How To Access Storage Under the Pullman Berth? Hinged Boat Mattress

One of the main storage areas aboard Winterlude is under our pullman berth.  Three large compartments contain everything from our 130 percent genoa to the air conditioner, dehumidifier, bow & stern shadetree awnings, our box of diesel engine spare parts, including a spare alternator  … lots of oversize stuff that simply would never fit in any of our smaller storage compartments.

Unfortunately that’s also where we sleep, meaning we had to remove the mattress completely to access the storage compartments.  When we decided to live aboard for six months at a time, we also decided that Winterlude was our HOME and we were not going to sleep on the inexpensive, back aching foam mattress that came with the boat.

The Custom Hinge On Our Handcraft Mattress

The Custom Hinge On Our Handcraft Mattress

After all our research and talking to other cruisers, the consensus seemed to be Handcraft Mattress in Ft Lauderdale, FL (they also have a manufacturing facility in Irvine, CA).  They were definitely among the most expensive, but we hoped the mattress would be more comfortable.  They even sent a guy out to do the custom measurements and make suggestions on what would be perfect for our individual boat.

As it turned out, over 10 years later, that original Handcraft Mattress mattress is still in place and still as comfortable as our Tempur-pedic mattress at our other home.  Well, other than the fact that the home mattress is king size and the pullman berth is a bit larger than a twin bed…  but since we’re small stature people, it’s comfortable for us.

And an additional BONUS is that we got the custom fold hinged mattress, so we can fold it over easily to access either end of the under pullman berth storage compartments!  We’re all for anything that makes life aboard easier!

The prior owner put styrofoam under the boat mattress.  We have no idea if it helps keep condensation away, but we have no condensation, so we keep it in place just in case.

The prior owner put styrofoam under the boat mattress. We have no idea if it helps keep condensation away, but we have no condensation, so we keep it in place just in case.

We remember debating at the time if we really wanted to spend that much of our somewhat limited “fix the boat up funds” on a mattress.  But 10 years and 1,800 nights of waking up with no achy back, we’re pretty sure it was a wise investment!  And it’s almost as good as new, no wear or tear, no mildew, no signs of not lasting at least another 10 years!

No affiliation with this company, just a happy customer.

So how about your boat?  What mattress are you happy with?  Please leave a comment and share!  THX!  J


  1. We bought a full size Handcraft mattress a couple years ago for our aft cabin. Due to budget constraints (wife says I’m cheap)we only got one side hinged, but no problem. We lift the foot to access that side then slide it over to access under the head side. It sleeps very well and is a lot nicer than the 3/4 size we had before.
    S/V Ten-Ten, Punta Gorda, Fl.

  2. 🙂 Good thing we have that hinged boat mattress! When our depth sounder transducer stopped working, turns out David has to crawl in the hole beneath the pullman berth so we can take a photo of the existing ancient transducer to send to the manufacturer so he can tell us what current transducer WILL work with our system. See the Winterlude Update blog post for photos later this evening at!

  3. Today this hinged boat mattress again proved it’s value – when we unexpectedly had to empty the storage locker to access the depth transducer that’s not working… If you want to see the Sail Winterlude post detailing David’s fun under the mattress – along with today’s other projects … see

  4. Mary Mishler says:

    We had a memory foam mattress custom made for our pullman berth after falling in love with the same memory form mattress at our land home. Not that expensive and it was easy to sketch a pattern from the dimensions of the original mattress. We sleep great, never an achy back and it is manageable to maneuver when we need to check the air conditioner or the water maker below. Love sleeping on the boat!!

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