Practical advice for all sailors. Tom Cunliffe has sailed tens of thousands of miles all over the world and has been a Yachtmaster Examiner since 1978

The ideal sea berth is a single settee-style affair wide enough to turn over in. If you’re anything like me and find the deep and dreamless hard to come by on a one-night stand, it must also feature a really good reading light. Vital above all things is a proper lee cloth, unless you’re lucky enough to have genuine lee boards a foot or more high. Winter is the time to order lee cloths, while sail and cover makers are less busy.

They must be deep enough to hold you comfortably and have enough spare material to secure well under the bunk cushion. To be any good, they also need a stiffish batten along the top. The webbing or lines that hold them up should tie off within easy reach of the incumbent and be tensioned downwards so he can pull himself in. Lovely!