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Old 05-11-2008, 15:54   #1
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mattress advice?

Hi, can anyone offer any advice about what kind of mattress best suits the marine environment and where a good place to pick one up in the bay area would be?


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Old 05-11-2008, 16:40   #2
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There is "The Foam Shop" on Solano Ave that has various types of foam and can cover also. We replaced our's from there not too long ago. Fair pricing and good service. For good avoidance of condensation under the foam matress we have the plastic squares that snap together for decking (West has them). No problemo!

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Old 05-11-2008, 17:34   #3
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You go with the marine inner spring mattress or a multi layer of foam. We redid everything with a firm foam and a memory foam layer. The two came out quite comfortable. It does come down to the quality of the foam or springs. You can find cheaper solutions of each that won't hold up.
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Old 05-11-2008, 20:15   #4
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PBLAIS is so right. A nice layer of memory foam makes it nicer than my land-based bed was. Much nicer, lol.

I have had mine for two years now, no problem.

I always shake my head at the guys who sleep in sleeping bags, or on those horrible pieces of foam that survived since the 1980's on their boats. One piece of advice I learned by reading Tom Neale's book, All in the Same Boat, was priceless: You have to make living on a boat more on a boat, NOT camping on a boat. Nothing like a GOOD night's sleep in a gently rocking boat to convince you that you CAN do this as a lifestyle. The obverse is also true: Nothing like sleeping in a sleeping bag directly on fiberglass to convince you you'd rather sleep in the back seat of your Accord....
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:32   #5
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You may also be interested in some of our earlier discussions, including:

Mattress Material in the V-Berth

Custom Mattress Sources


Interior Boat Cushions
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 12-11-2008, 17:57   #6
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We put an underliner that looks kind of like a giant brillo pad - a series of wire loops all joined together, the name of which escapes me - under the mattress to prevent condensation build up. Then a 2" layer of memory foam over the original foam mattresses. More comfortable than the $1,200 mattress in our apartment!
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Old 12-11-2008, 18:27   #7
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Nice to see you back Harry! I see you left Philly and are in Buffalo now.

We did something similar except instead of the Brillo pad we used a cover for the foam layer that was breathable. We didn't add anything under. I don't see any moisture build up. The multilayer foam concept really is great. You really can get the type of mattress you like that way for a lot less money. I think it is better than our mattress at home. But then again being on the boat already makes it a lot better. It's not a fair difference.
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Old 12-11-2008, 18:35   #8
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Two suggestions:

Consider getting Latex foam. This is more expensive but I consider it to be much cooler than memory foam. It also doesn't have the "memory" effect - some like this but I don't. If it's too expensive, consider getting a base of regular foam and a 2-3" latex topper. Here's a place near you (that I haven't used) that seems to have a lot of latex:

Foamorder Store Locations

As Cap'nHar mentioned, air flow under the mattress helps a lot. Even better are wooden slats like in this link. It gives the mattress more of a home bed inner spring feel while still providing air circulation. I have them and love them. About $160 a bed but I'd spend money on these before the foam. Fisheries Supply stocks it.

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Old 12-11-2008, 18:36   #9
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I had a custom Temperpedic mattress made for our vberth and it worked out fantastic, beautiful mattress.

It was a little pricing but I figured, I'm living aboard I'm not sleeping on cockpit cushions! money well spent really.

I have redone the quarter berth and used a 3" memory foam topper which came with zipped cover. Cut it to fit over the existing foam and resewed the cover.... turned out very nice.

As I sit, a swirling sea of passion gives it's poems in waves underneath me.
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Rhythm of the surf, drums of the sea. Thoughts tumble and toss about the deep blue abyss inside me, where the love of you dwells.
I'm fighting currents to get back to you, listening to the flow of your liquid language as you beckon me, "Come Play"
Mariners Cove, CI. Anonymous.
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Old 12-11-2008, 23:59   #10
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In the Bay Area, where the weather is cool, or on a boat in a marina with the A/C running, a memory foam mattress topper would be fine, but for a boat in the tropics, I would avoid the memory foam. As memory foam heats up from your body heat, it gets softer and you sink further into it. The further in you sink, the more you sweat. The more you sweat, the further in you go until you are laying in a sweaty wallow of mushy foam . . . at least, that was our experience.

After trying memory foam, we went with a natural latex foam mattress. We love it. We also used latex for our salon seat cushions, which worked out nicely because we do a lot of napping in the salon on long passages.

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Old 16-11-2008, 14:58   #11
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There is a material on the Schionning web site for an underlay that looks like some of the=at material used in filtering fish tanks. I am trying to get some of the material at a better price but so far no luck
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Old 16-11-2008, 18:09   #12
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As a liveaboard I used to go through a typical foam mattress every year until I broke down and paid a quite a bit more for a premium mattress (it may be latex, anyhow it's blue). That was about 13 years ago as close as i can reckon and it's still on the boat. I use those plastic squares under the mattress but I like Paul's idea of a breathable topper.

I have used the memory foam toppers but found them hot and really no more comfortable than a soft foam topper.

The most comfortable bed I ever had was a simple 3" thick foam pad on wood slats that I got from a bunk bed and put in my truck.

Next time around I will try a 2" thick layer of firm latex with a 3" layer of soft foam on top.
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Old 16-11-2008, 19:24   #13
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As has been mentioned several times here, Latex is the way to go. We tried Latex about 10 years ago, and never went back. Great firmness, no mold, and you can save some money if you have basic sewing abilities. There is a mattress shop in Santa Cruz, Ca that we use, if you need it, I will find the info. Right now, a Full size Mattress, 54" wide, is about $800. You can cut the cover, then use an electric knife to shape the mattress, and sew the cover back together. I would suggest getting the simple 5" latex with no padding, then using a standard quilted mattress pad over it. More simple to shape and sew, and, this will help reduce mold problems.
Latex is, without exception, the most comfortable mattress I have ever slept on.

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