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Old 10-21-2012
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Sea Berths and Lee Cloths.

The recent thread on cockpits reminded me of this so here we go. I confess to being somewhat surprised that below deck comfort at sea is not more widely discussed.

How is your boat setup for sea down below ?

Our girl has what at first appears to be a fine setup. U-dinette arrangement with settee opposite. The outer seating of the dinette and the settee are both more than adequate as sea berths and are both fitted with lee clothes. Also the aft quarter cabin berth is spilt down the middle and is again fitted with lee cloth. Sounds good. On paper.



Most of our sailing has been inshore/coastal, overnight passages being about as far as we have travelled in one hop. Looking ahead however we intend longer journeys and to that end I've started playing around with rigging of lee clothes and preparing the boat for sea. What looks good on paper does not in all honesty look so crash hot in practice.

For one the lee clothes are complicated to rig up and once rigged would probably stay up all voyage which makes them a pain in the arse to get in and out of and a nuisance for when you simple don't need them. I intend modifying the arrangement to use use some form of clip to fasten them rather than tieing off the lines. This would make them secure for the sleeper but allow for ease of stowing. I'm surprised that she has gone for nearly ten years and half way round the world using the current setup.

Other oddity for me is the settee cushion arrangement. This has two curved back cushions at each end and a centre straight section. I admit a prejudice against curved seat ends. For mine they are an utter abomination. For 'at sea' use it is better to get rid of the back cushions but oh man, those stupid curved things are an absolute mongrel to stow. I'm about to ditch the curves and replace with straight through back rests that will alleviate the stowage issue and make the whole setup decidely more comfortable. The curves in the dinette section are not admittedly such an issue.

The above pic of current setup, I'll add in others when mods are complete. This shows the settee a bit better than the previous.



Look at the size of those stupid things ...



Couple of those pics are from before we owned her.

Thoughts ?
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Last edited by tdw; 10-21-2012 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 10-21-2012
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Well for us we sleep in the main saloon when on passage . It is always be more stable part of the boat and I always take the lower side for comfort. I can see the instrument repeater at the chart table so I don't have to get out of bed until it is my turn upstairs on watch.

Lee cloths are a pain in the neck back and everywhere else when getting in or out of.
I use a clip to have a fast release.

You have a beautiful boat internally, quite similar to mine!
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Re: Sea Berths and Lee Cloths.

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Originally Posted by St Anna View Post
Well for us we sleep in the main saloon when on passage . It is always be more stable part of the boat and I always take the lower side for comfort. I can see the instrument repeater at the chart table so I don't have to get out of bed until it is my turn upstairs on watch.

Lee cloths are a pain in the neck back and everywhere else when getting in or out of.
I use a clip to have a fast release.

You have a beautiful boat internally, quite similar to mine!
Only time I sleep up front on passage is if it very calm indeed. Much prefer saloon if only for the ease of getting up on deck when needed. Cannot see repeater from settee but set alarm on phone. Wrist watch alarm not much good, I tend to sleep through them unless it is dead quiet.

You really do need to be able to get into the berth and then clip the lee cloth in place. Mind you in anything less than downright ugly I feel pretty secure in the leeward berth and the Wombet is unlikely to tack the boat without calling me out on deck.

I think our boats come from a very similar mindset mate. Bit old school but I can live with that.
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Re: Sea Berths and Lee Cloths.

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..... a very similar mindset mate. Bit old school but I can live with that.
aargh
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Re: Sea Berths and Lee Cloths.

Our (straight) settees are rigged with short upper torso leecloths, our aft double (sleeping fore and aft) is not so split, but I suppose it could be.

We have never sailed an overnight passage on this boat so it's not really come to be any kind of issue. We used the leecloths in the past to keep a child in the berth overnight.

The best sea berths we ever had on board were pipe berths on adjustable tackle on our Choate 40. Started out with 5 (4 aft below the cockpit, one pilot to starboard in the salon), we eventually converted the pilot to a fixed berth for a bit more length and it created more storage below it. The pic below shows the aft pipes.. crowded but our kids loved them, and you could set the angle at whatever suited.



Assuming that a lot of tacking would not be on the menu, seems to me that sleeping on the leeward settee would be the best bet.. leecloth or no.
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Old 10-21-2012
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Re: Sea Berths and Lee Cloths.

Agree with the pipe cots (I've got two up forward on the current boat) , but can't see them working on the Womboat - at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw View Post
You really do need to be able to get into the berth and then clip the lee cloth in place. Mind you in anything less than downright ugly I feel pretty secure in the leeward berth and the Wombet is unlikely to tack the boat without calling me out on deck.
Here's my 2c worth..

On race boats I've sailed on overnight (excluding the Womboat - which isn't, technically, a race boat), using a small block and tackle with a v-jam arrangement at both end of the lee cloth worked well. We'd often leave the foot-end up all the time and just lower or raise the head end right to the floor whenever you needed to get out.

An RF187 http://ronstan.com/images/product/RF187.jpg on each of the two lee-cloth corners and an RF188 http://ronstan.com/images/product/RF188.jpg hanging from the overhead using a saddle and a small s-hook:

They are used so much for this that Ronstan actually calls them "bunk adjusters"! The stray cord hangs over the side of the lee cloth and is easy to find in the dark. Pull up to release and down to lock.
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Last edited by Classic30; 10-21-2012 at 09:58 PM.
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Re: Sea Berths and Lee Cloths.

Quote:
Originally Posted by St Anna View Post
Lee cloths are a pain in the neck back and everywhere else when getting in or out of.
I use a round turn and two half hitches with the last hitch slipped. Works well - for me.
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Re: Sea Berths and Lee Cloths.

No, the Womboat interior would not be pipe cot friendly. I've slept on the lee settee at sea and been perfectly comfortable but that was in fine weather. As per the other threads on tools and storm trisails this is all about getting the girl ready for some serious stuff. Reality is this is for the times when the mast is flat in the water or heaven forfend futher than that. Of course racers probably need to be even better prepared than cruisers cos we don't have to stay out there or at least can try and run away from the worst of it.

I am amazed by some of things left loose even in a boat of this pedigreed. All part of the upgrades but even the floor hatches are not dogged down. Ignoring the peril living with flying lumps of floorboard , cruisers tend to store all sorts of rubbish in the bilges. I'd hate to what a flying tool box or bag could do if it took flight, not to mention the grog supply.

ps - Jack .... last issue of Yachting Monthly I saw mentioned doing it that way. My only concern would be that if I was half asleep , cold and possibly a tadge frightened that I'd get into a panic trying to undo beyond the slipped end.
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Last edited by tdw; 10-21-2012 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 10-21-2012
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Re: Sea Berths and Lee Cloths.

Mine are easy to get in and out of thanks to system similar to a tent tightener the lock is a piece of pvc pipe. I can really get it tight keeping me in place.
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Re: Sea Berths and Lee Cloths.

Ron

You set up reminds of the set up on one of Roy Disney's Pyewackets. I had a tour of his Santa Cruz 70 in Honolulu many years ago. All of the berths were adjustable for heel angle.
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