Has anyone built an armchair in there boat.

BurnitBlue

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I no longer find the "sofa" style of interior furnishing on a boat to be comfortable.

The seats on my boat were obviously designed primarily as a sleeping bunk and don't make it for comfortable lounging and reading. I need a basic model with padded armrests but without the bells and whistles of reclining back, pop-out footrests, built in stereo speakers, holders for beer and the remote etc which is common on house stuff.

I remember Sir Francis Chichister had a gymballed chair aboard Gipsy Moth, and I think it was Dr David Lewis who adapted a Martin-Baker ejector seat on his Catamaran. Many Mobos have really comfortable seating for lounging and reading.

Has anyone modified their seating on a yacht to include a custom built armchair? Did you have to cut the cushions. How do you keep SWMBO out of it?
 

dancrane

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Excellent question, BlueTwo.

When I was still a PBO/Y&Y-reading child, my sister (not a keen sailor) objected to the interior furnishings of sailboats, for their meagre dimensions.

Ever the designer, I measured the depth, from the front of the cushions, to the wall against which the sofa stood, in our family home. 36 inches! Compared with the sofas on most 30-foot yachts, (typically less that 24"), I began to see my sister's point.

Hard to really relax with any of the appointments most of our yachts' designers and builders have supplied them with. I suppose it's because of their compulsion, driven by economics, to fit 'accommodation' for 5 or 6, in a space where only 2 or 3 might easily be comfortable.

The result for me, is that every time I even glance at any new boat's layout plan, I start planning how I'd improve it. Generally, that means chopping up the hideous, cramped saloon to include a Chesterfield or chaise-longue and a couple of properly comfortable armchairs. Wing-backs, for preference!

Slightly eccentric perhaps, but almost all their use will be at anchor, and we've always slept in the fo'c'sle 'V', so compromising the saloon's use for berths doesn't matter, though changes won't please buyers, if you ever intend selling.

I always conclude that a whole lot of carpentry will be necessary, and plenty of intelligent consideration needs to be given to foot-room (often neglected) and where the table will be, in use. Given that most saloons taper somewhat towards bow or stern, the great size of an armchair (even if it's modified to fit) means it's best placed at the beamiest point.

It CAN be done!

As to how you keep SWMBO out of the best chair...well...your mention of the Martin-Baker ejector-seat comes immediately to mind...operable from the chart table, ideally...:D
 

rob2

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There was a piece in PBO a few years back where a guy cut the legs off a chair and incorporated it in his saloon - sadly not a wingback arnchair, though. Some early Nicholsons had a single seat athwartships. Let's face it, a comfortable armchair would take up as much space as a double berth.

If you ever dare peep into the superyachts reviews, they have armchairs and I remember someone ordering a 60ft Swedish boat (a Malo?) from the boatshow with an upright piano built in...

One of my occasional crew is well over six foot and near enough twenty stone - he always complains about the lack of comfort, but then he did break the companionway steps!

Rob.
 

dancrane

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I wish I had a pic, Lustyd. The boat I worked on was in Adelaide, ten years back. I doubt the owner's still with us; he'd reached an age when comfort, however impractical, mattered most. (Though I've felt like that since I was thirty.)

But...when I start chain-sawing the new boat, pictures will be plentiful. I...may have to persuade SWMBO first.

I don't take back a word I said earlier, and I wasn't joking. Comfort rocks!

I believe pianos were quite commonplace additions to yacht furniture, in Victorian/Edwardian times. Think I read it in Y&Y.
 
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flipper

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What about a car seat from the scrapyard? some have fold down arms like the Ford galaxy, Audi's etc. Doesn't have to come off a moldy old knacker but a modern write off. Proper mobo seats will be more damp proof but will cost a bomb.
Probably better from a rear end write off for obvious reasons...
 

pvb

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These look quite comfy...

hr62-salong_2.jpg
 

kds

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arm-chair

Yes - when designing the interior of my long-keel 29' GRP yacht, I included an "armchair".
Designed by "mocking it up" in cardboard, rather than on paper. The biggest difficulty is getting angle of seat and back right.
I often sail single-handed and it is great to relax in, even at sea, or for reading.
Ken
 

prv

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All the bigger Hallberg-Rassys include a pair of armchairs in the saloon, and I'm sure they're not the only maker to do so.

