The Marine Bean - Origin Story

The Marine Bean - Origin Story

Published by Alex Webster on 1st Aug 2018

The Original Outdoor Beanbag

The Marine Bean is the original outdoor beanbag - a proprietary design that dates back to 2003.

This was our first product and remains our best-seller.  


The idea of an outdoor beanbag had come to me a few years earlier while delivering a sailing yacht from Venezuela to the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean.  

This should have been champagne sailing - and the trip had started calmly enough - but on about day 3, a tropical depression struck and we were battling high winds, big swells, a LOT of rain and, most alarmingly, frequent lightning.

We had two beanbags on the boat and we put them in sail bags and took them up into the cockpit.  For 4 days, I barely budged from those beanbags and, by the time the weather finally cleared and we started to dry out, the idea of a marine-grade beanbag - a marine bean - had evidently taken root.

America's Cup

By 2003 I had sensibly become engaged to a Kiwi and we found ourselves in Auckland, at the start of the America's Cup.  Auckland was full of super-yachts and myriad other spectator yachts and, having spent a few uncomfortable days aboard the latter, we saw a need for comfortable seating - and an opportunity.

We hatched the idea for COAST and the Marine Bean while honeymooning on Great Barrier Island in the the Hauraki Gulf and returned to Auckland with nothing to do, apart from everything.

I vividly remember the R&D process for the Marine Bean, which involved buying a lot of conventional beanbags and sitting in them (hard job, but someone had to do it).  Then deconstructing the covers, making and cutting numerous new patterns, a process that owed much to sail-making (and which left our wooden floors permanently scarred) and learning to sew.

The 9-Panel Design

The result was an original 9-panel design that is provides a uniquely comfortable seat.

So successful was this original design that it remains our best-selling beanbag.  And, unfortunately, our most copied design.

However, whilst most manufacturers have attempted to strip cost from their product by compromising on materials and construction, we have never deviated from our original design ethos.

Made for Life

The Marine Bean has remained our best-seller since 2003 and the vast majority are still in active service - unaffected by fading or deterioration.

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