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Project Log:  Friday, October 21, 2011

The galley was featured on my project list for the day, with more work on the basic cabinetry ahead.  I thought several times that I seemed to have created an insatiable monster in these cabinets; for each design and construction step I completed, it seemed to demand two additional ones.

To begin, I cardboard-templated and ultimately cut panels from 1/2" cherry plywood for the faces of the two main sections of the upper cabinet:  the smaller aft section, hiding the wiring chase; and the long forward section. 



At the after end of the forward piece, I cut it a little short and installed solid cherry trim so that the corner could be flush with no protruding trim that might affect operation of the recessed after panel over the wire chase, which would have to pass by this corner with potential regularity.


The aft panel needed to be removable for ready access to the wire chase behind, and this posed an issue because the space it was fitting in was a bit out of whack, thanks to the curvy aft bulkhead--an original structure to the boat.  This made it difficult for a full-sized panel to fit, as the recess where the panel was happened to be narrower on the way in than where the panel would ultimately end up.  Additionally, a lump on the overhead (underside of the sidedeck) was in the way of the top of the panel, though again it didn't obstruct the panel once in place.

Ultimately, I cut the panel a bit short on the aft and top ends just so I could get it into the space.  I'd worry about trim details later.

The complication with the forward panel related entirely to my plan to build a plate rack in its forwardmost upper section, outboard of the sink.  On our last boat, we lucked out with plate storage, as it wasn't something that I ever factored in during construction.  But there turned out to be a perfect spot above the engine box, tucked beneath the companionway, where we stored the plates and related items for years.

While logic and symmetry (and, as always, various limitations of the space itself) dictated the new layout to a certain extent--I didn't want the plate rack to extend past the leading edge of the stove, and it needed to remain clear of normal operation of the sink and faucets--the main design of the rack was driven by the plates themselves.  To this end, we'd purchased a set of dishes during the week, so I could have the actual plates on hand for laying out the storage area to fit.  As a starting point, this gave me a minimum length and width for the plate rack--which worked out well enough with the true limitations of the actual space available.

But before I could make any cuts and move forward with construction, there were other considerations and sub-installations, starting with a division to the long cabinet itself, to separate the plate storage area from the after section behind the stove.  A small bulkhead here would support the plate shelf, separate the two areas, and provide additional support to the cabinet front.  And it also seemed that I needed a small shelf in the after compartment, to make better use of the tall but narrow space. And after that there'd be insulation and panels...the insatiable monster remained ravenous.

First things first:  the small bulkhead.  I extended the line of the stove cutout across the countertop, cleats, and to the hull itself, which I'd determined earlier was the chosen location for reasons of common sense and aesthetics. Then installed a support cleat for the bottom of the bulkhead before templating the little piece and cutting out the final result from cherry plywood.  I secured the mini bulkhead with epoxy adhesive, clamping it to a temporary hot-glued support block on the overhead while the adhesive set up.


Taking a break from the galley, I used some time right before lunch to lay out and install a series of stainless steel studs in the engine room, on the two side bulkheads and the forward bulkhead.  These studs would eventually support standoffs and plywood panels on which I'd install various engine-related components, like fuel filters, wiring, and the boat's heating system.

But allow me to back up a bit.  Earlier, and after plenty of off-hours research, I selected and purchased sound-deadening foam for the engine room.  I selected 2" thick Soundown composite foam, featuring a 2 lb. MLV layer specified for diesel engine installations.  I planned to line the entire engine room, plus the undersides of the pilothouse floorboards, and then wherever else I could or felt I needed to. 

The foam was essential, but its installation would obviate use of the handy surfaces in the engine room for critical installations.  Which leads us back to the stainless studs, the first step in the installation process.  The studs, and eventual standoffs, would support plywood panels outside of the insulation, without crushing or otherwise affecting the insulation, and in addition to providing the necessary mounting surfaces for whatever was needed, would also serve as protection for the insulation itself.

After working out a logical and easy-to-duplicate grid layout for the mounting studs, I attached the 2" long studs, a Weld-Mount product, with the appropriate acrylic adhesive--six per panel, or 18 total.

The galley faucet, and its convenient operation, was of prime importance and factored heavily into the design of the plate rack above.  To be sure there'd be clearance for the operation of the faucet, since I knew the plate rack would cantilever over the faucet (at least to some extent), I temporarily installed it and made some reference marks on the cabinet face behind.   Meanwhile, I laid out and cut a locker door opening centered behind the stove, for access to that portion of the cabinet.


This information gave me the height of the plate rack above the countertop, half of the information I needed to make the cut in the cabinet face; the other half came from the position of the now-well-secured-enough bulkhead within the cabinet, which would form the after end of the plate storage area.  I made the appropriate reference marks and cut out the section of the cabinet face  From here, I installed horizontal cleats even with the cutout to support the new shelf. 


Next, I cut a plywood platform that would serve as the base of the plate rack, and scribed its inside edge to match the hull.  Then, using one of the dinner plates--the largest diameter I had to contend with--I made a mark on the platform to define its width, allowing some wiggle room and room for the trim, and cut off the excess width.

Though I'd known the shelf would overhang the sink and counter, the overhang was a little more than I'd hoped for.  While there was room to operate the sink faucet, as I'd carefully ensured, maybe it wasn't as convenient as I wanted, so I didn't commit to anything yet.  It was nearing the end of the day, and it'd be a good time to mull this overnight. 

Note:  in the first photo, the faucet control is turned on to its maximum position (raised upwards); the second photo shows it in its off position.


To round out the day, I painted the hull inside the wire chase, which I'd intended to do sometime during the week but never got around to it.  The paint here would allow me to begin some of the installations as needed.  I also painted the outermost portion of the underside of the deck here and above the plate storage area, where the molded bulwarks opened up.  The exposed portions of the underside of the deck would eventually be covered with cherry, but these open areas within the cabinets would remain so, and a little paint now was easier than doing it later.  I never wanted to see the ugly, mottled, glue-spotted hull in the future when I looked into any locker anywhere on the boat.


Finally, I painted part of the engine room:  the side and forward bulkheads, and enough adjacent areas to allow the insulating foam to be installed.  I'd paint other areas later, but I needed to get some of the insulation installed sooner than later lest it hold up any important systems installations that I might want or need to begin in the meantime.  Although most of these areas would be completely covered by insulation and not be visible, I painted everything just because it made me happier, and we must never forget that paint's true purpose isn't aesthetic, but protection, and the paint here would provide that layer of protection for all this engine room wood.


In between all of this, on breaks and so forth, I worked on compiling my order for the heating system.  Over the past few weeks, I'd been researching online and elsewhere, and now wanted to figure out the myriad components (this may be the most complicated installation on the whole boat) and order them so I could begin installation as I saw fit.  More on this later, but I started tracking the hours spent on this process as part of my daily total.

Total Time Today:  8 hours

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