SPRING IS SPRUNG
Piers’s 15- year- old master cabin bed gets a well- earned mattress replacement
No, not a seasonal spring, but one which had impolitely started poking its way out of the side of our cabin mattress. Not only that, it was scratching the teak surround which really annoyed me, making the decision quick and simple – out with the old, in with the new.
Quick did I say? Little did I know. The first company I called said they could make one, fully bespoke, giving me the instant elation and belief that this task would be as easy as I’d hoped. ‘Of course, sir. Not a problem.’ ‘Do you use springs?’ I asked. The clue was in the hesitation. ‘Er, no. Not springs, foam. But,’ he started adding in a rising, persuasive tone, ‘it’s a really good foam called memory foam.’ Hmm – no springs, no order. I ended the conversation with my heart sinking as I realised this might become more of a mammoth task.
We really didn’t want foam. Not of any sort, regardless of how intelligent it might be. We knew of too many stories where foam had caused condensation problems and apart from that, would it last 15 years, we wondered? Nope, it had to be springs. I called company after company. Some said they could use springs but declined when I said it was not a rectangular shape, and others which simply sucked gums noisily and said, ‘Don’t know about that, sir.’
SLEEP LIKE A KING
And then a light bulb moment reminded me of something in the emails I’d exchanged with the Fleming agent when we ordered Play d’eau. Lo and behold, I found a recommendation for a company which made bespoke sprung mattresses – Multibends in Hampshire, UK.
Finding them on the net, I called and spoke with owner Robin. ‘Making one with springs isn’t the problem,’ he said. ’We even have the templates for all the cabin bunks. But there’s one drawback. The lead time. It’s three months.’
Did that really matter after all this searching? Not at all. Having told him the lead time was of no significance, I asked if he used pocket springs. He hesitated before saying something which surprised me. ‘No. We use open springs, not pocket springs. You see, we guarantee our open spring mattresses for life. We only use pocket springs if a client insists, in which case we make it clear that we only offer a limited guarantee. The very construction of a pocket spring means it has a limited life.’
Having unwrapped this comment, we placed the order for a fully open-sprung mattress, shelled out £1,395 ex VAT and began the three-month countdown. In our excitement, rather than have it delivered by road, we rented a van and crossed the Channel on the overnight Condor ferry to collect it. After a welcome cup of coffee, Robin gave us a tour of his small manufacturing plant where we found out he supplies mattresses to the Royal family. Somewhat coyly he said, ‘I’ve met all of them except for Prince Philip, whom I’d have loved to meet. We don’t advertise, we just work from word of mouth and recommendation, and have done so for as long as I can remember.’
When I attempted to help Robin lift our new mattress into the van I asked him why it was so heavy. ‘Because it’s made properly,’ he replied. ‘Open springs, grade A horse hair, hessian and organic lambs’ wool. Only the best.’
A slow ferry trip later, out came the old, and in went the new. Perfect. It was well worth the wait. Sleep well, sweet dreams. Piers du Pre
Even the calmest cruising conditions can be spoilt by a poor night’s sleep
Multibends in Hampshire has the Royal stamp of approval Robin shows off the finished mattress The new bespoke mattress means a blissful night’s sleep now awaits