John and Anne on Bali Hai <hollamby@...>
My wife and I are both about 6'1"or1.87m. We nearly did not buy an
Amel because of the bunks in the aft cabin.We settled for the
standard design (without the dressing table).Our solution was to buy
a queen size bed base with two sets of wooden slats and 2 Dunlopillo
type rubber foam mattresses and make them fit it across the cabin.It
turned out to be quite easy to do and is a huge improvement. The
shop was a bit surprised when we asked them to deliver the base in
pieces but fitting in a base 2.0m x1.55m through the aft hatch was
The frame was roughly assembled in the cabin to see what surgery was
needed.The position of the saw cuts was obvious after allowing for
each cut section to be long enough to accept the slats and their
mounts.The pieces were put in place on the original bed base on top
of a sheet of brown paper which was marked up to provide a template
to cut suitably shaped pieces of 18mm ply to fix the cut pieces to
so that once again we had a bed frame but now tailored to fit the
Offcuts of the ply were used to lift up the frame sections that were
not already lifted by the jury frame.
This left spaces either end of the bed frame and so we used bits of
wood cut to size, at 30mm centres, to go from the sides of the frame
up to the hidden side of the front bottom of the lockers and roughly
secured these with pieces of wood notched to receive the
uprights.These pieces were screwed up to the under side of the
We then got a piece of hard board and cut it to be just too long
length and heightwise to fill the vertical gaps at the head and foot
of the bed frame. We then cut these bits of hardboard across the
middle from end to end and fixed what was to become the top half to
the top part of the struts tucking it in behind the bottom of the
lockers.Then put the other half in place below it and make a pencil
line along the top of it. Remove the top piece and cut off the
marked strip and refix having sorted out the length.
The surprising thing is that the original long back cushion will
now fit in around the new bed.All that remains to be done is to cut
up the original mattress and its cover to make cushions to fit the
gaps between the head and foot of the new bunk and the forward
bulkhead.We only made these single thickness. They would have been
better double thickness to bring them up to the level of the top of
If it is ever necessary to fit the emergency tiller it is easy to
split the mattresses and remove one set of slats to give access.
Similarly the new frame is easily tilted up and propped with the
boat hook to access the rudder quadrant etc..
The new bunk works very well and,of course,when the boat is heeled
one person can sleep comfortably lying fore and aft.
Regards to all from Anne and John on Bali Hai in Malta.