Home • About • Testimonials • Tour Schedule • Virtual Surveys • Contact Earl


Morley gives the low down:
how to remove the salon sofa on a Bayliner Pilothouse:

We are in the final stages of replacing the sofa after having re-carpeted the entire boat. The carpet in the salon goes wall to wall so before the carpet could be replaced the sofa had to be removed and as part of this project we had the sofa re-upholstered (along with the bunk beds in the ‘office’ and the seating area in the pilothouse).

The sofa is in three sections I’ll call aft, port rear corner and port. Each section is constructed (a bit crudely) from plywood with a box-like structure that forms the base and the back that has plywood sheets joined together with angled metal brackets to connect one back piece to the next piece. The back of the aft section is straight across but the backs of the other two sections form angles that make the turn from aft to port rear corner, from this corner to the port side then again from the port side to the last 45 degree angle at the forward end of the port side against the galley base cabinet. These plywood backs have vertical ribs with cleats at their lower ends and the cleats are used to screw each back to its base . The aft section can be hauled out of the salon in one piece but for the other two sections the back must be removed from its base to be able to fir through the rear salon door.

We knew with our boat that this sofa had been removed and re-upholstered once before and so it was difficult to tell what modifications, if any, were made to these pieces in that earlier project or if these plywood assemblies came from the factory that way. But as a bit of a carpenter myself I was dismayed at just how crudely these things are built. It looked like someone had literally taken a chain saw to do the final shaping of the back sides of the base ‘boxes’ and also the flimsy way each back joined to its base. Once we had everything out of the boat and into my workshop I set about strengthening each back, replacing many of the cleats at the base of each back, and doing other modifications that I’ll explain in a minute. Inside the bottom of the base ‘box’ of both the aft section and port section are wood cleats and these cleats are secured to the salon floor using long screws that screw right through the carpet to the wood floor below. You can access these screws by removing the sofa seat cushions then removing the lids of the storage compartments inside each box. The port rear section is not secured to the floor this way but instead joined to each adjacent section with screws that can also be removed from inside both adjacent storage compartments.

At the top edge of the sofa back is the side shelf arrangement that fills the gap between the port side of the boat and the back of the sofa. On our boat this shelf is made from a single piece of plywood with a black laminate adhered to it and it spans from the aft edge of the galley base cabinet to the rear wall of the salon. It is only about 3 inches wide along most of its length but then flares out at a 45 degree angle both forward and aft to fill in the triangular gap at the forward and aft ends of the port and port rear corner sofa sections, making this shelf a very odd looking piece. I would be very careful removing this piece because, while ours has held up just fine, it looks like it might snap in two without much force at all. There are teak trim strips all along the edges of the shelf piece to finish off where the shelf meets the side of the boat and the backs of the sofa, much like the shoe molding you find where the baseboard meets the floor in your house. These teak strips are not glued down but are attached to the shelf using finish nails and they must be very carefully pried up. I used a 2 inch wide stiff scraper blade and some flat screwdrivers. Try very hard not to snap these trim pieces because I could see how it would be very easy to do so.

With the sofa base boxes unscrewed from the floor and the teak trim strips removed you will see how the plywood shelf attaches to the sofa backs. There are a number of screws, hidden beneath the teak trim pieces, that secure the shelf to the tops of the vertical plywood ribs on the back side of the sofa backs. Again, this had been done once before on our boat and screws do not hold well in the ‘end grain’ of plywood sheets. I found most of these screws either loose or where they had split the tops of the ribs. A modification I made to the sofa backs in my workshop was to run strips of wood (I used poplar) about 1.5” x ¾” in cross section. The 1.5” dimension goes horizontally and the wood strips are cut to length to fit between each rib at the top of each sofa back and then secured through the plywood back with screws. Note that the sofa back sits at an angle of about 5 degrees and so I ran these wood strips through the table saw with the blade tilted at the same angle to make a tight fit to the sofa back, while ensuring that the top of each strip is level. With these strips of wood in place, the shelf can now (hopefully – we haven’t got that far yet) secured at any location along its length when re-installed.

Once the screws securing the shelf to the sofa backs have been removed the sofa sections themselves can be pulled out. They are a VERY tight fit and will take much coaxing and cursing and probably some scratching of any adjacent boat part but they will come. Once out, disassemble the port and port rear corner sofa sections by removing the sofa backs from their bases then haul everything off the boat. This leaves the shelf dangling precariously and its final removal involves locating screws that secure it to the fiberglass at the bottom edge of the salon side windows that you’ll find by looking underneath the shelf. Again be careful because everything looks rather fragile. Also, there may be some teak pieces against the rear wall of the salon, just below the windows, to fill the gaps at the back of the sofa there. On our boat they were not actually attached to the aft sofa section but I could see that they probably should be. If this is the case you’ll need to remove any screws that secure the teak pieces to the sofa back before this sofa section can be pulled out.

There you have it. Our sofa has been (beautifully) re-upholstered and returned to the boat. I now have to secure each section into place permanently and replace the plywood/laminate side shelf but I think everything should go smoothly by just going back through the removal process in reverse. I’ll update later if there are any surprises here.  Back

Website design by Susan Spencer  Copyright © 2009  All rights reserved.  Read Terms of Use   Revised: 20 Jun 2009   Susan's Blog