Cushions, Cabin, Part 3: Installation and Use

The new cushions, intalled
Above and below we see the new cushions in place in Oystercatcher, my Ericson 25, soon after her launching in July 2015, after an extensive refitting. In this posting I describe my installation and especially my use of these cushions over the past three years.
I purchased a queen-sized fitted-sheet for the V-berth. This was just the right size. When cruising or spending a weekend on the boat, this sheet is always in place. It keeps the cushions fresh. It does inhibit access to the V-berth lockers, which are beneath the cushions, but then again the cushions inhibit access as well. The items in these lockers - spare parts, extra gallons of water, and extra paper towels and toilet paper, are not the sorts of things I need on a daily basis.
This queen-sized blanket is just the right size as well.
When day sailing or simply hanging out on the boat at the dock, I keep the blanket in a nylon bag, and I keep the fitted-sheet inside a pillow case. These items and a pillow I stow behind the starboard bulkhead. You'd never know they were there unless you stuck your head in the V-berth and looked around.
I found some inexpensive sheets at Walmart. I bought one queen-sized and two twin-sized fitted sheets. In three years, I've yet to have more than two total persons on the boat for the weekend or when cruising. One of us sleeps in the V-berth and the other on the starboard settee with the berth extension. I keep the second, twin-sized sheet as a spare.
I got the navy colored blankets at Walmart as well. They were about ten dollars a piece. Here we see the queen and a twin. I actually bought two twins. When the weather is chilly in the late fall, winter and early spring - around 40 degrees Fahrenheit at night - I use both twin blankets when I'm sleeping on the starboard settee and berth extension.
I also got the pillows at Walmart.
I started by stowing all sheets, blankets, and pillows in the settee backrest stowage lockers I had created on the port and starboard sides of the main salon. This quickly proved to be impractical. I, therefore, began to stow the V-berth items in the V-berth, as described above. I also began to use this port side settee stowage area for the spare twin sheet, spare twin blanket, and spare pillow and pillow case.
Likewise, I began to use the starboard settee backrest stowage area for stuff I used on a nightly basis when sleeping on the starboard settee and berth extension.
Pay no attention, therefore, to the pillows in this stowage space in this picture from 2015.
In the picture below from 2015, you'll notice that I've stowed the settee berth extension cushion underneath the main salon table. This was impractical. When day sailing or simply hanging out on the boat at the dock, I stow it on the starboard side of the V-berth. It helps to keep the bagged blanket and other items from rolling around. I also sometimes prop it up against the backrest of the starboard settee. It's actually quite comfortable to lean against it. Good lower back support.

Initially, I kept a cushion atop the Yeti cooler with the anticipation that I would need that cushion when a third person slept on the boat. You might recall that my plan was to move the cooler off of the settee at night to open up this space for sleeping. I soon found this cushion atop the Yeti to be annoying, and I took it home. It's not been back on the boat in three years.

I also soon found the Yeti cooler to be annoying. It was heavy - too heavy to move in and out of the boat on a regular basis. This made it difficult for me to remove water and half-melted ice and cooler gunk from it. I had to use a bailer and a sponge, pouring water and wringing the sponge into the galley sink.
Eventually, I bought an Engel refrigerator. What a game changer. Smaller, lighter in weight, and bigger in capacity. In the picture below you see it soon after I've completed the wiring. That's why the wiring in the alcove box is exposed.
There was plenty of space for an AC receptacle and two DC receptacles. The fridge senses when an AC power source is available and automatically switches to AC in order to take the load off the battery bank. It only needs one DC receptacle. I wired two - one directly to the house bank and one directly to the reserve bank so I would have an option.
I'll say it once again, over the past three years, I've been pleased with my decision to have the upholsterer create two separate cushions for each settee, in other words, two on the port side and two on the starboard. This has enabled me not only to use the Engel fridge atop the forward end of the port side settee, but it's also enabled me to access the lockers beneath the individual cushions quickly and efficiently.
This ends this posting on my use of the new cushions in Oystercatcher, my Ericson 25.

Cushions, Cabin, Part 2: Sewing

The new V-berth cushions, at the upholstery shop
Sometimes it's worth it pay someone else to do a job, especially when time is precious. So when it came to the sewing of the new cushions, I decided I would save myself a lot of time (for some of the remaining projects in the refitting of Oystercatcher) by having a local marine upholsterer do the sewing. In this posting I describe some of the preparatory work I did that saved me some money and ensured that I would end up with exactly what I was looking for.
I knew I wanted navy colored, interior grade Sunbrella fabric, so I ordered it online from Sailrite in Indiana. I did the calculations, and I estimated that 14 yards of 54 inch fabric would be sufficient for the settee cushions, the berth extension cushion, the V-berth cushions, and the settee backrest cushions (which I have described in a separate posting). I was accurate in my estimation there was very little left over. If I were to do it again, I would order 15 yards, because the upholsterer almost didn't have enough. I should note that I also ordered YKK Continuous Vision #5 zipper chain and YKK zipper pullers and zipper tabs.
As far as the foam was concerned, I searched around and found the best prices in the United States at the Foam Factory in Michigan. I ordered Lux, High Quality, 4 inch foam. Of this, I ordered one full sheet measuring 82x76x4 and one third of a sheet measuring 82x24x4. As far as the backrests were concerned, I ordered a half sheet of HD 36 High Quality foam, 82x36x1. All this foam, of course, was open-cell foam, which is much more comfortable than closed-cell, the kind often used for cushions in the cockpit of a boat. Foam Factory offered free shipping. The foam arrived in super compressed cardboard bundles with a warning that I should open the bundles within ten days to prevent damage to the foam. As I cut the bundles open, the sheets of foam quickly sprung to life. I stowed them in an empty room in my house until I was ready to go to the upholsterer, and then I loaded everything up in my SUV.
The upholsterer cut the new pieces according to my specifications, making them larger than the original pieces of foam, which seemed to have shrunk over the 40 years of their lives.

My estimate for the 4 inch foam (for the settee cushions, berth extension cushion, and V-berth cushions) was accurate. As you see below, there was little waste.
This was all that remained of the Sunbrella fabric.
I couldn't have been more pleased by the work that the upholsterer and his helpers did at this shop.
I saved a lot of money buying my own materials and avoiding the big name shops on the water in Charleston.
This ends this posting on my assembling of the materials and the upholsterer's sewing of the new cushions for Oystercatcher, my Ericson 25.