SailNet Community banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
baDumbumbum
Joined
·
1,142 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hoping this is the best place to ask this question.:) We are refitting a 1972 Albin Ballad, which is a Swedish IOR boat with pinched ends and typically cramped interior. Our version had no quarterbeth but did have outboard pilot berths, which even I (a skinny rock climber) found difficult to access. My partner, no way. The salon benches will make perfectly adequate sea berths underway. At rest, we'd like to convert the settees into a true athwartships queen bed. They have been redesigned for the purpose, with a consistent 27" between the benches. The plan was to make some kind of platform that would hinge or slide out to span the gap, then we would arrange the cushions in some clever way to make a big mattress. This is sorta where we are:

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15218865219" title="stbdbunk by Robert Mcgovern, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3930/15218865219_a8baedd0d1_o.jpg" width="700" height="525" alt="stbdbunk"></a>

Trouble is stowing the plank(s) w/out messing up access to the stuff under the settees. While mocking it up, I had to use two 27x30" pieces of plywood rather than one, and they are awkward to install w/out painting yourself into the proverbial corner. So I was wondering -- have any of you cruisers made cushions with plywood on/in the bottoms of them? Then all we'd have to do is turn the things 90 degrees so the plywood bottoms span the gap, and the bed is made.:D To get into the settee stowage, just lift up the cushion. No second piece of plywood to move aside.

Thoughts on rigid-bottomed cushions? Or should we just find a better place, like under the V-berth cushions, to stow the planks? Other ideas that have worked for you?
 

·
Once known as Hartley18
Joined
·
5,179 Posts
A reasonable question.

I'm sure there are a few ways to do it, but the way this is done on the Hartley TS21's (and copied from tourist-class in 1950's cruise-liners oddly enough), the ply 'bed-base extension' is built as a very thin sliding drawer that slides away hard up underneath the top of one of the settees (or both if you want full cabin width) using no more than 1" - 1.5" of storage area height. If you're clever, a long fold-down jigsaw-cut set of legs to support the bed-base when pulled out can be made from a matching piece of ply and incorporated using a piano hinge. A cover strip 'drawer front' hides the workings when stowed away.

Because this 'drawer' naturally covers top access to settee storage, access is changed to cutouts in the side instead. The rectangular infill 'mattress' is the settee's backrest cushion.

To make the bed, simply pull out the drawer from one side, fold down the legs and relocate the settee backrest. Since one 'drawer' only covers half of the cabin sole (depending upon the size of your boat), you can still leave a narrow walkway up the middle. If you need more bed, pull out the other side also and climb over the bed to go forward.

Hope this helps. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,373 Posts
Sabre has done it similarly to how classic describes it on my 34. Though, it's a full not a queen size pullout. I can try to take some photos of the set-up. The raised edge that keeps the cushions in place in incorporated in to the pullout. The base is flush.
It's also hinged to allow access to my water tank below.

For your athwartship design, you could add an adequately strong ledger to the face of the settees along their length with end stops to receive a plywood base(s).

I think a queen width is 60", so you could use 3 - 20" x 27" wide pieces to make up your span. Whether you attach them to the back cushions themselves is a choice, I think I'd just secure the plywood pieces under the V berth.

You'd want the cushions to be thick enough so that the raised edge along your settees are not felt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Not hard to do, I'm 6"4" and made an queen in our Bristol 24, 1x1 wood cleats along the length of the settees, with smaller planks, (in our case three of them), across the gap between the berths, filler cushions and a mattress topper finish it off, The planks used to span the gap are small and easy to stow, the bed sets up and breaks down quickly and easily. Have the planks span across the gap not along the length, this makes for small pieces that stow far easier.

Hope this helps in some fashion.
 

·
Old enough to know better
Joined
·
4,346 Posts
I think putting in a cleat on either side should work, but instead of one or two pieces of plywood I would use narrower slats, seems that would be easier to store.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
19,488 Posts
Our V berth filler had a hard bottomed cushion.

I support Paul''s idea of using multiple narrower 'filler' boards to make them easier to store - kind of along the lines of having 2,3,or 4 drop board sections for the companionway.

Can your filler cushions be made to sit as backrests when not in 'queen' mode?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,961 Posts
I did something like this, although since a Catalina 22 is pretty small I ended up with a not-quite full size bed.

