How to Prevent Mildew On Boat Seats

How to Prevent Mildew On Boat Seats

Are you looking for suggestions to prevent mildew from forming on the boat seats? Is it your worst fear whenever you are on the water? 

Mildew is a fungus that grows in moist and humid conditions leaving the place smelling, musty and dirty. You can remove the germs with a cleaner, but they will return depending on humidity and temperature. Also, simply removing the stains will not solve your mildew issue.

Your boat seats are prone to mildew, which can accumulate over time and cause problems. This is why it is important to prevent it from forming in the first place. 

Here in this blog, you will learn some amazing tips and tricks to effectively prevent mildew from your boat seats.

Ways to Prevent Mildew On Boat Seats

Mildew may be challenging to remove after it has taken root. Therefore, the most uncomplicated strategy to deal with mildew is to prevent it from forming. You can do this by providing an unfavorable environment for it to flourish.

Temperature Controlled Storage Area

Your boat’s storage space should be temperature controlled. In this way, you will know how to target your layup period to prevent mildew growth appropriately. 

If the storage area is not temperature controlled, you may experience growth of mildew. The reason for the mildew build up is the cool moisture trapped in the building or under your boat cover. 

Imagine an unfinished basement or a cellar, always wet and humid, waiting for mildew to take hold.

Here are a few things you can do to control the temperature of your boat. 

First and foremost, unzip all seats and let the air out. Then cover your boat seats if the storage isn’t temperature controlled. Leaving your seats up and open allows air to circulate throughout the boat, reducing the moisture that collects in particular places.

Finally, buy moisture absorber buckets for your boat. Randomly place the buckets of moisture absorbent throughout the boat to avoid access moisture.

Detect and Correct Any Leaks

The first step in prevention is to eliminate water leaks. If moisture continues to sneak into the boat, it will be useless no matter how hard you strive to dehydrate it.

Always check the seals around deck-penetrating equipment. Including handrails, valves, hooks, bow roller, ducts, hatch, hydraulic piston, and other similar components.

If water is getting past the seal, remove the gear and check the deck core to ensure moisture hasn’t gotten into the base. Dig out any deck base rot, fill it in, and reseal the area before replacing your gear with a fresh sealant layer.

Make Use of a Boat Cover

A boat cover is another option for keeping water out of your boat. The cover will keep your boat dry by acting as a water shield and limiting ventilation. 

Make sure your boat cover is well ventilated. Especially, if you’re employing a tight cover like plastic wrap or a bubble wrap, do make sure the ventilation is adequate. Opt for solar fans for the cover’s vents. 

Also, check there is no stagnant water on your coverage since it can leak into your boat.

Ventilate Your Boat Well

The most significant point to remember is to ventilate your boat correctly. Static air retains moisture, and when the temperature changes, liquefaction occurs. 

Keep all sections of your boat open to allow air to circulate: cabinets, closets, compartments, tank covers, etc. Besides, install ventilation as well.

Mechanical ventilation, including solar fans, is much more effective than passive ventilation. When choosing an operating option, ensure that the maximum capacity of the vent allows it to transfer the airflow in your boat about once an hour.

It is advisable to arrange functional intake and outflow vents throughout your boat tactically. Try to maintain airflow across the boat and that no static areas remain.

Always remove the cover after cleaning or pulling it out from the water. Allow it to sit with all seats open to dry out all compartments and other components completely.

Reduce the Humidity Level In the Air

Mildew grows in humid environments. Therefore, reducing humidity is quite helpful in mildew prevention. However, there are numerous things to keep in mind.

First, electricity-required treatments may be ineffective and hazardous. Because they require a consistent power source to perform effectively. Boat air dryers are the ideal option for this purpose. These dryers are small heaters that dry the air. 

They have parts that prevent overheating and sparking. You can use them in machinery spaces. Chemical dehumidifiers are primarily composed of cacl2 (Calcium Chloride). They draw water and store it in storage boxes, which you may need to empty as needed. 

However, you can make a DIY alternative by filling buckets with asphalt deicer.

These buckets and bags are safe, inexpensive, and easy to keep in storage or other spaces where moisture elimination is necessary. They are also widely available at most marine supply stores.

Maintain Cleanliness

Proper maintenance and cleaning is the most effective approach to keep mildew at bay.

Try these easy tricks and tips for cleaning boat seats:

  • Make sure to wash your seats using liquid soap and water. Brush and wipe each seat with a towel to remove dirt, sweat, and dust

  • After washing, wipe your seats until they are completely dried. Remember that leaving moisture on a surface prone to high humidity produces the ideal growing environment for mildew

  • Several top products in the market may benefit you. In preventing mildew from growing on the surface of your seat. Remember to do your analysis to find out which product is appropriate for your boat seat material


For best results, combine the suggestions mentioned above. Lowering humidity will have minimal effect if your boat is not well ventilated or has a leaking deck.

Some boat seats are a costly investment. Therefore it’s necessary to take good care of them. As long as you use an efficient solution and cleanser, upkeep is simple.

Keep an eye out for corners and crevices where mildew can grow, and alter your tactics to make repairs. Apart from regular cleaning, be sure the materials and items you use will not harm the boat’s surface.

Mildew treatment is one of those situations where “a little caution is better than cure.”

Warwick Braith

Warwick Braith is a thrill seeker at heart. He loves getting outdoors and testing his limits in the wild. As a blogger for YapQ, Warwick provides readers with insights and tips on how to get the most out of their outdoor experiences. Whether it's hiking, camping, or simply exploring nature, Warwick knows how to make the most of it.

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