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Posted by on Aug 31, 2013 in Boat Equipment, News and Events, Sailing, US |

Gimbunk: The Coolest Thing Since Sliced Bread, Or Just Bunk?

A Swiss innovation takes the heeling out of sleeping underway.

Let’s face it: Most of us sail on monohulls that heel and hardly rejoice at the prospect of sleeping on a slope, pressed against the cold hull or a sagging lee cloth as the yacht jams upwind. Well fortunately the Swiss have come to our rescue. Again. After fixing the world’s pressing need for timeliness with their wristwatches, satisfying and our constant craving for sweets with milk chocolate, giving us the Smart Car, Ursula Andress, DJ Bobo and Roger Federer, now they are trying to make us happy about snoozing on a sailboat that’s plowing along, hard on the breeze.

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A Swiss chemical engineer designed this gimballing bunk, which is designed to let a sailor sleep at a flat angle. Here’s the V-berth arrangement.

Dr. Andreas Zörb, a chemical engineer from Switzerland who works in the pharma industry, got inspired by the superbly functional gimballing stoves in a ship’s galley that gently rock to keep their tops level and the kettles above the flame. This, he thought, is exactly what silly sailors need: a bed that rocks. Hence the birth of a new kind of sleeping implement, a gimballing bunk, which he named “gimbunk”. He calls it “revolutionary” and hopes it might put the makers of lee cloths (or hammocks, for that matter) out of their misery.

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The aft cabin model works the same way, sliding on rollers that allow the wooden platform to “gimbal” back and forth as the boat heels.

Zörb developed a V-berth version and one for the aft cabin, which both work the same way: A wooden frame holds the cradle-shaped mattress support, which rests on twelve rollers so it can rock, er, roll, from side to side. Like, well, a baby’s rocking cradle. Available in singles or doubles, the gimbunk can also be retrofitted on existing boats.

Zörb, who also wants to make frames with built-in storage, says he has filed a patent on the gimbunk. All that’s missing now is someone to help him build and sell it.

For more info, visit the Gimbunk website.

What do you think? Is this the coolest thing since sliced bread, or just “bunk”?