Hanging Loose Page 2

Spectator - August 2002 continued

Spectator — August 2002

By Tom Fexas

Hanging Loose
Part 2: You are ready for a night of blissful, healthy, relaxing sleep.
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: VSCs
• Part 2: VSCs
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• Spectator Index

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• tomfexas.com

Welcome To The World Of VSCs
Vertical sleeping compartments (VSCs) offer many practical advantages. They eliminate mattresses, sheets, pillows, blankets, and bedspreads. Sleeping vertically at sea also eliminates the possibility of being hurled out of the bed as the boat moves or rolling out of bed in a drunken stupor. If you have a big family, VSCs open up the possibility of comfortably sleeping 12 to 16 people aboard a 28-footer.

The design of VSCs is rather simple. When not in use, they look like hanging lockers. When you open the door, there is a little step at the bottom of the locker. A strap is secured to the bulkhead (our original leather strap was a bit uncomfortable, so we now specify a seat belt type covered in soft sheepskin for maximum comfort). A headband with Velcro fasteners on the back that attaches to the bulkhead will keep the head upright if desired. Guests can sleep with the door open or closed depending upon their feelings towards confining spaces.

In any case, provisions have been made for air to circulate throughout the VSC (in at the top, out at the bottom). The air can be heated or cooled to suit, with convenient controls at eye level (this is also terrific for people who have a problem passing gas while they are sleeping). VSCs can be fitted with all amenities that you and your guests may require. A wide-screen three-inch plasma color TV can be fitted at eye level. With the screen so close, you'll feel like you're looking at a movie screen. Music can be piped into each compartment, and a water spigot with a flexible hose attached can be provided in the event you wake up thirsty.

VSCs can be lined with a variety of materials depending on the boat owner's tastes. Padded satin will be popular on the high end. Wainscoting can be specified for simpler applications. Of course, Connely leather, fuzzy imitation mouse fur, or anything else desired can be specified. Using a VSC is simplicity itself: Open the door, step in, turn around, step up, snap the strap, step down to transfer your weight to the strap, Velcro your head to the bulkhead, and insert the drinking tube into your mouth. You are now ready for a night of blissful, healthy, relaxing sleep.

As always, I am willing to put my money where my mouth is. As this is being written, the beautiful cherry king-size berth in our boat Gullwing is being ripped out, to be replaced by a hot tub. The elimination of two berths in the guest stateroom will allow me to fit a foosball table, which I have always wanted aboard. I predict that soda fountains, media rooms, and pool tables will be popular substitutes for berths.

And so, thanks to Mother Nature's bats hanging in a cave, the boating experience will be greatly enhanced. Although I am told my invention is patentable, I have chosen not to do so, allowing this innovation to be used by anybody for the greater benefit of recreational boating.

Usually, an article like this would be reserved for the April issue as an "April Fools" gag, but having done that over the past four or five years, people now expect it. And so, my friends, please consider this your "August Fools." Sleep tight.

Tom Fexas is a marine engineer and designer of powerboats. His Web site is www.tomfexas.com.

Previous page > VSCs, Part 1 > Page 1, 2

This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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