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Old 08-12-2015, 11:11   #16
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Re: Lee Cloths

Very good replies above, my two cents:
The length should be a bit more than half the bunk, as Ann mentioned, its only for the torso and head.
Screw the bottom part under the cushions, so that the body will press down on it when rolling.
Attach the top ends fore and aft to strong pad eyes mounted higher than the top of the cloth.
Get a stainless steel buckle to ensure the top is always fully tightened - you can get those SS buckles from Strapworks.com. This is better than using the hand rails, less stretch and easier to get in/out. Also, the handrails were not designed to get this type of localized stress and the wood may crack.
Last but definitely not least!
Choose a low stretch cloth. Keep in mind that sometimes you'll be sleeping on it, sometimes momentarily sometimes not (depending on point of sail and wind strength) itís important to keep stretch to a minimum.
Pick a fabric - may be too late for this as you mentioned you have it already - that has low stretch and test it before. My original lee cloths were totally inappropriate as once it was used it stretched so much as to become useless. If you did your tests and determined it is a bit elastic, sew webbing across the width every 8 inches or so - it will be a bit uncomfortable, but still usable. I hope this helps.
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Old 08-12-2015, 11:17   #17
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Re: Lee Cloths

We did not secure the cloth under the cushions. Rather we left a body width plus of material that tucked under the cushions. Your weight on top secured the bottom. This way no holes or fasteners in the bunks.

This approach worked well on our somewhat rough Halifax to Ireland crossing in 2010. I can testify that the lee cloths are a critical piece of gear for that route.
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Old 08-12-2015, 12:07   #18
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Re: Lee Cloths

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Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
We did not secure the cloth under the cushions. Rather we left a body width plus of material that tucked under the cushions. Your weight on top secured the bottom. This way no holes or fasteners in the bunks.

This approach worked well on our somewhat rough Halifax to Ireland crossing in 2010. I can testify that the lee cloths are a critical piece of gear for that route.
"Secured by your weight" only works to a point. It doesn't happen often, but when we have been racing with the spinnaker up there have been a couple of occasions where we were practically "spreaders in the water". I was happy that our leecloths were well-fastened, and that the lines securing them to the overhead were there to keep crew from rolling out over the top of the leecloth.
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Old 08-12-2015, 12:18   #19
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Re: Lee Cloths

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"Secured by your weight" only works to a point. It doesn't happen often, but when we have been racing with the spinnaker up there have been a couple of occasions where we were practically "spreaders in the water". I was happy that our leecloths were well-fastened, and that the lines securing them to the overhead were there to keep crew from rolling out over the top of the leecloth.
In those conditions sleep would not be much of an option I think. But I agree, as the bunk goes toward vertical the normal force on the bottom of the lee cloth goes to zero. Fortunately, the Mason 44 never went on her ear. We were pretty conservative with the sail as an ounce of prevention...

We had braided lines on the top end tied to secure pad eyes. I used a truckers hitch to tension the top. I would tie and untie to go in and out of the bunk. The system worked well for 20 days and the passing of 4 lows.
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Old 08-12-2015, 12:25   #20
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Re: Lee Cloths

My apologies for thinking the lee cloths under the topic were for the cockpit and not the berths. I should read more carefully. Good luck in getting it sorted out. I need to do the same on my boat (the berth cloths as well as the cockpit ones).
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Old 08-12-2015, 19:08   #21
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Re: Lee Cloths

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Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
In those conditions sleep would not be much of an option I think. But I agree, as the bunk goes toward vertical the normal force on the bottom of the lee cloth goes to zero. Fortunately, the Mason 44 never went on her ear. We were pretty conservative with the sail as an ounce of prevention...
Such is why I create lee cloths with the "overkill" attachment systems which I specified. I've lost track of the number of times I've given spreaders a good washing, the uphill ones mind you.

