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Hey guys… Not only am I new to the Malibu crew, but I am new to boats in general.  I bought our first family boat a few months ago, she’s an 06 Vride, definitely got some age on her but beautiful and will be a great first boat for us. I read all the threads about where to buy new skins, but does anybody have any suggestions to upholstery shops good or bad in the Tampa area?  Any guidance to a newbie would be greatly appreciated. 

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20 hours ago, FLMonk said:

does anybody have any suggestions to upholstery shops good or bad in the Tampa area?

I don't know anything about Tampa, but you can visit a few vintage car shows and ask around about good upholstery shops.  You are looking for someone who can source quality vinyl and do quality work.  If you want OEM vinyl, do your homework (ask on this site) and find the brand and names of the colors you want before you go looking for a shop.

You can remove your skins and take them to the shop to use as patterns for the new skins.  They may let you set a schedule for delivering a few skins and picking up the new ones so that you are both busy.  Several threads here discuss installing them onto your seat frames.  Take notes and photos as you remove the skins so that you can get them correctly installed. 

Just dropping off the boat will be less desirable because you will stress over the boat sitting in their yard for too long, plus you will be paying them to remove and install the skins.  If you don't plan to install them yourself, take the whole seat frame and let them remove the skins so they can take notes on how to put them back....

Hurricane Ian may have greatly changed the workload of local shops.  Sending your skins off (or contacting the current favorite on this site who already has patterns) may get you better work for less effort in shopping around.  IIRC, the current favorite upholsterer is found in a sticky post on one of the forums here.

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His work looks awesome, have not seen in person but have seen several of his pics which look very nice. Viper customs in Tennessee  is another one who does amazing work. 

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@FLMonk - congrats on your purchase.  More important than skin replacement given a rookie with boats will be to educate yourself on important boating skills / safety elements, etc.  There are numerous videos, threads, articles on safety related needs, tips, how to's to ensure the safety of you and your crew.  Lots of info on this site on how to operate your new toy, there are specific handling attributes to an inboard that require some practice to master.  Also, many threads, videos and articles on best maintenance practices as you put hours on the boat and key items need service, repair, etc.  Happy boating with the new toy.

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