View Full Version : What Happened To My Rear Seat?

Carl C
10-17-2011, 05:18 PM
My rear seat bottom completely disintegrated this summer. All of this damage happened this season. I did not use any product on it that I did not use on all of the upholstery (magic erasers & vinyl conditioner). Here is also a pic of the driver's seat which gets the most use and is still almost like new. Anyway, a new seat bottom is coming from Donzi Direct but what the heck happened??

10-17-2011, 05:23 PM
Carl, is it original?
If it is, maybe, just maybe, the material in that one piece is from a different roll, or something.
Everything has a life span.

Carl C
10-17-2011, 05:33 PM
George, yes, all original. Different roll theory makes sense. Still, it held up well until this summer.

10-17-2011, 05:57 PM
Any unusual passengers this season? Like, say, a drum sander?

10-17-2011, 06:14 PM
+1 Fixx Its not right for the one panel to look like its 20 years old. We all know you take care of your stuff... Thats Strange. I would say call Donzi but I dont think anyone would answer...:bonk:
Good luck Carl
BTW, How are the puppies?

10-17-2011, 06:21 PM
my rear bench is like this on my TR an the core is turning to dust arghh. The splits get worse if the bench is damp and gets stepped on, etc. btw Is that the "dark grey" carpet kit you have from donzidirect? if so I'm looking at those, do you have any pics you would be so kind to post Carl?

10-17-2011, 06:31 PM
No one would answer. Carl, that is really strange! You told me the seat was cracking, but it's completely disintegrating! It seriously looks like the cushion came out of a different boat. Maybe it blew out during a sea trial and the dealer had one made locally? Maybe someone (at the factory or dealership) used a harsh solvent on it, but if so I'd expect you would have noticed the deterioration sooner. I'm just grasping at straws. I'll forward that photo to the shop and see if they can shed any light on things.


10-17-2011, 06:55 PM
Patrick, here's the original picture of our dark gray carpet. I used this shot to make the photo you see on the donzidirect.com store. Shown here against beige carpet, maybe it's a little easier to see what the actual color looks like? I don't think Carl's carpet has the lighter and darker fibers like ours does, and I think his might be a bit of a "warmer" gray, if that makes any sense.


Carl C
10-17-2011, 07:05 PM
Thanks Josh. That is strange. That is the seat and carpet that came with the boat new.

10-17-2011, 07:24 PM
My back seat was the first and only item to wear out.

When people step into the boat they step on that seat whether you are there or not.

Also when you work on the engine it is knees into the seat and grinding action moving parts and oil sticks around.
Others will do it
even if you don't . . .

10-17-2011, 07:33 PM
[ QUOTE=$originalposter]{$pagetext}[/QUOTE]

thanks Josh. It states that its 40oz so it should be nice and heavy yeah?. Do you guys throw a logo on it? Any full floor shots of this actual package would be great if anyone has 'em. Appreciate the pic once again, and not meaning to hi jack this thread guys sorry.

Greg Guimond
10-17-2011, 07:33 PM
Wow that sucks Carl, and certainly is strange.............

Morgan's Cloud
10-17-2011, 08:26 PM
Your posterior (or some part of it ) obviously has some sort of very rare upholstery preserving qualities.

Put an extension on your steering wheel with a u/joint and drive from the rear set from time to time ... This should stop the problem once and for all .. :banghead:

10-18-2011, 08:14 PM
seriuosly that sux, my 43 year old seats don't look that bad. it looks like some kind of mold has taken up in the stitching, with the black running thru the pleats.

was this noticed overtime or just overnight? i would think somekind of cleanup maybe by a place that has done work on the boat that was a little to harsh.

Barry Eller
10-18-2011, 08:38 PM
Carl, I just had my back seat bottom recovered in my 1993 and I only had 4 splits in the stitching. They came from me stepping on the back seat last winter when the temps were very cold, well very cold for Florida. That looks like very premature failure.

Carl C
10-18-2011, 09:36 PM
Matty, it all started this summer and went downhill real fast. The thread in the seams isn't what failed; The vinyl is torn there. There are also cracks where there are no seams. I get what you guys are saying about the back seat bottom getting abuse and brittle in the winter and all but this is strange..:pizza:

10-18-2011, 09:42 PM
I can imagine different rolls of vinyl, as was mentioned. I can also imagine rot/dry rot.

Curious if a back seat flew out and got completely soaked early on, would it appear just fine but fail like yours at some earlier time than usual? Meaning, has rot been quietly and steadily eating away at the back, without any way for you to notice, until enough material was compromised for it to fall apart? Part of what is so interesting is the relative uniformity of the failure.

10-18-2011, 09:53 PM
carl what does the underside look like

what does the foam and the plastic liner if any look like thru the cracks

10-19-2011, 11:12 AM
A couple of things,

I take my back set apart after every trip to the lake and let the foam and cover dry as separate items. Although my inner foam is wrapped in plastic it still gets full of water and takes forever to dry if I don't separate them.

I have big concerns about what is in the Magic Erasers. They clean upholstery great so I suspect that they do contain bleach, but at what concentrate?? The few times I have used them I make sure to rinse the upholstery with clean water to dilute any bleach that may be left on the vinyl. I really don't use them any more because I've been too worried about them eating my upholstery.

Carl, you store your boat inside right?

10-19-2011, 12:54 PM
RickSE: I did some searching on magic erasers because I had the same fears as you. It's like, these things can't work this good without bleach or something!

But I found out that they were 'invented' by accident from an existing product. The basis of them working is they break down into a sort of ultra fine sandpaper and simply scrub the dirt away. One thing to definitely do though is protect after using them as I am very confident anything that was on the vinyl will be gone after using them because they basically clean everything off.

