SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Concerning the Beneteau Oceanis 393 2006:

After years of sailing a traditional full keeled sailboat on the Red Sea, we are making some big changes in life. As we near retirement we have decided to relocate to the Med for summer liveaboard / sailing. With that in mind we have been looking at boats that are more user friendly for Med mooring, maneuvering in tight places, dinghy access and have more roomy and comfortable below deck accommodation. After over 30 years living aboard small boats we want some comfort. LOL.

Over the past 20 years we have had many many opportunities both as a delivery team and as crew to think about what suits us and what doesn't. So we've narrowed the field to the Beneteau 393. We sailed on this boat for over a week a couple of times through all sorts of weather and lived aboard one this fall for a few weeks in Turkey.

But one thing concerns us. This fall I found the sleeping accommodation in the forward berth to be uncomfortable for a couple. Everybody seems to rave about the berth but I found myself squashed against the inside wall and "climbing the wall" in the middle of the night. Even in our 30 foot boat the berth is more comfortable.

So before we take the leap, my question is:
Has any other couple had this issue?
Or could it be due to old berth cushions that need replacing?
Robyn
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,167 Posts
I've had my 393 for 12 years and have completed a circumnavigation.
The forward berth wants good new cushions. The die earlier as you're always sleeping on that middle seem.
Also I have a 2 inch 'topper' on it. Bliss.

The taller partner get the wall side, the shorter partner gets the aisle. Sorry.

I am fine with it. It's a great cabin especially in summer. No other boat has 2 big hatches right above the berth.

Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,192 Posts
The forward berth wants good new cushions. The die earlier as you're always sleeping on that middle seem.
Also I have a 2 inch 'topper' on it. Bliss.

The taller partner get the wall side, the shorter partner gets the aisle. Sorry.

Mark
I have given this a lot of thought, because of trying to talk my wife into an eventual cruising or live-aboard life. So far, we have only done charter trips. This means we have always slept on the standard stock cushions, which my wife finds completely inadequate and uncomfortable.

I have worked through many plans in my head, of how I might make a boat of our own more comfortable for her. I have thought of Mark's idea of a thick plush memory foam topper.

My thought is that I would buy a 2 or 3 inch memory foam topper that is as wide as the widest part of the berth. That may mean getting a full size or queen-size topper and cutting it to fit the shape of the V birth. Considering that it raises the bed 2 or 3 inches higher, it seems to me, that you would be able to take advantage of a couple of inches wider space, where the curvature of the hull is wider. It might require cutting the edge on a bevel to fit the sloped side of the hull. This would give you a couple of inches wider bed space.

I have not yet tried this myself, but I believe that I read about one couple doing this on their year-round liveaboard in a marina in New York City.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,792 Posts
We had 2" memory foam toppers. When they wore and got too dirty, we replaced them with 4". Seriously night and day improvement, for pennies more. We cut them to size, with an electric carving knife.

My initial reaction was that no one's opinion could possibly override your actual experience and discomfort on the bunk. There is a possibility that a serious memory foam topper could be a game changer. It was for us.

Just know that not all memory foam is created equal. There are different densities and I think the entire spectrum appeals to different people. Soft vs firm. Just make your most educated guess, based on general soft v firm preferences.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,951 Posts
My wife and I have chartered a Beneteau 393 several times and I thought the fore cabin was great. At least it worked for us. I'm 5' 9" and she's 5' 0" and like Mark said I took the inside.

But if it doesn't work for you, it doesn't work.

I know if I were going to live aboard, a centerline queen would be high on my list of desired features.
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
8,386 Posts
I had a forward V-berth in my last boat and slept quite happily there on and off for 18 years between captain's jobs. It was fine for my wife and I (much better with a topper) and even better after she left.
But nothing improves the liveaboard experience more than our present centerline queen! And having a berth that can take an off the showroom floor mattress and sheets is a huge improvement over cobbling together pieces of foam and having covers custom made to fit a V-berth. And for those of us who like to sleep on nice crisp sheets? No more paying exorbitant prices for "custom" made sheets to fit that V-berth.
If a boat is to become your home, there are a some things that may need to take preference over the sailing/performance part of it all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,077 Posts
My experience with the Bene was visiting Mark's boat. The forward berth seemed OK. I certainly agree with Capta... if you have the option go for a CL double in an aft cabin. My Contest 36s offers the owner the option of a typical V just forward of a walk thru head or a large berth in the aft cab where standing is only possible at the entry to the cabin. You can sleep either fore and aft or athrwartship. We use standard sheets but it's hard to make the bed because you have to crawl on do it from on top of the bunk. And it's far away from the head whereas the V is adjacent. Our aft cabinet has more lockers and excellent ventilation and communication with the cockpit

My friends have a 36s and are quite tall and sleep in the V and use the aft cabin for a catch-all whereas I use the V for guests and as a catch-all walk in "closet". We've tried the V and find it harder to get in and out of. Were I to get another boat... a CL aft walk around would be high on my list. This usually means a center cockpit.

