Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 25-08-2013, 05:21   #1
Registered User
 
mischief's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Port Stephens Australia
Boat: Nantucket 33
Posts: 221
Cushion Contruction Philosophy not just another Foam Thread.

Okay so we are about to redo our upholstery and are going to reuse our foam because it is in good condition and the previous owner had them replaced.

They are currently constructed with foam and Dacron batting (needs replacing) Vinyl bottoms with fabric tops and sides. Seams are finished with piping made from the fabric. Zippers are used to access inside.

Okay so the first thing I would like to discuss is construction methods and mould mildew etc.

Our cushions will sit directly onto fiberglass or coated ply. So in a live-aboard scenario is it better to;

wrap the foam in ultra thin plastic before putting in the cushion
Or
leave as normal and construct with vinyl on bottom
Or
Construct as normal and use a pad say 10mm or less on the bottom to slightly ventilate and construct the bottom panel of a mesh.

Does the standard technique of vinyl on bottom work well in a live aboard situation?

Just a little bit more information in our situation.

Family of four will live aboard in Australia and to cruise north and south. Possibly to Canada at some point. But likely Tasmania and New Zealand.

Boat Nantucket 33 islander center cockpit. We have plenty on ventilation, we plan to have a small dehumidifier for use while at the dock. We have insulated above the headliner and storage areas. The hull sides are wood lined. Heat will be small electric when at Marinas and sealed forced air while cruising or on the hook.

While sailing heavy weather there will be wet weather covers.

We will do all we can to minimize moisture but we are 4 in a small space. Showers will only be on deck or in cockpit.

So would standard cushion construction with just a vinyl bottom panel suffice?

I look forward to further insight......
__________________

__________________
mischief is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2013, 06:28   #2
Moderator
 
HappyMdRSailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: North Mississippi
Boat: 48 Wauquiez Pilot Saloon-C22 Chrysler Sunpiper- 19 Potter-Preparing to cruise w/my girl
Posts: 5,980
Re: Cushion contruction philosophy not just another foam thread.

Your weather, splash exposure, service interval will be totally different than mine... BUT.... I think mesh bottoms are the only way to go...
__________________

__________________
In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair...

Mai Tai's fix everything...
HappyMdRSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2013, 08:52   #3
Registered User
 
toddedger's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Michigan
Boat: Morgan 27
Posts: 264
Smile Re: Cushion contruction philosophy not just another foam thread.

Check out "Sailrite" website. I saw recently they have a thin plastic you put around your foam. You can use it with a vacuum to shrink down the foam while installing it. When I made cushions last year they were very helpful responding to questions via e-mail. They will steer you in the right direction.
__________________
toddedger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2013, 09:22   #4
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 10,718
Re: Cushion contruction philosophy not just another foam thread.

Hi, Mischief,

I have seen that type of cushion construction, but we do not have it.

For our bunk cushions, all of them have a 6mm closed cell foam pad under the "sleeping foam". This has eliminated mildew under the cushions.

For the saloon, we have leather (which has held up quite well) covers over the foam, and the underneath is breathable cloth, and no mildew there either.

Why this is of interest to you is that the previous owners took the boat to Alaska and Canada by way of Japan, having left from Queensland. For their second season in Canada, they added a Fab-All heater, and insulated underneath the deck in the head and forward cabin. They did not insulate elsewhere, nor install forced air heating.

I have a personal prejudice against piping, in spite of the crisp appearance it can lend, because it takes chafe and wears obviously before the rest of the fabric. It is important to use only plastic zips, or velcro can be used.

There's another way of approaching the situation, shown me by a Canadian cruiser about 18 yrs. ago. She liked to buy inexpensive cotton fabric, and make her own saloon cushion covers about every three years. She enjoyed the projects, and the changing environment, plus the cushions were mementos of places visited. Some people bought serapes in Mexico, and used them for that, as well. Generally speaking, cushions are fairly simple shapes, and cushion covers easy to make, mostly all straight seams.

Have fun with your project. If you go all vinyl, you'll need something over the covers both when it's very hot, and when it's very cold.

Ann
__________________
Ann, with Jim, aboard US s/v Insatiable II, in Oz, very long term cruisers
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2013, 14:41   #5
Registered User
 
mischief's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Port Stephens Australia
Boat: Nantucket 33
Posts: 221
Excellent responses so far.