In the real world, in my little boat, the seat/bunk arrangement is a U shape; down one side of the hull, across the beam fwd of the mast, and back down the other side of the hull. This gives a couple of good corners you can snuggle into with a book, and my plans for the new table (attached to the mast post in the middle of the U) include a small shelf to hold a cup of tea / G&T within easy reach of that position. I've also made a couple of reading lights to fit up there.

My parents, inexplicably, prefer to sit the other way round against the unpadded vertical face of the chart table or galley, so there are reading lights to go there as well.

To your specific questions: one of those tacky 80s electric carving knives is ideal for cutting foam to shape, and the obvious way to keep SWMBO out of your chair is to build one for her too!

Pete
 

Ex-SolentBoy

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There was a piece in PBO a few years back where a guy cut the legs off a chair and incorporated it in his saloon - sadly not a wingback arnchair, though. Some early Nicholsons had a single seat athwartships. Let's face it, a comfortable armchair would take up as much space as a double berth.

If you ever dare peep into the superyachts reviews, they have armchairs and I remember someone ordering a 60ft Swedish boat (a Malo?) from the boatshow with an upright piano built in...

One of my occasional crew is well over six foot and near enough twenty stone - he always complains about the lack of comfort, but then he did break the companionway steps!

Rob.

He fitted one of these.
 
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BurnitBlue

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These look quite comfy...

hr62-salong_2.jpg

They look good but I would still bang the back of my head on the woodwork if I nodded off. I think my ideal chair would be what I think is called a wingback.

I do have an idea in mind. I have a Moody 346 with aft facing chart table. I reckon I could make a copy of one of those single leg swivel armchairs then attach the armchair to the top of the bunk (which is also at the mo the chart table seat) with a very short stub leg so I can swivel it towards the chart table or outwards when I want to read a book or take a snooze. Maybe not possible because of heeling so maybe I should be content with a fixed armchair facing the chart table.

I can get dimensions of ergonomic angles from a furniture shop. Maybe find a second hand chair to modify.

I was inspecting the possible arrangement last week. The only problem would be that I would have to cut the berth and backrest cushions. That would be drastic and would definitely affect resale value unless I used the whole bunk in a chair and side table and stored the cushions, but now it gets complicated.
 

prv

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The only problem would be that I would have to cut the berth and backrest cushions. That would be drastic and would definitely affect resale value unless I used the whole bunk in a chair and side table and stored the cushions, but now it gets complicated.

It's easy enough to get new cushions made. OK, it might be hard to match existing fabric, so how about storing the current cushions just in case and then having new shorter cushions made for the part of the bunk that's not under the new chair? Matching the fabric precisely seems less important, as it's already going to look somewhat eccentric with a swivelling armchair bolted to the top of it :)

Pete
 

BurnitBlue

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In the real world, in my little boat, the seat/bunk arrangement is a U shape; down one side of the hull, across the beam fwd of the mast, and back down the other side of the hull. This gives a couple of good corners you can snuggle into with a book,

and the obvious way to keep SWMBO out of your chair is to build one for her too!

Pete

That's a good idea. I also have a U shaped berth on the starboard side of the saloon. It also has two good corners, one against the mast bulkhead and the other against the galley bulkhead. But what about armrests? They are mandatory on an armchair, especially when reading. Must give this more thought. I reckon that with armrests it would be an excellent compromise.

Back to the drawing board.
 

SHUG

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It doesnt neeed to be big to be comfortable. Tried out a mesh office chairs in John Lewis the other day....excellent.
 
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prv

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But what about armrests? They are mandatory on an armchair, especially when reading.

In my case, there's part of the bunk moulding that forms an armrest for the outboard arm in each of the seats. On the other side is a wooden strut between the mast post and the seatback. Neither of these is specifically designed as an arm rest (in fact they were to support a pull-out berth that's been removed) but they work well enough. Vital when reading, as you say, and until the table project is finished the moulding part also serves as the holder for tea / gin :)

Pete
 

geronimo

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HR is well know for their two chairs. But they tell a story that it started with a customer who brought 2 IKEA chairs and asked them to build them into his new boat.

Seems to me that IKEA is a good source of chairs of all sizes and good quality price ratios.
 
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