The mattress required an angle be cut in the foam so it would fit and then a new mattress cover be created to fit the modified foam. Cutting foam is a relatively straight-forward process. Sailrite and other outlets sell a special cutter for foam that is a bit pricey, but a simple electric kitchen knife does exactly the same thing. Going to the local thrift store, we found an electric knife for $4...saving over $100 for that tool. Carefully measuring the angle and marking lines on both sides (adding just a bit of size for a better fit once in the cover), it was an easy matter for the two of us to cut the foam by guiding the knife along the line. The result is a nice fitting memory foam block for the cushion.
|Cutting the new mattress to size|
For the cover we found a nice charcoal gray Sunbrella material. It is recommended that, to prevent raveling, Sunbrella be cut with a hot knife. Just like cutting synthetic rope, a hot knife fuses the edges of the cut fabric to prevent it from coming apart. Naturally, Sailrite sells a hot knife for this purpose and, naturally, it is a $100+ tool. Not wanting to spend that much money and since Sailrite even mentioned this alternative in their videos, I bought a wood burning tool at the local big-box hardware store at a savings of over $80. The wood burning tool is essentially a soldering iron with a flat blade tip. Using this tool and a metal ruler (for straight lines) or freehand (for curves) the knife does a great job of cutting the material. It is a bit slower than using scissors, but not having to worry about the fabric coming apart at the edges is worth the effort. I used a large metal ruler as a backing to cut against and it worked well. Sewing up the edges and adding the zipper were very straight forward when using the tricks outlined in several of the Sailrite how-to videos. We are very happy with the result and now the boat has a nice, new, comfortable master berth mattress.
|New owners berth mattress in place|
I'm working on the salon cushions now. It started by copying some patterns that a fellow Leopard 38 owner had. Unfortunately, these patterns didn't quite fit our boat (I would have thought that the boats would be the same but these patterns would have left a couple inch gap in a couple places) so I had to modify the patterns to improve the fit. I again used techniques outlined in the Sailrite videos, except I used normal brown paper instead of the fancy fiber-reinforced plastic sold by Sailrite. With the seat cushion patterns complete, we cut new foam for the seats and did a test fit and they look good. We found another Sunbrella upholstery material that looks good and I'm now in the process of cutting the pieces to make the seat cushions.