I think I posted some in-progress pics in another thread last winter, but not the finished product. So here's my under-$100 drop leaf cabin table upgrade.
The Catalina 250 is blessed/cursed with an oversized cabin table that is great for opening charts
(and eating), but severely hinders access to the settee lockers and front v-berth (and its ample storage underneath). Also, the paper-thin white melamine laminate was yellowing from bleed-through of the brown sublayer, so I wanted to spruce up the appearance. (Also, I couldn't find matching melamine edgebanding, so I needed to resurface the whole table.)
Here's a "before" pic, with my proposed drop leaf seams Photoshopped in to see how it might fit:
Cardboard mock-up of the table:
Test of the drop-leaf brackets on my cardboard mock-up:
Table right after cutting with a circular saw:
After applying unfinished cherry veneer:
The finished product:
Cherry veneer: $40
Drop leaf brackets: $16
Nickel plated piano hinges
100 SS screws: $10
Polyurethane clearcoat: $8
Note that I am in a freshwater environment and run a dehumidifier 24/7, so corrosion is less of a problem than it might be for some of you. I expect the chromate coated drop leaf brackets to hold up OK in this environment, but salt water might have required powder coat or $tainle$$ brackets (which I was unable to find at any price).
After almost a full season of use, this has been one of the best things that I have done for my boat. Access to all of the storage under the V-berth and settees is significantly improved. I keep the leaves down basically all the time, but flip them up as needed almost every time I am on the boat.