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wtrskiscout

Sunsetter Bow seat removal

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wtrskiscout

Hello all.

I have a 1988 Sunsetter (I know this is a bit older boat than most around here) and I’m about to re-do the bow area upholstery. Any idea how to remove the bow seat backs? They seem to be either screwed from the fiberglass and then into the seat back or maybe they are captured between two pieces of plywood and need to be lifted out (I tried and it hasn't lifted yet). I've removed all the screws I can find (two under the windshield on each side and those under the cushions), still not coming out.

Any ideas?

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footnlongline

Hello all.

I have a 1988 Sunsetter (I know this is a bit older boat than most around here) and I’m about to re-do the bow area upholstery. Any idea how to remove the bow seat backs? They seem to be either screwed from the fiberglass and then into the seat back or maybe they are captured between two pieces of plywood and need to be lifted out (I tried and it hasn't lifted yet). I've removed all the screws I can find (two under the windshield on each side and those under the cushions), still not coming out.

Any ideas?

You have to reach under where the seat cushions are and up and around and feel for the nut, you wont be able to see them.

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rugger

Bad news. You have to pry in between the plywood seat back and the fiberglass, and zip through the bolts with a sawzall or hacksaw blade. You can't get the the bolts otherwise on these boats because the seat backs are all one piece... Otherwise you'll have to tear out the foam to get to them. Once you redo the seats, try using slide-in adapters or something if you don't want to have the same problem again. I can PM you a link to my seat project from a few years ago. Same boat.

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Intense

Bad news. You have to pry in between the plywood seat back and the fiberglass, and zip through the bolts with a sawzall or hacksaw blade. You can't get the the bolts otherwise on these boats because the seat backs are all one piece... Otherwise you'll have to tear out the foam to get to them. Once you redo the seats, try using slide-in adapters or something if you don't want to have the same problem again. I can PM you a link to my seat project from a few years ago. Same boat.

Really? That sounds awfully destructive. And makes me wonder how Malibu ever assembled them in the first place.

On my old boat (a 98 Sunsetter), I seem to remember reaching up behind the seatbacks from the underseat storage and feeling a couple fasteners. I never actually replaced the vinyl, but that's how I had planned on removing the seatbacks.

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rugger

Let me rephrase. Yes, you can reach at least some of the nuts if you reach up through the compartments beneath seat cushions. But If you're taking the whole piece out anyway... I'd zip through them and save a lot of time. Then you can spend hours and bloody knuckles putting them back in the right way. I even had the services of Chee and another guy at Malibu. That bow section is a PIA.

If you take a look at the pictures of the way they were set up, you'll see what I mean. These were some of the first open bow ski boats and they were built by hand, so one was not exactly like the next. A lot of what Malibu (and the other brands) did then sure doesn't seem to make sense today. Thank god they made great hulls.

wtrskiscout.... Maybe you'll get lucky and be able to reach them all.... I could not, especially in the front. And there were bolts there. Hope that helps.

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wtrskiscout

Thanks for the replies and rugger has some nice pics too.

I think the sawzall route will be easiest. We already tried reaching up an feeling for a nut or screw. Nearly impossible to reach up there and certainly impossible to replace the fastener in the event you were able to remove it.

Rugger do you remember about how much the new skins cost?

Concensus here seems to be that Chee is the way to go.

Nice to have a good reliable source for info and supply references.

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Sunsetter95

Thanks for the replies and rugger has some nice pics too.

I think the sawzall route will be easiest. We already tried reaching up an feeling for a nut or screw. Nearly impossible to reach up there and certainly impossible to replace the fastener in the event you were able to remove it.

Rugger do you remember about how much the new skins cost?

Concensus here seems to be that Chee is the way to go.

Nice to have a good reliable source for info and supply references.

Before you have the upholstery done, maybe you can have the seatbacks made into sections instead of one piece. My '95 has two sides and a small nose piece. Yes, I have to reach way up behind to get to the bolts also.

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