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Old 01-05-2011, 12:59 PM   #1
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thinking about cutting some stuff out of my salon?

I'm a liveaboard in Rochester NY and this is a photo of the salon of my albin 43. the settee is extremely uncomfortable as well as the helm chair. I'mthinking about cutting out the settee, the built in end table and helm chair and replacing it with a sofa and maybe a different helm chair or maybe just a stool as I usually use the fly bridge. I was quoted $1200 to replace all the cushions. I'm sure I could get a decent couch for that cost.*the problem with the cushions*is that they are not deep enough for me (or anyone else really) so its like sitting on a park bench while watching a movie.*a problem I face removing all this is that the teak and holly floor isn't under any of it, just plywood. a rug can cover what the sofa doesn't tho. I just want to make it more comfortable as the winters are long. Id also have to re plumb some heating elements but that's not a big deal. give me your thoughts? thanks

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Old 01-05-2011, 01:06 PM   #2
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RE: thinking about cutting some stuff out of my salon?

you know I looked hard at an Albin 39 before I bought our Monk- experienced the same thing with that boat- salon dinette looked great online but sitting in was not comfortable at all!

Have you thought of taking out the old seat and creating a new built it? OR....maybe easier, leave the old settee in place and build out an extension of the seat base and adjust the angle of the seat back in relation to the new base via adding a new back in front of the old one? Skin the exposed side that would be seen on the aft portion of the L in your picture with more teak or a good hardwood plywood piece stained to match and then have new cushions made to fit that. If you can't do the woodwork a cabinet shop could easily fabricate this adjustment for you.

Maybe if you went with a comfy sectional leather sofa that is L shaped it would cover the footprint of the old settee and thus cover all the plywood?
Another option would be to just slightly build up a box of an inch or two and stain that to match the interior and raise the new sofa just a hair. A minimal increase in height would still be comfortable when sitting and if done right it could look like an intentional feature.

Anyway...just throwing some ideas out for you.
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:13 PM   #3
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RE: thinking about cutting some stuff out of my salon?

one drawback to replacing the built ins with regular furniture is the loss of storage.* Just something to consider!
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:32 PM   #4
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RE: thinking about cutting some stuff out of my salon?

Go for it.* We installed a*custom built hide-a-bed on a previous boat.* We went to the largest RV dealer in the area.* We picked the fabric and the*dimensions.* It*had a full length drawer underneath that we used to store the life preservers.* The only problem we had was getting it into the salon.* It was the most comfortable place on the boat.* Boat and RV show season is coming up so may be able wheel and deal.

*
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:38 PM   #5
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RE: thinking about cutting some stuff out of my salon?

This is a common problem with boats like Grand Banks. The problem is not so much the depth of the cushions but the ergonomics--- or lack of it--- of their shape. A very effective fix on a GB is to have new cushions made that better match the way a person sits. So the outer edges of the seat cushions are higher than the rear edges for more support of the knees and thighs. The backs, too, are shaped to provide more lumbar support.

Here are a couple of photos I pulled off the GB owners site after a very quick search. I think the individual seat is for a built-in helm seat not unlike the configuration on your boat.

Depending on the boat, removing the fixed settee, helm seat, etc. could open up the cabin nicely and make for more flexible seating options. In our boat this would not be beneficial as there is some extremely user-friendly storage space, an icebox, stereo cabinet, etc. under the L-settee which we would lose if we removed the entire structure.

Of course if you go to free-standing furniture you'll need to figure out a way to secure it so it won't slide all over in rough water. The GB36 we chartered had a free-standing chair next to the cabin door on the port side and in rough water in an anchorage we had a hell of a time trying to keep it from sliding around on the floor and marring the wood, which from scratches and gouges that were already there had been a problem for other charter customers as well.

If the day comes that we decide to do something about our stock cushions we'll have new ones custom shaped and fabricated.

Most GBs did not come with fixed (or folding) seats at the lower helm. If you only drive from the flying bridge it's no big deal. But a lot of people, including us, drive only from the lower helm. Some people bolt a nice pedestal helm seat to the floor, but in a boat the size and configuration of ours this would be a major obstacle to entering and moving about the cabin particularly at the galley. So many of us use a free-standing helm seat--- a stool, a modified draftsman's chair, etc. that can be moved out of the way.

