Saturday, September 12, 2015

Dressing Up the Quarter Berth: Part 1

--Blogpost written by Bob

A bed on a boat is called a berth (or a bunk).  The lack of space on sailboats means that bunks must be put wherever possible.  The vessel's quarter is the aft section on each side of the rudder.  A quarter berth is tucked under the aft cockpit in most modern sailboat designs, like Rainy Days.

Now that we've finished creating more storage under the quarter berth, we decided to begin making the quarter berth area more functional and more attractive.  We have been treating the quarter berth area like a spare bedroom in a home--it is a place for guests to sleep and for us to store some infrequently used things that can be easily moved when we get guests.  Lately, it has been full of tools, storage bags, and other things that really shouldn't be stored there.  

Improving Reading Light & Fan

We have been phasing out Hella-brand reading lights in favor of MISEA-brand lights which have LED bulbs and produce more light with less power.

Not only do they produce meow light with less power
but the MISEA-brand lights are pretty!

We have been very pleased with our Hella-brand fans--we actually have two different styles onboard, the smaller single-speed fans in the head and nav station and the slightly larger 2-speed fans in several other places.  After doing my recent rewiring, the fan in the quarter berth stopped working--so, fixing this fan became part of the dressing up.  It was an easy fix!

Storage for Removable Dodger Window

When we recently redesigned the dodger windows, we made the front window so that it could completely zip out, not just roll up like most others.  While it made visibility from the helm much better, it was a nuisance storing the dodger window below.  So we designed a set of belts using twist lock fasteners and a round pillow to cushion the middle of the rolled up window--we mounted this in a dead area of the quarter berth.

We wrapped the vinyl window around a 6-inch diameter pillow and then
made two hanging straps to hold it in place.  We purchased
the strapping at Bacon's for $4.

Personal Flotation Devices

For some reason, personal flotation devices (PFDs) seem to collect in the quarter berth.  Finding better homes for these is important to our goal of dressing up the quarter berth.

We purchased four new (coastal-rated) personal flotation devices from West Marine and stored them high in the starboard cockpit locker--these will (hopefully) never be used but we have them for emergencies.  Certainly, the storage spot for these does not qualify as "readily accessible" but we have others that will be in "readily accessible" locations.  We have two (offshore-rated) personal flotation devices for which we we must figure out a "readily accessible" storage solution--we're still working on this.

These four personal flotation devices will probably never be used or removed from
this area except for coast guard safety inspections.  They are stored in an
otherwise unusable area high in our starboard cockpit locker
but it keeps them out of the quarter berth area.

Teak Hooks for Clothes

The quarter berth area has very little space for guest's clothing, so we installed two additional teak hooks on the bulkhead for this purpose.  For the most part, guests will be living out of a duffel bag but the hooks will provide some minimal help with daily storage needs.

I added two teak hooks to the one that was already
there to add storage for guest's clothes.


The next considerations for the quarter berth includes new cushions and custom made sheets but that will take a couple months.  Now that we expect to be living aboard continuously until we leave next fall, I will be adding a long wooden dowel across the quarter berth entrance for Maggie's work clothes--this will be temporary (until June 2016 when Maggie retires).

We are still working tirelessly on getting our house ready to sell.  Everyday I carry a carload of old stuff somewhere for disposal.  Only six days until our open house!

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