Hints and Tips



Moveable Folding Cockpit Table

Sailbleu's photographic guide to building a new cockpit table

for his SO40DS


Originally posted here on the Jeanneau Owners Forum


I was never really happy with my cockpit table, too small, too plastic, too cheap looking and so on. And it's not just that, although I have a fairly spacious cockpit deck, there's always room for improvement. I think I may of found a way to satisfy my, excuse me, my family's needs, with this swingable/turnable table I'm not sure if that's the proper name for it, advice is appreciated.

This is not my boat, just to give you an idea on the original table.


My table taken away, this will give me a huge space on deck. Also handy for the children's bath.


The table leg, S/S 316L, very thick material and very strong.


Making the teflon bearings. Teflon has that greasy surface and is easy to work with.


Bearings and end piece ready.


For obvious reasons the position of this foot is very important.


I've put in a S/S spacer so the teflon would not be compromised by the legs sharp edge. That would lower the position of the leg later on and disturb the alignment of the positioning bolt. A will become clear.


First try out of many.


Back to base making the side supports of the leg.


Next try out before welding the side supports permanently.


Not only to get an idea how it looked, but also to measure the distance from the top of the table (left and right) to the deck. I want the table to be leveled of course.


The general plan was to glue teak slats on the plywood table base and table flaps. Searching the internet for teak slats was a bit of a disappointment. Outrageously expensive. Some years ago I bought a load of unplaned teak boards, at the time I was struggling with the idea of putting on a complete teak deck. Thank god I decided not to carry that through, I might of ruined my boat since installing a teak deck is a very precise and skilled job I presume. Anyway, I never got around selling it again and thought of putting it to some use now.


Cutting the slats.


This piece of machinery has the same history as the teak wood. It was given to my by my wife as a present around the same time when I bought the teak. Because of a change of heart towards the teak deck I've never used this table plane, so I had to get the dust to recognize it again :-) Now that I've worked with it I'm very happy with it.


Next picture will explain this one.


I thought that genuine star or wind-rose would give my table that extra swing don't you agree?


Before gluing on the slats the plywood needed some sanding down.


Here's where I made my first mistake. I tried to cut some corners and used a cheap water-based construction glue instead of the homemade epoxy glue which I had in mind at the beginning. But I was worried that the epoxy would drip and run all over the place and make a mess of the top teakwood. So the construction glue was an (bad) alternative.


As you can see I had to tape the edges due to poor bonding.


Called in some help from gravity.


Mistake number two. Remember this was done with construction glue and these joints where not pre-emptive filled up at first. This partial sealing alone required 2 tubes of Tec7. Oh yes, I know these joints are normally filled with sikaflex, but believe me , Tec7 also does the job excellent. And besides, the Tec was available nearby, the sikaflex was not. But using 2 tubes for just a fraction of the amount of joints that had to be treated made me reflect on my procedure. By the way, I know the joints look messy, but give it some pictures will you.


Here's where I choose to return to plan A and apply epoxy glue. Very easy to make, resin, hardening compound and cottonfiber.


The table flaps had to be covered with teak slats twice, on both sides that is.


Another try out with the central table part,.....sanded down. Looks nice no?!


Bearing the first sealing chaos in mind, I taped all the edges. And what's more, I filled up the joints with epoxy resin up to a few mm away from the edge so I wouldn't need that much Tec7.


The tape also contributed to a clean sealing of the joints.


Acceptable no?


Some fast forward mode and this is the cleaned and sanded down result.


The upstanding edges were next.


The reason for the gaps in between the edges will be shown very soon.


Also underneath the central table. These edges will partially take away some of the load on the hinges. But I've provided more reinforcement you know.


The hinges. Also a very precise job, when not done properly the complete table will surely be off balance.


I taped the chisel as an indication on how deep to drive it in. Please notice I also taped the edges of main table and flaps. Even up to now I'm not quite sure on how to finish the edges. I really don't like the look of layers of wood glued on each other, you know the typical plywood-edge-look. The tape will temporarily replace the thickness of a cover later to be decided.


Oh boy, I just love this tool.


Hinges are in.


One flap closed.


Second plays along.


Time to address the leg again. The picture speaks for itself no. I drilled 3 holes in the leg and also cut thread, I have 3 positions where I can fix the table? Be it central, port or starboard.


These markings give me an indication of the position of the threaded hole in the leg. Not really necessary but to make life easy.


The black bolt is to fix the table, the one underneath is to add or reduce friction of the swing motion.


Getting the table right in the middle required some measuring.


Please don't get confused, this picture was taken in an earlier stage, it's to illustrate on the how and why of the gaps between the table edges. The original Jeanneau tables also have these out sliding supports, and I thought, if it doesn't harm, why not do the same.


It's not on this picture yet, but at the inner end of the support tubes I added some split pens so the tubes can not be drawn out. I intend to get a plastic cover on the outside end of those tubes. No sharp edges anywhere on my boat thank you.


With this pic I would like to focus on the screws on top of the upstanding edges. I epoxy-glued those edges and reinforced the joint with screws. Once all dried (the edges) I gave those screws another twist so the screwhead would break off. That what you get with S/S screws and that could work to my advantage. It's not that I will ever have to decide to remove those edges, since they are glued with epoxy and therefor virtually impossible to detach without damage. Now the screwheads are gone I could drill a bigger hole on top of the remaining screw and get a teak plug in.


And again, why buy expensive teak plugs when you can make them yourself.


Bashing it in with a hammer.


Cutting to the right length and - it's not on this picture - nicely sanded down. It looks good I can assure you.


Except for the plywood edges my new cockpit table is finished.


Now I can invite all of you for a happy hour on board :-)


That left me with the holes in the cockpit deck. Well, they need to be closed or sealed for sure, water seeping in you see. But, by changing my table I took away the footrest and that could turn out very nasty or annoying while sailing. So I thought of combining two worlds, using these holes to mount/fix a device (still to be designed,...suggestions are welcome) that is removable and can be used as a footrest.


These threaded rivets will do the trick.


Epoxy is the way to go.


Filling the holes with this magical stuff, bashing the rivet in so the epoxy squeezes out.


Bolts are in so no epoxy can fill the threaded part.


What remained was providing a cover for the rivets when the footrest (whatever that will be) is not installed.


VoilĂ .