Custom Main Salon Table For SPIRIT

By Jon and Helen Kuhl
(1968 Alberg 37 MK-I Sloop Hull #33)


Our 1968 MK-I had a makeshift main salon table that folded up against the bulkhead and we were never happy with the arrangement.  So we decided to build a drop leaf table that was permanently mounted to the salon sole.  This was a good winter project, one that I could build in my basement using an oak shipping pallet as a temporary main salon sole.

The trick is to make careful measurements to make sure the drop leafs clear the settees, the table height is appropriate with the settee cushion height, and the clearance to the port side galley is sufficient.

 The three center posts are 5/8" threaded rods with 1x3/4" pressure treated pine on all four sides of each rod.  These I ripped from 2x4s, glued them to loosely encase the threaded rods and then added decorative ribs of teak. 

The center top is 8"x40" teak mounted on 3/4" plywood with countersunk holes for the rod washers and nuts.  Each leg rod runs through a drilled hole in the sole, and under the sole are reinforced athawart running ribs to give additional strength to the sole itself.  Washers and nuts under the above ribs are used to tighten the entire center legs to the sole.

This is crucial as no one wants a weak piece of furniture flopping about the salon.  I am pleased with the overall sturdiness of this arrangement.

 The  leafs are 3/4" plywood with Formica tops and teak trim with SS hinges to the center section.  The Formica from Home Depot almost perfectly matches the original Alberg countertop. 

I wanted the leafs to be firm, there's nothing more annoying than a table top that tilts when you so much as look cross eyed at it.  So I built swing out legs on hinges that tuck into the center section when not in use and a latched there to prevent swinging under sail.  We typically leave the port leaf up and the starboard leaf down and latched.  This allows more galley space as this leaf is within easy reach of the cook stove.   The entire arrangement is very solid with the leafs up or down.

One major drawback is that I cannot bring the formerly double berth completely out, so it is currently somewhat smaller.  However, we are content to sleep in forward V berth. 

I added a 12V cigarette type outlet on the underside of the center section opposite the bulkhead to allow me to use my laptop for nav planning (Fugawi Mapping software, + Softcharts).  The seat against the bulkhead was not available with the old fold up table.

I apologize for not presenting a set of building plans.  The overall dimensions are:  Table height 29", length 40", center section 8" wide by 40" long, each leaf 17" wide by 40" long, center three posts 3" square.

 This article along with photos appears in  the Vol-18-No1-Winter_2007-2008 Newsletter.