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Well, I installed the cockpit table and was able to check off another “Completion” on our boat.  My guy and I laugh when we talk about our “completions.”  Below are photos.  The table is designed to fold up and down.  Most “store-bought” cockpit tables are quite flimsy and, when folded up, are almost always braced from below with a piece of 3/8″ stainless steel rod that is bent.  The support rod simply snaps into place and except for supporting the table, has no structural strength whatsoever; it supports the table and keeps it from falling down…period.  Ours has permanent piano hinged connections throughout…the brace is 1″ solid teak that is fixed into place with a heavy duty, chrome over brass cam latch; the brace not only supports the table but also furnishes a significant amount of resistance to lateral loads.  To open, one just raises the table and snaps the cam latch…to fold back down, release the cam latch and ease down.  I’d like to take credit for the design of the support but my guy did it…I designed the actual table top and then built, finished and installed everything else.  The table is attached to the pedestal brace with four stainless steel U-bolts.  Horizontal is adjusted by sliding the bottom attachment up or down…though, keep in mind, horizontal and vertical are relative terms when applied to anything attached to a boat.  The U-bolts on the bottom pedestal brace will be cut off once the final table height is adjusted.

The air-conditioning is complete.  The one that can be seen in the photo below is a window unit we bought that sits in the companion way; it’s only there to cool the boat while we are working on it.  Texas is in the middle of a major drought and it’s been a brutal summer…without the window unit we couldn’t work below decks.  The newly completed AC is very nice.  When at the slip, the air conditioner runs on AC shore power…underway, it runs off of an idling engine on DC power.  What is still quite amazing to me is that my guy built our on-board air conditioner from absolute scratch; he engineered and built the entire unit.  Very, very few sailboats the size of ours have air conditioners that are able to run on both AC and DC power.  We have air conditioning any time and any where…at the slip, at anchor, or underway.  Down on the Gulf coast air conditioning is an absolute must have.

After I post this I’m off to the boat to give it what I hope is a final cleaning before putting the cushions back in.  We still have a trip down to Corpus Cristi/Aransas Pass planned over Labor Day week.

Anyway, here’s the table.



  1. Hi – just came across your blog when I goggled cockpit tables- love yours, great idea and I hope to incorporate some of the ideas to mine. Also refitting a boat thou smaller-
    keep up the great work –

    • Hi Roland,

      Thanks for commenting. I built our cockpit table and was very proud of the how it came out. That table was built for the cockpit of a Hunter 31. That boat is currently for sale. When we put the Hunter up for sale I wanted to remove the cockpit table and use it to replace the one that we currently have in our new boat, a Tayana 52, but my husband (rightfully) convinced me that it would be better to just leave it with the boat and build a new one for our Tayana…and that’s what we are going to do.

        • Gerald Tunches
        • Posted February 12, 2017 at 11:35 AM
        • Permalink

        Could you please e-mail me with photos of your air condition system the guy built for you? I have a Hunter 27 Cherubini and we live in Corpus Christi, Texas. Here is my e-mail

  2. Great table. I want to copy your design for a Catalina 270. Do you have any plans available? It looks pretty straight forward from your photos but the devil is always in the details.

    • Hi Brent

      Thank you for the compliment. Please feel free to copy the design.

      I’m sorry but, no, I don’t have any plans; my husband and I are both pretty good woodworkers and did the table basically from long thrown away hand drawn sketches. However, you are right, it is pretty straight forward; not complicated at all. I can give you a couple of tips. First, the areas that require the most attention are a) the connection, using the s/s piano hinge, of the table to the pedestal, b) the brace that supports the table from below when the table is up, and c) the table hinges that connect the two side table leafs, they must be flush.

      Regarding size, one can get the general out/out dimensions from websites that sell these tables commercially. Or take them directly off of an existing table on one of your friend’s boats. Always check to see if those dimensions will fit your cockpit.

      This table was for our old boat, a Hunter 31. The intent was to build a pretty substantial table that was not rickity, flimsy, and loose, like most tables are. When in the up position, we knew it wouldn’t stand a full blown body slam in decent seas…on the other hand, it was considerably more stable than the commercial ones by several orders of magnitude. Our new boat, a Tayana 52, has a commercially built table we are about to junk. It has commercial hardware connecting it to the pedestal and simply not strong enough.

      Good luck on your table. It’s not really a very difficult project.

  3. I appreciate the tips!

    I spent the day planning it out. I would appreciate any comments on the design. I suspect you’re better fine woodworkers than me. I’m wondering if the 1” deep part for the hinge ledge could be done with two ½” boards glued and screwed, and still be strong. I suspect a 1” deep teak board won’t be easy to get cheap.

    • We didn’t draw plans up but if we had, they’d look like yours…well done. The two boards glued together would work fine but I doubt you will find any cabinet wood in .5″…you could have it planed, however. Also, our table is genuine mahogany, not teak. The main brace is teak as well as the cross members that hold it all to the pedestal but the table itself is mahogany. I encourage you to use any cabinet wood that you fancy. We live in the Houston, Texas area and are fortunate to have exotic wood suppliers here that can furnish anything we like.

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