Frolic's Double bunk

Frolic's Port Bunk Extension

A few years ago, as part of the preparation for Frolic to race to HI, I removed the fold-out port bunk double extension. The plywood piece was heavy, cumbersome and complicated access to below-bunk storage. Ocean racing also resulted in the V-berth becoming a sail and storage locker, and thus unsuitable as a double-bunk. So after the race we decided to make an extension to the port bunk so that it could serve as a double. But we also wanted it to remain a good single sea berth. The result is a fold-down extension that leaves the single-bunk option, and allows a quick conversion to a narrow double, with easy access to the below-bunk storage area. Since Frolic's inhabitants are short, it works. If you're tall, it may not.

The extension is a 1 inch thick piece of vertical grain fir (stair tread) with a wrap-around stainless steel strap (1/4 x 1 inch) bent and countersunk. The strap is there to keep the board from flexing when sat upon. The wood is finished with several coats of Cetol. With the help of a welder friend, I made the steel wrap-around piece first, as close to the desired dimensions (11-3/4 X 64 inches outer) as possible, then cut the wood to match. A heavy strap was used to align the pieces square and then the edge fasteners (#14 X 1) were installed. I rounded the aft corner to minimize body damage when stumbling down the companion way with the extension deployed.

The extension brackets were found on ebay "Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Marine Boat Folding Table Bracket 11".

…and had to be cut down by about an inch with the cut edges round and finished. After mounting the brackets to the bunk bulkhead using 3 ea # 10 bolts with fender washers and 1/8" thick aluminum backing plates, each bracket was screwed to the bottom of the positioned extension board (#14 X 3/4). The brackets need to be below the bunk surface by the thickness of the bunk extension (1 inch in this case).

The result is a comfortable (for us) double or sea-going single. The extension can be raised when the table is folded out, but of course the extension has to be down to fold the table away. The lee cloth lies under the bedding when it is not needed (as it always has). We made the new cushion from closed cell foam, a laminate of one-inch and half-inch thick pads cut to match the bunk configuration. The padding slides up when the bunk is a single (making the bunk more comfortable when it is leeward…).

Note that the below-bunk water tank was opened up for unrelated reasons - the bunk extension goes in with the water tank untouched. There is enough space between the tank and the forward bunk bulkhead to get a backing plate on. Access was easier with the table set up.

Questions? Email Steve Hodges

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Double extension down top view
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Double extension up top view
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Double extension up
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Single extension down
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Extension up brackets
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Bunk extension board fab
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Extension bracket backing plate

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