Sailing lady looking for cushion foam

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by firstmate, Sep 17, 2006.

  1. firstmate
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: Alabama

    firstmate New Member

    After losing our sailboat to Hurricane Katrina, we bought a used Hunter 27. It's in good stuctural shape but it's a filthy mess. We've been cleaning it up. I volunteered to remake the cushions. (I'm hoping that will keep me out of the sun with a scrub brush :) My issue is that I can't find boat cushion foam that is wide enough. I found it on-line but it all seemed to be 2 ft wide; I need about 5 feet wide. Any help or suggestions will be appreciated.
     
  2. BillyDoc
    Joined: May 2005
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    Location: Pensacola, Florida

    BillyDoc Senior Member

    Foam

    Try a local mattress manufacturer. They often have a good supply of foam in wide sizes that they make big beds with. If you are near Pensacola you might give Koala a call. One thing to consider though, do you want an open-cell foam (which will soak up water, but be much more comfortable) or a closed-cell foam (better for a wet cockpit, good flotation in an emergency). I think the foams you will find at a mattress manufacturer will all be the open-cell type.

    If you are planning on sleeping on this foam I would suggest you do go for "open-cell" and look for a latex type (it will hold up much longer than urethane) with holes punched through it every inch or so, so it "breathes." It helps to keep the sweat-factor managable in our summer climate. For cockpit use, "Ensolite" (trade name) is a good closed-cell foam. It is possible to bond two pieces together to get the size you need as well.

    Enjoy that boat!

    BillyDoc
     
  3. firstmate
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: Alabama

    firstmate New Member

    Thanks so much for both the sources and the information. I didn't even know they made a latex with holes in it...that seems like a great piece of info in our climate. We are on the Eastern Shore, just up from you, so all of the sources you listed are in our back yard. Thanks again !!!!
     
  4. BillyDoc
    Joined: May 2005
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    Location: Pensacola, Florida

    BillyDoc Senior Member

    You're welcome!
     
  5. SuperPiper
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    Location: North Of Lake Ontario

    SuperPiper Men With Little Boats . .

    Too Wide For The Companionway

    Can you get something 5' wide through the hatch? I suppose you could fold it in half to get it below and to fit it through the cabin door into the V-berth.
     
  6. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    You can join foam with contact glue. It doesnt even need a perfect join. Contact glue is permenant and once its on it on. Its like welded. maybe you could simply join your 2 foot lengths and a half bit. Easy to do.

    I had a boat once where the mattrass was in two peices,-- one for each sleeper. You never noticed the join in the middle even if you slept on it.

    I like that hole through the foam idea too,-- thats a good one. Say 1 inch Dia and about 4 per sq foot? Is that the idea?

    I think you would have to have a big hatch. What I do is roll it up as tight as I can and tie it. Or fold it in half. Should go through the door frame.
     
  7. BillyDoc
    Joined: May 2005
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    Location: Pensacola, Florida

    BillyDoc Senior Member

    Hi Jack,

    The foam I've seen had what looked like quarter-inch holes every inch or so, in a square matrix pattern. The stuff felt good enough that my wife bought a mattress made with it, which is how I happened to see it.

    BillyDoc
     
  8. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    Keep in mind that foam comes in various densities or degrees of hardness. You will not like run of the mill foam because it is not dense enough, You will need to specify that it is somewhat firm. Urethane foam is not cheap but it is far less expensive than latex. Latex as mentioned by others is difficult to find but not impossible. With age and being enclosed in a hot cabin it tends to deteriorate into a sticky mess. It will probably last for two or three years however.

    Ensolite is the ultimate foam for durability and as it is closed cell type it floats without becoming waterlogged. Actually your PFD is probably made with Ensolite. Ensolite will be hard to find and scandalously expensive. You might consider using Ethafoam or its equivalent. That is polyeyhylene based, closed cell, and too hard to be atractive for bedding. However it has some possibilities as follows. You can get this foam from suppliers of packaging materials. It comes in rolls with various widths and thicknesses. It is comparitively cheap. with quarter inch thick sheet you can easily cut it with scissors. The trick is to cut as many layers as you want in order to get reasonable thickness. Do not glue the plies together. A lot of PFDs have been made using this method. It is still too hard for comfortable sleeping, so buy one of those Temper Pedic mattress covers and use it as a top ply. Temper Pedic is a brand name but there are several brands of the same stuff. You can buy a queen sized mattress topping at Sam's Club and various other outlets. Expect to pay about $100. This whole layout makes a comfortable resting place, it does not absorb water, and you can use if for emergency flotation but I hope you are never obliged to do so.

    If you use common urethane foam you will need a method to cut it to the desired shape. Industrial outfits have specially made foam cutters for this. You can use an electric carving knife for the small amount that you will need to cut. I mean one of those kitchen tools with the dual blades that you use to cut thanksgiving turkey etc. When you make the cushions you may not want to use "boxing". Boxing is the vertical sides that are sewn to the top and bottom of the cover. You can make a rather nice job of tapering the edges of the urethane foam as follows. After the foam is cut to shape, paint the edges with contact cement. After the contact cement tacks up a bit you pinch the top and bottom corners together and that makes a very nice tapered edge. The covers are then much less challenging as no boxing is needed. I have made tens of thousands of cushions this way, and at least that many with the boxing method. I have made tens of thousands of PFDs as well. That is why I know a little bit about foam.

    Google foam, and you will find several firms that specialize in cut to shape foam of all types. They are suppliers to individuals with projects like yours. Actually it may cost less to source the material in that way. Local suppliers tend to be ....how shall I put it ? ....Greedy! Foam of any description is sold by the board foot.
     
  9. firstmate
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: Alabama

    firstmate New Member

    Messabout - Thanks for the information...it sounds like you HAVE made a few!
    I thought it might be cheaper to make my own cushions, but after your adviced I think I'll check the online, precut first and then decide which way to go.

    I have learned that it will not be cheap whichever way I go. What is it that they say..."a boat is a hole in the ground that you pour money into". HA Oh well, it's worth it, I do love being out there. Thanks again.
     
  10. BoatBoi
    Joined: Jul 2009
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    Location: florida

    BoatBoi New Member

    Cushion Foam

    When i remade the cushions for my boat, i also needed a wider foam. I used www.efoamstore.com for the seat cushions to the exact size. You can find large size outdoor foam on there.
     
  11. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Welcome here Boatboi.

    Youre first attempt though was a bit besides the track! This thread died some 3 years ago!

    Regards
    Richard
     

  12. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The local "JoAnn's Fabric" store will get you your foam.
     
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