The Fletcher Capstan Table, which automatically expands from a small size to a larger one, is unique. It is the result of many years of development, but also follows a line of history of more than one and a half centuries. It is a round table that amazingly is capable of doubling its seating capacity and, just as astonishingly, remaining truly circular in the process. Very importantly it stores its expansion leaves within itself.
Operation, which has been described as ‘pure magic’ by Boat International magazine, really is a sight to behold and extremely quick, it taking mere seconds to complete an entire expansion or reduction cycle.
The original idea for a table of this type was formed in the nineteenth century by a man named Robert Jupe, who patented his design in 1835. Jupe’s table was initially round, and had an ingenious geometry and a similarly ingenious method of making it expand radially, changing from a small size to a table of larger diameter. However, Jupe’s tables could not store their own expansion leaves, were not truly round in every stage, and were slow and laborious to operate. The idea was wonderful though and was a source of inspiration and re-invention.
The Fletcher geometry is similar in concept, but radically different. It’s intricacy changes, according to the species of timber used, as the table metamorphoses from small to large, and vice versa. When small, the top is made up of six pie shaped leaves, and an outer skirt in the manner of a drum table. Under this first layer lie two more layers of leaves, the second made up of six arrow shaped leaves and, under that, a large star shaped leaf. Below all of this lies the magical mechanism, constructed throughout in a combination of hard anodised aluminium and stainless steel, and strikingly beautiful in its mechanical complexity. Table leaves are constructed from aluminium honeycomb cored composite for absolute integrity and rigidity. The whole assembly is supported on a base of varying design and every component is entirely suitable for a harsh marine environmement.
The table can operate manually by rotation of the entire top, or electrically from a pocket sized remote control transmitting unit. Operation metamorphoses the table, almost before you know it, into an entirely different mode and appearance, and can just as easily be reversed. All tables, be they manual or electronic, rotate through 120 degrees as they operate, and electronic tables can easily be converted to manual.Designer: David Fletcher