A Finished Galley, By Golly!

There is light at the end of our Galley/Navigation Station remodel tunnel. We’d say we are nearing the end of this refit, but really, does anyone ever finish a refit? There is always something left to do.

The original look. That fiberglass is almond.

It’s taken about 3 weeks longer than we thought and cost about double what we hoped. Fortunately this is not our first rodeo, as they say, when it comes to remodeling houses or boats. We know that fast, inexpensive remodels, especially when you involve outside labor, are the things of dreams. So we aren’t surprised. We take these things in stride (after I freak out a little bit). And in the end, it’s all worth the time, effort, and money. We are as finished as we need to be for this post to go out.

Here’s a list of what we accomplished:

  1. The navigation desk, while an awesome flat space upon which to work, had storage that was accessible only through lifting the desktop. This was a major annoyance, just like that old workshop top used to be. We wanted to have a drawer created so we could access storage without disturbing everything on top of the desk. We wanted to keep the ability to lift the top as well.

    We retained the ability to lift the lid as there is extra storage under there we didn’t want to waste. We added an inexpensive LED light from Costco to the lid to help light the space. Notice the barrel lock on the end of the lid. That keeps the lid from bouncing up and down while underway. The drawer remains firmly tucked behind the sea rail trim.

    The most expensive drawer ever. But worth it.

  2. In the galley, we were unhappy with how our fridge/freezer combination was performing. Both of us got frustrated trying to get things from the refrigerator and keeping things like produce from freezing. On paper, our system should have worked. But translated into the physical world, it didn’t. We added a small Engel freezer and remodeled a cabinet to the left of the navigation desk to hold it.

    This freezer is excellent. Only wish it were larger. It is secured against movement underway and we plan to put fan in the cabinet for more air circulation in hot climates. We will also wedge foam insulation on each side, just because.

  3. Our double sink was from 1974, when the boat was built. We both kind of hated it. The sinks were shallow, and one side was always used for the dishrack. We wanted an extra deep, larger sink. In addition to being a ‘want’, changing the sink was a ‘need’ because the drains were just about ready to give. Indeed, when Mike removed the sink, the drains broke off in his hand. We knew that was coming. The sheer magnitude of the amount of silicone that had been used to extend the life of that sink was astounding.After recovering from our shock over the bid we got to have a sink made for the space (just say NO to $2500 sinks) I found this excellent sink on Amazon for less than 100$. It’s a beauty and I’m very happy with it. This also gave us a little more countertop space to the right, so that’s a win. This sink is technically an under mount sink, but we have trouble following rules. At 21″ x 15.75″ x 9″ it’s also larger than it looks in the photo.

    Don’t tell anyone but this is actually a laundry sink. That’s where you’ll find the deeper sinks. In the laundry section.

  4. The drawer unit to the right of the sink gave me fits. Sure, drawers are very secure underway and blah, blah, blah. These long, skinny drawers were also a pain in the #ss when it came to finding what I wanted. I avoided opening them. In that area they were also a huge waste of space. I wanted to remove the door unit and put in deep shelves. We now have room for the crockpot (yes, it’s going with us) and the saucepans as well as all the utensils and kitchen gadgets.

    I still have trim work to do on this cabinet, obviously. And a cabinet door to have made. You can see the lovely new grey color of the fiberglass in this photo.

  5. The formica was delaminating in many areas of the galley. It was also just plain old ugly. I can live with ugly for the most part, if it’s neutral, but it doesn’t make me very happy, and the whole counter had to be replaced in order to put in a new sink. So, new formica. (Ok, no, I don’t do well with living with ‘ugly’. That was a bold faced lie. But I try not to be a princess about it. Yeah, that’s a lie, too.) After bringing home literally hundreds of samples, we decided on a Greek Key pattern in pale grey and creamy white. Galapagos was pleased since she is built in Greece. This was ‘special’, more expensive Formica, but the word ‘expensive’ used here means still less than 200$ for the entire job with enough extra material that we can use it a number of other places. And it’s so much heavier than the cheap stuff I got for the bulkheads at Home Depot for about 45$ for a 4×8 sheet. That stuff is flimsy and would never last on a counter top. This stuff will still be going when we are dead.

    Close up of new Formica.

