Sunday, February 3, 2013

Let it be ... not

Sometimes you fix things. Sometimes you change things. And some things you just let be. It does not appear I am much good at that last one; a trait that appears common among cruising sailors. Maybe I'll fit in after all?

A Tartan 42 is a Tartan 42, and that means an interior with a fold up table running down the middle of the cabin. Not a bad use of space but it results in a very narrow isle between the galley / nav station at one end of the cabin and the V-berth / head in the other end. If I am sitting on the starboard side lacing up my boots Deb can't get by. No big deal. We don't mind dancing around one another once in a while. (One can't sit on the port side and lace up one's boots as the table, even folded down, is in the way.) But whenever we do do our passing dance I am reminded of
little Nomad and the space provided by folding up the table in her modest interior.

As mentioned before, we got a look at the Blue Jacket yacht last week in Chicago, a thoroughly modern boat with a fold up table, and were quite taken with the whole idea. Why can't a Tartan 42 have a fold up table? All that needs done is designing, building, fitting and installing said table, getting the old fittings out of the deck, moving some stuff off the bulkhead where the table needs to fit, and making sure there is enough backing in the mounting that the table actually stays mounted to the bulkhead should the going get bouncy. What could possibly go wrong?

Cardboard mockup of cabinet area - shelves TBD

So today, after getting Deb's storage area under the pilot berth finished and returning to the boat late last evening after the day trip to places east, I moved a new table to the top of my "do it next" list. Deb thinks we should be doing the aft cabin first, but she knows "project fever" when she sees it. Being wise in the ways of living with a demented mechanic she chose to work on her own "make it better" project and left me to have at it. Cardboard, scrap bits of insulation board, duct tape, scissors; by afternoon a mocked up table was stuck to the bulkhead while I figured out hinge points and clearances. It looks like it will work so ordering wood comes next.

This may still end up something I should have let be. After all Kintala has been ours for more than two years now and we have lived in her just fine with the factory table. As far as I know every Tartan 42 ever built has a fixed table in the middle so it isn't like this is some major flaw in the design. And there is always the possibility of some "show stopper" lurking out there somewhere that makes the whole idea just too silly to actually work. (With all due respect to Gene Kranz, Flight Director of Apollo 13 fame - failure is always an option.)

On the other hand the new table will make the inside of the boat a lot more "living friendly". It is cold and snowy in these parts so inside jobs are the jobs of choice - and this is a good inside job. Besides, why have a boat at all if you can't do things like this to it?


Joel and Emily said...

I knew it was a matter of time! lol now I need to work on mine....after this wedding. :)thanks again for the company on the way to chicago!

John J Foster said...

I like the idea of the new table, and can not wait to see it finished and in action, the one point that I feel will need some thought, is when the table is open full - what will support it. maybe slide out bars from the underside of the table to give it support or maybe a chain hanging from ceiling to a ring point near edge of table. this would be good as would give lots of space and easy to remove when table folded up.

Any way good luck, be nice to see it in full swing as they say.

Regards John

TJ said...

John, the hinged table leg that folds down as the table is deployed is, itself, hinged so that it opens in a wide modified "T" shape that supports the other half of the table. In addition there will be a separate leg that attaches to the far end of the unfolded table (as you are looking at the mock up in the pictures). It sounds a lot more complicated that it is in practice ... I hope.