This works fine in decent water but when it gets rough it has to be stowed or secured and the helmsman drives standing up. So there are advantages to having a fixed helmsman's seat like your boat. If our boat was configured to have one, I would be very reluctant to get rid of it and would instead look into making it more comfortable.
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:24 PM   #6
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RE: thinking about cutting some stuff out of my salon?

The reason we bought our 40 Albin (from Rochester) was because it has nothing built in.
The salon is completely open.
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:25 PM   #7
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RE: thinking about cutting some stuff out of my salon?

I love everything about my boat except the damn settee.
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:07 PM   #8
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RE: thinking about cutting some stuff out of my salon?

These came with the boat and I love them.
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:20 PM   #9
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RE: thinking about cutting some stuff out of my salon?

Go for it, I am in the process of doing the same. I'll replace them with a hi/lo table a camper sleeper couch and two camper small recliners. J.T.Duncan
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:00 PM   #10
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RE: thinking about cutting some stuff out of my salon?

"one drawback to replacing the built ins with regular furniture is the loss of storage."

Very true, good point. And it's nice storage too, things can't fly around.
*
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:02 PM   #11
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RE: thinking about cutting some stuff out of my salon?

Quote:
albin43 wrote:

I'm a liveaboard in Rochester NY and this is a photo of the salon of my albin 43. the settee is extremely uncomfortable as well as the helm chair. I'mthinking about cutting out the settee, the built in end table and helm chair and replacing it with a sofa and maybe a different helm chair or maybe just a stool as I usually use the fly bridge. I was quoted $1200 to replace all the cushions. I'm sure I could get a decent couch for that cost.*the problem with the cushions*is that they are not deep enough for me (or anyone else really) so its like sitting on a park bench while watching a movie.*a problem I face removing all this is that the teak and holly floor isn't under any of it, just plywood. a rug can cover what the sofa doesn't tho. I just want to make it more comfortable as the winters are long. Id also have to re plumb some heating elements but that's not a big deal. give me your thoughts? thanks

I understand your desire for improvement, but question whether you have room to accomplish such. Couches and chairs take up a lot of space, and leave you with no dinette. Personally, I would consider new, thick high end foam, made deeper front to back and sculpted as Marin mentioned. That'l be two cents please.

*
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:22 PM   #12
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RE: thinking about cutting some stuff out of my salon?

The three piece L shaped settee we had on our boat was very uncomfortable also. We replaced it with a very comfortable futon. The sole is continuous so that was not an issue. A piece of 3/4" teak plywood screwed to the sole with a slot* dadoed for the rear legs keeps it in place.

Some storage was lost but we now have less "stuff" on board.

Rob
37' Sedan
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:29 PM   #13
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RE: thinking about cutting some stuff out of my salon?

i had a1980 eagle and i got rid off it* because i could not get** comforable on it i lived on it for ten yrs,it was the same set up you had,i think that it is a great idea.do it you wont be sorry
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:53 PM   #14
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RE: thinking about cutting some stuff out of my salon?

My boat came with a bamboo "couch" which used cushions from Pier 1. It sucked so I brought my leather sofa from home that has a bed inside. When guests come over, we fold it out to make a bed and it's more comfortable than the other accomodations on the boat, except for my bed of course.
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:20 PM   #15
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RE: thinking about cutting some stuff out of my salon?

Carey said...

Personally, I would consider new, thick high end foam, made deeper front to back and sculpted as Marin mentioned. That'l be two cents please.

*****************
I did that and it is still not comfortable. It is not wide enough for a decent nap without one arm placed across my body to hold on to my other arm. I had all the foam replaced with an extra thick layer in the front so I would be forced to the back. Didn't work.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:04 PM   #16
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RE: thinking about cutting some stuff out of my salon?

Quote:
Doc wrote:

Carey said...

Personally, I would consider new, thick high end foam, made deeper front to back and sculpted as Marin mentioned. That'l be two cents please.

*****************
I did that and it is still not comfortable. It is not wide enough for a decent nap without one arm placed across my body to hold on to my other arm. I had all the foam replaced with an extra thick layer in the front so I would be forced to the back. Didn't work.

