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Project: Galley Upgrades

This page describes C34 owners' galley upgrade projects.
Please contribute yours!

Galley Sink Covers

The C34 is very short on counter space in the galley. To compensate, I purchased a 12x32x1/2 piece of white polyboard (similar to what cutting boards are made of) for $20. I cut it to fit both sinks (two pieces). At the aft inboard corner of each piece (as looked at while standing at the sink) I cut a one inch hole as a finger hole in order to lift the boards up and out. It works great and adds plenty of counter space. In fact, we usually leave one cover in place all the time (Lou Berman, Second Wind, #1366, 1997).


Galley Counter Top Making and Installation

Items needed for new top: 4' x 8' exterior grade, good one side plywood. $40 (Watch the number of plys that the plywood is made up of, 7ply is what I used, more is better) Your choice of Wilson Art / Formica, one sheet 4' x 8' $65 Formica glue, roller, brush and router. Using the old counter for a template, trace out the exact shape on the new plywood. You will notice that four inches of the old counter stick over the new wood. (at rear of stove). To solve this problem, I glued and screwed a four-inch wide piece of clear pine, 12" long to that corner of the new plywood. This way the old top can be traced onto full size wood. Plywood only comes in four-foot widths, unless you want to pay big $. Trace out the sink and ice box openings also. Now using a skill saw and a saber saw, cut out the outline of the counter and the sink opening, not the icebox opening. Measure in 3 inches all around the icebox opening and cut out this smaller opening (more on this in a moment). Using a belt sander, sand all the edges to the template lines. Remember that all the edges are covered with teak so a little off is ok. Locate the edge that butts to the hull (back of stove side!) and with the belt sander grind this surface back at a 45-degree angle. This will give the counter the relief that it needs to get a good fit.

NOTE: A modification that I made to the top was adding 2 inches in widthinback of the stove. You must do this before you cut out your new counter.  It will involve cutting the finish teak to the left of the stove 2 inches shorter before re-installing. 

TIME TO TAKE IT TO THE BOAT AND SEE HOW WELL IT FITS!!! Is the stove too close to the new counter if you added on? Remember you have to have room fortheteak. In the small hole that you cut out at the ice box...stick your hand in with a pencil and trace the out line of the ice box on the back of thecountertop.TAKE BACK HOME!

Turn the counter upside down so you can see the outline of the icebox opening you drew. Draw straight lines 3/8 inch bigger than these lines all around. This will give you a 3/8 lip all around the box for the lid to sit in. Neatly, using a skill saw and finishing the corners with a sabersaw, cut out on this line. Make marks with a pencil so you know which way to put it back when we use it for a cover. After the edges of the icebox opening are covered in Formica and routed, (I will cover this in a moment) I glue 3/8 storm door rubber insulation to the back of the box opening all around.The insulation has a 3/8 round portion and a 1/4 inch flat part for fastening.This flat area is what gets glued to the back of the opening, with the round sticking into the box opening as a seal. When you look down from the top you only see the round insulation that the lid sits on. The only disadvantage is that you will have to cut it off with a knife if you ever need to replace it.The other method would be to glue 3/8 wide insulation to the box lip after the counter is installed. Lets do the Formica before tackling the lid.

Laminating Formica is not all that hard. Using the counter as a template, trace it on to the back of the Formica, counter top upside down also.You will have to seam the Formica somewhere in back of the stove; again 4-foot wide material was cheaper. Rough cut the Formica at least 1 inch bigger than your outline to leave room for error and placement when gluing. Rough cut the small piece for the back of the stove and belt sand the seam till it fits nicely.  Also, cut 4-1 inch wide pieces to perfectly fit the inside lengths of the icebox opening. Set up a large work area so that you have the countertop faceup and the Formica upside down. Brush contact cement on the edges around the ice box opening, let dry....all wood surfaces get two coats of glue.  Re-coat opening and coat pieces that will be laminated there. Let dry to touch and place all around opening. Tap with rubber mallet to insure good bonding.  Use belt sander to finish these strips around the opening flush with the countertop. Flip top over and sand flush with bottom also. Now we are ready to laminate the top. Make sure all surfaces are clean. Coat counter top with contact cement. Roller made for this works best. Brush is difficult but ok.  Let dry. Coat top a second time and also coat back of Formica. Place long CLEAN sticks on top of the counter so that the Formica can be laid on top of the counter WITHOUT touching it. 3/8 inch round dowels, 3 feet long are perfect for this, but almost anything small and long will due, including something metal. Line up the Formica on top of the counter....starting from one end, pull out the spacer and touch the Formica to the top. Once touched it will not come loose. Work your way one spacer at a time, rubbing out any air bubbles as you go. No spacers needed for the small piece behind the stove, just push the seams together first as you lay the piece down. Take your router with a ball bearing Formica bit and cut out around all edges. REMEMBER that the rear edge is a 45 angle so router will not work on that face. Use the beltsander there. Poke hole at icebox and sink and route around those edges. Sand edges of Formica smooth around the ice box opening using 120 sandpaper on a small wooden block. Refasten teak fiddles all around counter and plug screwholes.

