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Setting Sail with Style: Contract Furniture in Marine Environments

Suppliers Guide

DATE

September 2023

Ahoy there sea lovers!

Welcome aboard as we embark on a fascinating journey into the world of contract furniture in marine environments. At Kirkdale Studios, we’re all about making waves in the hospitality industry, and today, we’re diving deep into the nautical realm. Join us as we explore what it takes for furniture to thrive in the unique conditions of marine environments, from cruise ships to yachts.

Spy our in depth guide on choosing furniture for Marine Environments bellow.↓

What is Recognized as a Marine Environment in Hospitality?

A marine environment in hospitality typically refers to settings where furniture is exposed to the challenging conditions of the sea. This includes cruise ships, yachts, seaside resorts, and even waterfront restaurants. These environments demand furniture that can withstand constant exposure to moisture, salt, and the motion of the ocean.

Contract Furniture on Moving Sea Vessels

When furniture is placed on a moving sea vessel like a cruise ship or yacht, additional considerations come into play. It must be securely anchored to prevent shifting during rough seas. Materials used should also resist corrosion, and the design should prioritise stability to prevent accidents in turbulent waters.

UK BS Standard for Treating Upholstered Goods

In the United Kingdom, the BS 5852 standard outlines the fire safety requirements for upholstered furniture used in marine environments. This standard ensures that furniture meets strict fire resistance criteria, which is crucial for safety at sea. 

When selecting fabrics for maritime use, it’s crucial to look for those with IMO certification! 

This label guarantees that the material has undergone the necessary treatment and testing to meet international safety standards. IMO fabric treatment is a specialised process aimed at enhancing the fire resistance of fabrics used in maritime applications. The IMO, as the regulatory body overseeing global shipping, mandates that all materials onboard vessels meet specific safety standards. This includes the fabrics used for various purposes, from upholstery to curtains and bedding.

Kirkdale studios - marine furniture, cruise ship restaurant chairs, bespoke furniture chairs, contract furniture, banquette, fine dining, dining tables, bespoke furniture, contract furniture for hospitality, interior design, hospitality design, ocean
Kirkdale studios - marine furniture, cruise ship restaurant chairs, bespoke furniture chairs, contract furniture, banquette, fine dining, dining tables, bespoke furniture, contract furniture for hospitality, interior design, hospitality design, ocean
Foam for Upholstered Goods in Marine Environments

Foam used in upholstered furniture for marine environments should be high-density and resistant to moisture. Closed-cell foam is an excellent choice as it doesn’t absorb water, making it ideal for withstanding the damp conditions of the sea. 

Additional fabric information at bottom of page ↓

Treating Metal for Marine Environments

Metal furniture in marine settings should be made from corrosion-resistant materials like stainless steel or aluminium. Regular maintenance, such as painting or coating, can further protect metal from the corrosive effects of saltwater.

Treating Timber Furniture

Timber furniture can exude elegance in marine environments, but it requires special treatment. It should be sealed with marine-grade finishes that protect against water damage and salt exposure. Regular inspections and  high maintenance are crucial to ensure its longevity.

Types of treatment: 

Marine-Grade Sealants and Finishes: Applying marine-grade sealants and finishes is crucial to protecting timber from moisture and salt. These products create a protective barrier that prevents water from penetrating the wood. Varnishes, polyurethanes, and epoxy coatings are excellent choices. Make sure the chosen product is specifically designed for marine use.

Teak Oil and Sealer: Teak is a popular choice for marine environments due to its natural resistance to decay and insects. To maintain its appearance and durability, teak is often treated with teak oil or sealer. These products help protect the wood’s natural oils and maintain its colour.

Note: Regardless of treatment In time Wooden outdoor furniture will weather to a silver-grey colour, therefore regular treatment is required to recolour the timber 

Treatment for Loose Items

Even loose items like scatter cushions should be treated for marine use. They should be made from marine-grade fabrics that resist moisture and fading from prolonged sun exposure. Additionally, they should be securely tethered to prevent them from becoming dangerous projectiles during rough seas.

Requirements for Fixed Furniture

Fixed furniture on sea vessels, such as cruise ships and yachts, must meet even more stringent safety requirements. It should be securely anchored to the floor or walls to prevent movement during travel. These items must also adhere to fire safety regulations and be designed with ergonomic considerations for passenger comfort during extended voyages.

Kirkdale studios - marine furniture, cruise ship restaurant chairs, bespoke furniture chairs, contract furniture, banquette, fine dining, dining tables, bespoke furniture, contract furniture for hospitality, interior design, hospitality design, ocean
Kirkdale studios - marine furniture, cruise ship restaurant chairs, bespoke furniture chairs, contract furniture, banquette, fine dining, dining tables, bespoke furniture, contract furniture for hospitality, interior design, hospitality design, ocean
contract furniture in marine environments is a unique and exciting field that combines style and functionality with safety and durability. At Kirkdale Studios, we take pride in crafting furniture that not only adds elegance to these settings but also stands up to the demanding challenges of life at sea.

