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Seat heater elements

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slmskrs View Drop Down
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    Posted: February-10-2019 at 9:01pm
Has anyone installed seat heaters in their boat? I'm in the process of getting new skins for my '97 SN and am looking for recommended brands. Hard to tell which are good and will hold up. I've actually been using a $20 car seat heater that straps on the seat and it works fairly well. But since I'm doing the upholstery, I am going to do the driver seat cushion as well as the observer seat cushion and back.

Anyone with any experience installing them? In particular, the seat cushions have two different pieces of foam with different heights and skin material runs between the two foam pieces to the frame to pull the seat material down in the gap. Not sure how I'm going to d elements there although I understand you can cut the elements to shape (in one direction only).

Anyway, anyone with experience with this?

Thanks,

Gordon
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mojo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-11-2019 at 8:14am
First time hearing of anyone doing this... I'm no engineer, but I wouldn't want to do with anything where water and electricity would come in contact with anyone in my boat.. People in boats are for the most part "wet". Especially ski boats..

I would invest in a standard hot air heater made for that application and stay clear of wires any water.....

Just my 2 cents..

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kylem428 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-11-2019 at 8:23am
I put a seat heater kit in my wife’s 4-runner a few weeks ago so I have a little experience with them. They would be really easy to install on a boat seat if you already have the upholstery apart. Also, they can be cut length-wise. My understanding is that the heater element is carbon-fiber. That said, they are encased in a fabric which doesn’t look waterproof, so shorting out with a wet seat condition could be an issue. I got a 2-seat kit (4 pads total) with switches off eBay for $80 for reference.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TRBenj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-11-2019 at 8:31am
Many oem’s including MC and presumably CC offer heated seat options, so I don’t have the same concerns as Mojo. A quick google search revealed plenty of aftermarket kits that are appropriate for wet environments (boat, motorcycle). I will absolutely be pursuing these myself when it’s time to reskin my Bfn (to compliment the hot air heater I’ve already got). Also curious to hear anyone’s feedback on specific brands... good thread!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rosconole Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-11-2019 at 8:50am
Unless you jump in it alot soaking wet, Jeep ones probably designed for a more moisture than not . Their is alot of ones out there . I would just sit on a heating pad, I think they have some plastic coating.. I think a boat heater sounds like what would work better 3 outlet style. Its not a car or escalade ,its a boat.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JoeinNY Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-11-2019 at 8:53am
I have been on boats with seat heaters, and when they are there I used them regularly in the shoulder seasons – they can be quite nice especially when combined with the typical vented heater.   While water and electricity aren’t the best of friends this stuff is all low voltage and should be safe enough, although care on installation is likely needed for the elements to have a good long life. There’s plenty of youtube videos on the install of both seat heaters and boat seat covers combine the two and you should be ok. The nautique specific bits would be related to safely powering the heaters. There is typically not sufficient wiring to the dash to support the current needs of such heaters so you need upgraded or dedicated power lines. Additionally, if you want the ignition switch to be on to use the seat heaters (and you do or eventually you will kill the battery) then I would suggest you add a relay in addition to dedicated and fused wiring back to the engine (or the battery).   I don't think you are likely to have more than 3-5 amps per seat, but I have seen boats where that was enough load on the ignition circuit that the ignition system wouldn’t get proper voltage at speed to run the engine, particularly when combined with the current draw from the heater fan.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote phatsat67 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-11-2019 at 9:05am
I agree with Joe on using a relay given the voltage to dash issues we deal with even without accessories.

CC has been heating the driver and passenger seats since 2013/14 IIRC. Great add on and switches can be fully hidden under the dash.

I need to do the seat bases in my BFN so that will likely be on the list of things to do while those skins are being redone.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hollywood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-11-2019 at 9:23am
Grant West did this on Bling*Bling over 10 years ago.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote slmskrs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-11-2019 at 11:39am
Thanks folks. Good feedback. For the record, I do have a four vent Heatercraft heater with circulation pump so I get heat even when the engine is off. :)

Absolutely these will be on a relay (as is my heater, stereo, etc.). As has been pointed out, it is an option on Nautiques, MC, Centurion, etc. The trick is finding good ones that will not be a problem with some moisture. Low voltage and a max of under 4 amps per pad, so not a huge draw (although the observer seat will draw more.

I'll keep looking at various elements and let everyone know what I end up using. Or if anyone has a good link to ones for outdoor use, that would be great. I saw an old link to one for a snowmobile, but it's not available now...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-11-2019 at 2:27pm
Gary,
No comment? I thought you were an expert on heated (and cooled) seats.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gary S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-11-2019 at 2:44pm
I think it's a great idea,it will be interesting what he finds out. I won't even buy a car with out a heated wheel now though
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tryathlete Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-11-2019 at 8:20pm
I can’t see the need. On second thought I want heated seats.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TrevorB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-12-2019 at 12:13am
I installed this kit from Amazon in the passenger seat last spring. I ran it lengthwise on the lower level of the foam. Didn't need to cut the length. Had to extend the wiring harness to put the switch in the dash. I thought this would never get used but gets much more use than the heater. Looking to do the driver seat also.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F3EKJ5Y/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07__o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gt40KS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-13-2019 at 4:18pm
Hmmm.... I'm just amazed that Pete hasn't brought out the whole "KEEP IT ORIGINAL" statements that I so routinely used to see....    

