Monday, February 24, 2014

Cockpit Neanderthals

We've been cockpit neanderthals for the last year. Every meal we've eaten in the cockpit has been a balancing act of plates, drinks and condiments. We've eaten many a meal hunched over plates precariously balanced on our knees or plate in one hand, fork in the other and your drink wedged in some random "safe", easy to reach place. This doesn't really deliver the relaxing, peaceful mealtime experience we want for us or our guests (for dinner and sometimes breakfast anyway, lunch is usually more whatever).

We've grown tired of the routine:

"Hey, where's the ketchup?"

"Under the dodger"


"Under the dodger, by the speaker. Oh, wait, no I wedged it in the winch holder, I didn't want to loose it. Here you go."

Building a cockpit table has been on our winter project list since the beginning. I was beginning to doubt whether or not it would get done before launching the boat, but in his normal fashion, Ron was able use a few days off to whip one out. The hardest part of the project has been finding a couple of hardware pieces that we needed.
Remember this steal we got for $40?
Yeah, we couldn't use most of it.  Turns out the pedestal it was made for was wider than ours. No real biggie, Ron just fashioned his own attachments for our pedestal. But we were able to use some of the supporting hardware that holds the table up, which was worth way more than $40 by itself. Speaking of which, anyone want a great cockpit table for a steal??? ;)

After considering various wood materials to make the table Ron, with consultation from Bob the master woodworker, decided to go with white oak, a very hard and durable wood. We had also been eyeing some inlay designs online to put in the table for a bit of decoration and pizzazz and the white oak would give us the great contrast between the two that we were looking for. 

Ron came home one day with some thin little pieces of wood, a cocky grin and proceeded to cut, sand, shape and glue the tiny pieces both in the basement (okay) and on the dining room table (less okay). As it turns out, that day Bob had told Ron that he probably couldn't make the inlay himself without it being a huge pain in the rear and that we'd be better off just buying one know, like we were planning on doing. Change of plans. Ronnie's making this inlay and we're going to use it even if it turns out looking like a Picasso. It took him around 6 hours over two days to complete. Not too bad. I think I need to try this trick with getting him to clean up after himself at home. Clearly, it's effective.
Putting a few more dings in the table

The inlay is a maple and walnut compass rose in a mahogany background

One of a kind!

Table layout

Stained with Minwax Red Chesnut

It fits!! We just have to attach the fold-outs
Ron was pretty happy that his plans worked out and the table actually fits the pedestal, go figure. Now, we just need to seal all the wood and put the fold-outs and remaining hardware on it. 
Sealing with Cetol Gloss
We also decided to use Cetol Gloss to seal the wood. We plan to put a couple of maintenance coats on our toe rail this spring so there was no point in buying something different. Plus, we figured if Cetol is good enough for the toe rails that take a beating, it should be more than good enough for us to eat on.

Have I said how much I love love love how it turned out?!?

Now we just need to alter the pedestal cover to account for the table and the chart plotter we don't yet have. That should be fun!

And I'm thinking I have to do a 'winter project tie up' post this spring so you can actually see all the stuff we've made for the boat actually on the boat. Won't that be a gas?!?


  1. Its gorgeous! And I would love to see a post of all the projects on the boat :)

    1. Thanks! It's really annoying doing all these projects but not being able to use/see them on the boat for months so I think a wrap-up post is a must :)

  2. Wow, that's impressive! Did our sea turtle inlays in the dinette table make Ron jealous? Our white plastic cockpit table is now jealous of yours.

    1. Of course your table made him jealous! He also has our salon table in the woodshop...I have no idea what plans he has for that but I don't think he's up to designing and making a turtle inlay so our jealousy won't change anytime soon :)

  3. Thats some crafty work there Skeltons, I thought Ron worked in the winter? A project that nice he must have spent weeks laboring over that. :) Im impressed with the inlay Ronnie, I just know you had Dr. Scott do it for you. haha


  4. Nope that was all me bud...bob said i wouldn't be able to do it. So a few rum and cokes, some French dialogue , and a few days later I had a inlay. The table was a few more days in the shop. No rum just beer.