In 2012 I was on a raft-up with other cruisers. During dinner I noticed that other boats had cockpit tables. I got to thinking how nice it would be for us to have one. As usual I wanted to come up with the best possible design that I could. I thought about it for a while and finally came up with a good design that will work and be useful. In mid 2013 I started construction.
I took a pattern in cardboard and mocked up the table to see how big I wanted it to be. I then mocked it up in cheap thin plywood to refine the size and shape. I also considered how it would be mounted and supported. It had to be big enough for two people or four in a pinch. Next it had to be stiff and strong but light and easy to carry. Also it had to be supported such that people to easily get up and out from sitting at it.
The following pictures show the construction of the basic table.
Next I had to have a way to support the table. As stated above it had to be easy to get up from the table without kicking it or crawling out like one does in a tatami room.
The first idea was to have the table suspended from the mizzen boom in the rear and from the gooseneck forward. I tried this out in June 2013 but it tended to slide and swing around. It would bang into things and get scratched up.
So I needed to create a rigid attachment. The next pages detail the building of the first rigid attachment.
After building this support frame I lost all enthusiasm for it. It works well but it's too boxy and bulky and sort of an eyesore. Its sharp corners create stress points and weaknesses. It seems easy to accidentally kick it and break it. Between this and the small roud teak fold up table that I bought at a marine chandlery the project almost stalled.
So I needed a different solution to get things back on track. It had to be something round and light weight. In mid 2014 I came up with a new design that doesn't have the hard corners of the original.
I put a straight piece across the top of the arch to connect the table. It is narrow so doesn't really stick out visually. It has a cross section like the letter "L". It has dowels to accept the holes. After a trial fit I had to reposition the dowels slightly. Then a second test fit worked nicely. The weight of the table holds it to the dowels. I retained the mizzen support line.
I like this design much better. The shape of it doesn't dominate the space and its rounded shape keeps it less intrusive. The arch calls itself out in a way that fits in better. This table is a keeper.