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Marionette's Table (and entertainment center)  

This is a little like magic. We start with a picture of the starboard settee, sans cushion.

And below is the table that can be made to appear in this spot.

There is more to this table than is immediately obvious. This picture is taken from the forward cabin. In the foreground to the left is the locker containing shelves that used to be the hanging locker. The life jacket bag is sitting on the starboard quarter berth and forms the seat back for the person facing forward. More agonizing details follow.

Normally, I do not single hand with flowers and wine glasses out. This particular occasion is at a mooring (more on the Marionette Traveling Mooring System in another story) in Nantucket Harbor awaiting the Admiral's arrival by ferry. The table is actually the top of the starboard settee seat locker which originally was hinged to the back part of the top of the locker. It is now hinged to a custom made table panel you can see laying against the backrest of what otherwise is the settee back rest. The fiddles have integral small wood pins that press fit into holes drilled into the sides of the table.

Now the tricky part. In the first picture above, the afore mentioned table panel is folded back up underneath and against the settee seat. In the second picture it is nearly vertical with its outer edges resting on the inset edges of the seats. This panel forms the very sturdy 'back legs' of the table. The front leg is that mahogany post you can barely see at the front. It has a 'peg' that locks into the underside of the front edge of the table.

A press fit wood pin with a mahogany knob locks the leg to the front panel of the seat locker. Another of these pins lock the aft starboard edge of the table into the edge of the vertical panel you can just see aft of the VHF radio. In the first picture these pins lock the settee seat back into this same verticle panel. That mahogany filler board at the back just fits neatly in the gap made by the hinged table and the panel.

This set up gives cozy seating for two, generous dining for one or a chart table. But, suppose you are having 1 or 2 guests. Now what?

 You might have noticed the two white tabs sticking out below the panel? So, now we will set up the table for 3 or 4! Behind the removable mahogany filler there are cutouts in the seat backrest just the size of these tabs. You remove the pin holding the table to the vertical panel below the radio, remove the fore and aft fiddles, and the mahogany filler at the rear. Lift the table top, flattening out the hinged panel so you now have a larger table top. The front table leg peg fits into another hole in the bottom of the extended table. Replace the pin in the vertical panel under the radio so it now holds the edge of the larger table. Replace the short fiddles with longer fiddles which also serve to stabilize the hinge joint - you can see the holes in the edge of the hinged panel that will accept the pegs from the longer fiddle. (NOTE: I never do do this in real life but I like to know I can. Because I never do it I don't have a picture, but stay tuned - I will get one)

Back to settee mode

(note color coordinated double duty back rests)

July 3, 2014 Note. The 'Peg' in the photo, above the one above, now has its own page, and an appearance in Good Old Boat Magazine as well. Click here to go there.

Now you have Dolphin style cozy seating for 3 - 2 in the original seats and one on the port side end sitting on the single settee seat on the port side. This has been tested and works. For 4 people, 2 sit in the original seats, one sits on the lower step of the companionway and the fourth sitting on the life jacket duffle bag placed on the sole and facing aft! This latter version remains an untested arrangement.

The Entertaiment Center

The yellow Sony Sports boom box peaking out behind the flowers on the shelf above, and pictured here at the left, is the entertainment center. I think I paid $59.95 for it at BJs. Runs on 6 D batteries, or on 12v/110v power cords. Clock, AM/FM radio - And, it could play my old tape casettes as well! You can buy a nice dual sound system with speakers from West Marine for about $500. Maybe I could get that rust off the left speaker grill.

I wish I had a remote to control it - falling asleep in the V-berth with a Chris Smither blues tune telling me how bad life can be, is really hard when you know you have to get up to turn him off...


November 17, 2013. The cd player on my Sony boom box failed this summer. I got nearly 17 years of faithful service from her. I tried to get the Sony repaired but could not get replacement parts. The electronics repair place guy told me they just don't make 'em like that any more.

I bought a $29.95 Memorex boom box replacement at Walmart but had continuing problems with it all summer. After a couple of weeks the buttons, intermittently, did not actuate the proscribed function - then almost never did. Also, no tape player....and, yellow was really cool!

Still working on a new, and affordable music system.

Stay tuned....



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