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A convenient companionway stand for cockpit drinks and snacks

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What is the issue?
It is sometimes difficult to receive drinks coming up from the galley area and out into the cockpit. The crew can be working in the cockpit and are not always ready to take the drink when it is offered and there is no place to leave it. Even at the best of times, active cockpits rarely afford a secure and solid place to rest cups or other items such as cans, glasses etc. Likewise, working one's way up and out through the companionway whilst holding a drink often requires a feat of balance at times.

Why address this?
A convenient place to rest a drink securely avoids waste, associated spillage cleanups, breakages, and a refreshing drink or snack just to hand makes life that bit more pleasant.

How to address this?
Make a handy drinks holder and mount it to the reverse of the bottom companionway washboard, (companionway slides or panel, hatch boards as they may be called in your area). Alternatively, if you do not want to mark the washboards, make a replica of the washboard, as below.

Companionway drinks holder
Photo: Tony Gibson

When the vessel is underway the washboard, if used, can be reversed to provide a convenient cockpit drinks rack and turned back to act as a locking washboard when needed. The person making the drinks can easily make use of it from below decks and place their drink into it when coming above, or remove the washboard so they do not have to step over it.

Stepping over it can be circumvented somewhat by mounting a pair of holding brackets in a convenient area of the cockpit. All that is required is a flat area and a pair of retainers that mimic the bottom end of the companionway. This provides a second mounting point for the rack which can free up the companionway. The rack project could be extended and built in the form of a tray to accommodate snacks, as shown below, and altered further to provide other facilities as required.

Occasional snack table
Photo: Tony Gibson

This approach may not be for everyone as with deep washboards it is difficult to step over. It also means that the washboards, if used, may no longer be stowed flat and which adds to the general kilter that fills yachts. For others, this approach to leveraging a solid fixing point in the cockpit, or adding another, may be a very convenient solution for drinks and snacks.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.
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