We live on a Morgan 41. They are known for their beefiness and space in the sailboat world. It is ample room for our family of four. However on our boat it is rare that it is just our family of four. Although you often hear other boats complaining that no one ever comes to visit them, that is not our case. We have a constant flow of guests on our ship, staying anywhere from a few days to several months at a time.
We are strong supporters of co-sleeping/family bed in a child’s development and the convinience of how it suited our traveling lifestyle, so our daughters have always been in our bed. Before the arrival of our second daughter sleeping arrangements with guests around was a breeze. Since Arias slept with us, the v-berth was empty for who ever popped in for a visit. With two kids though, the bed got rather full with all four of us crammed back there. Some boat additions were in order. A bunkbed! Eben and his cousin Noah got to work at building a bunk up above our feet in the berth of the aft cabin.
A big portion of installing the bunkbed was figuring out the shape of the bed and the proper measurements. The difficult part with any boat building project is that none of the boat edges are square, the hull is curved, and also you cannot nail or screw into any of the exterior walls since this could mean springing a leak. To build the bunkbed they cut out the shelf that lined the back wall of the aft cabin in the section of where the bed would be. Then they built fiberglass supports all around the bed, with small wood squares, everywhere the bed would meet the hull. Eben cut out a mattress to fit and sewed a cover for it while Noah constructed finishing edging for all the parts of the bed that would be visible once the bed was in place.
Eben working at creating fiberglass supports
supports of wood blocks fiberglassed on
head of the bed support
let sit to dry/harden
With this Arias can sleep in her own little bed while Ellia cosleeps with us. We also have our table that drops down and converts into another queen size bed and another settee which fits a single person. But with the addition of the bunk bed we can easily fit one guest or a couple in the boat without having to “convert” beds and mess up the living space on a daily basis.
When we do not have guests with us we often play musical beds so that everyone can get a decent nights sleep. We are like children in a candy store with too many bed options. Sometimes Arias and Eben will sleep in the v-berth together, or just Eben by himself, or me and Ellia. We rotate through the beds depending on who needs the most sleep and who plans on getting up with the girls in the morning. With Ellia getting older we are now thinking it is time to put up a lee cloths in the aft berth so we can put her down on her own and Eben and I can go back to sleeping together without children, you know like most couples do, and I will not have to worry about Ellia rolling out of the bed if she wakes at night. This would be a whole new transition in our sleeping arrangements. But no matter what, we love having guests around and don’t mind going back to sleeping with all of us in the aft, especially now that we have the bunkbed addition.