  6. The deep cabinet to the left of the sink opened in such a way that it took up almost all of the bulkhead space, which otherwise could be used for storage. I wanted to create a different kind of opening that would maximize the amount of bulkhead available and increase our options for storing dishes.

    Not sure yet how we will use the extra space. We’d like to be able to store dishes and flatware that we use all the time.

  7. We had three faucets in the galley, all of them unsightly and close to end of life. We had the regular faucet, a drinking water faucet that was hooked up to an ancient water filtration system, and the salt water faucet which did not work. We wanted an updated faucet for general work and a salt water faucet with a hand pump. I wanted the ability to rinse out the sink and fill pots and kettles with water easily. We chose this faucet from Delta because it fit the space, had the features we wanted, and a finish that wouldn’t show fingerprints. We love being able to rinse the sink out easily. 
  8. All the water lines in the boat looked original from 1974. You see where I’m going with that. Once you’re into the replacing of things like faucets, you don’t want to be hooking them up to old, tired waterlines. Mike used Pex fittings to replace all the waterlines and I’ll let him tell you all about that in another post.
  9. Kind of related to all this was Mike’s desire to get the old  hot water heater out of his engine room and have a unit that could use the engine to heat water. That way we can have hot water at anchor. We bought a new Isotemp Spa 15 unit from Sure Marine at the boat show. Mike will talk that water heater up in his post.
  10. Galapagos was built at a time when that almond colored fiberglass was all the rage. Now it’s all the tired and homely. Plus, over the years it’s been scuffed, people have put various holes in it, and in general, well, if a boat is going to have new countertops, new sink and faucets, a new freezer, and even a new knife rack, then she deserves a new coat of paint as well. I’ll do a post about how to accomplish this fine thing of painting fiberglass later. But it’s part of the overall picture. Galapagos now sports new pale grey fiberglass that matches the grey Greek Keys in her fine new countertops. She’s pretty spiffy looking, all dressed up and ready to go.

So what’s left to do? That cabinet door, for one thing. And we still need to get the sea water pump. Mike thinks he has located a small, inconspicuous unit. But there is also some finish carpentry left.  I’m not happy with the sea rails on the nav station. Since we changed the size of the cabinet door where the freezer is stored the original trim didn’t fit. We’ll be on the lookout for a better piece we can use, and a rounded corner. Meanwhile, I have a little sanding and touching up to do to what’s there. But, I mean, what else am I going to do with my time?



24 thoughts on “A Finished Galley, By Golly!

    • I am very happy with the uncluttered look. That’s why we don’t yet have a salt water pump. We’ll get one, but it needs to be really low profile. I do not miss the ‘three tall faucets’ look.

    • They are much harder than expected! I fear we approached this the same way we did our house remodel, and it’s actually quite different what with the ‘nothing is square’ and ‘every fraction of an inch counts’ and ‘really narrow spaces’ stuff. But all’s well now and we are pleased as can be.

    • Basically two reasons: First, we needed room for the drawer slides attached to the sides. But the other reason was accessing the space. The drawer pulls out far enough to hit the steps going up the companionway. With a drawer that goes all the way across, there was no place to stand to access the deeper recesses of space toward the back, making that storage not useable. We decided that having a secure place to stand and access the drawer space was more important than having the drawer go all the way across, so I stood with my back in the L shape of the nav station, and the contractor marked the most comfortable place for the drawer to stop. By lifting the lid we still have access to the space we didn’t turn into a drawer, if that makes sense. So we have easy access to 100% of the storage this area represents.

  1. Organized and beautiful! If you are in international waters, are you subject to the rule(s) of whatever country’s territory you are in? That is, are you away from the political chaos of the US? Love you guys!!

    • We’re looking forward to being away from the chaos that is our country for awhile. When in other countries we are, naturally, subject to their rules. When in international waters, there are fewer rules. Just rules about what you can throw overboard: nothing really.

  2. Wow, looks great! Calm, organized, efficient, usable.
    I have one little “downer” for you. I recognize the little LED puck light from Costco you used. We bought two sets for our storage closet and extra lighting in the back of our kitchen. I think it’s because of the remote, but they go through batteries crazy fast.They have great light though, better than the others we’ve tried. Bring lots of extra batteries!

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