Ambassadors for all we America was. Apologists for all America is.

Spiritus gets a ‘screened in porch’

This entry is about an idea Carolyn had.  I designed the cockpit additions.  The necessary additions were rails for the sides of the cockpit, floorboards to sit on top of the rails, and cushions to cover the cockpit in its entirety.

This modification which is very easy and structurally insignificant adds the equivalent of a screened stateroom or master cabin with a double-wide berth to the 38 foot Ingrid ketch without interfering with her functionality.  It is for use at a dock or when anchoring out.  The key to its functionality is the pattern of the cushions.  With this pattern, she can have comfortable cushions for cruising, no cushions for when working in the cockpit, or full cushions for the screened in porch use.

Note the shape of the bimini.  It is designed for sailing.  It provides both shade, which is absolutely essential in the tropics, and shelter from weather like rain.

First, the actual cockpit modification.  It consists of two permanently mounted 1×2 rails at the cockpit’s edges on both sides.  See the picture.


The next thing we did was create a set of deck planks.  They are cut to fit onto the rails and inset into the deck created when placed on the rails.  Each has two ventilation holes to keep them from trapping moisture in the cockpit below the cushions.  See the picture.


Then we contacted a local upholsterer to make a set of cushions based on a template I drew by tracing the above contours onto a large piece of paper like foam with a magic marker.  He used it to cut the foam and materials for the cushions.  If you are interested in duplicating this see the picture below.


The result is a very pleasing addition to the boats sleeping areas.  We have slept outside in the cockpit all summer in great comfort.  This includes the rainy nights when we would have had to shut hatches to keep dry and tried to sleep at 90 plus temperatures.


All the technical how to do this and how easy it is aside.  Aesthetically, kind of cool to lay there at night and listen to the rain.  Reminds me of my grandma’s house with the tin roof.  Pleasing, soothing, quieting sound, and cool breezes.  You can see the stars and the storm clouds, lightning and rain drops.  It doesn’t get a lot better.

In effect, it makes the space in the boat more like that available on a 44-45 foot boat than a 38 foot boat.  We even added two small clip on fans to the underside of the dodger so that when the air is hot and absolutely still, we still have moving air to keep us cool as we sleep.

Cost $80 for lumber, as I used Mexican pine (which is as strong as Oak unlike current American pine which wouldn’t make a good tooth pick) and about $700 for the custom cushions made from scratch with high density foam 5″, and exterior sunbrella tan material as a covering.  We also had them made so they can be flipped over to extend the years of wear and fight sun bleaching.

Ingrid 38 owners who read this, let me know what you think of this modification.

6 responses

  1. jack cothren

    very nice ! and a great idea … enjoy: jack c “NASHAWENA”

    October 31, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    • Glad you liked it … turned out to be such a simple modification and one we would never have thought of in Oregon. Down here, we use it almost every night … even in the marina.

      November 2, 2013 at 12:50 pm

  2. Ingenious! I am just imagining an 80F night, cool breeze, at anchor laying in there with my honey!

    November 2, 2013 at 8:28 am

    • Yeah! We love it. Probably use it more than any other thing we have done to the boat since we bought her. It is very romantic.

      Also, lets you sleep comfortably in the tropics and that is not small feat. The way it is made it turned a moderately uncomfortable cockpit into one of the most used parts of the boat.

      November 2, 2013 at 12:52 pm

  3. Hi Russ,

    Looks great, and very inviting. I’ll have to talk Shannon into doing something similar before we head south. Shannon did all of the cushions for the settees and for the V-berth also. We used 4 inch foam, we both agree that our bed aboard is more comfortable than our bed ashore. I think that the emphasis is on getting real Marine grade foam.

    Ran into an old friend of yours a couple of weeks ago. Actually two old friends Chuck Reardon Senior, and Chuck Reardon Junior. They stopped by the boat up in Charleston, Got to BS with them a little bit. They did a really good job on your boat, especially considering that they did almost all of it themselves.

    Best wishes, Tom and Shannon

    November 5, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    • Chuck and his entire family have been the greatest people ever to buy a boat from. Very helpful and forthcoming on details and history of a boat they clearly loved.

      Now that I have sailed her for a couple of years I would have better questions. They should come down to Mexico … hahah ,

      Are you still enjoying sailing the newest Ingrid in the fleet?

      November 6, 2013 at 9:36 am

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