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VR4 VR5 VR6 Bow Filler Cushion

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    VR4 VR5 VR6 Bow Filler Cushion

    I made one for my Bayliner VR4. So these instructions are specific for the VR4, however, it will likely work on other boats. Total cost from the dealership was $450.00.

    1. 1 - 2’x4’x3/4” Plywood (Home Depot) $16
    2. 1 – 3”x24”x36” Foam (Jo Ann Fabric on sale) $17
      1. But I would recommend getting high density foam for more $$
    3. 1 yard Marine Vinyl (Jo Ann Fabric w 50% off coupon) $10
    4. 1 pack Heavy duty needles for leather/vinyl (Jo Ann) $5
    5. Paint – Primer (extra from around house) $0
    6. Paint – Top coat; oil base exterior (extra from around house) $0
    7. Thread (extra from around the house) $0
    8. Paint roller (extra from around the house) $0
    9. Staples (extra from around the house) $0
    10. Large piece cardboard (free from Home Depot) $0
    TOTAL COST $48

    1. Pen/Marker
    2. Heavy duty scissors or shears (to cut cardboard)
    3. Jigsaw
    4. File
    5. Hand sander
    6. Electric carving knife (to cut foam)
    7. Sewing Machine (if sewing on your own)

    Step 1 – Create cardboard template
    1. Remove bow cushions
    2. Place large piece of cardboard over area where you intend to create bow filler cushion.
    3. Reach under cardboard and trace an outline on the cardboard of the area where you intend to create the bow filler cushion.
    4. Remove cardboard.
    5. Draw a second line parallel to the first line but about 1” wider to accommodate for the lip that the cushion will rest upon.
    6. Cut cardboard along the second (wider) line.
    7. Test to see if template fits properly in space.
    8. Trim cardboard until it fits properly into space.
    Step 2 – Create baseboard
    1. Place template created in step 1 onto sheet of plywood.
    2. Use pen/marker to trace outline of template onto sheet of plywood.
    3. Use jigsaw to cut board along template line.
    4. Test to see if plywood fits in space.
      1. (File and sand the edges of the plywood. You’ll note the lip (at least on the VR4) is rounded, so rounding off the edges will give a better fit. Plus, the rounded edges will make is less likely that the plywood will catch/rip the vinyl from the inside)
    5. Trim/file/sand plywood until it fits properly. (Note plywood should not fit too snug. There should be a 1/16” to 1/8” gap all around to allow for vinyl to go over plywood.)
    6. Paint plywood with primer.
    7. Paint plywood with exterior paint. (I know some will say don’t use don’t use plywood, use marine board, but the point of this is to not spend big $$$. Plywood with exterior paint will last for years and if it rots you can always just cut another board).
    Step 3 – Cut Foam
    1. Place plywood base created from step 2 onto piece of foam.
    2. Use pen/marker to trace outline of template onto foam.
    3. Use electric knife to cut foam along template line.
    4. Test to see if foam fits on plywood (note this does not need to be as accurate since the foam is soft and can be pushed into cover.)
    Step 4 – Create Cover (note I did not do this. I do not know how to sew, but my mom does. Thanks Mom)
    1. Cut vinyl to appropriate size for top of cushion.
    2. Cut vinyl strip to appropriate size for sides of cushion.
    3. Sew vinyl top to vinyl strip.
    4. Place foam and plywood into vinyl cover.
    5. Staple vinyl to plywood.
    Project complete.

    See photos. I included the a photo of the cushion from an angle similar to the stock Bayliner photo for comparison.

    Attached Files

    You get a "A" for your Industrial Arts project grade.

    --written report-A
    --quality of work-A

    I think it is pretty cool that you found a color that matches your light tan interior...………..Bravo!

    Thanks for sharing this.
    Present Boat- 2018 VR5 4.5/200hp Mercruiser
    Last Boat- 1998 Capri 1950CL 3.0 Mercruiser


      Nice work. The color seems to match really well. Was that vinyl an in store color? What color is that? I looked online and saw that it may be there French Vanilla. But they also had tan and beige. But online they looked darker.
      2016 Bayliner 215 Deck Boat
      Mercruiser 4.3 220 HP Alpha 1 Gen II

      2003 SeaRay 176 SRX Bowrider
      Mercruiser 3.0 135 HP Alpha 1 Gen II

      1988 Sunbird 170 Bowrider
      Evinrude 88 Special

      1970 Salem Skiff 13.5 foot
      1992 Johnson 40HP.


        Thanks guys. The vinyl was off the shelf at Jo Ann Fabric. I don't remember the name of the color but French Vanilla sounds right. I took one of the other cushions to the store and compared and bought the one that looked the most similar. I will admit the photos are a little deceptive; it is not an exact match, but it is close. And for a $400 savings, I'm not worried about it.

        My only regret is not getting the high density foam. I used another "craft type" foam. The description said it was good for cushion use, but it is not as firm as the surrounding bow cushions. So if you plan on taking on this project, I'd recommend spending an extra few bucks and getting the high density foam.