Eventually I began working on the design for a small – call it a holding tray- that would be attached to the side railing and hang mostly overboard. I envisioned the tray being used more for snacks than meals, and hanging it overboard would maximize space for deck chairs when guests are on board.
A tray was made of 1/2″ Starboard with aluminum fiddles around the outside edge. The shop CNC’d some units from 1″ UHMW to attach the tray to the rail. Next was the support to keep the tray level. Using stainless steel rod I fashioned some supports that were attached to the underside of the tray and rested on the fiberglass walls of the aft deck. It did not work. Nor did the second configuration or the third or the fourth.
”Patricia, you will have to live with what you have.” At which point she started using the boarding step to handle the overflow of dishes. It worked during the 3 weeks of cruising we got in this year, but…
Then, sitting at the table one day I started looking at the unused flag holder attached to the top of the fiberglass railing. Perhaps I could use the rear rail, along with a folding leg down to the flag holder to prop the table level. The table was already made, with the railing attachments, and a leg could be fashioned from Starboard. The Starboard would need to be bent, something I had never tried before.
After my previous failures I could not wait to get to the shop so I would work with the tools I had available. The leg was cut to size. Leaving lots of extra length as the final fitting would be through trial and error. The U shaped cut was made using a jig saw, at the point of the bend the Starboard was cut part way through with a hand saw and then V’d out using a wood chisel. Starboard is great to work with. I had never worked on it with a chisel, but the V was cut easily with just hand force. The piece was then put in a vice, heated with a hot air gun, and bent by hand. It bent easily, but there was a lot of spring back so it was held in place until it cooled. It cools slowly! I cleaned up all the saw cut edges with a fine rasp. It went quickly and finished smoothly. As I said earlier, great stuff to work with.