ICEBOX LID: I used the same 3/4 ply that came from the opening that I cut.WHAT TO DO WITH THE SMALLER HOLE IN THE CENTER?????? Fill it with 3/4inch solid foam!!!!!! We need more insulation.  Important to remember here that the lid needs Formica all around its edges.  Some sanding before Formica may be needed to get a good fit. Also if you are using this cut out that the inside edges have to be recessed for the insulation or the cover will sit to high. Cover the top and edges with Formica screw on the inside foam insulation and you have your lid. Cutting down the old 1/2 inch lid and recovering with Formica will also do. Another change I made here is to hinge the top. The only thing I do not like about this is it hits the upper shelf not allowing us total access to the opening of the icebox.INSTALLATION: Place the counter top on a few dabs of silicone and screwup from underneath as before. I did not like being on my head so much so I put the sink in, outlined it in light pencil and removed it again. I noticed that the sink overlaps well over an inch. On that overlap I did my screws from the top down. Drill/countersink 8 screws spaced around sink. Replace the two screws through the aft cabin bulkhead. Place the teak dish holder on the counter behind the stove, mark with pencil its width and remove.  Drill/countersink 2 screws under this teak to fasten counter. Fasten teak dish holder in place as before. Put lots of silicone around the sink, set sink in place, plug drain fill with water to hold sink firmly in place till dry. If this is something that should be submitted to the main sheet, I will need help!!!! I am new and do not know how this would be done. I have it on disc and took some pictures.  (Capt Al#55 "kindred Spirit)"


Galley Food Storage Shelves in The Hanging Locker

Click on any picture to enlarge it

How to Build Pull out Shelves
For the Galley

Since we downsized from a 37' LARGE sailboat, we (Michele) was not happy with the available food storage in the galley. Basically there is none. Before I could fill up the hanging locker opp the galley with my very important tools, oil, etc Michele told me what it was for, canned and boxed food. I had to agree and still have not found a good spot for my many tools. So we but our heads together and came up with a great storage system. I made a deal with Michele to build the shelf unit and she would paint the locker before I install it. If you want it to look nice the whole locker must be painted....the shelves are wire see through.

Description of storage unit:
Close head door, open cabinet door and you see three 10 inch wide by 20 inch long wire rack shelves that are 5 inches high each. The best part is that the shelves slide out 15 inches so you can reach all items. Even better is the fact that I can slide the bottom shelf totally out (must lift over the shelf stops) and all my 6 cans of oil fit under the shelf. The shelves filled with heavy items (peanut butter, soda, etc) is not a problem.

Construction Materials:
Three CLOSETMAID Kitchen Cabinet Organizer pull out basket #3991 for an 11 inch opening (unit 10 1/4w x 5 1/4 h x 20 deep). WHERE: HOME DEPOT $10.67each. Three 1 x 2 x 8 feet finish pine wood boards and 1 1/4 long sheet rock screws. Galv if you like but not necessary.

The shelves come with slides that mount under them so the sides of the shelves are free. Cut two boards (here on in boards means a 1 x2 piece of wood) 18 inches long....mount the shelf slide on the wide side of each board and close to one edge. Place the shelf in these two slides on a flat surface like a work bench. Now you have the shelf on top of the 1 x2 in its track but we need something to keep the tracks equal distance apart. Turn the whole thing upside down (in Theory) and attach two boards (about 12 1/8 inches long), one, three inches back from the front and one on the rear edge to hold the tracks apart, only put one screw in each board. Flip rightside up and slide the shelf in and out of its tracks. If it is too tight or loose, rescrew the bottom spacer till you get it right. Do this for all three shelves and you will now have three nice sliding shelves for the top of your work bench....the next step is getting them on top of each other with spaces and be able to fit it to the boat. If you hold one unit 10 inches directly above the first and another one above that, all we need is 4 boards, one on each side corner to act as legs. This would be all if we were putting this above the work bench. If you remember the shape of the nav cabinet it drops down behind the door, so the front legs must go down 6 1/4 inches below this first draw (one screw only in each board). The rear legs are only 2 1/4 inches below the shelf unit because the hull rounds up in this area. Well if you put this all together as described, you have one crooked looking shelf unit on your work bench. I put a temporary leg in the middle of the back (about 4 inches long) so I could keep it level and bring it to the living room to show my lovely wife...add a few food items for effect first! This is a good point to remove all the plastic slides and paint all the surfaces of the 1 x 2's that will be showing. I did not do this, I took all the plastic slides off after it was installed in the boat...I like working upside down and in cramped quarters.

So why have we only put one screw in each board? The next part is magic...remove all three shelves from the unit you just built....grab the middle shelf slide sides and move one hand forward and one hand back...it folds like a cloths hanging rack...if you did it right it also tilts in the up and down direction. All these moves are what will allow you to slide it into the nav locker in ONE piece. Once you have it in, bend it back to shape, move it around till the bottom shelf is above the door lip and it is equally spaced in the opening. Make sure that it is set back just enough to close the door without interference. Mark with a pencil where the front legs are with respect to the interior wall of the head and nav wall. Note the space between these legs and the walls. Place a small filler on each side (top and bottom) to take up this space. I screwed in the (I needed 3/4 inch each side so a 3 inch 1 x 2 worked) fillers after moving the shelf unit aside and then with the unit in place screwed it to the spacers on the front legs. I did not attach the rear legs. It was plenty strong. I did have to place a board between the bottom shelf cross support to the hull to hold the rear at the right height. If all fits well and you are not taking it out again, you can take out the front spacers that are holding the draw slide apart...the unit is supported by the side walls now, they are not doing anything...don't remove the rear, they are holding the spacing of the slides in the rear. I have a detailed drawing if not printed in the Mainsheet, will gladly send to anyone who needs it.

Al and Michele #55 "Kindred Spirit"

Last modified by Phil Imhof, Wednesday, August 11, 2004 . Copyright 2001 by Catalina 34 International Association.  All rights reserved.