Friday, October 12, 2018

New Mattress for Nirvana!

For the past year as liveaboards, we've been sleeping on our original v-berth cushions, along with a foam mattress that we had cut and a gel topper. While it's been much better than just the original cushions, my hips still ached by morning.

Ken & I had been planning on purchasing some sort of multi-layered foam mattress before leaving the dock, so when Amazon featured an 8 inch memory foam mattress on "Prime Day" for only $107 bucks, we figured it was worth a try. The mattress was less than half the normal price!

The mattress came in a box, and was wrapped up tightly in plastic. We brought the box to our daughter's garage, where we took the mattress out of the box.


We then removed the first layer of plastic and laid the mattress out. We then cut the second layer of plastic, which let air in and allowed the mattress to rise.


In just minutes the mattress was "inflated" and ready for cutting. Before cutting the mattress, we wanted to remove the zippered cover that it was in. However, the zipper didn't have a "pull", and we had to rip it open! We don't know if this was a defect, or if the cover wasn't meant to be removed. After removing the cover, the mattress was wrapped in another layer of fabric, so I'm thinking we had a defective zipper. The second layer of fabric wasn't meant to be removed, so we had to rip the seams. Oh well .. the covers would have a lot of excess fabric at the top of the mattress, so now I didn't feel so bad cutting that fabric off!

We brought our original v-berth cushions to use as a template. We ordered the "full" sized mattress, so the top corners would need to be cut off and added to the bottom corners.


Ken sharpened his machete and it cut the foam like butter!



With the slope of the v-berth, Ken had to make sure that the top of the mattress was a little wider than the bottom of the mattress. He wasn't precise about this .. he just kinda winged it & figured he'd make the final cuts after the mattress was in place. After cutting the mattress, we wrapped it back up in the plastic to load in the truck and into our boat. We hoped it wouldn't be too difficult to get the mattress through our companionway!


The v-berth was clean and ready for our new mattress!


Luckily, our companionway is pretty large and the mattress went through pretty easily.


The mattress fit pretty well in our v-berth, but needed a few more final cuts before adding the covers and sheets. Ken made these cuts with a filet knife. Also, after posting the photo below of our new mattress on our Facebook page, several of our followers were kind enough to share several suggestions on preventing mold from growing underneath our mattress. We needed to add something under our mattress to keep it off the bottom and allow it to breathe. We should have done this before adding the mattress, but better late than never!


 Once Ken made the final cuts to our mattress, we took the advice of a cruiser and purchased a piece of foam board. Actually, Ken misunderstood me and didn't buy the white styrofoam board that was suggested. Instead, he bought a purple foam board. We did some research after he came home with the purple board already cut, and we think this will work just fine. It's highly waterproof (we left a piece in the rain to test) but we'll keep a close eye on it, especially when our a/c is gone.

Anyway, Ken had cut the foam into two pieces to add underneath our mattress. One piece for the port side and one for the starboard side. It will be hard enough to get to our water tank & storage area with a large foam mattress, but at least we won't have to remove all of the foam board underneath .. just one side or the other. We'll be sleeping with the "Pink Panther"!


The foam went in pretty easily, which was a relief.


After the foam board was added underneath, it was time to cover the mattress and add the sheets.  I decided to re-use the inner cover that came with the mattress then add a second waterproof cover that I purchased. I had to do some acrobatics to get the first cover under the mattress and over the top! Once I had the cover in place, I secured the cut side & top with safety pins. Here's a photo of the first cover ...


I then added the second waterproof cover over the top, which was easy compared to the first .. especially since I bought a "King" sized cover. The larger cover allowed me to easily cover the entire top of the mattress. I just tucked the excess underneath. I then added the sheets that we already had been using .. they're also "King" sized, and they're flat sheets. Forget buying expensive, fitted sheets for a v-berth! Just buy larger, flat sheets and tuck on the sides!


 After sleeping on our other mattress for over a year, we were anxious to sleep on our new mattress. We hoped it was gonna be more comfortable .. and give my hips some relief! I have to say that after sleeping on our new mattress for over a month, we're happy with our decision. The mattress is still a bit firm, but we can't handle super soft mattresses. It isn't as firm as our other mattress, so my hips aren't hurting anymore. If you're looking for a new mattress without breaking the bank, I'd recommend this one. Sweet dreams!

Hasta luego .. until then. Mid-Life Cruising!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Wiring for 12 Volts!


This is what it looked like when we added wiring for 12 volts! Living on a boat means constantly moving stuff, especially when doing boat projects. Ken had to get behind both settees, through the head (bathroom) cabinet, through our closet, under the galley (kitchen) cabinets, under the aft cabin, and through a few bulkheads to run the wires to our navigation station.

We added three Caframo fans to Nirvana, which have really helped in keeping cool. Ken hard-wired one in our v-berth (bedroom) and one in the salon (den). The third fan plugs into our salon's outlet, and can be moved around if needed. That fan can also be turned towards the galley, which has been awesome when I'm cooking! We also have another 12v fan in the salon, which came with the boat and can be moved around as needed .. probably to my side of the v-berth!


While the boat was torn apart, Ken also replaced our speaker wires and our stereo. We purchased the stereo from West Marine, which allows us to play our iPod, CDs, and has a USB port. We plan on adding a couple more USB ports on the side of our nav station to charge our phones.


Ken installed several 12 volt outlets throughout the boat .. one in the v-berth, one in the salon (we already had one in the salon, so now we have two), and one on the side of our navigation station for our Engel fridge to be plugged into. The fridge can be either AC or DC, so we were able to use the fridge with the AC outlet before installing the 12v (DC) outlet.


One of the outlets in the salon will be used for our 12v television, which also can be plugged in either an AC or DC outlet and was being used with an AC outlet before this project. Our television is installed over a storage cabinet, so we can still store stuff behind it.


Notice the lighting over our settee? We replaced all of our lights with LED lights .. more about that in a future post. With the wires run, LED lights installed, and a new battery system .. we are now looking into solar panels. Who knew living simple would be so complicated?!

Hasta luego .. until then. Mid-Life Cruising!
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