How to install a boat seat

3 June 2014 On The Water
installed boat seat in old Lund

Placing a seat in the old fishing boat can be done in a budget-friendly way. This boat seat installation was done in a sixteen-foot Lund.

Boat seat installation guide

The swivel seat was originally installed without a spacer board. Over time we realized it didn’t have enough clearance and the bottom of the seat started scraping the the wood bench whenever we had a passenger that weighed more than a stringer of perch.

damaged boat bench

The homemade solution was to add a one-inch board underneath to give the seat more clearance and provide a bit of extra leverage for the front passenger.

Required Materials and tools
standard boat seat
boat seat swivel plate
one inch spacer (or thicker) piece of wood cut to the size of the swivel plate
2 lag bolts and washers – 1.75 inches or appropriate length to get through the board and into the bench
2 machine bolts with nuts and washers – same length as lag bolts
cordless drill
wrench or socket set
screwdriver set

Buying the materials
Seats come in a variety of styles. This one is a popular model and is available in seven colours.

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In this installation we already had holes drilled from the original install. The new lag bolts have a wider diameter than the wood screws we used the first time.

For a new installation be sure to line up the swivel plate and the spacer board and pre-drill the holes.

Special note:
The lag bolts require a lead or pilot hole which has to be smaller than the bolt itself so that the threads of the bolt will catch the wood.

The bolts for the swivel plate that are going to go through the lip of the bench require clearance holes to allow the bolt to go right through. The bolt is secured using the lock washer and nut.

The spacer can be made from any extra wood you have laying around. The piece we used in this situation is a temporary fix. Ideally, it is best to use exterior-grade wood.

Cut the spacer to match the size of the swivel plate.

spacer and boat seat swivel alignment

It is important to place the spacer and the swivel plate on the edge of the bench.
The part of the swivel plate that attaches to the seat should be turned so that it overhangs the bench. This way, the seat bolts can be installed straight into the seat.

If the seat is installed in the centre of the bench, there isn’t enough room to get the seat bolts through the holes.

installing lag bolts for boat seat

Install the lag bolts in the part of the swivel plate that is placed near the middle of the bench.
Lag bolts are used because we don’t have access under the bench to place nuts and bolts.

installing front bolts for boat seat

Install the front bolts. It is important to put the regular washer on top and the lock washer underneath.

bolt, nut, washer and lock washer

Here is the setup: bolt, washer, plate, board, bench, lock washer and nut.

boat seat installation on Lund

Here is a look at the installation from underneath. The bolts that attach the seat to the swivel plate are screwed straight into the bottom of the seat.

Video Tutorial – How to install a boat seat