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Old 03-30-2019, 08:01 PM   #1
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V-Berth Sheets/Bedding

Weíve recently bought a 32í trawler and will sleep on v berths. Not really sure of the best bedding to use here. Custom fitted bed pad, sheets, etc. seem to be very pricey and Iíve heard mixed reviews about how worthwhile that is. Iíve also been told that standard size sheets are fine if you use bed bandsĒ (look like small shock cords). Finally, someone mentioned ďsleep systemsĒ are really easy/comfortable on v berths V-berth Sleep System-Welcome Aboard
Any advice would be welcomed.
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:56 PM   #2
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I do not have Sleep System brand bedding, so I have no direct comparison to comment on. However:


First, I opted out of a similar design because of the sleeping bag design and the inherent difficulty of getting in and out of a v-berth without the additional confinement of a 'sleeping bag'. Try sheets and blanket tucked in (to simulate the 'bag' and see how that works for you, and if it adversely affects your SO as you enter and exit.


Second, I must have a firm mattress (bad back), but my v-berth seat cushions were even too hard for me to lay on all night, and impossible for the other half. (Oddly enough, my butt bones go right through the seat cushion foam in the galley.) I needed a mattress pad for the v-berth. I ended up with a mattress and contoured sheets from another commercial supplier. Comfortable, but outrageously expensive.


A lot of people buy a foam rubber mattress pad of their choice from Costco (or online) and cut it themselves with an electric kitchen carving knife to fit, and use modified king size sheets. A little extra material in the sheets allows movement and still keeps your feet covered (trial and error sizing with safety pins may enlighten you before cutting). This can be had for considerably less money than custom made.


Finally, if your primary sleeping quarters will be your v-berth, make it as comfortable as possible - it's already a compromise. I ended up with a system that works very well for me (us). Good luck.


Todd
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Old 04-01-2019, 06:28 PM   #3
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Thx Todd - great info! Just curious about who made your "outrageously expensive" sleep system?
My other issue is that I have a notch in my v berth (we'll sleep with feet at the narrow bow end) and the notch is at the wide end near our heads). There is no filler for the notch but perhaps I need 1 to make anything other than custom made have a chance of fitting.
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Old 04-01-2019, 06:36 PM   #4
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I've made several sets of sheets for our odd shape island bed.
I made a plastic sheet template and keep it at home... mark it head & foot and thkns of mattress.
For bottom fitted is cut out the shape wanted +about 1/2" seam allowance. Then usually from another shert I'll cut strips the width of the mattress thkns + whatever w I want tucked under + enough to sew a hem pocket for elastic or draw string. Sew enough strips together to more than go around the outside of the template (any shape). When strips are joined fold the hem and I usually insert a string while sewing the hem. Next attach the hemmed side piece to the top. It helps if you start & end on the foot or side that's accessible when making the bed. Use the string to pull in a draw string or elastic... either works.
For top sheets add desired W & L to the template and cut out leaving enough for a small hem to finish edge.
Flat sheets from Wallyworld available individually in all sizes and many colors.
It takes about an hour/ sheet and you have custom sheets fitted & flat set.
It's not rocket science and materials not very expensive if you mess up.
I've done the same w blankets to roughly match bed shape.
Same if you want a mattress pad... buy one oversize cut off the skirt carefully & save. Cut the flat pad to your template size / shape + a small seam allowance. Then sew skirt back to the shape... Done
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Old 04-01-2019, 06:52 PM   #5
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You are a talented man - I’m fairly handy but sewing is not a core competency. Thx.
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Old 04-01-2019, 07:06 PM   #6
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JM,
On our former boat, a 37 Bavaria sailboat, we slept in the V berth. The berth was 6'6" long and about 85" wide at the head (wide part). It worked pretty good for us for 11 years, but we had to crawl out via the head, which was sometimes challenging not to disturb my wife getting in and out. She made all of our bedding, but was not as meticulous as Bacchus. We just tucked in the excess under the mattress and used a "loose" comforter on top as the blanket. She had cut down the bottom end of the comforter a bit and restitched to close it back up. It wasn't perfect but it worked!
On Pilitak, we have an island queen, so in some ways it is smaller than what we had on the Bavaria, but everything fits better and it is easier to get in and out of
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Old 04-01-2019, 08:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmreim View Post
You are a talented man - Iím fairly handy but sewing is not a core competency. Thx.
It really isn't that difficult.
It's more about attitude than aptitude.
Start small w some practice it will come.
The thing w these kind of projects is for the most part it doesn't show like making dresses or shirts.
Sewing boating & camping stuff is a lot easier than finished & fitted stuff.
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Old 04-01-2019, 08:54 PM   #8
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JM,
On our former boat, a 37 Bavaria sailboat, we slept in the V berth. The berth was 6'6" long and about 85" wide at the head (wide part). It worked pretty good for us for 11 years, but we had to crawl out via the head, which was sometimes challenging not to disturb my wife getting in and out. She made all of our bedding, but was not as meticulous as Bacchus. We just tucked in the excess under the mattress and used a "loose" comforter on top as the blanket. She had cut down the bottom end of the comforter a bit and restitched to close it back up. It wasn't perfect but it worked!
On Pilitak, we have an island queen, so in some ways it is smaller than what we had on the Bavaria, but everything fits better and it is easier to get in and out of
Actually I've used a version of what you mentioned for blankets & spreads...
Lay it out on the bed and Cut off the ends/ corners that are way over sized or out of shape and just finished the edge w a sm hem. A little trimming can make a big difference with some of a boats odd size or shape beds.
If you want a low risk & $ experiment buy a dollar store or good will item to practice with and toss it if it doesn't meet expectations... still an inexpensive learning experience.
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Old 04-02-2019, 09:42 AM   #9
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Thx Todd - great info! Just curious about who made your "outrageously expensive" sleep system?
My other issue is that I have a notch in my v berth (we'll sleep with feet at the narrow bow end) and the notch is at the wide end near our heads). There is no filler for the notch but perhaps I need 1 to make anything other than custom made have a chance of fitting.
Arrrgh - lost my entire post trying to preview. Not going to retype it all. Short version:

