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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've just replaced the foam in my V berth with this stuff :

The Foam Factory, Mattresses, Conventional Foam

I used the Lux High Quality 2.8lb/sq.ft, 50 lb foam. What I did was buy a king size mattress, which is just enough to do the whole berth and the filler, with some strange shaped bits left over!

At $164 incl. shipping for a 4" king size I made quite a saving over what my local foam supplier would have charged (and did charge, for the salon cushions)

I had read previous threads on buying a Walmart mattress and cutting that up but wasn't impressed by the quality of foam they use.

This seems to be the top quality, high density stuff.

Cut it up with an electric carving knife, $20 from Amazon.
 

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I'm just in the process of doing exactly this ! About a year ago I was browsing the forums and a thread about upgrades and revisions everyone made to their boat. Lots of great ideas, but the one that really stoked me was a guy who replaced his V berth cushions with memory foam, and recut it so that the seams ran perpendicular to a sleeping body. I knew I had to emulate because falling between the cracks of the oddly shaped cushions while sleeping was so annoying. Plus I was excited to replace my old and worn cushions with some denser, more supportive foam. I found a 4" mattress topper on craigslist for $25 that was still in the shrink wrap, and purchased some weather resistant canvas from the fabric store...already finished sewing 2 of the 3 cushion covers and I can't believe how good they came out. Simple and fun upholstery project to seriously improve quality of life aboard.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I also thought that, being tall and, erm, not light, it is better to have a firm, quality, base to the mattress and then I can always soften it up with a 1 or 2" memory foam topper.
 

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Way to go Mark! Good find.
:cool:
We had 2.6 density foam put into all of our cushions in '95. They still sit and sleep without "bottoming out".
( Doncha just hate it when the boat you are delivery-crewing on has old flat cushions for your two hour off watch attempt-at-sleep? :( )

Our replacement ones were noticeably a bit heavier than the factory stock stuff we threw out.

The prior owner inadvertantly did us a favor by letting mold and mildew grow throughout most of the foam........ ick. Much laundering of covers was involved and we did save them.

LB
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I tried sleeping on it last night. The 50lb foam is ideal for me but I think people of average weight would be better off with the 35lb foam.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Whys that? All the old foam is open cell, and so is the new stuff I bought. Won't sleeping on closed cell foam be rather uncomfortable?
 

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I'm finishing the main salon now. I used 4" high density foam ($24.95/yd @ JoAnn Fabrics) glued to 1" (5" total) for the settees, 4" for backrests, and 1" for other panels. I'm covering everything with Sunbrella upholstery fabric ($24/yd). We did this job for the quarter berth and V berth 3 years ago and it's holding up nicely.

I backed the cushions with pet screening to let the cushion breathe. Saw this on a "professional" job and really liked it.

I'll post photos in a day or so.
 

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I have some 2-inch memory foam over my regular vee-berth cushions, which is OK, but not great. I'll probably go with some 4-inch memory foam in the near future and try to match the fabric of the old cushions to make everything uniform throughout the boat.

Good Luck,

Gary :cool:
 

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We have the cabin cushions on the boat to-do list... but still a ways off yet. I was talking this over with a friend who is also looking to do the same. He had a good question about the resistance to mold. These mattresses have foam built for indoor, warm, dry places and don't mention mold or mite resistance.

Does that differ from expensive foam to be used in boat cushions?

We looked at two types of foam for our cockpit cushions that we had made last year. We chose closed cell foam because it would float if we needed to toss them overboard (MOB situation). They also had open cell foam that was explicitly designed to let water/rain run through it so they'd remain dry and quickly dry out as well. What properties of the foam do you look for in the cabin/v-berth cushions?
 

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We do not use closed cell foam for interior cushions. The interior of the boat should be dry so mold should not be present. If it is, that's a different problem that needs to be addressed.

Yes, the foam can become moldy. We counter that tendency 3 ways:
1. Keep water out.
2. the bottom of the cushion has a mesh (I use pet screen available at Lowes or Home Depot) to allow it to breathe.
3. When laying up the boat at season's end, we remove all cushions and store them at home in a dry place. This alone works wonders.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
We do not use closed cell foam for interior cushions. The interior of the boat should be dry so mold should not be present. If it is, that's a different problem that needs to be addressed.

Yes, the foam can become moldy. We counter that tendency 3 ways:
1. Keep water out.
2. the bottom of the cushion has a mesh (I use pet screen available at Lowes or Home Depot) to allow it to breathe.
3. When laying up the boat at season's end, we remove all cushions and store them at home in a dry place. This alone works wonders.
Plus, if you do buy a foam with a strong fungicide and bactericide, you get to breathe the stuff in large quantities. It's bad enough with the fire retardant, it's not exactly healthful.

I think I'd rather just try to keep the interior dry.
 

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Keeping the interior dry is a challenge. We have very humid summers, which I'm sure is not unique to any boating area, and after even a short time away from the locked-up boat, the warmth and moisture really accelerates all kinds of growth.

More ventilation might help, but not by much. The only thing I've seen that truly helps is a dehumidifier plugged in while the boat is in the slip... that's the plan this year, but last year we were cruising and there's no space for a DH while sailing abroad.

That's a good point about breathing in extra chemicals. Do antibacterial/antifungal foams emit such chemicals? I know there are quite a few rubber products that are antibacterial; Sport sandals etc etc, but I didn't think they gave off toxic fumes.
 

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I was thinking less of humidity and more of water intrusion by leaks. I agree that not much can be done about humidity.

Just keep the bilge dry and air out the cushions at the end of the season, spraying with Fabreeze or similar. We've also used Tilex at the end of the season with great results. Just let it dry on the foam before putting the cover back on. Better yet, leave the cover off all winter.
 

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While sleeping, the human body loses a certain amount of water through the skin and
breathing. The mattress will absorb a certain amount of this water. The moisture
absorbed by the mattress will work its way to the coldest part of the mattress, which is
the underneath of the mattress. When the moisture reaches the solid bed base it can
not proceed any further, so therefore the underneath of the mattress remains damp. My question is would a closed cell foam stop this or should moisture be allowed to travel through the foam and would those air mats that allow air to circulate be better.
 

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Anyone have a source for a high quality dense memory foam topper? The thicker the better. We have an old inch and a half to tow inch topper that does little more than give the illusion.
 
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