How to Make Forward Berth Cabin Cushions

Item # X-HT-300101

The forward berth in the Powerboat Makeover was in desperate need of new cushions. The old cushions, which looked original to this 1982 Regal 245 XL Ambassador, were dinghy, stained and had decent sized gaps between them. To create a better sleeping space and freshen up the look of the cabin, we created all new custom cushions. Follow along in our instructional video to learn how to create irregularly shaped cushions for your boat’s forward cabin.

Before & After of our Project Powerboat V-berth Cushions

This area of the cabin, also known as the v-berth, features several cushions fit together to cover the space. These cushions need to not only fit well together but they also need to fit snugly against the sides of the hull. As a result, the cushions need to be angled on one side to mirror the shape of the boat. This can look really intimidating, but with careful patterning, these cushions aren’t that different from your typical box cushion. In the video, you’ll see in detail how we carefully pattern the cushion arrangement in the boat, measure for the wedge and create patterns for the angled boxing pieces.

To fill the v-berth in our boat, we needed to make three different cushions; a triangular cushion at the bow and two irregularly shaped cushions one at port and one at starboard. Then a keystone cushion attached to a backer board can be added to fill the space for sleeping. This video will outline the port and starboard cushion construction only, with follow-up videos demonstrating making the other two cushions.

For the materials, we chose 4-inch Dry Fast foam with a durable and attractive marine interior upholstery fabric and a cushion underlining fabric for the bottom. Using a cushion underlining fabric helps to cut costs on decorative fabrics while adding breathability and a tacky hand that keeps your cushions from sliding. To read more about selecting foam for boat interior cushions, visit our Foam Series post “Selecting the Right Marine Interior Foam” (300055XHT).

In this video you will learn how to pattern angled cushions, make piping, add a zipper to the bottom of the cushion and sew the whole assembly together.

Video Chapters:

  • Patterning Opening – 1:06 min.
  • Patterning & Cutting Foam – 7:21 min.
  • Patterning Irregular Boxing – 15:57 min.
  • Cutting Top Plate & Boxing – 20:20 min.
  • Cutting Bottom Plate – 27:38 min.
  • Making Piping / Cording – 28:40 min.
  • Sewing Piping to Top Plate – 34:00 min.
  • Joining Boxing Together & Sewing to Plate – 38:13 min.
  • Installing Zipper to Bottom Plate – 50:59 min.
  • Sewing Assembly to Bottom Plate – 54:15 min.
  • Inserting Foam – 1:04:06 min.
  • Materials List – 1:07:14 min.

Materials List:

  • Dura-Skrim® Patterning Material #103134
  • Marine Interior Foam (we used 4" Dry Fast Foam #184M4872)
  • Marine Upholstery Fabric
  • Cushion Underlining (we used Beige #103934)
  • V-69 Polyester Thread (we used Derby Navy #103795)
  • Medium 5/32" Welting Cord #107035
  • Seamstick 1/4" Basting Tape for Canvas #104167
  • YKK® Zipper #5 Vislon® Continuous White #28218
  • YKK® Slider #5 Vislon® White Plastic Single Non-Locking Pull #103178

Tools List:

  • Sailrite® Canvas Patterning Ruler #107040
  • Gingher® Scissors Right Handed #19104
  • 3M™ General Trim Adhesive #73211 or Foam Lock Spray Adhesive #120464
  • Clear Acrylic Ruler 6" x 24" #102400
  • Sailrite® Blade Foam Cutter #121244
  • Tape Measure #102986
  • Multiuse Pins #102985
  • Fabric Marking Pencil Yellow #111002
  • Sailrite® Edge Hotknife Package (110 Volt) #103800
  • Comfort Grip Rotary Cutter 60mm #9655
  • Cutting Mat 18" x 24" #102990
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LS-1 PLUS Walking Foot Sewing Machine #300502
  • Marker
  • Yardstick