl, we have to think on how curvy the project is.  For example, if you are recovering a jet ski, you will need a vinyl that is extra flexible such as a four-way stretch.  This means that the vinyl stretches sideways as well as up and down.  In comparison, the two-way stretch vinyl only stretches sideways, which is the norm on marine upholstery.  On the other hand, if your project is a piece with minimal curves, then a thicker vinyl would work.

It is important to use marine quality vinyl when using it for outdoors because it is PVC layer has certain additives that helps vinyl last longer than indoor vinyl.  These additives include a special uv protection and mildew resistance.  This means that marine vinyl will keep its color and not turn yellow like an indoor vinyl would if it is placed outside.  

We have already talked about the thickness and the additives in marine vinyl, but are not probably still puzzled as to what marine vinyl is best.  Since, i am unable to recommend a brand due to conflict of interest between my company and my suppliers, i would advise you to look at product reviews, which may sometimes only be obtainable by businesses who have commercial accounts, or you can request a SPEC sheet, available by the manufacturer.  This product specification sheet explains the components of the brand of vinyl you are purchasing. It also explains testing elements that concludes into its durability.   From there you may be more informed about the brand of vinyl and weather or not is a good match for your project.

Sum it up

In conclusion, you want a marine vinyl that is durable, found on the spec sheet.  If it is proven to have the additives for marine vinyl then you will be safe in using it for your marine needs.  Remember that you do not need extra sun resistant additives for car upholstery since they are not as exposed to the sun like marine vinyl. If you need a spec sheet for a material that you are puzzled about, please email us at


Sources: Marine Vinyl fabrics