This week we're off (by road) to Kinver on the Staffs and Worcester canal where we will be looking at a potential new sofa bed for Herbie. Our existing sofa was built by Herbie's previous owner and is a marvel of carpentry and quite comfy when extended as a bed, but not very good as a sofa. The upholstery is a futon, and when folded up as a sofa, the seat and back tend to drift forwards and downwards respectively. Furthermore, it is a bit of a struggle to switch from sofa mode to bed mode. The best photo I have of it is this one which is from the broker's blurb before we bought Herbie.
To erect the bed you have to drag out the seat base across the boat whilst wrestling with the futon, then place a supporting board beneath the pillow end. It works, but not smoothly, and is locked in place by awkward metal pins which have to be pushed into little holes. It does however have the benefit of ample storage for bedding under the seat.
So were looking at purpose designed stuff from Wilsons of Kinver. Sofa beds especially designed for narrowboats. They take up minimum space, are very quick to convert, and arrive in bits that will go through a narrowboat door. No good having a nice sofa and then find you can't get it on the boat! But are they comfy enough??
Coming with us as test pilots will be Rick and Marilyn, who have endured many a night on our existing guest bed. After all Kath and I have an extremely comfortable fixed bed on Herbie, so the guest bed should be acceptable to guests, not us. I'll be more interested in how comfy it is as a sofa.