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Old 09-03-2012, 11:46   #1
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Drilling Holes Below Mattress

I've noticed condensation/moisture build up below the mattress in my v-berth this Winter after the few nights that I've stayed on the boat. Is drilling holes below the mattress a good option for helping to keep the bottom of the mattress dry? I have been considering drilling 1 inch holes spaced 5 or 6 inches apart under much of the mattress. The platform for the mattress is structural to some degree and is glassed to the hull on port and starboard sides. I was thinking that drilled holes shouldn't be made through the tabbing, or too near the aft bulkhead.

I know there are systems that add a layer below the mattress, and I may go with one of these, but if drilling holes is effective then it seems a much cleaner/simpler setup and that it wouldn't interfere with access to storage, etc. like the other options probably would. I've also read about using a vapor barrier on the top of the mattress, which I will probably add as well.

Anyone had luck simply drilling holes for ventilation? What are the best techniques for avoiding moisture build up?

Thanks,

Jonathan
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:54   #2
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Re: drilling holes below mattress

Drilling holes does not work. Try getting plastic interlocking shower floor tiles, the air must circulate under the mattress, but not from the voids to under the mattress.
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:02   #3
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Re: drilling holes below mattress

Try the Froli system. It works.

Froli Sleep Systems by Nickle Atlantic, LLC
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:03   #4
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Re: drilling holes below mattress

Jonathan-
You have seen and used the plastic kitchen scrubbing pads that look something like steel wool? That material was originally developed as an underlayment to allow roadways to drain, and is still sold in rolls or by the yard in landscaping supplies. I forget the exact name for it, but if you buy two yards of it and place that under your mattress, you'll get plenty of ventilation, probably for ten bucks. It doesn't break down, and can be trimmed with (heavy) scissors.

The landscaping grade is quite a bit coasrser than the kind sold for scrubbing, either would do.
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Old 09-03-2012, 13:03   #5
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Re: drilling holes below mattress

Thanks for the good suggestions, and for feedback on the hole drilling idea.

I had hoped to avoid adding a layer of any sort since it's bound to complicate access to the storage below the v-berth but maybe I can set one of these up so that the access panel is easy to open/access. The roll out mat may be easy to trim to fit the hatches so that sounds like a good option.

Jonathan
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Old 09-03-2012, 13:24   #6
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Re: drilling holes below mattress

We had the same issues when travelling through The UK and European waters, especially when overwintering. The air trapped within the V berth was a lot cooler than that permeating down through the matress, hence the condensation. At the time we weren't able to locate the mesh mat, so used a mat of Astro turf installed upside down. This provided most of the air flow between the hot and cold surfaces and eight years later is just as rigid as day one, supporting the weight of bodies and mattress. To supplement, we glued closed cell foam mat to the underside of the V-berth locker lids. This has eliminated the majority of the damp.

My suspicion is that if you can equalize the air temp within the V-berth lockers to that within the cabin, you may have the problem halfway beat.

Hope this helps....Mike
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Old 09-03-2012, 13:52   #7
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Re: drilling holes below mattress

This stuff works: EMP Industrial - Air Circulation Mesh ACS10
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Old 09-03-2012, 14:46   #8
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Re: drilling holes below mattress

I have a similar problem. Our mattress is over a slatted storage area (LOTS of ventilation to below) so drilling holes will NOT solve the problem.

Will try some of the other suggestions. Thanks.
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Old 10-03-2012, 16:10   #9
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Re: drilling holes below mattress

Seems to me, (and I haven't tried it yet but plan to,) that if you use something with air passages through it, that an opening for intake air at the foot end and a knocked together exhaust with a 12v muffin fan attached would work perfectly. Install the fan under the head end and exhaust it into the center passageway.
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Old 10-03-2012, 16:45   #10
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Re: drilling holes below mattress

We went with HyperVent Marine - Putting An End To Condensation
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Old 10-03-2012, 16:58   #11
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Re: drilling holes below mattress

Froli does the job great and you can still access the lockers with little trouble. It is designed to allow for access. And it makes for an incredibly comfortable sleep surface!
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Old 10-03-2012, 19:12   #12
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Agree that the froli system is great! Makes a world of difference in comfort and air flow.
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