Howard Betts had a brainwave to design a versatile cockpit table – then he slept on it
As PBO columnist Dave Selby will no doubt attest, the Sailfish is a multifunctional boat. As such, many items on board fulfil a number of roles. My design for the cabin table on my Sailfish 18 allows it to slide forward for easy access to the cabin.
It also slides aft to allow access to the keel winding gear and the portable toilet in the bow. The table sits in its home-made sliding mechanism on a shallow (50mm) box which is a snug fit on the keel case for reasons of stability: careful measurement of angles is required. It all stows away tidily in the bow if necessary. The lower edge of the box includes four carefully angled holes for the four ‘cricket stumps’ (legs). The tabletop and its box can be lifted off and moved to the cockpit, with the legs inserted into the four accurately-placed holes on the cockpit floor and carefully lashed to make a secure cockpit table for six.
The Sailfish includes two pairs of recesses in the cockpit moulding to take custom-shaped planks to make the thwarts wide enough for sleeping upon. Careful machining of the planks with a router allows the tabletop to fit in securely to span the space between, converting the cockpit to a ‘king-size’ double bed under the boom tent at night!
The whole set-up was tested last summer in the sun and rain on Windermere, and I can confirm the functionality of the table in the cabin and the cockpit.
Regarding the sleeping arrangements, I can only say that our student friends who stayed on board came on the trip expecting a week of primitive camping on a little boat. When they got back to uni, their story had become: ‘What we got up to on the cabin table in our luxury holiday superyacht!’
PS: The four table legs will make ideal stumps for the Sailfish cricket competition at low water on the Gunfleet Sands. Now there’s a challenge for Dave Selby!
Send us your practical projects – we pay at least £30 for each one published in the magazine!