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Old 09-02-2009, 02:09 PM   #1
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The mattress, or rather lack of mattress on my boat Tabasco makes it very hard for me to sleep and is a pain in the back for by husband. Anyone have a good and cheap solution for a V-berth. We don't live aboard but do spend many nights on her in the summer. If I don't get my beauty sleep I make rotten crew.
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Old 09-02-2009, 02:19 PM   #2
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Nothing Cheap -

Been there ,, done that - Depth limited to no more than 6inches ( no less than 5")- Dunlop Pillow - washable

Snorers in the dinghy, painter let out 50 metres (60 yards or 180 ft plus)
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Old 09-02-2009, 03:12 PM   #3
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This is a regular discussion with me and Deb (girlfriend), I live aboard and she stays on most nights and will probably be coming on to stay soon. The 5 inch foam mattresses that I have now are horrible and give us both back and hip pains. She just bought an egg crate foam thingy which we will cut to shape but I'm not sure how much that will help since they are pretty squishy too... one option we have discussed is getting a used sears-o-pedic mattress off craigslist (you can find them for about $100) and chopping it to shape but the problem here is that all the ones we've found are 8 inches or so thick... we of course discussed the idea of filleting off a couple/three inches but odds are this would end up uneven and a waste of money...

I'll let you know how the egg crate foamy works out (if it helps any).
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Old 09-02-2009, 07:51 PM   #4
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The easy fix is to get a "latex foam mattress." They come in various thicknesses and various firmness. Ours is firm and only 4" thick. Its great. Better than any of the (quite expensive) mattresses that we had at our house!

I talked to a friend (72 y.o. lady with a bad back) about this and she laughed and said that she has 4 beds in the house all with very nice mattresses but when her back is "acting up" she'll go out and sleep in their RV because it also has a latex foam mattress! I also learned from her that this is the type of foam that hospitals use on the beds.

Some folks buy a firm or extra firm latex mattress and then put a 1" topper of a softer latex on it. Benefit of the latex is that it is much, much less likely to mildew than a regular foam mattress, too.

They're priced high-and-low all depending on who you buy it from. Here in San Diego, we purchased one from a little shop called Hoffman Foam (Fairmont Ave) and they came out, made a pattern of our strangely shaped berth (a double that is 7' long 56" wide at the head and 43" wide at the foot and with an odd bevel and a cut along the hull side since it happens to straddle/cross the bilge stringer too). They made one perfect for the shape and made a nice cover for it as well.

Good luck and good sleep to all
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Old 09-03-2009, 01:30 AM   #5
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I have those egg crate things already. I don't like them. I spoke to one of the summer live aboards at our marina today. He bought a 5" deep memory form mattress from Sears and cut it to shape. He loves it.
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Old 09-03-2009, 02:31 AM   #6
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I have permanent nerve damage in my back which makes reclining painful and thus sleeping is difficult.

On our sailboat, while we were in SE Asia, we had new 6" foam mattresses made, which I then topped with two egg crate foam toppers. That was very good, but when I was able to get memory foam, the 1" or 2" memory foam topper was even better.

When we sold the sailboat we bought a house in New Jersey and MV Watermelon. Because we don't spend much time in the house we furnished it with hand-me-downs and bought new mattresses but they aren't anything very wonderful. I put a 3" memory foam topper on the bed, which makes it okay, but the rigidity of the batting and innersprings makes it too firm underneath the foam and so I'm not as comfortable on this bed.

MV Watermelon has 4" foam mattresses, and I have a 1" or 2" memory foam topper on it, and it is far more comfortable than the regular mattress with the 3" topper. In addition, I use knitted jersey sheets, the flexibility of the knit fabric eliminates any pressure points to hurt the back. It is the only mattress that I am able to sleep for more than 6 hours without waking up. I also don't wake up with as much pain as I do when I have to sleep on a regular mattress, or the house mattress with foam topper.

If you buy a foam mattress and want to carve it to fit your berth, get an electric carving knife, that's what the professionals use to cut foam. And for memory foam, which I really swear by, it is so compressible that I think that using a carpet knife with a wide metal straight edge would work quite well.
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Old 09-03-2009, 05:49 AM   #7
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Just a source for the mattresses that Nancy, Jeanne and Red were discussing HERE
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Old 09-03-2009, 01:57 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the quick replies and great info. I'm going to add this to the Things needed list. We bought 2 sails last week so the budget is spent plus some.