It's why each point & piece of hardware in a lee cloth system needs to be able to handle several times one's body weight. Especially if a belowdecks crewmenber also suddenly needs a hand hold, & your lee cloth lines, or fabric, happen to be it.
I'm not saying that I encourage the non-sleeping crew to use the lee cloths & their hardware as handholds, quite the opposite. But it's better that they be built for such than not. Ergo, the built in, Strong "battens" on the fabric's upper edge.

And yeah, after a bit, you get so you only half way wake up for broaches, knockdowns, & both types of gybes (directions of them I mean). Enough to determine if they need more hands on deck, or if that'll only compound the problem. In addition to cutting into you Z-time.
But such is also the reality of what happens in a real storm. So your gear needs to be up for it. As you'll be low enough on sleep as it is; without having to try to hang onto your bunk in your sleep. Ergo the inboard padeye specification I mentioned above.

In terms of the length of the lee cloth itself, my preference is for it to run from about one's nose, down to the knee. That way you still have good ventillation, & retain pretty much full body support, even in abysmal conditions. You can always shorten them, if you find that they're far too long.

But keep in mind that basically, they're an extension of the bunk. Much as being able to lean into the side of the hull makes a pilot berth seem much bigger than it's tape measure dimensions would suggest. So that sleeping in them's (cozy) comfortable, even in port. Where as such a small, freestanding bed, on land, would be more than uncomfortable.

Also, keep in mind that the system(s) that you build, may have to hold a severely injured person securely in their bunk for days. Or allow easy ingress, egress, & operation by someone with a sprained or broken arm/wrist. Regardless of (sea) conditions.
That & you need a full on easy to release/egress feature for various other emergencies. In case, say, you are needed on deck Right Now (as in, when seconds count, literally). For an MOB for example: Heaven forbid.
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Old 08-12-2015, 23:02   #22
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Re: Lee Cloths

Hey, Andy,

Please don't scare the bejabers out of poor Jill. Most cruisers hardly ever fly real double shouldered chutes. We generallly as a class of sailors are not adventuresome, preferring comfort to hassle. One man's comfort is another one's hassle. N'est-ce pas?

Ann
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Old 08-12-2015, 23:27   #23
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Re: Lee Cloths

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVTatia View Post
Very good replies above, my two cents:
The length should be a bit more than half the bunk, as Ann mentioned, its only for the torso and head.
Screw the bottom part under the cushions, so that the body will press down on it when rolling.
Attach the top ends fore and aft to strong pad eyes mounted higher than the top of the cloth.............
And outboard ( ie towards the ship's side) ...so that when on the high side your bum isn't out there in 'free space'... mine aren't perfect and when I find my buttocks are supported by the lee cloth rather than being on the bunk sleep does not come easy..
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Old 08-12-2015, 23:44   #24
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Re: Lee Cloths

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Hey, Andy,

Please don't scare the bejabers out of poor Jill. Most cruisers hardly ever fly real double shouldered chutes. We generallly as a class of sailors are not adventuresome, preferring comfort to hassle. One man's comfort is another one's hassle. N'est-ce pas?

Ann
Hi Ann,
Sorry, such wasn't my intent at all. And initially, I left a lot of the why's behind my design/construction methods out for some of the reasons you're stating.
My intent, with the details in the construction of said additions, is to help folks to stay safe. Including, getting a good, comfortable snooze, as part of that equation.

My apoligies if I did spook anyone. I know that this isn't the Volvo (VOR) forum. However, sometimes the trickle down "technology" is a handy thing even/especially on cruising boats.
Like, I mean, 20yrs ago, cruisers never had full instrument suites, or adaptive (self-learning) autopilots. And GPS's weren't even common then.

