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We boot the pink and blue

March, 2009  Other than getting new carpet, the day we looked forward to the most was getting rid of the hippy dippy pink and blue fabric that looked like something inspired by a bad acid trip in the 1960's. My brother in law Jim is an upholsterer (there is someone in every trade in my family, I'm just saying), and he agreed to take on his first ever marine project. 

He came to Atlanta in February so we could stuff his van with the salon sofa, the cushions off the sofas in the pilothouse and the third stateroom/office, and the large--very large--roll of nice buttery soft leather we had purchased. 

While the furniture was away being rescued from its' psychedelic fabric hell, we had to resort to the use of lawn chairs for salon seating. Although it was strangely liberating in a redneck kind of way to use outdoor furniture on the inside, it wasn't exactly the look we were going for and it wasn't all that comfortable either. 

And so we were thrilled when after six weeks of Jim's magic touch the furniture came home. We gave up our redneck ways and returned our lawn chairs to their natural habitat, and commenced to installing the furniture now covered in buttery soft leather. 

The cushions for the sofas in the pilot house and office took all of five minutes to install, but the salon sofa took forever--okay, so it took two or three hours but it felt like forever.

The salon sofa is made up of six pieces that are sized precisely to the dimensions of the corner of the salon and squeezing it back into place required everything to go in just so. 

Morley and Jim first reassembled the pieces into three sections, then they carefully slid crammed them in place with half a micro millimeter to spare. Jim nearly lost two fingers in the process and there was some swearing involved to get it just right.

But what a difference! The entire boat seemed to instantly transform from dated and ugly to clean and modern (the leather looks almost white in these photos but it is actually a soft khaki color that coordinates with the headliner fabric and new carpet).

Helpful tip: If you ever find yourself installing the sofa in this model boat, put the corner piece in place first and make absolutely, positively dead certain you have it sitting precisely at the correct angle.  Otherwise you will end up with unsightly gaps between the three sections which will require you to pry out all the tightly wedged pieces and try it again. And again. And again.

We developed this Helpful Tip by trying all 2,134 possible ways to install this sofa. 

The salon still isn't quite finished. Morley has to pry to sofa back out again to do some electrical work behind it since I had requested a second electrical outlet to be installed in the corner ledge between the sofa and the galley. Apparently it would have been sheer insanity to have installed this electrical outlet before the sofa came back from the upholster. Sigh.

Lesson Learned:

One thing we learned the hard way is that calculating how much fabric is required for upholstery is a job best left to professionals.

We did the calculations ourselves using an upholstery chart we found online, carefully measuring our furniture and doing our best to match it up to the examples shown on the charts. Then we added a yard or two to the recommended yardage "just to be on the safe side".

And geez, did we ever overshoot the mark. Note to self: boat furniture, unlike residential furniture, is not upholstered on the back side and thus does not require nearly as much expensive buttery soft leather as online charts might suggest.

We had a ridiculous amount of non-refundable, un-returnable leather left over, and since we'd selected a very good quality (read: pricey) material, it was an expensive mistake that added about $900 to the cost of the upholstery project. Ouch.

we make a plan come to Mama we see her bottom fur free new carpet new cables and shiny balls new upholstery man world creative dining (table) teak. lots of teak. progress report: one year  Back to top

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