Anyway, rather than use one big board I used three narrower ones. With your situation being a big bigger, you could probably use four. Then they're easy to stack and throw in a locker. In my case they go under the cockpit sole.

I've been thinking about replacing them with a bunch of slats, say two or three inches, joined on the back by cloth. Then the whole business could roll up. Maybe a project for next year.
 

·
baDumbumbum
Joined
·
1,142 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Our V berth filler had a hard bottomed cushion.

I support Paul''s idea of using multiple narrower 'filler' boards to make them easier to store - kind of along the lines of having 2,3,or 4 drop board sections for the companionway.

Can your filler cushions be made to sit as backrests when not in 'queen' mode?
We plan to hinge the backrest to the settee cushion with a bit of fabric, possibly sewn into the seams, possibly attached with snaps or velcro. When you pull them out, they will fold flat into a single large pad. And the flap will keep loose change out of the cushions!:laugher Bedding will live in the fiddles behind the backrests, which is why the openings are rather large.

Thought about adding ledgers; the whole settee design aims to avoid the need for them, tho. We could store both pieces of plywood infil under the port bench where the water tank is, which would interfere less w/ access.

Slats are a neat idea, but don't you need rather many of them to support your cushions, or unusually stiff foam in your cushions? I don't want someone to kneel on the bed & plunge thru between the slats. There will be times we have to scramble/duckwalk across the bed. & if using stiff foam, why not 1/4" MDO? Slats stow compactly, but integral plywood doesn't need any stowage space at all. I worry a bit about breathing and moisture, tho. Drill 2" holes in the ply & add mesh backs? (The notion of fabric on the slats is really smart. May need to experiment w/ that!)

Partner & I agree we do not want any sort of legged pullout platform thing that covers up top access to the settees. The Ballad came with two drawers and a narrow sliding door for under-berth access. They were a horrible waste of volume. We're packing a 30" long solar oven under one of these things and most of the food -- gotta have quick, easy top access.
 

·
Once known as Hartley18
Joined
·
5,179 Posts
We plan to hinge the backrest to the settee cushion with a bit of fabric, possibly sewn into the seams, possibly attached with snaps or velcro. When you pull them out, they will fold flat into a single large pad. And the flap will keep loose change out of the cushions!:laugher Bedding will live in the fiddles behind the backrests, which is why the openings are rather large.
Only tiny issue I see there is that from the looks of your photo in your OP, your settee cushions may not currently be perfect rectangles, but might be tapered towards the pointy end. If so, stitched together with the backrests, there'd be a chunk out of the cushions when pulled out flat. That's why the backrests are usually used as in-fills (they can be more easily made rectangular) and the settee cushions stay in place.

Slats are a neat idea, but don't you need rather many of them to support your cushions, or unusually stiff foam in your cushions? I don't want someone to kneel on the bed & plunge thru between the slats. There will be times we have to scramble/duckwalk across the bed. & if using stiff foam, why not 1/4" MDO? Slats stow compactly, but integral plywood doesn't need any stowage space at all. I worry a bit about breathing and moisture, tho. Drill 2" holes in the ply & add mesh backs? (The notion of fabric on the slats is really smart. May need to experiment w/ that!)
Yes, you will need quite a few slats of odd sizes and shapes, usually numbered so you know where they go. Downsides are (a) it takes longer to set up the bed after a long day sail and dog tired and (b) losing one of the slats (down into the bilge or jammed into some other inaccessible recess someplace) might render the entire setup useless.

That's where the 'drawer' solution comes into it's own. It (a) doesn't need to be stowed someplace it can't be got at and (b) is strong enough to walk over.

Partner & I agree we do not want any sort of legged pullout platform thing that covers up top access to the settees. The Ballad came with two drawers and a narrow sliding door for under-berth access. They were a horrible waste of volume. We're packing a 30" long solar oven under one of these things and most of the food -- gotta have quick, easy top access.
Agreed that top access is preferable, but everything on a boat - including drawer or slats - is a compromise.

Unlike your experience with drawers and sliding doors, under-berth access can be done so there is no waste of volume and nothing to get stuck at the worst possible moment - usually by a series of long hatches with doors hinged at the bottom that open outward and lie flat on the cabin sole when opened.
 

