21 June 2012

one table, two uses

work table in the salon

As we mention on our blog (Upgrade/Projects - Wood Work) we had this table built for the salon in order to be able to work on a laptop or having dinner for two. We are now not forced to fold down the big table all the time. I learned later, that the original idea came from Hayden on his gorgeous Island Packet 35 (http://islandspirit35.blogspot.com). Guess the carpenter helping "deploy" our table was aware of his design. Anyway, a clever solution.

But one thing was still bothering us. The wooden cockpit table was very small. Even folded out to its full size it could hardly handle any additional guests as it was simply too short. So I thought extensively about any easy way to extend it while avoiding too much hassle and another big piece of wood to store somewhere while not in use. I was hit on the idea while sitting in the cockpit on a rainy day. Why not using the existing table from below when in need of an extension? It's easy to move and doesn't have to be stored away.

existing cockpit table

After a few attempts the modification was very simple. I screwed two wooden brackets below the table so it sits tight in the frame of the existing cockpit table. I may glue some rubber below where the table touches the wood and the helm in order to avoid any scratches and movement (I still didn't find the right material over here). This way the extension can't move in any direction as it lays simply on top of the existing table. I added a wooden bracket which holds an additional leg in front of the table for support. Just in case a guest would lean on it while a full meal is on top :-) I used a self made wooden bracket on purpose - it would be easier just to screw in a metal bracket for the table leg. But this keeps the whole profile underneath the table as low as possible and you avoid hitting the brackets with your knees when in use down below.

mounting of brackets below work table

It worked out amazingly well and we even think the look is OK. The table is much longer, finally enough space for four -  guests with "special food needs" are welcome again! Pulling it out from below and putting it in place in the cockpit takes less than one minute. Additionally it's even more comfortable to eat on it as it is slightly higher. The best, I spent less than 25 USD as I had the stainless leg from my scrap box.

work table on top of cockpit table

We really love this solution, but let me share the minor drawbacks & a few hints as well:
- I would have used nice teak in the beginning if I knew of the double use - but that's what I had already on the boat. 
- Since the table has now a few wooden brackets below, it's roughly 2,5 cm higher. It may not store that easy under the upholstery anymore. For us not an issue as we never did this anyway. Remember, the table is built so you still can fold the original table down while the small one is mounted. 
- Keep the brackets below the table as low as possible. As soon you use the table in its original position in the cabin you have to slide in sideways. Your knees will appreciate small brackets with round corners. It's not a problem on Habibi but keep this in mind before you screw in any big, easy to fit, stainless brackets :-)
-  And finally, the table would be nicer if it was 5 - 10 cm wider for use in the cockpit. Since that would not fit below anymore we needed a complete new table and where to store that damn thing again? Guess it's a great use of existing stuff - on a boat you really like if one thing can serve multiple purposes. 

Hopefully see you soon at our "new" table for some cocktails and nibbles!

1 comment:

  1. Great idea Marco, now the Laptop desk has a new use! PERFECT. Thank you for the mention of my earlier laptop desk kick off idea. I hope you both enjoy many sunset dinners in the cockpit, I know we sure do. Thanks for sharing the ideas. Post some of thses photos into http://IPYOA.com if you have time.