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post #1 of 13 Old 01-21-2018 Thread Starter
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Cockpit Cushion Foam

Guys and Gals,

I'm currently working on re-cushioning the cockpit. The cushions can't be very big, just because of the shape so the port/starboard ones will be about 17 X 48 and the stern cushion will be about 17 X 60. They will be snapped into place using YKK SNADs so they won't see much heavy moisture. The Admiral pulls them in at the first sign of a sprinkle. So . . . any recommendations on the foam to use? Reticulated foam is great for high water areas, like taking waves over the side. But we won't be and the foam tends to compress easily. Poly foam is as comfortable as sitting on a sponge because, well . . . , you are. But the density is more in line with what you'd like to plant your stern on. Any body have experience in selecting foam?
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-21-2018
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Re: Cockpit Cushion Foam

I don't have too much experience selecting foam, butt, I would get foam that is a bit more stiff than you would normally choose for sleeping comfort. I find it is impossible to avoid stepping on the cushions to get in and out of the cockpit onto the deck. I like the more solid feel for footing. Even stiff cushions are way more comfortable for my boney arse than bare fiberglass.
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Re: Cockpit Cushion Foam

I'd call Sailrite.com and get their advice.
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Re: Cockpit Cushion Foam

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonScribner View Post
Guys and Gals,

I'm currently working on re-cushioning the cockpit. The cushions can't be very big, just because of the shape so the port/starboard ones will be about 17 X 48 and the stern cushion will be about 17 X 60. They will be snapped into place using YKK SNADs so they won't see much heavy moisture. The Admiral pulls them in at the first sign of a sprinkle. So . . . any recommendations on the foam to use? Reticulated foam is great for high water areas, like taking waves over the side. But we won't be and the foam tends to compress easily. Poly foam is as comfortable as sitting on a sponge because, well . . . , you are. But the density is more in line with what you'd like to plant your stern on. Any body have experience in selecting foam?
We used Ensolite closed cell foam to make ours.


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Re: Cockpit Cushion Foam

Don-
I vote for closed call foam, period. Any drawbacks are pretty much still a win because it absorbs zero water.
In foam rubbers, they are all measured by "durometer". If the seller can't tell you a rating for the foam, they're just clerks, find a better seller. A "20" foam will be very soft and compressible, a 100 foam would be an unyielding mattress. Somewhere like 40-60-70 is probably what you'll be recommended to get, IIRC, depending on the thickness of the foam. And of course, the closed cell tends to compress less and be stiffer to start with.
Closed cell can also literally be a lifesaver, if you need to throw it to a MOB. ("Honey, not the cushions, he's not THAT good a friend.")
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-22-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Cockpit Cushion Foam

I got a sample of Ensolite and reticulated foam. It seems like the Ensolite would be unbearable for any length of time. I only have a half inch of it though. The reticulated foam is just too soft. I'm looking for something in between. (Isn't some cute little thing with blonde hair involved in this somehow?) Looking at the Sailrite (love those guys) videos, Matt Grant recommends reticulated but I just can't get there. I'm considering both. 1/2" Ensolite over 2" reticulated. Another option would be polyurethane of the proper density (I'm not sure durometer would apply to foamed material), double wrapped it in plastic silk, then sealed inside the Recacril. IN a normal deluge, the foam would stay dray ling enough to get inside. They are always stored inside per AR117B (Admiral's Requirement).
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Re: Cockpit Cushion Foam

Don-
I had foam cushions made up after a back injury, arguing with Poseidon about who was going to keep an outboard engine. Had the luck to have an actual foam manufacturing plant 1/3 hour away. So yes, I can confirm they used "durometer" even though that is more commonly used for things like solid rubber sheet. And I don't recall what I got, I think we discussed 40-60-80 or sandwiching (they can glue up combinations), but finally went with a 4" thick "that's gonna be too hard" and 30 years later, it hadn't softened or crumbled at all. How firm you get it and how thick you get it go hand-in-hand. This was open cell, of course, for indoor use. But a real factory should be able to give you similar options. One of the online foam (mattress and other) supplies probably can offer you something like 3" thick memory foam, which should be closed cell and fairly good. If you get one that uses BASF or another US supplier, the foam is more likely to hold up in the long run. There's all sorts of stuff coming in from the pacrim that no one really knows what it is made of.
For that mattter, even WalMart has 2" thick "mattress topper" memory foam, a double layer of that might work well. At least you can explore it hands-on.
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Re: Cockpit Cushion Foam

A lot of trade names being thrown around here and I don't know the difference from one to another, but I would suggest strongly that you consider Barquito's advice and get something suitable for standing and kneeling on; unless your boat is somehow set up that you don't do this. I can't imagine sailing our boat with cushions that squished underfoot.
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-22-2018
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Re: Cockpit Cushion Foam

+1 on advice to get firm foam. One of the standard tests for difficulty with balance is to have the patient stand on a piece of foam with eyes closed. It’s also one of the standard exercises to Rx imbalance. Also unless the fabric is nonskid or very large and unlikely to move secure them. Know of injuries including broken bones from people falling due to cockpit cushions. Ours are closed cell but still go down below when it’s snotty for that reason. We have small cushions encased in a white rubber like product that firmly grip the non skid which are used in that situation. Two are flat and two with a right angle bend in the middle to ease your back. Also put in teak grate seats at the angle in the aft port of the push pulpit. Safety first.

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Re: Cockpit Cushion Foam

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonScribner View Post
I got a sample of Ensolite and reticulated foam. It seems like the Ensolite would be unbearable for any length of time. I only have a half inch of it though. The reticulated foam is just too soft. I'm looking for something in between. (Isn't some cute little thing with blonde hair involved in this somehow?) Looking at the Sailrite (love those guys) videos, Matt Grant recommends reticulated but I just can't get there. I'm considering both. 1/2" Ensolite over 2" reticulated. Another option would be polyurethane of the proper density (I'm not sure durometer would apply to foamed material), double wrapped it in plastic silk, then sealed inside the Recacril. IN a normal deluge, the foam would stay dray ling enough to get inside. They are always stored inside per AR117B (Admiral's Requirement).
Not sure how to read this. It was Sailrite ( Dan actually) from the Annpolis store who recommended our Ensolite. Mt wife was able to fabricate the cushions with our Sailrite machine. They are 2+ inches thick and also reside below when stormy but are not fragile. Being able to be stood on I agree is important and they fit that bill not being ~ squishy" underfoot.

There's plenty of moisture above decks in the cockpit even on the brightest of sunny days so the closed foam idea is important as humidity is also considered moisture.

You have received good advice here from a few posters. BTW mine and others advice is real life experiences with products we use ourselves that we feel are successful enough to post to others. Though they may not be the same products they are nonetheless solutions to your question. I don't think any should be "brushed of or ridiculed" by suggestion the solution was arrived at by a blonde suggestive sale if I read your post correctly.

Comfort in the cockpit is important. Nice cushions are also a welcome improvement to "cockpit life" we spend most of our time there. Not a decision to agonize over or over think

Let us know what you decided to do and how it works out for you.


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