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post #1 of 15 Old 09-10-2007 Thread Starter
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replacing foam in berth cushions

I don't sleep well on the v-berth of my 1981-vintage boat (a Bristol 29.9) because the foam in the cushions isn't firm enough. Is there a firmer type of foam available now than what boat makers were using back in the day? Is there anything tricky about replacing the foam in a set of cushions with zippered covers?
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post #2 of 15 Old 09-11-2007
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A cheap but cheerful solution I have heard of is wrapping a thin layer of typical foam around a shaped closed-cell board (or three thicknesses of same for some rigidity). I'm talking about the 1/2" light blue insulation board that can be cut with a sharp carpet knife.
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post #3 of 15 Old 09-11-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiente View Post
A cheap but cheerful solution I have heard of is wrapping a thin layer of typical foam around a shaped closed-cell board (or three thicknesses of same for some rigidity). I'm talking about the 1/2" light blue insulation board that can be cut with a sharp carpet knife.
Like the roll-up 20" x 72" foam camping pads at Big 5 or Sport Chalet, et al?.........
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post #4 of 15 Old 09-11-2007
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Bite the bullet and spring for a real box spring mattress they are made to size and are really good, not so good for the bunk come seat, in at main cabin you can find them all over the internet.

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post #5 of 15 Old 09-11-2007
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Simon is pretty much on the money if only because a box spring mattress breathes which is something no foam mattress will do.

OTOH if you can't spring at the box mattress, on our previous boat I had berth cushions made up of a layer of very firm high resilient foam with an overlay of very soft HR foam and two layers of Dacron fibre sheeting. I then had the whole thing encased in mattress ticking. 20 years later that mattress is still giving sterling service for the current owner. For an odd shape (e,g v-berth) it slightly more practical than BSM if only beacuse you can still have three separate cushions incudling a removeable filler piece. I used a similar concept for the settee cushions. The great advantage of the Dacron btw is that is gives a measure of breathability.

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post #6 of 15 Old 09-11-2007
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Having purchased the boat last year and the wife complaining about the "level of comfort" we have just had our cushions re-done by an upholsterer. What the wife had been sleeping (and we thought were okay) turned out to be 2" vinyl-covered rubber cushions that were so far gone it was actually more comfortable slleping on the plywood bunk base!

After several trips from his workshop out to see us and much discussion over thicknesses, fabrics, foams etc., instead of the "traditional" 4" soft foam, we finally agreed on 3" high-density foam with a cushion-backed velour (car seat fabric) cover as being cheap, but comfortable.

The foam he used was interesting stuff (apparently there have been many advances in "foam technology" in the last few years). The new foams allow water to "pass-through" and the velour allows the cushion to "breathe" - something which the old vinyl didn't, as demonstrated by the amazing amounts of mildew inside when he ripped open the covers.

http://www.foamsource.com/learn/resource/boat-cushion

Hey, it might not last 20 years.. but hopefully we'll have a bigger boat by then!

--Cameron
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post #7 of 15 Old 09-11-2007
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I just re did my cushions also. I increased the back cushions from 3 inches to 4 inches and the seat/sleeping cushions from 3 inch to 5 inch memory foam. The memory foam does not compress much. What a difference ! Now I have to watch how I sit down, because my butt is so high in the air that I hit the back of my head, on the port lite, lol.

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post #8 of 15 Old 09-11-2007
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Old never used foam

I have old vrigin foam that has not been used, but been in bags for over ten years. I picked up at furniture factory in Thomasville, NC. I plan to use it on the refit, but age and heat/cold appears to have taken its toll.

I would like to find what the life expectany is of different similair material.

Does anyone have a reference site?

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post #9 of 15 Old 09-11-2007
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While you have the old foam out of the cushions, you'll be tempted to wash them. Be careful, as lots of supposedly preshrunk and unshrinkable fabrics will shrink slightly if thoroughly wet and dried. The heat of a dryer sometimes makes it much worse. A small percentage of shrinkage won't matter too much on a small cushion, but it can become a big issue when you've shrunk a 6'+ cushion for a berth.

Don't ask me how I know this....
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post #10 of 15 Old 09-11-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
Having purchased the boat last year and the wife complaining about the "level of comfort" we have just had our cushions re-done by an upholsterer. What the wife had been sleeping (and we thought were okay) turned out to be 2" vinyl-covered rubber cushions that were so far gone it was actually more comfortable slleping on the plywood bunk base!

After several trips from his workshop out to see us and much discussion over thicknesses, fabrics, foams etc., instead of the "traditional" 4" soft foam, we finally agreed on 3" high-density foam with a cushion-backed velour (car seat fabric) cover as being cheap, but comfortable.

The foam he used was interesting stuff (apparently there have been many advances in "foam technology" in the last few years). The new foams allow water to "pass-through" and the velour allows the cushion to "breathe" - something which the old vinyl didn't, as demonstrated by the amazing amounts of mildew inside when he ripped open the covers.

http://www.foamsource.com/learn/resource/boat-cushion

Hey, it might not last 20 years.. but hopefully we'll have a bigger boat by then!

--Cameron
Ref the new fangled foam types you may well be right. Have to admit that it's been awhile since I was involved in furniture and upholstery so I am more than likely out of date. I guess the point is to go with the best you can find. It's not just a matter of the cushions lasting but being comfortable.

Hey, we did get a bigger boat before then so it's all good. Except for the damn cushions which need improvement. grumble grumble.

ps - When does the Hartley season start in Vic ? Port Phillip must give a bit of exciting sailing in a TS. In Sydney they race just off where we moor. Good to watch, particularly in a blow. Must be due to start racing again soon.

Andrew B

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