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FAQ: Ideas for a good nights sleep


Any ideas/opinions about the cushions in order to make the berths more comfortable?

C34 V-Berth

Original Message:
Subj: [C34] Ideas for a good nights sleep
Hello everyone, I wanted to get some ideas/opinions about what you all have done with the cushions in order to make the beths (V-berth in particular because that's where we sleep) more comfortable. At boat shows, I always inquire about mattresses, but the cost is always unbelievable. My thought was to go to a local foam shop and get something about a few inches thick, a bit more harder than the current cushions. Then I was thinking about either putting it under the existing cushions (sort of like a box spring), or lay it on top. I would appreciate any thoughts on this and other ideas that any one of you may have. Thanks,
Roc, "Sea Life", #1477, rpalaia@cpcus.jnj.com

Subj: Re: [C34] Ideas for a good nights sleep
Roc: JoAnn made a bed roll of a feather mattress pad and an egg crate foam pad. She used a large sheet to make a pillow cover like bag to cover the pads. We just roll the bedroll to one side of the V-berth when it's not being used. Use a colored sheet which complements the fabric on your cushions and it looks fine. Before the bedroll, she was unable to sleep comfortably. There's no problem now.
George Sedgwick, "SchatzSea", #1031, sedgwick@cari.net

Subj: RE: [C34] Ideas for a good nights sleep
George: Very interesting. I would like to fully understand the layout. Sounds like a 2-layer pad, one layer of feather mattress stuff and one layer of egg crate foam. What sequence do you find more comfortable, feather on top or below the egg foam?? Does the pillow-like bag cover both layers together so you end up with a single unit?? Thanks for the reply; this sounds like something worth trying.
Roc, "Sea Life", #1477, rpalaia@cpcus.jnj.com

Subj: RE: [C34] Ideas for a good nights sleep
Roc: We have purchased a good thick mattress pad that covers the V-berth cushions. With a couple of hours work, we cut and fitted it to the cushions with elastics at the corners. We then purchased queen-size sheets and sewed them to fit. We now make up this bed and leave it made with a nice seashell bedspread over it. Why unmake it? I don’t strip it every night at home.
As to its comfort…after two nights I am ready for my home bed.
The feather mattress stuff and one layer of egg crate foam sound great to me and I also would like to hear more about how and what were the materials you used. Thanks.
Capt Al, "Kindred Spirit", #55 alwsail@aol.com

Subj: Re: [C34] Ideas for a good nights sleep
Roc, The egg crate is on the bottom. I could have used a "duvet cover" to cover both layers as a single unit, but the cost was ridiculous so I just made the "pillow case" like cover out of a queen flat sheet.
One more slight modification to the set up is during the winter when we use a sleeping bag, unzipped on top, to keep the "chill" down when I'm on board. Being in San Diego, it doesn't really get that cold and George doesn't have a problem, but I get cold very easily.
The egg crate/feather mattress pad idea was a gradual evolution. Our daughter could not adjust to the mattress at college (she had been sleeping on a waterbed for over 15 years). The egg crate was the first item we purchased, and then added the feather mattress pad when she still couldn't get a good nights rest. Six months after she graduated from college, we purchased SchatzSea and fortunately had inherited the unit.
Jo Ann, GOOD LUCK!!!

Subj: [C34] Re: [cat] Ideas for a good nights sleep "V-Berth"
We had the foam in our cushion replaced with latex foam as is used in home mattresses and have improved it immensely. The best way would be to buy a foam mattress and cut it down to fit your existing cover (or better yet, hire your local canvas/cushion expert to do it).
Colin Ward, C-42, "Mandalay", St. Pete, FL, colinsail@yahoo.com

Subj: Re: [cat] Ideas for a good nights sleep "V-Berth"
Listies, I live aboard my C34 and sleep in the aft berth on an Aero Bed that was purchased at Bed, Bath & Beyond. Best sleep I've ever gotten. A water bed without the water that can be adjust quickly with the attached air pump. I keep my V-Berth open for guests and to be used as my TV room.
Ron Euler, "GONE WITH THE WIND", C34, Naples, FL, sunshinesports@sprintmail.com

Subj: Re: [C34] Ideas for a good nights sleep "V-Berth"
I bought one of the beds from Handcraft Mattress Company (boatbeds.com) and I'm very satisfied with it. I got the latex foam version with an integral mattress pad. It fits pretty nicely in the v-berth, and it's very comfortable.
It was somewhat expensive, but not surprisingly so for a custom made piece. For example, they sent an agent out to my boat to take measurements. Just coming to the boat, taking measurements and handling paperwork would have come to 2.5 to 3 hours of labor. (Remember he had to travel to my boat and back).
For what it's worth, here's a description of the construction. Maybe something here will lead to a useful idea.
Inside, there is a block of "latex foam". I don't really know how to describe it, but when you compress it, it doesn't feel like the usual polyurethane stuff. I think partly it is just more firm, but I suspect there is more to it than that. Maybe the latex foam stretches in addition to compressing.
The foam is wrapped in a covering much like the regular cushions. There is a waterproof looking material on the bottom and regular mattress-looking material on the sides.
The top has a half-inch or maybe an inch of quilted padding. It resembles the quilted padding you would find on a nice mattress at a bedding store.
I suspect the significant factors that make it better than the original cushions are the different properties of the foam and the fact that the quilted padding layer is there.

