Thread on bunk dimensions got me thinking about a quasi-hammock.

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Squidly-Diddly, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    Hammocks have some great features, like how they handle rolling/heeling, and how they can be quickly stowed out of the way, and be used for storing other stuff besides sleeping humans.

    But they require quite a bit of length, which can be problematic in non-billionaire sized boats, and billionaires don't normally compromise on their own sleeping arrangements.

    So how about something that has SOME of a hammock's good features, but doesn't need much more space than a standard bunk to deploy?

    I might first experiment with something in a full size van I'm going to buy. It will be mostly a mobile work shop, probably with semi-permanent desk/workbench, but I'd also like to be able to sleep in it without a big bulky conventional bed (and not even an air mattress).

    I've heard of hammocks being BARELY able to work for large kids stretched from the front door to rear door of standard extended vans like Ford E-350 (20' OAL bumper to bumper).

    I'm thinking of some hybrid of a cot and hammock, and probably using good old PVC pipe and fixtures, or similar Grow-Up Tinker-Toy materials. Maybe a break-down (leave the 90' elbows unglued so the everything can at least become just one long skinny unit under 6'6"x4") PVC cot frame that hangs from the ceiling rather than by the ends?

    Here is one for across the front seats of a full size van, but its only kid sized. http://www.doityourselfrv.com/hanging-cot-idea-sleep-space-rv/

    Maybe instead of pipes and instead of across the front cab......

    delete the pipes and instead hang from about 4 points on each side from the ceiling in the back of the van, along the driver's side wall/roof intersection and hanging from the middle of the ceiling from the reinforcement joists, including lines running diagonally for more even support. Thus it would be just a piece of fabric about 6'6"x2'6" and some cords, and maybe a few 1/4" holes drilled into the van's bodywork to run cords through. Thus the whole thing could be folded or rolled up to very small volume. Also a provision for pulling it up snug to the ceiling for storing random items and just getting it almost completely out of the way.

    Basically, it would be a hammock but hanging from side to side rather than from end to end. Should be able to enter/exit from the middle, shoving the middle cords out of the way a bit.


    Years ago, when I had a smallish bedroom with a high sloped ceiling in an Echler style house http://www.eichlernetwork.com/sites/default/files/imported/images/about/elevation.jpg I made a hanging bed platform out of plywood and 2x4. It was suspended by coated 3/16" wires. I just ran the wires through the gaps in the beveled ceiling planks over the beams and tied fat knots to keep them from slipping through. Worked fine until I got a girlfriend who didn't trust my invention and wasn't keen on finding footing on a ladder from a swinging platform (and it was over 6' off the floor for full walking headroom underneath). Then it became a fine storage area. When I moved out there wasn't any damage or other signs it had ever been there.
     
  2. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    You have created a new subject post on this matter. Please re-post.
     
  3. Sailor Alan
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    Sailor Alan Senior Member

    What you are describing is a 'Pipe Cot' or Pipe Berth', very popular in today's Navy's. They are also very common on ocean racing boats, and I have spent many hours sleeping off watch in them. Classically they DO NOT have the end pipes, just the side pipes, and the distance the side pipes are apart dictate the amount of 'sag' keeping the occupant from rolling out. Equally, a block and tackle system allows the 'free' side pipe to be triced up or down, so the curved canvas lies roughly parallel to the current water line, whichever tack one is on. All ours used denim cloth, stitched on the bias so it stretched a bit, covered with 1" thick closed cell foam. We usually added a fitted bottom sheet, and a duvet cover unless it was tropically warm. Sunbrella might work, it would 'breath' but be rough.

    Most systems fix the outer, or hull side pipe, and have a series of sockets, or clips, allowing the inner, or away from the hull side pipe to be attached either quite taunt, and horizontal for in harbor comfort, or other alternate sockets giving great sag, AND placing this pipe above or below the fixed one to compensate for heel. I make mine a full 7' or better 7'6" long so the sleeper is not cramped lengthwise at least.
     

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  4. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    thx, I knew the concept had to exist.

    If I don't go for pure fabric and paracord (no structure so it can be folded into a seat cushion) I'll probably do some sort of Pipe Berth.

    I'm nuts for anything that is Dual Purpose so I'd make it with at least removal-able end pipes, so it could also serve as an awning, clipped onto the rain gutters of the van at either side or rear doors.
     
  5. Sailor Alan
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    Sailor Alan Senior Member

    I would STRONGLY recommend you DO NOT use water proof cloth for the berth bottom. Nothing worse that having a non breathable berth. I understand your desire for dual use, but in this case, perhaps only the pipes.

    Here is a much better general design, with four pipes around the periphery. They can be disconnected, and stowed seperatly, wrapped in the cloth, or seperatly.

    PVC pipe and fittings should work, but check its stiffness so there is no SAG whilst occupied.
     

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  6. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    You could use the tubes as a didgeridoo too then you'd have a Squidly Diddly triple purpose Didge hammock with shade....

    J.
     
  7. Sailor Alan
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    Sailor Alan Senior Member

    Well yes. You could also use one long tube with the corner fitting attached as a Woomera, and a short length on a string as a pūrerehua or 'Bullroarer' for complete confidence in the outback. This would then be a Squidly Diddly hex multi purpose bunk!
     
  8. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    Awning mostly for shade, not rain, and even breathable fabric tends to do just fine at keeping the rain out if its duck or other thick fabric and its on a slope. The underside gets damp but surface tension or something prevents any droplets. Like those dripless leaf proof gutters.

    I am considering including an inflatable narrow air mattress in the design, especially since I've got a couple that have worked out for me in the past. Both battened and I-beamed air mattresses seemed fine for ventilation when covered in a blanket even in warm weather. Just put the heavy blanket on the bottom for extra absorption with the light sheet over you.

    When I was younger I had an inflatable sofa. Then I hit upon the idea of filling it with H2 from these huge cylinders helpfully left unattended in a field of Stanford University. Worked great with the high ceilings. It would float up out of the way, but could easily be grabbed. To keep it down just throw a heavy blanket on it.

    I'm generally a big fan of H2 vs He, since He leaks out much faster and you can't easily produce it at home. As long as it isn't pre-mixed with O2 it isn't all that dangerous in modest amounts. Yeah, of course we had to show off and uncork the couch at a party and light'er off, after someone dared question the "Danger: Explosive" sign, thinking I was only using some store bought He for party ballons.


    I wish I could Dual Purpose the hammock at a window shade but I'd have shades anyways for sleeping.
     
  9. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Excellent, a dilly bag could also be incorperated and the woomera could double up as a back scratcher, some velcro attachments could be an emergency splint, a bang stick insert could stop crocs and sharks....

    Jeff
     

  10. Poida
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    Poida Senior Member

    Too many Australians getting on this forum with a stupid sense of humour.
    Fair dinkum fellas all this bloke needs is a swag and a coupla tinnies to settle himself down for the night.

    Honestly, chuck a slab down his guts and he couldn't give a rats where he slept for the night.

    Poida
     
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