So, whether you're sipping cocktails on a luxury yacht or enjoying a show on a cruise ship, you can do so in style, comfort, and safety, thanks to contract-grade furniture designed for the high seas.
Bon voyage!
Kirkdale studios - marine furniture, cruise ship restaurant chairs, bespoke furniture chairs, contract furniture, banquette, fine dining, dining tables, bespoke furniture, contract furniture for hospitality, interior design, hospitality design, ocean
Kirkdale studios - marine furniture, cruise ship restaurant chairs, bespoke furniture chairs, contract furniture, banquette, fine dining, dining tables, bespoke furniture, contract furniture for hospitality, interior design, hospitality design, ocean

Examples of fabrics suitable for contract use:

Marine Vinyl Collections: Sunbury offers a range of marine vinyl fabrics designed to withstand the rigours of marine environments. Collections like “Torro” and “Canyon” are known for their durability and resistance to moisture.

Outdoor Fabrics: While Sanderson primarily focuses on interior fabrics, they have outdoor collections that may be suitable for marine use. Look for outdoor fabric lines like “Cascades” or “Outlander” that are designed to resist outdoor elements, including moisture.

Marine-Grade Collections: Agua Fabrics specialises in performance fabrics, including those suitable for marine environments. Collections like “Aries, AquaGuard” are engineered to be water-resistant and easy to clean, making them ideal for marine upholstery.

Contract Upholstery Fabrics: Sekers offers a range of contract-grade fabrics suitable for marine use. Collections like “Riga” and “Walbrook” are designed with durability in mind and may be appropriate for marine applications.

Choosing contract furniture for Marine use.

Selecting or specifying furniture for a yacht or cruise ship involves several important considerations to ensure safety, functionality, aesthetics, and comfort within the unique constraints of marine environments. Here’s Kirkdale’s comprehensive guide to help you make informed decisions:

Kirkdale studios - marine furniture, cruise ship restaurant chairs, bespoke furniture chairs, contract furniture, banquette, fine dining, dining tables, bespoke furniture, contract furniture for hospitality, interior design, hospitality design, ocean
Regulations and Safety:

Comply with maritime regulations, such as SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) and other applicable standards, to ensure furniture materials, designs, and installations meet safety requirements.

Durability and Materials:

Choose marine-grade materials that resist corrosion, humidity, saltwater, and UV exposure, such as stainless steel, aluminium, marine-grade plywood, and specialised upholstery.

Opt for flame-retardant materials that meet relevant fire safety standards.

Consider materials that are easy to clean and maintain, as marine environments can be harsh on furniture.

Space Utilisation:

Maximise space efficiency by selecting multi-functional furniture pieces, such as foldable or convertible options, to make the most of limited space on a yacht or cruise ship.

Weight Considerations:

Be mindful of weight limitations to avoid exceeding the vessel’s stability limits, especially on smaller vessels. Though when items are too light weight they may also move around during heavy movement of the vessel 

Ergonomics and Comfort:

Prioritise ergonomic designs that provide comfort and support for passengers and crew during extended periods onboard. Choose cushioning and upholstery materials that offer both comfort and durability.

Modularity:

Opt for modular furniture solutions that can be easily reconfigured to adapt to different needs and activities. Modular furniture is ideal for tight spaces and irregular spaces. They will help control the space plan and could also increase covers

Storage Solutions:

Integrate storage options within furniture designs to help keep the space organised and clutter-free. Look for  items that can be stacked, flipped or folded down. This will allow the space to be opened for private booking and conferences 

Maintenance and Upkeep:

Choose furniture with finishes and coatings that resist wear and tear, making cleaning and maintenance more manageable. For example, there is very little maintenance required for compact laminate table tops , and high regular maintenance required for timber table tops. 

Kirkdale studios - marine furniture, cruise ship restaurant chairs, bespoke furniture chairs, contract furniture, banquette, fine dining, dining tables, bespoke furniture, contract furniture for hospitality, interior design, hospitality design, ocean
Kirkdale studios - marine furniture, cruise ship restaurant chairs, bespoke furniture chairs, contract furniture, banquette, fine dining, dining tables, bespoke furniture, contract furniture for hospitality, interior design, hospitality design, ocean
Seating Capacity and Layout:

Plan seating arrangements to accommodate the expected number of passengers while maintaining clear pathways and emergency exit routes.

Weather Resistance:

Ensure outdoor furniture is designed to withstand exposure to varying weather conditions, such as rain, sun, and wind. All metal contract furniture for Marine use require zinc priming prior to powder coating, this prevents rusting making the finish much more durable. Using PVC furniture is also an excelant choice, low maintenance high durability. 

Noise and Evironmental Impact

Incorporate materials and designs that help reduce noise and vibration, enhancing passenger comfort. Choose sustainable and eco-friendly materials whenever possible to minimise the environmental footprint of the furniture.

By carefully considering these factors, you can select or specify furniture that not only enhances the aesthetics of the yacht or cruise ship but also ensures the safety, comfort, and enjoyment of passengers and crew in the unique marine environment.

For more information about furniture in marine environments, or if you would like to discuss a specific marine project, please get in touch at hello@kirkdalestudios.com