Yesterday, after days of constant rain; the kind of rain that makes every tiny leak show up and shout for attention, the sun came out. It warmed up, we turned the heat off below. It was feeling like spring was just around the corner. Mike said it was the kind of weather that made him want to cavort and kick up his heals. He’s such a lamb. It was also the kind of weather that puts us on notice that we are really short timers at this dock. Good thing we are making considerable progress with all the interior projects we need to finish up before we leave. Exterior projects await our time, attention, and $$.
We are smack in the middle of our navigation station/galley remodel. Long-time contractor and friend Doyle Lewellen is guiding us through this bit and doing the part of the work we don’t have the skills to do, such as cutting formica neatly and correctly and building drawers in a space not quite square. Doyle was the contractor we hired when we remodeled our 1964 rambler 16 years ago. He’s a skilled contractor with an artist’s sensibility and eye. If he does something, it will be done right. Doyle is responsible for many of the design features in our home that we still love to this day: the plaster walls that glow in the light, the deep window seat and picture window in the kitchen, the big soaking tub he was able to squeeze into the master bathroom by using creative thinking. We’ve never grown tired of those things. So it’s his eagle eye we wanted for the galley and nav station remodel.
The galley/nav station re-do includes being able to access the storage space in by way of a nice sliding drawer that we can pull out without lifting the top. We retain the ability to lift the lid when we want to, but the addition of the drawer means we don’t have to clear everything off that area to get to a pencil. It’s been one of the aggravations in living aboard, that desk area.
In addition, a storage space in this area, seen in the photo below, has been expanded and is now the home to our brand new baby Engel freezer. I am dead excited about having a separate freezer as it will lengthen the amount of time we can stay at anchor away from the amenities of grocery stores and still have fresh meat. I am reminded by Donna Rohwer over at SV Denali Rose that we can also keep ice cream on board this way. Donna is a caring friend to want me to have ice cream. But clearly she doesn’t understand my relationship with that cold, creamy goodness. It will never see the inside of a freezer for very long on this boat. But the thought was a nice one.
In our galley, our sink has seen better days… days that date from 1974 when this boat was built. Frankly, I don’t think the drains will survive a Pacific crossing. It wouldn’t surprise me if a drain breaks off in my hand as we pull the thing. But finding a sink to fit in that space was like looking for a unicorn. The problem, for those unaccustomed to boat interiors, is that the countertop is only 19.5 inches wide. Go measure your countertop in your kitchen. Go ahead. I’ll wait. You’ll see that it’s much greater than 19.5 inches. And that’s why almost every ‘normal’ sink of average size is 22″ wide. To get one much narrower, you also have to go much shorter. I wanted to maximize the size of my sink because on a boat, a sink is a useful area. So, after leaving room for putting in faucets, I had a need for a sink about 17″ x 31.5″, a long, narrow rectangle. It does not exist. I could find 18″ sinks, but even though they would fit, there would be no room for faucets.
After a week of constant looking, measuring, and remeasuring, sinks and measurements were swimming around in my head. It began to look as though we needed to have one made. What innocent babes we are about some things. I drew up a sink I would love to have and we took it down to the local stainless fabricator. After all, a woman who has a Whitby 42, which is the little sister to our boat, got a great looking sink made in Chinatown in New York City for 400$. How much different could it possibly be here? The answer to that is a lot different. Like $2,500. Uh. No. Just NO. We have way too many other things to buy.
So I got creative with my search and eventually I branched out to laundry sinks and I found this one for less than 100$. I think Mike actually loves me a little bit more since I’ve found this sink and decided to compromise a bit on the length of the thing. Do I wish it were 31.5″ long? Yes. But will it suffice? Also yes. No, it’s not marine stainless. Yes, we’ll have to care for it. Yes, in 5 years maybe we’ll have to replace it again. I. Don’t. Care. It’s easy to install, it’s really deep, and it’s bigger than the sink I’m currently using by a lot, since I only ever use 1/2 of the double sink we currently have. I can do laundry in this sink. That’s what I need. I can’t wait for it to get here so I can stroke its silky finish. Maybe by the time this sink rots on us we’ll be somewhere we can afford to have people fabricate things.
Of course, you know how remodeling goes. You start one project and suddenly it has mushroomed into several. Since we are replacing the sink and faucets in the galley, Mike will take this opportunity to replace all the water lines (he’s using Pex). And since we are replacing all the water lines, this is the time to replace the water heater with a new one that has a heat exchanger that will allow us to get hot water at anchor. (Shout out to Sure Marine in Seattle for giving us a good price.) And since he’s replacing the water heater may as well get it out of his precious engine room and put it under the sole in the aft cabin where it will fit snugly in a little cubby all its own. And, again, since we’re replacing all the water lines, we may as well replace the leaky faucets in both heads. And since we’re replacing things in heads, may as well rebuild both toilets (post to follow when one is finished. He’s doing one at a time for obvious reasons.)
I think that’s all, except for the new anchor, which Mike is writing a post about. Oh wait, no, there’s one more. Since we are tearing up the galley anyhow, I may as well get rid of those pesky drawers that are a waste of space and drive me nuts and turn that space into a cabinet. That one’s on me. I think I have the skills for that one. Cha-ching!
You know, we’ve lived through years of remodeling houses. Two houses, to be exact. Now we live through remodeling a boat interior a bit. It’s just like doing a house, only smaller and everything takes three times as long and feels four times as messy. I do my best to keep the mess to a mild roar, but really I’m looking forward to this all being done so I can go back to my tidy boat. This boat is in such a state!
Time is skipping along. While our trajectory is still to haul out in June, in reality we need to have the boat ready for that haulout and almost ready to leave the marina for good by the first week in May. Claire is getting married in Scotland in May and the entire extended family is going over. It will be like herding cats, but it will be a lot of fun. We’ll be there for three weeks and when we get back we’ll need to hit the ground running.
After the haulout? We will sleep for a month.