BTW .... I think it's a great idea as well and might be interested in looking at it myself.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote man0seven Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-14-2019 at 2:37pm
I am in the process of doing this. I will post pictures as i do it. I believe it should be really easy. FWIW I believe that it is wet rated.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brit_hunsicker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-14-2019 at 5:21pm
I’m in the process as well. Heaters were on the slow boat from China I’m pretty sure. They just made it state side yesterday so I should have them some time next week. Doing the captains chair (bottom/back) and observer seat (bottom/back). I will post pictures when they arrive and I get them positioned.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote man0seven Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-14-2019 at 7:26pm
@brit, How are you going to do the Captains back? With the three rolls?
I wasn't planning on it on mine.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brit_hunsicker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-14-2019 at 9:25pm
Originally posted by man0seven man0seven wrote:

@brit, How are you going to do the Captains back? With the three rolls?
I wasn't planning on it on mine.

Sorry, I’m doing it on a 2001 SAN. It has a flat back.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote slmskrs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-16-2019 at 12:52am
Originally posted by man0seven man0seven wrote:

@brit, How are you going to do the Captains back? With the three rolls?
I wasn't planning on it on mine.


I talked with a friend with a Centurion with heated seats. He said his driver seat only has the seat bottom heated, while the observer seat has both. That's what I'm planning to do.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote slmskrs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-16-2019 at 1:02am
Originally posted by man0seven man0seven wrote:

I am in the process of doing this. I will post pictures as i do it. I believe it should be really easy. FWIW I believe that it is wet rated.
Seat Heaters


These look good except that I think round switches will be easier to install, so I'm looking for another version. The driver seat cushion will be easy, but I'm not sure about the observer seat. Looks like I need to use two seats worth but cut one down since I want the whole observer seat to be warm (for two observers). Or I could just do one side and only one person is warm.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brit_hunsicker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-20-2019 at 6:10pm
Here is a few pictures of the heaters laying on the seats how they will set.






This one is not lined up very well so it looks like it’s about 6” too long but it’s really only about 3” too long. It will wrap around the bottom about 3”.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote MrMcD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-20-2019 at 11:02pm
I have installed Seat Heaters, not in my boat but in my GM Tahoe. They are nice to have for sure.
Two issues I would need to consider in a boat.   These things drink electricity, pretty strong amp draw. You may need a larger alternator to offset the new demand.

I am not sure how they will perform when wet, Boat Seats get wet, not sure it this will work and be safe or how long they will last if frequently wet..   Curious to know your thoughts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote slmskrs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 12:26am
Originally posted by Brit_hunsicker Brit_hunsicker wrote:

Here is a few pictures of the heaters laying on the seats how they will set.


This one is not lined up very well so it looks like it’s about 6” too long but it’s really only about 3” too long. It will wrap around the bottom about 3”.


Thanks for the pictures!! Looking forward to see how it goes. I just purchased the elements and my skins should arrive next week so I can try to install them the following weekend.

Question: It looks like your driver seat cushion is like mine, with a front and rear foam sections. The seat skin has a flap that is pulled down between the front and rear sections to hold down the material and make it look like two parts. The element obviously won't fit there with the flap, so the options are to either not have the flap pulling down the skin (may look funny), or using two separate elements for the front and back side. I'm looking to use two elements, but I won't decide until after I get the skins back.

Let us know how it goes. Appreciate the pictures!!! Since I"m doing the same thing in a week and a half, I really appreciate this!!!

Gordon
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote slmskrs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 12:29am
Oh, I'm not doing the driver seat back but am doing the observer seat back. My seat back is open on the lower part, and the upper part consists of three 'pillows'. I have been using a cheap plug in car seat heater (about $20 on Amazon) for years. The bottom side is great (very warm and comfortable). However, since I'm usually in a warm coat when driving, I don't really feel the warmth of the seat back. Besides, it is not practical to try to put elements in the 'pillows'.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote slmskrs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 12:30am
Sorry, not clear. I'm doing the driver seat bottom cushion but not the seat back. I'm doing both the seat back and seat bottom on the observer seat.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brit_hunsicker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 10:42am
Originally posted by slmskrs slmskrs wrote:



Thanks for the pictures!! Looking forward to see how it goes. I just purchased the elements and my skins should arrive next week so I can try to install them the following weekend.

Question: It looks like your driver seat cushion is like mine, with a front and rear foam sections. The seat skin has a flap that is pulled down between the front and rear sections to hold down the material and make it look like two parts. The element obviously won't fit there with the flap, so the options are to either not have the flap pulling down the skin (may look funny), or using two separate elements for the front and back side. I'm looking to use two elements, but I won't decide until after I get the skins back.

Let us know how it goes. Appreciate the pictures!!! Since I"m doing the same thing in a week and a half, I really appreciate this!!!

Gordon

The first picture I posted was the driver seat bottom. You’ll notice the heating pads have gaps between the elements. I drew a line and wrote the word pull where that vinyl will get pulled down. It lined up perfect to where the pull is between to heating element sections. The pad will be cut in the middle between the outer edges where the circuitry wiring is. I have really left it up to the upholsterer to fine tune it so we will see how it turns out. Should have these pieces back next weekend. I will update once finished.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote slmskrs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 3:34pm
[/QUOTE]
The first picture I posted was the driver seat bottom. You’ll notice the heating pads have gaps between the elements. I drew a line and wrote the word pull where that vinyl will get pulled down..[/QUOTE]

Ah, I didn't notice the gap in the heating elements where you drew the 'pull' line. Makes sense now. Looking forward to more pictures, etc. :)
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