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Discussion Starter #1
I'm planning a folding cockpit table for the wheel pedestal as a winter project (among other things, of course) and want to avoid teak since we're already at the state of no exposed wood on deck.

Anyone have any views on UHMW vs HD Polyethylene vs Starboard? This table will need hinges for the fold out sections, so must be able to take and hold a screw without splitting, and of course the other issue would be UV resistance.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Starboard would be my first choice of material. Although it's very expensive it has all the right properties for the job. I have worked with Starboard for my boat and for special projects in cabinetmaking (that's what I do for a living). If you haven't used it before, make sure to get familiar with the unique properties, use the right screws and most importantly pre-drill properly.
You can use all your regular woodworking tools. I usually cut it on my CNC router and it works very nicely.

I am building some companionway doors for my IP and have bought a whole sheet for that project and have material on hand (although only in 3/4" sunshade, the Island Packet color) in case you would need a source for less than a 4x8 sheet .... ( I am not trying in any way to make a business out of it,just trying to help knowing how hard it can be sometimes to get less than a full sheet)

Let the forum know how your project turned out and what you decided to do.

Good luck
 

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Sailorman: I am sorry to disagree, but I recommend against any solid surface material to be used as a structural material for a folding cockpit table. Corian (just a brand name for a DuPont product) and other Solid Surface materials can be quite brittle! While they have wonderfully gluing properties and are perfect for kitchens and galleys they are not engineered to receive functional hardware like flush mounted folding hinges.

A couple years ago I dropped a vanity top I created for a customer out of Avonite, another Corian look-a-like. There were quite a number of pieces to clean up when this small top ( ~2'x3') hit the concrete floor. Since then I handle solid surface with even greater care until it is properly installed on a firm non-flexing sub-structure (cabinet).
With a solid surface cockpit table on my boat I would be afraid what would happen if this thing breaks (somebody falling against it in rough seas) and whether the fragments could cause injuries!

Consider Solid Surface more to be a very thick veneer than a structural building material.
 

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Faster,

Here is a link to a different site with a table a fellow made up your way on a Jeanneau sunfast 35. There is an email for him at the end of the article if you want to talk to him a bit more. Not sure if this is what you had/have in mind.......but it is an option!

Marty
 

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Faster,

Here is a link to a different site with a table a fellow made up your way on a Jeanneau sunfast 35. There is an email for him at the end of the article if you want to talk to him a bit more. Not sure if this is what you had/have in mind.......but it is an option!

Marty
Wow. I think I would have just put a quick release on my mainsheet and disconnected it whenever the table was up!:eek:

Faster,

I like the StarBoard suggestion. If you're going to use folding leaves, consider adding some kind of support for the leaves other than simply the hinges themselves. Ours does not have anything other than the hinges and it's not enough. I plan to add a pivoting cross brace to the bottom side.
 

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Wow. I think I would have just put a quick release on my mainsheet and disconnected it whenever the table was up!:eek:

Faster,

I like the StarBoard suggestion. If you're going to use folding leaves, consider adding some kind of support for the leaves other than simply the hinges themselves. Ours does not have anything other than the hinges and it's not enough. I plan to add a pivoting cross brace to the bottom side.

I hate to do this.. really.. But Pollards lay to claim is the lego table.. it does strange things but he owns it... and popular.... it makes a Chucho, a airplane and the titanic and a guest of six can enjoy dining on the titanic..
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Wow. I think I would have just put a quick release on my mainsheet and disconnected it whenever the table was up!:eek:
.
John, if you look at that mainsheet setup, it's got 3 attachment points there on the traveller and its base (the swivel cleat block, the traveller car, and the fine tune) so the quick release is likely not that practical. It is a novel solution to his problem.

Thanks for the link, Marty, but our traveller is not quite so in the way, and we have a quick release. Also I'm not thinking wood.

As for Starboard, I'm a bit concerned about the weight of it... I've seen a table like what I'm envisioning that I think was made of the HD polyethylene - the stuff that those white cutting boards are made of. It has a more pleasing finish too.. Volkhard, I appreciate your experience and comments and may well go that way - Mainesail's Starboard pedestal shelf looked pretty nice but it was fixed so the weight is less of an issue.

If you're going to use folding leaves, consider adding some kind of support for the leaves other than simply the hinges themselves..... I plan to add a pivoting cross brace to the bottom side.
Thanks for that, too, JR, good idea.



Anyhow appreciate all the responses, keep em coming.
 

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The solution Jeff, ie linked table option, believe the table comes down and into a locker when NOT in use. IE the table only works at anchor or at dockside.

Was not sure if that option would work, but the design might work, just use wood or equal to suit your needs. There are plenty of plastic style woods that could make a neat table too.

Marty
 

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Faster,

My experience with UHMW (industrial applications) is that it is susceptible to UV damage and becomes more brittle with age. It also is very sensitive to temperature differences and tends to lose its shape after several expansion/contractions. Thirdly it is impossible to glue it either to itself or anything else. I was thinking of a similar project and share your views on wood. I was thinking of the cutting board material as well but have never tried to make anything out of it.
 

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Why have you decided against wood for this project? A wood table won't be any maintenence if you choose good wood and let it turn silver...

Maybe silver is something you don't like. I look at mine and think "that was a smart decision!";)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
No wood because there's none on deck now... and have never really been a fan of the "silvered" teak look.

Thanks, Izzy, for the comments on UHMW - most white tables available at the various marine outlets call them "poly" but that's not particularly helpful since there so many polyxxxxxx varieties available. Right now I'm leaning towards the "cutting board" type of material..(HD polyethylene).. see how that goes.
 

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I just bought a 24" x 18" x 1/2" piece of HDPE cutting board to cut a replacement inset board for our Origo stove top. Pretty heavy stuff--I can't imagine that Starboard is any heavier.
 

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I've seen a table made out of the "cutting board" material on a charter boat that I worked on for awhile. It had been on for a few years in carib sun as far as I know and held up pretty well. It also cleans easily.
 

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Building a cockpit table myself right now

Hi Faster, I'm doing this same project. Aeolus has some old instrument mounts on the pedestal guard ( I long ago discarded the instruments but kept the mounts just for this purpose) and I'm using those as the base to the Starboard table I'm designing. I'm using Starboard for all the usual reasons, and have had good luck with it in the past. My table will be removed when not in use and will not hinge at all. It will be about 21 X 24 with edge rails to prevent stuff sliding off. It will attach to these old instrument mounts with bolts and washers on top, and a flat piece of stainless underneath providing the clamping effect.

As soon as she is built I'll post picture on my blog. You can get partial Starboard pieces from Defender for cheap enough. I think my mounting situation is too specific to be of much help to others, but the materials choice was relevant so I thought I would pipe up. My table, at that size, doesn't weigh too much I don't think. I used 1/2 inch material. Good luck. :)
 
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