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Between the Berth and the Deep Blue Sea
~ Between the Berth and the Deep Blue Sea ~
Good Sailboat Gear
Good Sleeping Gear
Froli Sleep System
While visiting Annapolis in search for our perfect vessel, we met a wonderful couple who were live-aboards. In the interest of preparation for our own plans, we asked them to impart one unforeseen aspect about life aboard. "Even in the warmest of latitudes, condensation under the mattress occurs" was what came to their mind. Unless you take steps to prevent it, the mixture of body heat and the cooler water temperature will cause puddles in your bedding, which lead to mold, mildew and degradation of most foams and mattress coverings.

Several methods of prevention are listed in the sailing websites, but we chose Froli Sleep System as our solution to a dry berth. The product is a series of snap together springs that can be arranged to fit in non-rectangular spaces. We chose it because it provided both the ventilation needed to keep us dry underneath, and the extra comfort that a box spring would normally produce.

Customer service was great in helping us determine the kit combinations we needed. We assembled ours rather quickly, and the difference was incredible. Our sleep became far more comfortable and we're dry underneath, just as the product advertised.

Neptune Sitting on the Berth
~ Neptune Sitting on the Berth ~
I am happy to report that the Froli system is still hard at work with no degradation, and we're still sleeping dry as a bone.

We have considerable storage in the Pullman lockers, so we originally configured the base so that the grid didn't overlap the edges of the lids to the four compartments. Anchored with a few screws, but found each grid tended to land over the finger holes used to lift each of the lids. This resulted in us just pulling up from the Froli springs, until the short screws holding the grid in place pulled out.

Eventually, we opted to forego the base pieces altogether, and simply screwed each of the springs down to the plywood locker covers. This works out perfectly! The finger holes in the lids are exposed, and the springs stay in place while the lockers are accessed.

Diana in the Hammock
~ Diana in the Hammock ~

Nothing could be finer than the simplicity of this system! I've seen several comments left on a few cruising forums, groaning about the cost of a Froli system and requesting an alternative solution. But I'm willing to back a small business with a few bucks more that A) sells a unique product, B) made of quality materials C) provided with a lifetime warranty, D) to meet my peculiar needs E) within a limited market.

More importantly, perhaps is another feature that this product offers – added comfort for a good night's sleep! All the other condensation prevention solutions I've seen don't provide any bounce, or added give to the hard surface under the bed. One of the 'luxury' items we invested in when we first moved onboard was a custom made, latex mattress with a special, built in hinge that allowed access to the lockers below. But sadly, the materials used in that mattress didn't endure the beatings boat life doles out and we determined its life expectancy couldn't justify its expense.

So we opted to replace it with a hunk of foam topped with a memory gel pad for a fraction of the price, and found it to be just as comfortable – in large part, I believe due to the Froli springs. The springs add a bit more of a traditional feel to our mattress, keeping us up off the hard plywood base.

Let's face it! Getting a good night's sleep is important to functioning as a human being. And after a long crossing filled with restless nights, it's wonderful to drop the hook and drop into a deep sleep on a soft, springy mattress – worth every penny!

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