I’ve had my layout board dry assembled for quite some time, but put it on pause during construction of the second and third layout boats.
Those boats are nearing completion (about to fiberglass the decks), so we needed to keep prototyping the fitting out of my boat. The two major steps of upholstering the layout board are fastening the foam and fitting the cover.
Fastening the Foam
I used five layers of foam while building up the ergonomic shape of the layout board. The major build-up foam was scrap 1 1/2” pink polystyrene insulation from the floor support. I also used a piece of Mini-Cell foam leftover from fitting out a kayak. I bought a 1/2” camping pad for the final layers.
Outdoor carpet tape worked well to hold the flat sections in place.
Ready for the first layer of camping pad.
The head area will receive a second layer of camping pad foam.
Feathering transition in neck area.
A little bit of carpet tape applied under the feathered area.
Ready for the final layer of camping pad foam. NOTE: The outdoor carpet tape didn’t hold the head foam well at all on the sides. I applied some Gorilla tape to hold down the sides before fitting the cover.
Ready to fit the cover.
Better Foam Base on Subsequent Layout Boards
I wasn’t pleased with the layering of foam in my prototype layout board. It was unnecessarily complicated and that prevented a good hold with the carpet tape. These photos show a simpler method to layer the foam. I shaped the pink foam with a rasp with great success.
The pink foam base is four layers thick on this layout board.
The tape is only holding the cushioning foam in one plane with this approach. The tape held well. To attain max yield from the black foam, I spliced two pieces onto the pink base in the head/neck area.
Here is my brother’s layout board ready to be covered with Cordura.
Fitting the Cover
I purchased 500D camouflage Cordura material from Snyder Creek, outdoor thread from Sailrite Kits, and Velcro from a local store.
We should have kept the very top piece of material as one piece all the way from the front to the back. I originally thought we would make a separate “saddle piece” to keep the cover in contact with the foam in the sculpted head area, but later discovered it was easier to sew in a dart. We’ll do it different on the second and third boards.
All fitting is done inside out.
Ready for the second top piece.
Final piece pinned and ready for sewing.
Pinning the dart that holds the cover close to the sculpted area of the head rest.
Preparing to staple the bottom in place. Notice the Velcro that will hold the separate seat pad. The rest of the bottom edges are fastened with 1/4” long stainless steel staples.
Completed layout board.
Mary finishing up the seat pad.
Seat pad velcroed to the layout board.
It’s comfy! I may have to set a recurring alarm to wake up while duck hunting…
In the next installment I’ll discuss my fishing boat conversion.
-- Mark, Minnesota