Subj: Re: [C34] Ideas for a good nights sleep "V-Berth"
We were having new slipcovers made anyway, so we just added 2 inches of foam to the existing 4 inch foam (using foam adhesive) and it makes all the difference in the world. While Joe falls asleep no matter what he is sleeping on, I (the delicate one in the family) tossed and turned, feeling the hard surface under the 4 inch foam with every toss. Now with the 6 inches of foam, I sleep like the proverbial baby. I'm even thinking about adding another 2 inches of foam.
Joe & Candance Sabella, Can't Dance, Gulfport Fl., candance@gte.net

Subj: Re: [C34] Ideas for a good nights sleep "V-Berth"
Candance, Candance, an old friend of mine (female) who has been around a bit-actually a lot, once told me, "Chris, it's not the size it's........................................yeah, it's the size."
Chris Gregory, S/V Different Drummer II, sailndives@worldnet.att.net

C34 Aft Berth

Subj: Re: [C34] Re: [cat] Ideas for a good nights sleep " Aft Berth "
We had an AeroBed we used for in-laws/outlaws, so we tried it on the boat per a previous post by Ron.
Although it is comfortable, we felt the attached pump made it awkward and it takes up a lot of room. Also, the bed must be at least 12" high when inflated which made the aft berth claustrophobic not to mention more difficult to turn over in.
We ended up buying an ordinary high quality air mattress which is about 4" thick when inflated and using it on top of the cushions. Use a good quality mattress cover over it and it has worked great.
Jack, C34 # 1169, Port A, TX, asailorir@earthlink.net


C30 V-Berth

Subj: Re: [c30] Ideas for a good nights sleep "V-Berth"
On "Amity", the head of the V-berth is 4" lower than the foot. This gave me a headache. As the V-berth cushions were shot when I bought her, I had to have another mattress made. I contracted a canvas shop to make a wedge-shaped mattress (thinner at the foot, obviously) out of foam. I made it in two pieces, cut down the middle. I didn't see me ever using the cutout designed to reveal the forehatch step, so I didn't leave a third cushion for this. The mattress worked well, but because the V-berth is concave, I always ended up in the middle of the bed! So a friend of mine carved out a pad of foam which I inserted into the mattress cover. The pad is contoured to take out the concavity of the V-berth floor. A lot of trouble, and not cheap ($1500). But I sleep well now.
I also used to have a feather comforter. The moisture in the boat tended to get absorbed by the feathers and they began to stink. Might want to rethink that one.
Jonathan, "Amity", 1981 C30 with a flat V-berth, yooks@yahoo.com

Subj: Re: [c30] Ideas for a good nights sleep "V-Berth"
The word from the factory is that YES the bow is 4" higher than the other end of the v-berth. The qberth also varies by 3" from aft to ladder. The word is that when the weight of the occupants is added that the boat will become level in those areas.
We have used the eggshells under our sleeping bags for many years. It is a good option.
Max, mxmunger@crosslink.net

Subj: Re: [c30] Ideas for a good nights sleep "V-Berth"
Jonathan, My '76 has the same sloping problem in the V-berth, except that it is only about a 2" slope. The Quarter berth is nearly 4". I had to laugh at Max's comment that the factory says, if people are in them, the berths will be flat. What happens if people are in both the bow and the stern? I guess they cancel each other out!
In our V-berth I built a 3/8" plywood subfloor sitting on a tapering framework of lumber, tapering from nothing about 6" from the bow, to 1-1/2", in addition to the plywood at the aft end of the berth. Still have the locker cover in the middle. Works great. What also helped is that I had new cushions made recently and I had them made up in smaller sections instead of the 2 big ones - much easier to handle, store etc, and when in place, they still can't go anywhere.
I have not even attempted to correct the quarterberth - 4" is a lot of space to lose! We use the q-berth mainly for storage. I did wonder about actually slicing around the q-berth, raising it and re-glassing it, as it would increase space underneath for tankage etc, (I need a new fuel tank and I need to lower the stern/raise the bow) but I think I will give that a miss.
Richard Britton, Friendly Dragon, 1976 C30 SR, New Westminster, B.C. RBritton@telus.net

Subj: Re: [c30] Ideas for a good nights sleep "V-Berth"
Keeping the bow water tank full helps a lot on our 1981. With the tank full it sets level. Also, don't store anything too heavy in the rear lazarette.
Bob Uehlein, Menageri@ACD.net

Important: The opinions expressed here are those of the individual contributors to this page, and not those of the Catalina 34 National Association or Catalina Yachts, Inc. Additionally, this material has not been reviewed by Catalina Yachts, Inc. for technical accuracy. This page's maintainer cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information or the desirability of suggested modifications or upgrades. Please obtain assistance from a competent marine mechanic or boatyard prior to making any significant modifications to your vessel.   


Last modified by Phil Imhof, Wednesday, August 11, 2004 . Copyright © 2001 by Catalina 34 International Association.  All rights reserved.