I guess I should have mentioned that we already have our top cover fabric purchased. It's an acrylic blend. Real leather would have been out of budget for us. Plus young kids..... We wanted a bit of a pattern and felt that vinyl would be a bit hot and sticky in the summer as was our previous boat that had them.

Our berth will have ventilation underneath and different coverings. The kids V-berth will be plastic wrapped with vinyl on the bottom. When they get older the plastic may come off so I could possibly put the mesh bottom on anyway.

Instead of piping I was actually thinking of putting a contrasting rope finish on the seam that would tie in colors of the outside covers. I have no idea how those wear?

My main concern is going to be with mould and mildew and the simplest way to have a comfortable cushion that does not need to be flipped. I would suspect venting will always be better. But would vinyl backed non plastic wrapped breathable fabric top and side combination cushions get moldy if left in place for long periods?
I do have some thin reflective foam insulation I could use to back the vinyl on the bottom and thought that would help with condensation.....
__________________
mischief is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2013, 15:52   #6
֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,056
Re: Cushion contruction philosophy not just another foam thread.

Piping can help stiffen the seams and prevent the covers from rotating and slipping around the foam. And if you use vinyl "bottoms" that also ensures you can't just turn the cushions over, to rotate them and spread the wear. You can turn the vinyl side up to keep wet bathing suits, etc. from soaking the foam, but you can't flip 'em over to basically double the life of the covers. I've had a set of mattress cushions last 20+ years in daily use without the piping being a problem, fwiw.

And if the cushions are on a non-porous surface, vinyl bottoms won't buy you anything, will it?
__________________
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-08-2013, 05:34   #7
Registered User
 
mischief's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Port Stephens Australia
Boat: Nantucket 33
Posts: 221
Okay I think I can modify my cushions into sections to allow flipping while looking balanced. If so I can use the same fabric on both sides and the. Use a plastic wrap on the foam. But I haven't talked to anyone that has wrapped their foam to know if it is clammy or uncomfortable.

Does anyone have experience wrapping their foam?

I suppose if our budget was higher I could buy good quick dry foam. But for now we need to use our old ones. As there are many other projects to complete.
__________________
mischief is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-08-2013, 06:09   #8
Moderator
 
HappyMdRSailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: North Mississippi
Boat: 48 Wauquiez Pilot Saloon-C22 Chrysler Sunpiper- 19 Potter-Preparing to cruise w/my girl
Posts: 5,980
Re: Cushion contruction philosophy not just another foam thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mischief View Post
Okay I think I can modify my cushions into sections to allow flipping while looking balanced. If so I can use the same fabric on both sides and the. Use a plastic wrap on the foam. But I haven't talked to anyone that has wrapped their foam to know if it is clammy or uncomfortable.

Does anyone have experience wrapping their foam?

I suppose if our budget was higher I could buy good quick dry foam. But for now we need to use our old ones. As there are many other projects to complete.
One set of new cockpit cushions made by a PO had all of the foam wrapped in very thin plastic sheeting... Thickness and type just like "shopping bag" material... I noticed no disadvantages whatsoever, and think it helped a lot with moisture barrier from the mesh bottom up...
__________________
In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair...

Mai Tai's fix everything...
HappyMdRSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-08-2013, 06:36   #9
Registered User
 
Tim R.'s Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Portland, Maine
Boat: Caliber 40LRC
Posts: 604
Re: Cushion contruction philosophy not just another foam thread.

You will not notice the plastic wrapping on the foam. I have used it a few times with great results. It really makes inserting the foam in the covers so much easier.

BTW, I bought a complete roll and have used very little. I have a lot left if anyone is interested in buying some or all of the roll.
__________________
Tim R.
Our Carina is sold
1997 Caliber 40LRC
TKR on a Boat Website
Tim R. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-08-2013, 13:41   #10
֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,056
Re: Cushion contruction philosophy not just another foam thread.

Plastic wrap. Like the mattress in a no-tell motel?

You could also go with a closed cell foam, no worries about water soaking into it. And IIRC all the new "memory" foams are closed cell as well.
__________________
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-08-2013, 13:44   #11
Registered User
 
Tim R.'s Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Portland, Maine
Boat: Caliber 40LRC
Posts: 604
Re: Cushion contruction philosophy not just another foam thread.

