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Old 17-06-2017, 08:36   #1
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Cockpit cushions - leave them on deck?

My Tashiba 31 came with very nice cockpit cushions. Problem is - they are big! The two side cushions are 5ft by 1 ft and the curved back cushion is 5ft by 3ft if you look at the total area it takes up.

I'm living aboard and space is a premium. Right now the cushions are in a friends garage. I've thought about putting them in the cockpit and leaving them there, but I suspect they would rot away fairly quickly - they seem to be made of some type of upholstery vinyl

Any suggestions for how to deal with these?
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Old 17-06-2017, 10:21   #2
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Re: Cockpit cushions - leave them on deck?

Some kind of inexpensive UV resistant slipcover?
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Old 17-06-2017, 14:35   #3
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Re: Cockpit cushions - leave them on deck?

dmksails,

If they are closed cell foam inside the vinyl covers, sure, leave them out. The sun "never" shines in the PNW, well, hardly ever! Consider a cockpit awning for rainy weather, with roll down flaps. However, if they are open cell foam, they will be a pita, cause water will get in through the stitching, and open cell foam is really hard to get dry, but generally more comfy on one's bottom.

There is some softer closed cell foam available for making boat cushions, I'd go that route, and cover them or have them covered in Sunbrella. The latter is expensive acrylic fabric, but it holds up pretty well in cushion application on our boat. But then, they can safely stay out all the time. Such covers should be easily removable for washing.

Ann
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Old 17-06-2017, 15:37   #4
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Re: Cockpit cushions - leave them on deck?

We would take our five "bench seat" style cushions and place them together all vertical on their long edge in one seat under the bimini cover while they were not being used. This kept them with less moisture under them and better ventilation.
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Old 18-06-2017, 10:19   #5
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Re: Cockpit cushions - leave them on deck?

Perhaps they will fit under a bunk while not in use. I suffer a similar scenario. I like them on deck when passage making. Mine are closed cell (the back rests) and open cell (the bottom portion I sit on) I live near the mouth of the Columbia river where clouds travel thousands of miles just to die. Mine is a fully enclosed center cockpit ketch and still I put the cockpit cushions below when leaving for extended periods. If ever a person goes by the board the cushions will all go over the side with them as they are tossed at intervals to help guide us back and to afford the swimmer a flotation devise though un"approved."

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Old 18-06-2017, 12:04   #6
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Re: Cockpit cushions - leave them on deck?

With a generous roll of 2" wide heavy duty velcro, they can also be secured as padded walls (so to speak) in a pilot berth or other area. While my butt prefers a nice leather Chesterfield sofa to bare fiberglass...that's hard to fit onboard too.(G)

If they are open cell foam, it is possible to vacuum bag them (either in large Space Bags, or duct taped heavy trash bags) and reduce them to less than 1/4 size. If they are closed cell foam, they should be OK outside, although you'd probably still need to clean and rotate them to prevent that wonderful green and black stuff from getting started in the crevices and stitching.
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Old 18-06-2017, 13:09   #7
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Re: Cockpit cushions - leave them on deck?

With rain and uv and dirt I tend to bring them in having said that the material I bought in bvi which claimed to be sunbrella clearly wasnt unless they have various grades of it and this was the lowest though only type they had!
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Old 18-06-2017, 16:21   #8
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Re: Cockpit cushions - leave them on deck?

Leave them in the cockpit...use and enjoy them. And if they rot, as you expect, put them in your friends garage. The end result is the same, but at least you get to enjoy them a little first. Nothing lasts forever.
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Old 20-06-2017, 01:44   #9
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Re: Cockpit cushions - leave them on deck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hamburking View Post
Leave them in the cockpit...use and enjoy them. And if they rot, as you expect, put them in your friends garage. The end result is the same, but at least you get to enjoy them a little first. Nothing lasts forever.
What good are they if you never use them?
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Old 24-06-2017, 10:35   #10
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Re: Cockpit cushions - leave them on deck?

Cushions that are dysfunctionally large are a common failing in factory-built boats, as well as in many older, used boats that have been "prettied up" for the market. This circumstance seems to be simply a function of a few large cushions being cheaper to produce than the requisite number of correctly sized cushions.

Unless you are able to modify them yourself, you can either spend a pile of dough on "making them right" or you can live with them.

It is not just a problem with cockpit cushions. The cushions below are also commonly too big and, in consequence, interfere with convenient management of life aboard. Very many stowage compartments are accessible only from above through a hatch in a seat or through a hatch in a vertical bulkhead. In both cases, having to move a six or seven foot long cushion to get at a 20"x20" hatch is obviously daft. Break a seven foot long cushion into four parts yielding cushions of, say, 20"x18", and not only can you get at your stores without inconveniencing the entire ship's company, but you can also stow the cushions more conveniently.

If they are 3" thick, as is common, eight such cushions, say cockpit cushions, can then be stowed as a "cube" 20"x18"x(3"x 8) = 20"x18"x24". On a rainy day, while underway, that can be in an unoccupied bunk, say the forward "V"-berth. On a rainy day, while alongside or on the hook, it could even be on the navigating table.

TrentePieds suffers for this malaise (among others) due to the failure of prior owners to comprehend what life afloat entails. I picked up an ancient commercial style Pfaff sewing machine some time ago, and a revamp of cushions is on the list for next winter. I was lucky enuff to notice discarded cushions in a yard's loft that had exactly the same fabric - a pattern that I actually like. Plenty of fabric there for the mods! And cheap at half the price :-)

More than half the joy of being a boat owner comes from making "things" better.

Cheers

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Old 25-06-2017, 13:29   #11
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Re: Cockpit cushions - leave them on deck?

No question that shorter cushions are easier to to work with.

But some of use do not like sleeping on scraps, seams, rolled seams, and shrapnel. The RV industry is famous for that, making all sorts of clever electrically operating sofas and dinettes that morph down to sleeping areas. Full of lumps and seams that would make a cabin floor into the smoothest and most pleasant place to sleep on a boat.

A ling cushion can always be stowed on the pilot berth, or against the backrest, or just tossed on the floorboards. Seams and gaps? No cure for them.
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Old 25-06-2017, 15:06   #12
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Re: Cockpit cushions - leave them on deck?

In this case, I don't agree with Trente Pieds, I much rather lift the whole long cushion to get at the drop locker underneath it, than to have many smaller cushions, so perhaps this is merely a matter of personal preference, not one of economics.
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Old 25-06-2017, 16:02   #13
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Re: Cockpit cushions - leave them on deck?

Ah, but Anne - you have a much bigger, more commodious boat :-)!

I'd much rather sleep on a 6" thick King Size mattress made from one piece of "memory foam", but, hey... For "messing about in boats" for a week or two, or for visiting my friends from the high Himalayas, where such is the done thing, I can sleep on a 2" "donkey", or even on the bare floor. What I can't do is sleep without clutching a good book or without a good light to read it by.

Cruising on a wimpey budget, which is all I'm prepared to commit, you need to make the odd accommodation :-)!

On our local, quite incomparable Public Broadcasting channel, appropriately called "The Knowledge Network" I saw, just last night, an episode of "Coast Australia" where some geezer running a tour boat out of Cookstown had had to go and hide the boat in a mangrove swamp while Cookstown got blown to bits by a typhoon. Boat came through it with minor damage only. Set me to thinking that I hope you and Jim have such a hidey-hole up your sleeves :-)

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