And I'm well aware that all standing, Chinese gybes are only "fun", on solid boats, with experienced crews... & especially when someone else is footing the bill for the broken gear (sic)
Ciao

PS: Maybe my "thinks" on lee cloth construction will save her from an uncerimonious dumping onto the floor, mid nap, unlike your (non-fun) experience. Or such is my hope anyway.
And, um, at the moment, my French is nonexistent. I can't even order a beer properly in said tongue. Oh my.
So I'm only guessing in my attempt at replying to your "Frog'ish" query. But I get it ;-)
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Old 09-12-2015, 02:22   #25
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Re: Lee Cloths

My bad.

Froggyism means "is it not?"

Jill's from Nova Scotia. I am sure she needs serviceable weather cloths. Not at all sure exactly how bullet proof they need to be, depends in part on stability of boat.

Yeah, cheap s--t dog chain snaps are inadequate for heavy people.

I like line.

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Old 09-12-2015, 04:46   #26
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Re: Lee Cloths

I had some made for me out of Sunbrella, with Textilene mesh pockets that snapped on, good for keeping your "on watch" gear where you can find it in the dark, and ventilated in case your gear was wet.

They were attached to the seat under the cushions with fender washers and screws through grommets in the straps, and stored there under the cushions when not in use. When on a starboard tack, the settee back cushions were shifted to the lee cloth, which made it a pretty comfortable "nest".

The length needs to be enough to keep you in the bunk, comfortably, but with room at head and foot to slip in and out of the bunk. Mine were about 4' long, I think.
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Old 09-12-2015, 04:48   #27
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Re: Lee Cloths

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
My bad.

Froggyism means "is it not?"
No worries!
Jill's from Nova Scotia. I am sure she needs serviceable weather cloths. Not at all sure exactly how bullet proof they need to be, depends in part on stability of boat.
As the saying goes, if a job's worth doing...
And do you know what the typical weather is like in the N. Atlantic? Watch the movie The Perfect Storm. Not that such is your average day up there, but the higher the latitude...
Yeah, cheap s--t dog chain snaps are inadequate for heavy people.
You, thought you were a pettite thing. That said, one word: Wichard!
I like line.

Ann
Nuff said.
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Old 09-12-2015, 05:22   #28
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Re: Lee Cloths

Lee cloths?
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Old 09-12-2015, 05:55   #29
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Re: Lee Cloths

Wow! You folks always come through. I have a lot to think about. I'll send photos when complete!

Thanks also for the sewing forum connection. As a proud sailrite sewing machine owner I'm always looking for projects!

Thanks again
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Old 09-12-2015, 09:06   #30
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Re: Lee Cloths

Now that I understand the OP's original question, I can chip in a couple of minor points. We used our lee cloths on our berths extensively going across the Pacific and back and forth out there. We were very conservative sailors and would never push the boat and us to the point of washing the spreaders. Did that only one time and it was a FUBAR moment that reminded us how stupid that is.

Having said that though, rough seas are what you need them for. Many, many, many times we were weightless in our bunks as the boat went down faster than our bodies were. And the freight trains were slamming the hull. And when we went up a steep wave, it felt like 2G force on us pushing us deep in to the bunk cushions. And yes, we were often either lying in the V of the bunk cushion bottom and the seat back, or, on the other tack for that berth, mostly laying on the lee cloth - part of the time. My recommendation is to plan for that possibility and make sure the cloths are well secured top and bottom, with strong cloth. I like the ones in the photo above, especially the mesh pockets as you are always struggling to find your gear in a dark cabin when you need to get up for your watch or to help out topsides.

Not easy to sleep when things got so rough but after a while you are tired enough to get some Z's regardless. The best place is low and centered as much as possible fore and aft to keep the motion down as much as possible. Especially if any crew gets green around the gills (like me sometimes). A plus/minus on the new boat is the PO put in a diesel heater at one end of the best settee seat and cut it short so there isn't room for a sea berth there. The other side is on the inside of a U-shaped settee around the table. That will be harder to get in and out of whether in calm seas or in a seaway. It can be hard to get in and out when it's rough. You MUST make the lee cloths strong enough to put your full body weight on. Well, you don't have to but I'd recommend it.
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