Jeanne, my husband too has nerve damage causing pain and little sleep. Your advise is great!
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Old 09-03-2009, 06:23 PM   #9
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While comfort wise (for the back) they seem similar, I have heard several folks say that memory foam is good but has the drawback of making you hotter in bed since it wraps around your body a bit. This is likely more true of the memory foam mattresses than the thin toppers.

When you get memory foam, it isn't automatically also latex foam, as a matter of fact, from everything I've read, "memory foam" is NOT latex based--so you have to make sure you're buying latex foam to get the benefit of it being mildew resistant.

Oops, also, forgot to mention--latex foam should last 25-30 years with the same performance whereas regular foam breaks down in short order (10 year max life).

Fair winds,

links about latex foam mattresses/sources--

http://www.foamorder.com/latex.html

http://www.healthyfoundations.com/latex.html
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Old 09-08-2009, 10:12 AM   #10
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We found adding sprung laminated slats under our standard foam mattress gave it a feel of a 'proper' bed. It also ensures the bed is aired, keeping it cooler in summer months. I know they sell 'marine' versions but we got ours from an IKEA store and it easily cuts to fit any shape - and costs very little.

Cheers

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Old 09-08-2009, 04:25 PM   #11
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I was away racing this weekend. Spent 3 nights aboard NOT sleeping. I've got to do something about this mattress before next season. One of our crew from Saturday lives aboard on the east coast of Canada. He was up visiting his girlfriend and our regular crew. He has a marine slat system and loves it. Do the IKEA ones hold up in a marine environment, being that they are made of pine? Can they be cut to fit a V-berth? I may end up buying one but first need to replace the mattress.
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Old 09-28-2009, 03:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nauticalnancy View Post
I was away racing this weekend. Spent 3 nights aboard NOT sleeping. I've got to do something about this mattress before next season. One of our crew from Saturday lives aboard on the east coast of Canada. He was up visiting his girlfriend and our regular crew. He has a marine slat system and loves it. Do the IKEA ones hold up in a marine environment, being that they are made of pine? Can they be cut to fit a V-berth? I may end up buying one but first need to replace the mattress.
Yes the IKEA versions are fine in the environment as well as 30% the cost of marine 'versions'.

Frankly I've seen both and truly can't see any difference apart from costs.

Yes also to cutting the slats to fit odd shapes like a V berth. Equally easy to cut out 'roll back' panels to get to underbunk storage spaces.

Cheers

John
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Old 04-07-2010, 04:31 AM   #13
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I also suffer from a bad back. I have tried several types and grades of foam without any joy. Sheer pain in the night and when I wake very stiff and sore. So I got the bright idea of an air mattress. Down to our local REI store I went and picked up a camping air mattress for about $50. I put it on top of my latest foam pad and it seems to work. I sleep on my right side and or back and this air mattress seems to conform and support me where I need it. The only problem is it is narrow. Just 24" wide. It is easy to roll off. So I am looking for a full size bed air mattress and I will try to fold the corners up to match my V-berth. I may have to add a wood frames to hold the fold. I will also remove the foam pads and just go air on top of the plywood. Otherwise it is getting to thick and close to the ceiling. Crowded.

My V-berth on my 32' boat is not large. This is a self inflating mattress. I added a little air by blowing it up a bit and am trying different amounts of air to obtain the correct firmness. Once I find a full or gueen size that will fit the V-berth I think I might have something. However being air it takes on the same temp as the V-berth. But I think I can add an additional blanket or maybe two mattress covers on top to give me some more insulation. Otherwise it can get pretty cold as I like a cool suite. Which is easy here in the NW. I am now sleeping in a bag so I don't have to worry about the temp. but I prefer sleeping on sheets (satin of course) rather than the bag so will try that once I get the size thing worked out. Also will have to protect against punctures.

I just got back from a one week cruise and it was a lot better. I will keep checking it out. More later. Sunseeker.
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Old 04-07-2010, 04:49 AM   #14
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Ooops, I screwed up and added a reply to Nauticalnancy 8 Sep. instead of to the board. Concerning my luck with an air mattress. I hope youall can find it!!
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