***********************

Not what I wanted to hear Doc. I plan to do my own in the near future. My existing dinette is not so bad that I can't make it work. Higher density foam, and a little thicker, with the sculpted, thicker front edge, and tapered back. We'll see. I really wouldn't mind a Stidd or Recaro helm seat either, but will likely settle for something a little less spendy.
*
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:14 PM   #17
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RE: thinking about cutting some stuff out of my salon?

Albin 43,**We found the settee arrangement to be a lot more comfortable with the addition of a place to put your feet up.* Our coffee table doubles as an ottoman and works out pretty well.* To allow more elbow room for naps I have been known to lose the back cushions that gives you at least another four inchs.* In fact one fits on the coffee table if I really want to have more room. I thought about ripping it all out also, but now it works for us.*** Another 2cents
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:49 PM   #18
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RE: thinking about cutting some stuff out of my salon?

The question is whether the settee is large enough to be able to add thicker foam cushions to create a comfortable seat. If it could be done that way though it would certainly be a good option.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:54 PM   #19
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thinking about cutting some stuff out of my salon?

Quote:
Carey wrote:I plan to do my own in the near future. My existing dinette is not so bad that I can't make it work. Higher density foam, and a little thicker, with the sculpted, thicker front edge, and tapered back.*
Based on many posts to the GB owners forum on this same subject, I believe that a total recontour of the cushions on an existing settee can a make a huge difference in comfort for most people.* One problem with most factory settees is that they were not built deep enough.* The designs were compromises between sufficient bottom depth and conserving space in the cabin.* New cushions will not change the depth of the settee but they can do wonders (according to the people who've done this) for the comfort.

A big part of the problem is that boat seats (and berths)*are invariably on top of flat panels, usually wood.* As opposed to household furniture like couches which*are built*on frames.* On a boat, compressing a cushion enough to bottom it out on the panel can lead to real discomfort.* So the foam needs to be firm enough to hold the person off the panel underneath it.* A big mistake a lot of people make (according to the shipwright experts on the GB forum) is specifying a too-soft foam for new cushions.

When Aloha Airlines began direct service from Oakland, CA to Honolulu, HI in the late '90s*with a couple of 737-700s, the planes they used had been*set up for the original operator, an airline in India.* The CEO of Aloha told me he had been very concerned that the seats were too firm for 5-1/2 hour flights.* But when the planes entered service, the airline began getting compliments from passengers on how comfortable the seats were*compared to the airline's other 737s which had seats with softer cushions.* Soft does not automatically mean comfortable, particularly for longer periods of time.

Another problem that frequently contributes to seating discomfort is the distance of the table from the edge of the settee.* Many boats, like our older GB, have clever arrangements for converting the table to a berth by dropping it down to fit inside the "L" of the settee.* The problem here is that the edge of the table has to be even with the front of the settee.* But this makes for a very uncomfortable way for most people to sit at a table.

One of the changes often made by Oak Harbor Boatworks, a boatyard that specializes in custom interiors for GBs, is to re-make the table, extending the top a bit over the edge of the settee.* While this eliminates the ability to make the settee into a berth, it makes for a FAR more comfortable seating position at the table as people don't have to lean forward to eat, read, draw, use a computer,*play cards, etc.* It's like sitting at a table at home with your legs under the table with*the table top closer to your upper body.

I've spent a lot of time on Carey's boat and while his cabin settee and table layout is very good I think the settee and his two helm seats could benefit greatly from new, properly contoured cushions made of a firmer foam.* I think removing his boat's big table and built-in L-settee and replacing them with free-standing furniture would reduce the usability of the cabin.

-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 5th of January 2011 09:56:42 PM
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:42 PM   #20
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RE: thinking about cutting some stuff out of my salon?

I'd like to rip out my settee too and put in a proper dinette. PGs right though we'd loose much storage and (not mentioned yet that I can recall) is the resale value of the boat.
Remove and put seetee in storage if you can and put in 2 loose chairs. Push one back when you need space at the helm. I don't like sitting on a bench looking across the boat.
I like a dinette where everyone sits facing fwd or aft. You can see out soooo much better.
But the best advise to you is to (as Marin said( I think)) get some properly shaped foam in there.
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