Hey! We CAN sleep in the v-berth!

There was no wind on the weekend of July 15th.  And when I say no wind, I mean none.  Of course that doesn’t mean that we didn’t head down to the boat anyway.  Skipping a weekend would be crazy talk!

So what do we do when there isn’t any wind?  Take care of some boat chores of course.  First up was to fix an issue with the support under the cabin sole that we had recently discovered.  The supporting piece that holds up the sole hatch had sunk down approximately 1/2″, sinking the sole in that general area with it (but only a fraction of an inch). You can see Jeff’s pinkie finger under the trim piece.


The bulkhead wasn’t affected, but we suspected it was the source of a very loud creaking sound when we walked over that area, and we wanted to fix it before it got worse.

After getting some advice from the Bristol Sailboats Facebook page (including from a fellow Bristol 29.9 owner who had made the same repair), we got to work.  Jeff used a lever to raise it and inserted some temporary shims to hold it in place so he could drill some new screw holes.  It sounds like a quick and easy job, but of course it’s a boat.  Our drill was about an inch too long to fit into the available space, so we borrowed one from the club “garage” which gave us about half an inch to spare.

After Jeff drilled pilot holes he successfully drilled in the first screw.  Then while he was inserting the second screw the 40 year old wood cracked.  Damn.  Well that ended up being all for naught.  After pondering what to do, we decided to insert plastic shims which we will epoxy into place at a later date.  With that job finally done, we next turned our attention to the v-berth.


The lever on the left (with scrap wood to protect the sole), and the finished product on the right – well, except for the epoxy part!

The goal was to see see if we could actually use the v-berth for, you know, sleeping instead of using it as a garage.  Jeff most definitely did not fit in Little Bristol’s v-berth, but curiously we had never thought to try this one.  Instead, last season and this season we have been using the pull out berth in the salon.  It was acceptable, but setting it up each evening and breaking it down every morning was starting to get a bit old.

After clearing everything out of the v-berth, Jeff laid down.  “Hey, I think this might work!”, he said.  At 6’4″ it’s not perfect, but not much is.  However, my 5’3″ helped to offset the room that he took up in the space, plus I like to sleep on my side which meant more room for Jeff.  We agreed that we would give it a try that night.  Of course that meant we needed to find a home for everything else in the v-berth.  What followed was several hours of organizing until it was time to call it a day.

When we woke up the next morning we agreed that sleeping in the v-berth was a success!  This means that we can use the v-berth for a bedroom and the main salon for a living room.  We won’t have to make up the bed every. single. night.  The person who wakes up first (i.e. me!) can simply go into the salon and hang out or putter around while the other person (i.e. Jeff) sleeps.  Honestly, I feel like our boat just doubled in size!  I may be a bit irrationally excited about it, but I’m going to ride the wave for a while.

The mattress situation in the v-berth could stand to be a bit better, but we’ve ordered a Froli system which will help with both condensation and comfort.  I have yet to read a review from one person who hasn’t loved it, so we’re looking forward to its arrival.  If we still need a bit more cushion after it’s installed, we’ll buy a mattress topper and cut it to size.  Given that Pegu Club is going to be our home, we will not skimp on having a comfortable night’s sleep!

After our successful test of the v-berth, we spent the rest of our windless Sunday doing some measuring for the installation of our new electrical panel.  One of our goals before the end of the season is to replace the interior wiring, have everything labeled, and put in a new DC panel with breakers (currently we have the original panel with fuses).  But the details of that project will have to wait for a future post.

4 thoughts on “Hey! We CAN sleep in the v-berth!

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