YachtBedding dot com. They make all sorts of custom bedding and related stuff. I got their "Topper" mattress and upgraded fitted sheets/pillowcases and a bedspread (allows head room for sitting upright, and access to long-term storage underneath). There are several others on the Web, but they already had the patterns for my boat, so I went with them.

Regarding filling in your notch (the factory gave me the option to fill mine with a cushion and I keep it in the bed configuration continuously):
1) Keeps 'sleeping bag' style from spanning across.
2) Keeps sheets, blanket, pillows from falling down.
3) Provides more elbow room (it's pretty narrow without).
4) Eliminates standing room (ingress/egress may be more difficult).

Try out your options (spend the night sleeping) to see what works for the two of you, and what doesn't, before you commit $$$$. That's how I found out I had to make changes to the factory cushion set up. It was too hard for me (and I need a firm mattress for my back), SO said no way after the first night. Great compromise now. Good luck.

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Old 04-02-2019, 10:36 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jmreim View Post
We’ve recently bought a 32’ trawler and will sleep on v berths. Not really sure of the best bedding to use here. Custom fitted bed pad, sheets, etc. seem to be very pricey and I’ve heard mixed reviews about how worthwhile that is. I’ve also been told that standard size sheets are fine if you use bed bands” (look like small shock cords). Finally, someone mentioned “sleep systems” are really easy/comfortable on v berths V-berth Sleep System-Welcome Aboard
Any advice would be welcomed.
I've owned several boats with cabins. I have never had an issue using standard queen or king sheets to fit. If there is an odd size, just tuck the excess under the mattress. If you can't use the fitted sheet with the bungee like material, then just use a flat regular sheet and tuck it under. I also use mattress protectors on the three mattresses currently on my boat. One of the mattresses is two pieces so I bought two separate smaller sizes and covered them separately.
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Old 04-02-2019, 10:52 AM   #11
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You are a talented man - Iím fairly handy but sewing is not a core competency. Thx.

You'd be surprised. If you can do woodwork, you have the skills to sew. It is just connecting various planes (as in surfaces) together. In a way, it is actually easier since seams can be ripped and redone pretty easily. And just like woodworking, you have to think ahead about order of operations so you don't sew yourself into a corner.
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Old 04-02-2019, 01:29 PM   #12
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Wifey is near completing a new bed linen project for our guest stateroom; while not for a V-berth, some thoughts might be useful.

Our guest stateroom mattress is an odd size/shape, slightly wider than a king at it's widest point, as narrow as a twin at it's narrowest point. The bottom fourth is covered "overhead" (over feet) by hard partition from the galley on the other side. The "inside person" is partly covered bu hard overhead partition from the dinette in the saloon above. The mattress is also enclosed on three and a half sides. Making up the bed with traditional sheets -- no matter whether the bottom sheet is fitted "sorta" or flat -- pretty much sucks... because one must be on the sheets at the same time, while trying to tuck the edges around...

We examined the idea of sleep sacks first, but like with regular sleeping bags, it would be difficult to get in and out of the things... especially for whoever's gets stuck on the "inside".

Our solution, if it works, might be a flat sheet cut (and hemmed and so forth) to fit the exact outline of the mattress... with simple elastic bands at each of the four corners for easy/quick tucking under the mattress. In our case, she also added an easily tuckable "apron" along the side of the mattress facing the small standing space in the room, mostly for appearance but partly to cover that edge of the mattress as well.

The whole new system is actually layered. A vinyl sheet cut to the shape of the mattress, just laid down, no straps. Then a real mattress cover, cut as above with straps. Then the bottom sheet, cut as described and with straps. Top sheet is a standalone; guests can do with that as they will.... but it won't inhibit ingress/egress to much. (The really fancy bedspread lives over that most of the time.)

-Chris
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