We have adapted to the 36s but I would never want to use a V for my sleeping cabin. Look for a boat with a CL berth!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,155 Posts
We have a forward queen. You can exit from either side. It has and additional 3” memory foam and the flat German flat plastic springs under. Memory foam gets hot. Uses micro fleece sheets and a mattress top.
It’s as good as the bed at home.
Find on passage unless downwind everyone wants to sleep behind the mast. Find the big double berths aft on many current boats uncomfortable as too much room and no where to wedge when it’s bumpy. Best berth was pilot berths but never seen anymore. Oh well.
At present sleep forward at anchor. In saloon berths or the quarterberth underway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everybody.
MarkofSeaLife:
That's really useful information. I thought the cushions looked like the originals and were due replacing. And its good to hear that the cabin is well ventilated. I find the aft cabins to be stuffy particularly in hot humid Med summers.

A centerline queen bed certainly would be more comfortable at least in a marina or quiet anchorage, but I'm not so sure underway. I think I'd be rolling all over.

We've slept in small V berths for over 30 years now. It's not for everybody but we've managed. In the end there always will be compromises in buying a boat, I just wanted to hear some other's experiences.

Robyn
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,077 Posts
Underway sleep in the salon on the lee side... you're only getting a few hours of shut eye!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,167 Posts
A centerline queen bed certainly would be more comfortable at least in a marina or quiet anchorage, but I'm not so sure underway. I think I'd be rolling all over.
The forward berth is perfectly comfortable to sleep in at sea. Even in heavy weather. Without lee cloths... But you could install lee clothes in about 10 minutes if you wanted them.

People are bizzare in their BS about being at sea. Many on this forum refuse to cook at sea. Why? Many think boats are uncomfortable unless bigger than the Queen Mary. Why?

À center berth is more convenient so one doesn't have to climb over their partner... But its only difficult if one is a big fat unfit slob. They need a centre-line berth - and a full time cook. If it saves $20,000 to $30,000 to buy a 393 compared to a 423 that's a lot of money, well, to me anyway. :)

But for everyone else in the world who wants adventure, travel and a great retirement then I commend people to get used to gentle rock and roll that's been part of ship life for thousands of years :)

If the boat can't be slep in comfortably during a raging storm then, simply, sail only in the right season :)


Mark
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,167 Posts
One other point about the 393 and I guess all boats...
The mattress in the forward cabin comes in 2 pieces. It's the line of the middle that seems to collapse first when the cushion inside gets too old. The obvious solution would be to buy a 1 piece mattress... However then it won't fit down the companionway or through the cabin door. So beware.

Replacing the foam cost me US$600 3 years ago and it can't have been good quality as it needs to be done again. :crying
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,167 Posts
Could glue the foam when its in place then add topper
The foam is in individual fabric envelopes. But if you didn't want to use those, then sure, gluing could be an interesting solution.

And might allow the use of cheap mon-marine foam.
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
8,386 Posts
but I'm not so sure underway. I think I'd be rolling all over.Robyn
Didn't you say you were going to be sailing the Med on this boat? Honestly, how many overnight passages do you expect to be making in the Med a year? Most of my cruising in the Med was day sailing.
Also, I guess you missed the folks who said that even with a nice forward cabin berth, most slept in a quarter berth aft or on a salon berth when sailing at night, especially if not running.
As for a centerline berth, lee cloths work on one of those just as well as they do on any other berth aboard, not to mention the V-berth has a lot, a lot, more motion than a centerline queen berth farther aft. You can even sleep athwart-ship on one, as mentioned above.
But, bottom line, if you are anything like most other cruisers out there, you spend the vast majority of your nights in a marina or at anchor, so worrying about the viability of a centerline berth for those few nights you are actually sailing at night seems foolish compared to the pleasures of the bigger, more comfortable berth. And our stock, store bought mattress still is in fine shape after 10 years, unlike Mark's at 3.5.
I'm not trying to tell you what boat you should buy, but after nearly 50 years of living aboard boats, with a wife and family and alone, I am just trying to give you a head's up on what I've found makes a more comfortable liveaboard, especially if you have a wife. Ask anyone who has made a V-berth and a walk around centerline berth.
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
8,386 Posts
The foam is in individual fabric envelopes. But if you didn't want to use those, then sure, gluing could be an interesting solution.

And might allow the use of cheap mon-marine foam.
I've read a few threads on this and other forums about good ways to ventilate the underside of foam cushions. We us DriDeck under our foam mattresses in the fore-peak and mid-cabin to allow the foam to breath on the bottom. I think gluing the foam down would allow it to retain moisture and rot much more quickly.
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
8,386 Posts
  • Like
Reactions: MarkofSeaLife
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top