The plastic is more like dry cleaning film.
__________________
Tim R.
Our Carina is sold
1997 Caliber 40LRC
TKR on a Boat Website
Tim R. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-08-2013, 05:13   #12
Registered User
 
wingNwing's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: subject to change
Posts: 270
Re: Cushion contruction philosophy not just another foam thread.

You've indicated that your cushions will sit directly on the fiberglass/plywood. Would your application allow for a layer of something like HyperVent Marine - Product Information ? We've lived aboard for 11 years now, 8 winters in the US East Coast, and have had ZERO mold issues since we discovered the stuff. About 1 cm thick, put a layer of it under the cushion and it allows great air circulation. Just a thought; we have it in the salon and v-berth and very impressed.
__________________
Shameless self-promotion - my blog for the Annapolis Capital newspaper Life Afloat is having some formatting glitches, till then I'm posting at Life Afloat Archives and Life Afloat on Facebook! And a new project, The Monkey's Fist: Collecting Cruisers' Perspectives
wingNwing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-08-2013, 06:51   #13
Registered User
 
mischief's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Port Stephens Australia
Boat: Nantucket 33
Posts: 221
Quote:
Originally Posted by wingNwing View Post
You've indicated that your cushions will sit directly on the fiberglass/plywood. Would your application allow for a layer of something like HyperVent Marine - Product Information ? We've lived aboard for 11 years now, 8 winters in the US East Coast, and have had ZERO mold issues since we discovered the stuff. About 1 cm thick, put a layer of it under the cushion and it allows great air circulation. Just a thought; we have it in the salon and v-berth and very impressed.
I have definitely considered something like this or other techniques of ventilation. Unfortunately the cost of these types of products are outrageous in Australia and it would blow the budget. I'd love to find a more cost effective, or should I just say cheap alternative.

Since I'd have to import that type of plastic wrap if I chose to go that route I'd just buy the ultra thin masking plastic for painting seems to me to be nearly the same.

If the plastic and using out existing foam would be the most cost effective. But if there was a cost effective low profile ventilation mat/base I would consider that too.

Seems like two plates of the same fabric top and bottom with either plastic, quick dry foam or ventilated underneath will be better than standard foam fabric top plate and vinyl bottom plate.

Thinking.........
__________________
mischief is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-08-2013, 07:00   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,172
Images: 15
Re: Cushion Contruction Philosophy not just another Foam Thread.

The plastic sheet is to make foam easier to install. Ventilation is your friend. Phifertex the cushion bottoms. I have had success with using this under my mattresses, and it's super cheap:

__________________
tamicatana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-08-2013, 02:23   #15
Registered User
 
mischief's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Port Stephens Australia
Boat: Nantucket 33
Posts: 221
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamicatana View Post
The plastic sheet is to make foam easier to install. Ventilation is your friend. Phifertex the cushion bottoms. I have had success with using this under my mattresses, and it's super cheap:
The plastic seems to also be used to keep out moisture.
I have heard back from sailrite and they say the plastic can cause clamminess. I agree ventilation is best but if it cannot be ventilated well enough than moisture accumulation prevention is next best.

So back to the original question but more clearly stated.
Does having vinyl on the bottom allow ample ventilation through tops and sides whilst preventing condensation forming on the non porous base the cushion sits on, from penetrating the foam? If his is only marginally effective given our said conditions. Than would having the surface fabric top and bottom and siting on something to allow air movement be an improvement?

Would dry fast foam covered all sides in the acrylic fabric sitting directly on the non porous surface be an improvement over the same fabric over the top covering standard foam lifted with a mesh bottom and a pad allowing air circulation underneath?

The reason I ask is all these techniques have pros and cons including costs.
Simplest for us would be vinyl underneath our acrylic all other areas, and reuse our foam. But given our circumstances will they get moldy?

I would like to make the cushions to flip over so, what if they were standard cushions covered all sides in acrylic then placed on thin closed cell foam? Would that be an improvement over sitting on a material to allow air movement underneath?

Sooo many methods and although the best for mould would be fabric over dry fast with mesh bottom sitting in a matting that allows air movement that does not mean that's the best answer for us. If fact I'd be interested I knowing what the least best technique that can avoid mildew in our circumstances would be. Then any improvement could be considered.


Maybe I should have asked the question totally different. So if this thread dies without the information I need. I may have to try a different way. (Bangs head.....)
__________________

__________________
mischief is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 20:15.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.