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Old 09-11-2010, 10:54   #1
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Gimballed Table

Can anyone recommend a good design for a gimballed table?? Or any thoughts on whether to bother making one in the first place??
Thanks, MarkH
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:04   #2
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Unless you gimbal the seating it's going to be a narrow table. Where is the table going to go when it hits the knees of the people on the high side? Or when it hits the chest of the people on the low side?

even if it clears, I would think the table would be at the knees of people on one side and the chins of the people on the other side.

Just a thought. I'm sure this wheel has been invented by someone.
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:10   #3
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I would not even bother. While the idea seems attractive at first, i.e. keeping a table level, gimbaled is not the way to go. Once you start putting plates and food on the table, you alter its center of gravity and it tips on its own in the direction of the heaviest set of items and dumps it in someones lap.

What you would really need, but probably could not afford (as it would run into the five or more digit category), is a gyro stabilized, servo controlled tri-axle table which will keep the table top level regardless of boat motion and the load carried on the table.
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:20   #4
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Thanks--I remember somebody somewhere recommending a table that could be adjusted tilt wise to accomodate the angle on a particular tack on long voyages
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:25   #5
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Bruce Bingham's book, Sailors Sketchbook,IIRC, has some great ideas. They tend to be very complex for small applications IMHO
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:30   #6
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In old sailing ships of the 19th century, there were mess tables suspended from the overhead deck beams by rods to the corners that would allow a certain degree of movement to adjust for heel, but in any kind of major seaway, a table such as that could become a hazard. Such tables were usually suspended abeam to compensate for roll but not pitch. Probably most importantly, they could be hoisted up to the deck beams to clear the way when not in use.
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:40   #7
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Sir Francis Chichester had a gimbaled table/bench on Gypsy Moth IV (in which he solo circumnavigated almost non-stop).

It always seemed to me that it was a space-wasting arrangement, with little benefit. But then again, I've never tried one.
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Old 09-11-2010, 12:02   #8
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See this passage about the hazards of eating at a gimbaled table:
Chasing science at sea: racing ... - Google Books
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