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Old 05-08-2011
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Lee cloth installation

I am re-installing lee cloths that the PO had had, in the salon.

The PO had had the lee cloth attached to the inner vertical surface of the lip of wood that keeps the cushion on the berth. What I do not like about that is that when the cloth is not in use, then folding it down to stow under the cushion will leave two thicknesses of cloth between the cushion's edge, and the lip. (The two thicknesses being: 1) the part that is attached to the lip, and 2) the part that is folded down against that, so that the rest can then lie under the cushion.)

I would rather that the lee cloth be attached down on to the bunk plywood, not the lip. It would be held on by short but wide screws, thru big washers, thru the grommets in these West Marine ready-made lee cloths. Lets call the first 1.5" of width of the lee cloth the "grommet-row." When not in use, the bulk of the cloth will fold outward over the grommet row, and stow under the cushion. When in use, the upward pull of the cloth (other than the grommet row) is at a right angle to the grommet row and the bunk.

This does put upward pull on the screws, whereby the PO's method put lateral pull on them. My guess is that lateral is stronger, but isn't my method strong enough?

And another question. The bunk is 6.5 feet long. The lee cloth is 5 feet long. Should I put the bulk of the non-clothed-part at the foot of the berth? It would seem to me that you want good lateral support for the sleeper's head/pillow, no? Except for a little peep/air space? Maybe leave 6" un-clothed at the head, and a 12" at the foot.

As you can probably tell, I have yet to sleep in a lee-clothed bunk "in anger." We have just used our starboard side pseudo-double berth underway, which, in the double mode, abuts the folded down salon table leaf, which makes for a serious lee restraint.

Dean
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Old 05-08-2011
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Hi Dean,

If you're going to use Lee Cloths, I agree with your attachement method,
to the plywood deck of the berth. If you wanted it to be stonger I might bolt thru instead of screwing it. I like the idea of using large washers!

What I don't like about lee cloths is that they usually attach to the handrails.
Are your handrails bolted in or screwed in? And how strong is the attachment method to the handrails?

I think I'd place it so at shoulder height. So, your dimensions sound about right.

I've resorted to using a sturdy "crib rail" design. I have slotted receivers bolted to the bulkeads at each end of the berth to which I slide in a double rail that runs the whole length of the berth. This design came about after ripping crommets and handrails out in the gulfstream. It's also great for stowing everyone's gear when it's not needed as a berth.
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Old 05-08-2011
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Tempest,

I really like that crib rail design of yours! But our boat will rarely be used on overnights, so I cannot see doing something as major as that. I cannot thru-bolt; first, it would be hard to do, but mainly because there is a plastic water tank directly below each berth, with very little clearance. I can only penetrate the thickness of the plywood, basically no more. So I will be drilling carefully, and being very conscious of the lengths of the screws.
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Old 05-08-2011
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Our leecloths are attached to the berth ply as you suggest. We have battens sewn into the attached edge to help spread the load, with screws and washers through the sleeve and the batten.

The upper attachments go to the grabrail that is part of the cabin structure below the portlights, which gives the cloths an inward angle that can feel a bit snug.
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Old 05-09-2011
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Haven't got any yet but

I am planning to have lee cloths on all berths including the double island berth in our stern cabin. I reckon the way I will do it is:

- Have a pocket sewn into the lower edge of the lee cloth and have a batten in (as proposed by Faster). The batten will be screwed to the deck of the berth with the lee cloth leaving the attachment towards the inside of the berth (i.e. away from the passage/saloon). This means that when it is folded flat the cushions will hardly notice it.

- Have the lee cloth with a small gap at the aft end and a large gap at the forward end, my thinking being that one doesn't really need support from below the knee.

- Have a 1" nylon web sewn to each corner as on the corners of a sail (like three fingers) so that it sort of distributes the load into the cloth. On the end of this "harness" a small stainless hook fitting like that allows the belt to be tensioned by pulling on the tail (don't know how else to explain).

- A fitting on the bulkheads at either end of the berth into which the hooks are connected.

- The height of the sheet doesn't need to be more that 600mm - if the boat heels far enough to throw you out of that you probably need to be out anyway.

- The double berth in the stern cabin will have a lee cloth either side and another which will come up thru an appropriate slit in the middle of the mattress. That way two people can still sleep there when under way. On my boat the outers can connect directly to the grab rail either side and the center one to fitting in the ceiling as described above.

Since these things don't have to be beautiful to the eye, I am going to use them as one of the steps in teaching myself sewing. No, they won't be really ugly but they probably won't be show-pieces either.
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Old 05-09-2011
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Wink

..of course....pics of projects are always great Omatako!!
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Old 05-09-2011
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I like lee cloths secured under the cushion a little way back from the edge, as others have suggested. This tends to lift the cushion slightly when the cloth is secured at the top tending to roll the occupant back into the bunk away from the edge. It's a small thing but useful, particularly when you are in the upwind bunk.

The top edge should be tied off outboard of the cushion edge, towards the hull, not the passage way. This means the cloth lies back towards the bunk but you get used to it and it feels secure. If you have them tied off outward of the bunk, when the boat is heeled and your bunk is on the windward side you will slide off the cushion into a bag formed by the lee cloth. You hang over the passageway like a bag of onions and it's very uncomfortable.

There should be a gap of at least a foot, more is better, at the head end or the user will feel claustrophobic and you need good air circulation around your head, just as you have in a conventional bed.

These small points are important to comfort in a sea berth with lee cloths fitted in my opinion. I've tried unsuitable lee cloths and I wouldn't want to repeat the experience.
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Old 05-10-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by souljour2000 View Post
..of course....pics of projects are always great Omatako!!
Haven't started on that yet - still have to finish my genset . . . .
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mainemandean View Post
.....I cannot thru-bolt; first, it would be hard to do, but mainly because there is a plastic water tank directly below each berth, with very little clearance. I can only penetrate the thickness of the plywood, basically no more......
How thick is the plywood? I would be concerned that plywood will not hold the threads well enough. If you strip or tear out one screw, it will be a real PITA to fix.

Can the plywood or the seat be removed so that a bolt can be passed through or recessed from the other side?
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Thanks, all. I got the job done. I used eight #12 screws, with fender washers, into the plywood berth, on each. It seems very strong, and I am happy with how it stows.

There was no way do do it with nuts and bolts; not enough clearance underneath.

Dean
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