I was given an idea by a friend that makes campervans on an alternative method of making a curved corner panel for the galley cabinets, especially the floor to ceiling pantry unit. The longer a curved panel is the harder it is to curve it and maintain a fair curve. So instead of kerfing a rigid panel or cold molding an unglassed panel, both methods I have employed so far in the galley, and found kerfing is a bit better for achieving a fair finish, another method is to use a drain pipe cut into quarters. The walls on the larger pipes are close to 8mm thick so the panel is rigid and the only issue is attaching the pipe to the panel edge. PVC when keyed (roughed up by sanding or grinding) can be glassed, and furniture panels, especially cosmetic door and wall panels dont require the same level of strength that structural furniture walls do so I have no doubt that glassing to pvc pipe each side would be strong enough.

My first experiment with the quarter pipe was the bathroom side wall and ceiling which separates the galley from the bathroom providing a back to the galley cabinets. I have a depth issue in that I am again compromising between the cabinets intruding into the walkway space and where the bathroom wall will be (straight up from the chamfer to bridgedeck join) that forms the back of the cabinet. In order to get some depth into that cabinet which will be a set of drawers I am firstly constrained by the position of the back wall. Then whatever the depth I decide I need then dictates how far the cupboard protrudes into the walkway. Set where I would like them to be I get about 350mm of cupboard depth. Ideally I need at least 400mm. I want the top drawer to be a cutlery draw and usually a plastic cutlery divider is a minimum 400mm, you get a plastic edge all around of around 80mm to cut to the actual size of the inside draw dimensions but the minimum is usually about 400mm across the actual cutlery divisions. So one way to get a little more depth into that top drawer was to curve the corner. I had the idea to have a curved corner for some time because the other wall (the hull side to deck) is already curved so I have had a matching curve marked on the bathroom side of the stair wall and the main bulkhead (between bathroom and shower) for a while. The pvc pipe curve is an easier way of getting my curve in, it is a smaller radius but not by much and will work out fine.

I cut the length of drain pipe I had to the length I needed to span the distance from the bathroom stairwell wall to the bulkhead (1200mm) and then cut it into quarters giving me 4 ninety degree curves. I only need one at this length but will need 2 at 740mm for the stairwell to cabinet curves and still have enough length to also cut a kickboard piece for each corner (140mm). I then keyed the surface of the 1200mm length preparing it for glassing to the pieces of 9mm ply I will use as the side and top of the panel. The panel is inside the cupboard from the bridgedeck side and will have a lining over it on the bathroom side and the top section will end up with another top, the bench top over it in the galley so being 9mm ply is not an issue. I also have 13mm ply but that I felt was just too heavy and not required. 9mm ply is a touch heavier than polycore but not by much and over the area involved (800mm high x 1200mm wide) we might be talking about a few hundred grams heavier and I still have plenty of ply left (about 5 sheets) but I have run out of polycore for now so the budget is also dictating some of the decisions. I will need about another 4 panels of polycore which means I will have used 20 panels of varying thickness in total in the construction of the furniture. Considering each panel has cost me about $150 in polycore panel, resin and glass, that is about half what ATL or other companies charge for pre glassed panels, and at $3000 for my entire furniture build about 1/5 the cost of buying a pre-cut furniture kit from Schionning (the price was about $15k when I first bought my kit, maybe a touch more now). I dont say that to suggest a pre-cut furniture kit is not worth the money but if you intend on free styling your layout you are much better off either buying the panels pre-glassed or like me, glassing them yourself.

bathroom side wallbathroom side wall and roof

Measuring and cutting ply to size is quite easy and once I had the 2 pieces I glassed the pvc quarter pipe to the larger of the 2 ply panels, the bathroom side wall/cabinet back wall. I screwed tha panel to a bench over a sheet of plastic to stop it sticking to the table. I then made some curved wedges to mount the curved quarter pipe in so that it held at the correct angle and tightly in place edge to edge and glassed it. Once set I glassed the other side. With glass tapes on both sides the join is very solid. I then did the same again only this time I just set the wall side on blocks so that its height was exactly right to butt join the other pipe edge to the other panel also at the correct angle and again on plastic sheet with screws in the panel to stop it moving as it set. Again one side at a time and once both sides were set I had a single corner panel with curved corner that will go into the space to seal off the bathroom from the upper bridgedeck and the galley cabinets there. I will glass it into the boat on the weekend.

I have not quite figured how I will attach the curved quarter pipe to the already in place vertical stairwell panel and the cabinet fronts. I think I will almost certainly attach the curved pvc to the cabinet front first as this can be done off the boat on a bench. It is quite easy making horizontal panels to join straight but a bit harder to do vertically in panels already in place on the boat. I have to make these joins as clean possible as they need to be fair so that it is invisible once laminated, in other words no bumps and a straight edge.

Another loose end still needing to be finished is the cupboard between the back of the starboard daggerboard case and the bedroom wall, actually this area in both hulls needs to be finished, but I have had the parts made and sitting in place on the starboard side for some time, now it is time to finish it by glassing it all in. I have been procrastinating about whether or not I need the cupboard space in that area because putting a door in is much more work than just glassing the panel in, and the space below what would be the middle shelf is next to useless anyway so any door would only be from half way then up to the top so only about 350mm high by about 250mm deep by the 1 meter or so wide, its not a huge lot of space we are not getting to utilize and does not seem worth the effort. So I curved the kickboard panel and glassed it to the bottom shelf off the boat and will then glass the bottom shelf into the boat with the kickboard attached. Then I will glass the front on and then the top and leave the space inside as buoyancy.

curved kickboard sb stairwellcurved kickboard sb stairwell in place

I will also get started on finishing the saloon seat return opposite the pantry to finish the walkway from the main doors to the galley and the pathway into the port hull next. I am aiming to have the galley finished by Christmas leaving just loose ends and the bathroom/shower/laundry to do to finish the furniture. By loose ends there are a number of cabinets started such as the ensuite, all the parts made but not yet glassed in or still a part to be made such as the port bed side cupboards and various other bits and pieces so that I can get stuck into the rear steps to finish the outside construction, before embarking on the final phase of the build, the final fit and finishing.

Time Spent: 40.00 Hours
Total build time so far: 3480.00 Hours
Total Elapsed Time: 5 Years 2 month 4 weeks

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Paul