The U.S. Navy’s Sit-Up berth has been selected for installation aboard the new San Antonio (LPD 17) class of amphibious ships. This was approved as part of the Design for Ownership initiative to improve quality of life at sea for Sailors and Marines. The San Antonio class will begin entering the Fleet in 2002.
Sit-Up berths are also being purchased for a small berthing compartment aboard USS Nimitz. A new Navy design concept, the Sit-Up berth allows a person to sit up with ample space to read, write or just plain relax.
Some of the more significant features of this berth include: 40 percent more stowage space, pneumatic lift assist for opening and closing the rack, personal fan units, etc.
Installation aboard many existing ships will be difficult, if not impossible, due to reducing accommodations since the Sit-Up berth is about two feet longer than the existing modular berth. The height and width dimensions are the same.
Three units were installed aboard USS Cole (DDG 67) in March of 1997 for evaluation. Cole Sailors reported the berths "favorable with modest improvements" and said they "would make a welcome addition throughout the ship." Recommendations from Sailors aboard Cole were incorporated in the fabrication of a second prototype. The U.S. Coast Guard, Canadian Navy, and Australian Navy have expressed interest in the Sit-Up berth design.