How to Restore your Yacht's Interior for less than $300
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Simple restoration ideas that will save you money

The team at Sydney Boating have devised a small list of tips and ideas that will help you easily restore your yacht interior and make your boating experience much more enjoyable for you and your guests.

Our 24' Sheerline - Project Yacht

Yacht Project



1) Boat Interior Lining - Replacement

We purchased this 7.5m Sheerline yacht in October 2009 for around 12,000. It was originally decorated with cheap coloured interior lining that was peeling off and made the yacht look quite shabby. Our team decided to remove it and utilise some of the excess fabric that our previous marine trimmer had used to cover the seating areas.

How to: Once you have selected the type of fabric you wish to use for the new interior lining. The next step involves cutting the fabric to size and then start applying the new fabric using a quality contact adhesive glue. We purchased a tub of Selleys Kwik Grip Gel 200g from Bunnings for around $10. It works quite quickly and creates a strong bond between the materials. You should follow the directions on the packet and always use gloves when applying.

(Please note: The contact adhesive we used had a strong vapour and we suggest you only apply this glue if you are working in a well ventilated area. Otherwise you could use the non-vapour alternative, however we found that it didn't work quite as well for us in our situation) As you can see there is a vast difference in the feel and look of the boat now.

Old Interior Lining

 Old Interior


NEW Refurbished Interior Lining and Carpet

New Interior


2) Old Floor Boards replaced with new carpet

Has your yacht's floor boards seen better days from wear and tear over the years? Our yacht's floor boards were discoloured and tainted. So we decided to improve them by adding inexpensive floor carpet that we purchased from Bunnings. We simply measured up the floor board space and purchased 1.5m x 2m of light brown coloured carpet for $30. We knew this colour would complement the interior lining of the boat.

How to: The first thing you need to do is remove the timber floor boards from the boat, our boards came in two parts and could be detached easily. You will need to find a flat work space - we docked the boat at the local floating wharf and this became a perfect work station.

Next, lay the carpet down on a flat surface, with the fabric facing the ground. Place the floor boards on top of the carpet and cut with scissors around the outside of the boards allowing for about 100mm of extra carpet, so that you can glue some of the overhanging carpet to the back of the floor boards as to create a neat appearance around the edges.

We applied Selleys 150g Kwik Grip Spray Contact Adhesive from Bunnings for $9 to the carpet and placed the floor boards on top of the carpet and applied pressure over the floor boards, allowing it to create good bond between the two materials.
The next step is to bend the overhanging carpet to the back of the floor boards and apply more adhesive spray to the edges and then clamp the board for a few hours.  As you can see in the picture above - The finished product looks amazing and for a total spend of around $40 you can't go wrong with this improvement.



3) Tidy Up Tricks

Is there anything in the boat you don't really need onboard? Empty cans? Old rags? A stove top that doesn't get used?

De-cluttering can do wonders to the internal feel and space within a vessel. Our gas bottle had been removed and the gas compliance certificate was quite out of date, so we decided to remove the old rusted stove top and open up the space to allow for a New Esky or storage space.

Old Cluttered Galley

Old Galley


NEW look Spacious Galley

New Galley


4) New Toilet Seat addition

Next, we decided to focus on the other aspects of the boat that could affect the comfort levels onboard. The toilet had a seating missing, so we searched the internet marine websites and found a same model replacement toilet seat, but for a cost of $79??

This high price replacement would have blown our budget, so again we ventured to Bunnings and was very happy to notice a perfectly suited toilet seat replacement for only $14. The installation only took a minute to line up the holes and screw the plastic nuts into place. In addition to the Toilet seat, we also discovered some light coloured wallpaper for around $20 which brightened up the head.

New Toilet Seat and Wallpaper

New Toilet Seat


5) Varnishing

Are there any other parts of the vessel that could use some attention to detail? Most people would prefer glossy varnished timber over dull decaying wood any day. The Sydney Boating team picked up some sand paper, marine timber varnish, paint brushes and gloves for $75.

Our yacht's interior timber features were of an acceptable standard, so instead we focused on applying varnish to our boat's tiller. After only three coats on the tiller it looked like new. We recommend covering all external varnished areas if possible as it saves you time and money in the future. We ordered a canvas cover for our tiller and the cost was around $50.

New Varnished Tiller

New Boat Tiller



6) Furnishings

Next, we looked onboard at items that could be replaced easily. We picked up some great soft cushions for only $10 each at a local shopping centre retail store that had a sale on. This is a great addition which can add a splash of colour to your saloon interior.

NEW Cushions

Boat Cushions

7) Safety Equipment Saves lives

You can easily replace old fire extinguishers onboard for around $25, this improves safety onboard and adds peace of mind to your boating experience.

8) Seal the deal - Replace the Sealant

No one likes a wet or damp boat, replacing the boat's Silicone Sealant around the windows is something you should take a closer look at. With a new waterproof seal, you should be able to eliminate those annoying water leaks. We recommend picking up some marine grade sealant for around $20 and reapplying to the window areas around your yacht.


Final words

After we completed our own yacht interior restoration - Our Friends and family thoroughly appreciated the time and effort that we had spent decorating and cleaning up our much loved yacht. The transformation of our yacht has been incredible for us and we have achieved the refurbishment for less than $300. The resale value has certainly increased and we had fun while we did it!