·
baDumbumbum
Joined
·
1,142 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Pardon all the images -- I've tried to keep them small. I'm a really visual person, preferably 3D, so I mock things up quite a lot. Also useful to have a fully stocked cabinet shop five feet from the boat, with loads of scrap plywood & cardboard to exploit.:laugher Anyhow, here are the three plausible arrangements we'd be happy with. (Pls note, all the bits shown are crude prototypes, the cushions came with the boat and the real ones will not resemble these, and that's not actually our mast.:p) First, slats.

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15441568276" title="slats by Robert Mcgovern, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2947/15441568276_7b0d0f4de1_o.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="slats"></a>
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15278036298" title="slats2 by Robert Mcgovern, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3932/15278036298_f9a29a8fa8_o.jpg" width="500" height="441" alt="slats2"></a>
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15464324212" title="slats3 by Robert Mcgovern, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2947/15464324212_b5bc1e03ae_o.jpg" width="500" height="363" alt="slats3"></a>

Given the space between, probably the cushions would have to run lengthwise. That's totally reasonable and would save one step making up the bed. The five 4"w slats stack as shown for stowing; not impossible, but not trivial either. All the slats would be interchangeable, because we've kept the settee spacing a uniform 26.5" for that exact purpose.:)

Next, plywood infill.

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15464329322" title="ply by Robert Mcgovern, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3936/15464329322_a4a0c2371c_o.jpg" width="500" height="419" alt="ply"></a>
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15277966300" title="ply2 by Robert Mcgovern, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2950/15277966300_b71a702311_o.jpg" width="500" height="366" alt="ply2"></a>
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15278096117" title="ply3 by Robert Mcgovern, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3935/15278096117_53a22c22de_o.jpg" width="500" height="355" alt="ply3"></a>

It's ... okay. Nice & even support, no gaps to fall thru, stow inconspicuously under the cushions w/out stealing any useful volume or too much hindering access. Cushions could be run either way. Shown athwartships. I should like this solution, it almost matches my original vision for the bed -- but it chafes me on some level.*shrug* Can't explain why.

Third, rigid cushions.

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15277791029" title="plank by Robert Mcgovern, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3931/15277791029_a83a48e81f_o.jpg" width="500" height="306" alt="plank"></a>

(At this point, Daphne the cat rattled 8' up the extension ladder to join in.)

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15277790219" title="plank2 by Robert Mcgovern, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2949/15277790219_3517712260_o.jpg" width="500" height="436" alt="plank2"></a>
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15277789049" title="plank3 by Robert Mcgovern, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2945/15277789049_49f3543199_o.jpg" width="500" height="310" alt="plank3"></a>

"Air draft! Air draft!" You can zip a very large piece of plywood into a cushion cover, cuz the foam squishes to let you do it. A 1/4" to 3/8"t piece of quality veneer core should do & isn't outrageously heavy to lift when accessing the compartments below. Actually, it's kind of nice to have the cushion lift as a unit, rather than sagging over your arm like a drunk friend. OTOH, the cushions now have advanced rigor mortis & can't be slung casually around corners. Also, cushions can only run athwart.

Here's the solar oven in its nest & why no sort of slide-out, drawers, or front-access doors under the settees is at all practical:

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15278044818" title="stow by Robert Mcgovern, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3930/15278044818_11d4237563_o.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="stow"></a>

I like full (or nearly full) access to the most important & often-used stowage areas. Also makes getting in there to clean a lot easier.:) We'll be delving into the stbd settee 2-3 times a day. It can't be a chore. On the opposing side is the 31gal water tank; for now the only way to check its level is to screw out one of those deck plates. So even that side needs to be kept accessible.
 

·
Asleep at the wheel
Joined
·
3,017 Posts
Someone mentioned a mattress topper, which I think is a good idea. Another idea is to use an inflatable mattress. It breaks down quickly, stows easily, and provides adjustable comfort. You can get them in reasonably thick sizes, and they help give you a more consistent sleeping on the cushions alone, or even on a thin mattress topper.

I'd probably consider one of two options. Either adding drawers, and stowing the cross supports above the settees (and under the cushions, obviously) or making false fronts for the settees and having the cross supports hinged. This lets them swing up into place. A hinged set of legs that tucks (basically) flat behind the false front when not in use can keep the supports from falling when the bed is in use. Velco or magnets can be used to keep the legs in the stowed position, and a small stop the same thickness as the leg would help it seat properly in the open position prior to lowering the cross support.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top