Building Logs

Galley Cabinets

Posted by Paul

The galley is an area I have thought about for a long time. It was always understood by me that the galley and main bathroom would be one of the last sections of furniture construction and we (Jo and I) went through a number of options about how and where we would have the galley but one thing was known from the start, we were always going to have our galley up on the bridgedeck. We cant imagine having the galley in one of the hulls, we know many people prefer that but not for us. We only ever want to go into the hulls for the bathroom or the bedroom. And having built the rest of the bridgedeck cabinets the time has come to start on the galley which forms part of the bedroom (the back wall of the kitchen cabinets form the side wall of the bathroom).

We saw many galleys we liked over the years, we really liked what Tasman had been able to achieve on their 35 foot design. We also particularly liked what we saw on the 48ft Alaskan powerboat. The key feature of that galley is the floor to ceiling pantry next to the sliding door that joins the cockpit to the saloon. Also a feature on the Alaskan is the kitchen bench-top faces out of the aft window and wraps around over the hull to form the roof of the bathroom and the back wall of the cabinet forming the side wall of the bathroom. We have adopted pretty much all of this in our design albeit adapted to our size boat given that we are 8ft shorter and have a slightly narrower beam which both impact on the space available between bulkheads and across the bridgedeck. But there is not much we have not adopted even down to the position of the fridge, not that there are many places we could have put it. About the only real difference is the shape of the saloon seating and even then only minor differences. I can only hope I get the kind of finish Rob from Schionning managed to achieve.

So to the set out, we already pretty much knew where the various cabinets would go so it was just a matter of measuring and cutting before rough in. It must be more than a year since I closed in the doorway from 1200mm to 900mm to accommodate the stand up pantry. This was a consideration when I set out and constructed the cockpit seating all those months ago. The this leaves a space 450mm wide between the edge of the doorway and the edge of the kitchen window space which govern the maximum width that the pantry cabinet can be. I then set each wall of this cabinet back 20mm from each edge leaving me a maximum 410mm external width and given I am using 20mm panels, that affords me 370mm internal width.

galley kickboard kerfinggallley kickboard dry fitpantry wall dry fitpantry wall dry fit 1

Measuring from roof to floor is an easy enough task, as is setting the depth of the cabinet. In home kitchens there is an industry standard of 600mm from front to back (and a standard height of 900mm). And of course I already have a set kickboard height on the nav cabinet of 120mm (I was going to have a 50mm false floor leaving a 70mm kickboard but that idea has been scrapped so we will now have a 120mm kickboard. But for some reason (I dont remember why, I think it was either to get maximum use of existing materials or just a mistake) the bench top on the nav cabinet is only 580mm deep. And whilst I am a big fan of symmetry I thought I would try and crib some of that missing space back figuring we may not miss the space on the nav cabinet but it may be critical on the kitchen bench tops. So I cut the pantry side at 590mm deep cribbing back 10mm and not being too far different as to be visibly obvious between the 2. And I cut the kickboard to length and height. I marked it out for kerfing and cut the kerfs by hand saw. Usually I would use an electric saw but on polycore I find the circular saw rips the glass from panel in fact it pulls the scrim away too. Especially on tight kerfs. This took all of 5 minutes by hand. Then a notch in the front of the pantry side to accommodate the kickboard and I am ready to dry fit. As usual I cut the panel a little oversize then trimmed it down with the grinder until it was a snug fit.

Next step was to decore the front edge of the pantry side and back fill it and glass the kerfed rounded corner to hold its shape. I also cut the 2 shelved that will go into the cabinet next to the pantry and run along the bulkhead. As I did on the nav cabinet I will make part of the bottom shelf removable to make use of the 120mm of space behind the kickboard. Anyway another little mistake today meant that my desire for symmetry was fulfilled in the galley cupboards. As I said, I tried to crib a little size back without it looking odd by making the pantry wall 10mm bigger at 590mm than the depth of the nav cabinet top at 580mm. As usual I slightly overfill the edge and then sand it back, it avoids having air bubbles or other issues with the edges. When I started sanding I had a hollow in the middle of the 2100mm edge so I started to even it out with a long board. And just like Jerry in the Seinfeld episode where he just wanted to even out his chest hair and before he knew it he has shaved it all off, well I had sanded off 8mm of my extra 10mm and most of the filled edge. It was a huge curve. In places I broke through the filler and ended up with core again, to which I will just have to re-fill. No biggie, I have symmetry again and I have refilled the edges. The edges will end up being laminated anyway so I dont even really need to refill the holes but I do just to be thorough.

Summer is well and truly upon us. It must have been 40 degrees on the boat yesterday. I really had to hustle too because the heat was causing the coving to set before I could get the tapes on. And of course I had to wet out as I went along rather than wetting all the tape out at the start like I would have done just 6 weeks ago. And when I am hot and bothered and rushed it is likely that I will be sloppy or make a mistake. Fortunately that didn’t happen and the tapes were all well adhered and nicely peel plied, not that it matters all that much as most will be hidden inside the cupboards but it was nice to know that my work was not terrible because of the conditions. I knocked off at 3pm and went swimming. I just couldn’t do any more. And the saltwater is a great way to lose the itchiness.

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Paul