Sea Ray 400 build By Chris Goins
We aim to serve all boating budgets here at Teak Mafia. At one end of the spectrum, we make furniture starting from a few hundred dollars, and on the other end, we work hard to value engineer customer’s complete interior and exterior refits. Every once in a while, we get a client who wants us to go crazy. This is the story of a Sea Ray 400 Teak Mafia had the pleasure of getting absolutely crazy with.
These are the kinds of projects that keep us opening our email every morning. Why live in the comfort zone when you can push your own limits?
We got the call: build a matching set of tables for a client who had recently graduated to a Sea Ray 400 Flybridge. These guys love entertaining on Lake Lanier in the Spring, Winter and Fall, and a bigger boat was really only a matter of time. The plan was simple: three teak tables, with as many cup holders as possible. Challenge accepted! Below, you’ll find some exceedingly rare in-process photos, along with highlights on the steps we took to get there.
Where the magic happens: The finishing room. This blog post skips a great deal of work, and goes straight to the good stuff. All three leaves have been assembled, inlays are in, and it’s time for the first coat of gelcoat. We use West System adhesives, and prefer their G-Flex epoxy for all Teak to Teak joints. The joinery appears deceptively simple, and hides a double set of Festool Dominoes at each intersection. This table’s perimeter wood, or apron, bears high loads from the hinges both in storage and in use, and must be solidly built to prevent cracking.
No gaps here! In our humble opinion, stainless steel and teak go together like peas and carrots. We use 1/8″ thick laser cut stainless steel and brass for our inlays, hand polished to perfection. One of our standard designs and most popular by far, the Compass Rose has been designed to maximize the beauty of the wood grain by allowing the two materials to interact and flow together visually. Cutting the corresponding pocket in the wood is incredibly challenging, even with CNC equipment.
Next, we turn our attention to the bottom of the center section. There’s a lot going on in a small space – two stanchion mounts, two cup holder trays, stainless nerf bars. There’s a stainless wine chiller, too, big enough for that Magnum you’ve been saving for a special occasion. From this vantage point, you can see that the trays are actually thick aluminum, laser cut to final shape. The aluminum stanchion tube hardware and stainless mounting plate have been trimmed to free up space. There is no sliding hardware – nothing to rust and stain the boat. The trays slide on furniture felt, and the cup holders are silicone’d in. In our experience, this system provides just the right amount of “give” to prevent rattling both while idling and under way.
The finished assembly has a clean and purposeful look.
We turn our attention again to the top, creating the pockets for the hinge hardware. When approaching this type of work, there is no second chance. The grain in the table center and leaves is all sequence matched, the casings as well. You can’t replace a single piece. An error here means starting over, and there are four hinges with two halves, a total of eight pockets. Oh, and make sure it all lines up! Router, hammer, chisel. Talk nice to it. Years of experience designing and producing manufacturing jigs and fixtures came to bear, and a process was devised to make the challenge less daunting.
We wanted the hinges to be flush when installed, so we had to work backwards – how thick is a coat of gelcoat, and how deep do we cut these pockets? After some test parts and head scratching, w\e think the results speak for themselves.
The table was delivered, installed, and buffed out with a ceramic polish prior to being put in to service.
The finished product! Bridge table with sliding cup holder and wine chiller trays adds much-needed functionality. Perfect fitted Infinity Luxury Woven Vinyl flooring, and an exact-match table cover complete the look.
There are multiple party zones on a 400 Flybridge, and the aft cockpit needed the Teak Mafia touch as well. Here we installed Infinity Luxury Woven Vinyl flooring, along with Flexiteek on the swim platform. Finally, a convertible teak table, with considerably more functionality than the factory piece.
We chose to use more playful, bespoke joinery here, in the absence of any inlaid artwork. Our favorite part is how the joinery is tight and right on both sides of the leaf, and indeed, through the full depth of all of the joints. The jigsaw pattern provides additional glue surface, and an interlocking shape that prevents cracking. A continuous piece of Holly trim highlights the curved shape, and completes the look.
The finished piece converts to a handy drink station, and hides it all elegantly when not in use.
Finally, we added two more inside the cabin. Wait, where are they?
There they are! We integrated this additional serving tray in to the factory ottoman, tying all three spaces together with the same theme.
Well, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much I enjoyed writing it. Like and Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on all the latest news and articles from Teak Mafia.
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Contact us via phone: 770-896-7517