As far as Carl's seat.... it looks as bad as my Minx rear seat did when I replaced it as a 20 year old seat that was left in the boat uncovered... and even blew away during a hurricane by the previous owner and found again in the woods. Musta been built on a Friday or something.

10-19-2011, 02:45 PM
Not knowing the boat or it's history....
Could this have been caused by cleaners (unknown) from a previous owner?
Maybe a mess on the seat and "javex" type clean job that has over time rotted the area?

just think'n out loud.

Carl C
10-19-2011, 06:27 PM
Ghost, the seat never blew out but even if it had I only boat in fresh water and all the seats get wet when swimming but the front seats have held up.

Matty, I'll dissect the seat when I have the time.

Rick, yes, the boat has always been kept indoors.

Vette, I've used the magic erasers on all of the upholstery followed by vinyl conditioner. It's the generic ones that I've been warned about.

Woobs, there is no previous owner.

10-19-2011, 06:56 PM
When did the boat spend a significant period of time out of your hands? Any chance they needed to clean that seat, but not the others because of the engine work?

Not trying to throw someone under the bus, just brainstorming for other causes.

joseph m. hahnl
10-19-2011, 07:25 PM
Hmm:doh:perhaps when you were at the bar:beer: some one:alky: replaced

your cushion with theirs:lookaroun: you may have been a little:drunk: to notice.

10-19-2011, 07:41 PM
didn't you previously mention you had some 300# passenger's? :lookaroun:

10-19-2011, 07:44 PM
[ QUOTE=$originalposter]{$pagetext}[/QUOTE]
Thats funny Joseph,,,lol
Or maybe you dropped the seat in a pool of lacquer thinner for it to desinergrate like that.:wink:
BTW Carl? How are the puppies doing?

10-19-2011, 10:20 PM
Hey Carl, I showed those pics to the guys at the shop. They contend that it's most likely the result of a strong solvent or cleaner, like maybe someone was cleaning the boat and accidentally dumped a bucket of bleach on the aft seat.

Keep in mind, your upholstery was likely cleaned numerous times before you ever took delivery. The upholstery was cleaned before it left PPI (they use a mild citrus-based cleaner), then cleaned following the end of production at Donzi, and then again after block test and sea trial. If it sat at the factory for any amount of time before being shipped to a dealer, it could have been unwrapped and cleaned again prior to shipment. It was probably cleaned at least a few times at the dealership, and if it went to a boat show it's hard to say what happened, because dealers at many shows contract outside help to do their cleaning. Granted, anyone who gets paid to clean boats for a living SHOULD know what to use and what not to use, but who's to say?

Anyway, I guess without conducting a detailed forensic analysis, we'll never know. I think the one thing we can all agree upon is, "That's not supposed to happen!"


Carl C
10-20-2011, 08:08 AM
Well thanks for poking around, Josh. Just get my new seat here before spring please :).

Jim, yes a 300# female at aft, starboard. That really screwed up my ability to run flat in the rough :eek:.

Buddy, the pups are growing like crazy. Being only four they are getting plenty of nutrition. I have not sexed and registered them yet. I'll do that next week.

10-20-2011, 12:40 PM
I have had some weird stuff happen over the years but nothing as "sudden" as that. If somebody poured bleach or even cleaned it with bleach the stiching would have went first and within a couple months if not sooner. The vinyl actually cracking is what is weird. I would say a harsh solvent or cleanser but I doubt bleach. Maybe the 300lb woman had some wicked gas?

Carl C
10-28-2011, 09:11 AM
I just stumbled upon this quote on OSO. The Great Lakes have lots of black flies at times and I quite often use Off while lounging on the back seat. I wonder.....

"Be careful using some of those products on or near a boat. The last time I used "Deep Woods Off" on one of my new Formulas ..I woke up the next morning and all the "Acrylic/Lexan", near where I had sprayed the stuff, had pit marks in it where that crap literally melted it.

Funny, I called "Off" and raised you know what...they asked me if I had read the warnings on the product...sure as heck, it said not to use around plastics etc as it may cause damage...GRRRRRR.

But, regardless of all the "disclaimers" from everyone, sleeping out on the water on your boat, in a nice safe spot, doesn't get any better...at least for me!!

We don't need no stink'n Hotels....but the covered slips, especially on a rainy weekend, is a good way to go too, second best to sleeping out on the water!



10-28-2011, 11:07 AM
I haven't seen failures exactly like what Carl has, but I've seen lots of vinyl failures. Most common is the vinyl turning brown/sticky from very aggressive cleaners. I've more than once caught people using acetone to clean vinyl. Works great - for about a day. Then the the vinyl starts to break down fast.

I can't say what happened here, but it sure does look like some sort of extra strong cleaner. And I certainly don't trust that 'professional' detailers know what they are doing. As often as not those 'pros' are just some minimum wage kid the company hired last month, handed a bucket of supplies and a buffer, and told him to 'start on that on...' Heck, one time I had a 'pro' that I wanted to start doing business with our company who offered to do my own Carver for a 2/3 discount as an 'audition'. I later found him using 220 sandpaper on one of my tape stripes !!! He cut right though it to the gel. when asked what the heck he was doing, he said that area was really dull and he though he'd wet sand it back for me. :mad::shocking::bonk:

Needless to say, he didn't get the contract.

10-29-2011, 09:05 PM
I want to say thank you to the Donzidirect guys....just got my new all white seats... just picked up the boat from getting a new tank and detail and can't wait to install the interior.....absolutely perfect!

My back seat looks exactly the same.....two piece back cushions are in much better shape for a 94 model.