Friday, 26 February 2016

New bench/bed

Red Barn Worshop fitted their specially designed pull-out bed on the boat today.

This is the old set-up. It was cluttered, very heavy, too high and deep and did not fulfill the function we had specified of the French carpenters who built it.

The bench/bed is beneath the green cover. Beyond it was a built-in bureau, that doubled as a side table.

These were removed and the trim utilised in  the new design.

The frame needed to be 'squared against the front deck bulkhead.

Red Barn tailored a side piece to fit the curve of the boat into the bows.

Just two lots of measuring and two trims later

and the side piece was ready for fitting to the boat's port side.

Then came the testing of the old mattresses, for seating height and use as a backrest.

They were almost a perfect fit. If we were being very picky, we'd shave a couple of inches off the thickness of the bow section of the backrest, to stop it pushing the seating section out from the port side.

I'm quite happy with them as they are, because they fit really snugly when the structure is pulled out to form a bed,

I was resigned to the thought of having new mattresses made to fit the shape. There really is no need to go to the added expense.

This bench/bed comes with storage space underneath (two lift out front panels, secured with cupboard catches). It also boasts an open storage space at the foot of the bed, with a pull-out shelf for coffee mugs.(pictured left).

© Red Barn

The bed is a good sized, what passes for  a 'double bunk', on a narrow boat. The space beneath the gunwales is fully utilised, without compromising the forward door.

A bonus, for me, is that the structure is so light and easy to put up and down, compared to the old one.

The height of the bench is perfect for use with the dining table.

The improved design allows us to place a chair at each end, and on the starboard side.

The fitting was completed by lunchtime, so Red Barn and I ate our lunch at the dining table. I kept the coffee pot and teapot on the stove throughout the meal.

The bench/bed is far enough away from the stove to use it as a bed or a dinette when the stove is lit. It's much safer than the old set-up, which ran right to the corner of the hearth,

With the table folded away beneath the starboard gunwales, there is room for a chair to provide extra seating in the saloon.

Many thanks to Red Barn's Paul and Jake, who designed, built, and fitted the bench/bed within a week.