SPRING IS SPRUNG

Piers’s 15- year- old mas­ter cabin bed gets a well- earned mat­tress re­place­ment

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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

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