Nichola / its raining again....
so named because of its many layers! The refurb of the bed in the aft cabin is now finished, so here is the saga of what we’ve done.
Our aft bed sits above an empty space over the hull and it gets very cold in the winter, even with a 12cm piece of foam mattress. The old mattress was in two pieces and the ends of it touched against the bare hull where it curves up at the stern. Due to the very cold air underneath the bed base and our warm bodies, we used to get a lot of condensation, particularly down the end where there wasn’t so much air flow. This resulted in the evil mould taking hold in the hard to get to places. It was decided it was time for a new foam mattress and after much deliberation this is what we came up with:
LAYER 1: Bed base - 1 inch think underfloor insulation has been fastened under the plywood bed base, rotted panels replaced and the whole lot painted white. Where the bare hull is visible where it curves up at the stern we put insulation over the bare sections of hull, covered this with plywood and cut the bottoms of the cupboards around the bed to accommodate the insulation and ply. The picture here shows that job in progress.
LAYER 2: wooden bed slats – these are curved wooden slats joined together with rubber strips available from IKEA. We already used these under the old mattress to create an air gap but they’d got a bit of mould from sitting in pools of condensation. We use 2 of the type for single beds so that we have one under each sleeping position and so we could cut the ends off the slats to follow the shape of the bed where it tapers towards the bottom. The slats have been cleaned and painted (they were varnished but not very thickly) to protect against the evil mould. The slats lift the mattress off the bed base to provide an air gap and prevent any condensation that gathers on the bed base from getting the mattress wet.
LAYER 3: This is a sandwich of wiry stuff between the IKEA slats and mattress and provides an additional air gap to aid ventilation.
LAYER 4: a new piece of 7cm thick, firm foam in two pieces to allow them to be easily moved and proped at the side of the bed if we want to ventilate underneath. I made new covers for the foam.
LAYER 5: a single piece of king size, 5cm thick memory foam sits on top. This is the first time we’ve had a single mattress piece across the whole bed and means we can finally sleep in the middle without falling down the gap between the foam pieces! We decided to have this memory foam layer separate from the other foam so that if the memory foam wears out we can just replace that piece without the cost of replacing the full 12cm thickness of foam. It also meant we could have a single piece rather than 2 pieces and so make it like a proper bed at last. The memory foam layer can be rolled up and put to the side when we want to ventilate underneath.
After a couple of weeks of use it is such an improvement over the previous bed. It’s no longer cold (we have had a couple of nights at nearly freezing outside – yes in May!!!) and is so comfy that it’s very hard to get out of it in the morning, especially with the rubbish weather we’re having.