The last in our Winter/Spring 2015 series of changes

to make life on our lady more accommodating.

This one addresses one of my biggest beefs

…the companionway door.

It’s awkward, cumbersome and a pain to store.

Boat modifications seem to be one big chain reaction…

We had a rubbing problem…

Companionway hatch was wearing away the gelcoat…

Solution, via more great social media group suggestions,

apply tephlon tape.

And since we had to remove the hatch and rails to apply the tape,

why not replace the white rails with wooden ones?

And since we were replacing the wooden rails,

why not re-design the companionway door.

…and so on and so on…

Plexiglass was considered…nice modern touch,

but Captain loves his wood accents

and we were definitely on a wood path.


…our final Winter/Spring project #5…

…Francois first measured out the bristol board template.
…a glass of wine (lower right corner) always helps the creative process.
…confirming the correct dimensions
on a sheet of 3/8″ baltic birch.
Condo life has its advantages as we can lock our door and leave for indefinite periods.
..but although François would kill to have the space for a proper workshop,
he has made good use of our kitchen,
living room,
dining table
and little guest room
for our winter projects.
Using a skill saw and improvised wooden guide
he made the intial straight cut.
…then back to the boat,
making sure the overall shape and dimensions were correct.
…the porthole…
oh, how I do love this idea!!!

16″ x 8-5/8″

…to be installed in the upper half of the door.

with a 3/4″ backing plate to strengthen the structure.

Then back to the boat to make sure all the pieces fit…

…the main door components now in two sections.
…with 2 additional screened sections.
…a little mix of this…
…with a little match of that…
…then back home to the guest room ‘workroom’
for stain and Cetol.
After 4 coats of Cetol,
the project is moved to the kitchen ‘workroom’
for cocktails…
…and installation of the porthole…
…countersunk holes…


…Butyl caulked screws…
…for a good water tight seal…
For the screened sections…
Francois chose aluminum mesh for more strength…
…secured with stainless steel staples…

…mitre-cut oak trim, stained to match…

…covering the staples to make a cleaner finish…

1-3/8″ oak overhang on top section…
…with weather stripping for a little added seal…

…all ready to go back to the boat.

All that hard work needs protecting when not in use,
so I found a travel bag for $15
and a yoga mat for $10
that I cut up to fit between each piece.

We couldn’t find a lock that suited the Mac,

so instead of re-inventing something that would fit,

we used the one from the original door.

Porthole, the perfect size….
….for all those important small things!
Galley Kat
Major Pig (ret’d)




Sunny cloudless skies,
24 ° C (74 ° F)
One last task that has to be accomplished before R.E.D.
goes back in the water for the season.
First a cockpit breakfast…
Then I masked off the perimeter….


François roughed up R.E.D.’s belly…
…really nasty stuff…





…about one hour of prep time…



…as with last year, one quart of Micron CSC does the job.




…and about 2 hours of careful touch up…



…now she’s ready to go back in the water


BOAT MODIFICATIONS – Galley Improvements

BOAT MODIFICATIONS – Galley Improvements

I think this is our #4 of winter/spring mods for R.E.D.
…I’m kind of losing track.
A trip during early spring to make sure our lady was secure,
any extra snow was knocked off the tarp
and with surprisingly little effort we extracted the galley.
There it is!…
…how many other boat-crazy people would remove their galley
and display it on their coffee table?
…I suppose same crazy people
who see their anchor
as a piece of art.


here it is again…

the ‘before’…

very dark interior,

limited access to storage

and my one-burner alcohol stove.

First step was to reinforce the opening
with 3/4″ x 2″ marine plywood
and 1/2″ on the back and sides to ease installation
of future pressurized water system etc.
The front panel was removed
and a stainless steel piano hinge installed at the base.
…to make a drop-down storage access.
…and the interior refreshed with
two applications of Captain’s favourite paint…
…stainless steel hardware was added to both sides…
to make a secure heel-worthy closure.
and lengths of chain to support each side when opened…


…the new Dometic electric/alcohol combo stove
was wired,
an extra electrical outlet installed.
all GFI protected.
(you can have a look at what was done here)


…The ‘after’

…back to the living room for a final photo shoot,

all polished and ready to return to the boat.

Still the same basic design,
but with modifications
that will relieve some of the little frustrations
that come with living in tight spaces.
Brighter and easier to clean…
…and will be much easier to access
and hook up our water supply.
That almost lost space under the galley?
(hatch installation here)
…now easily accessible and ready for summer provisions.
In the grand scale of things,
these weren’t big modifications,
nor were they expensive ones.
For now we choose to change what bugs us the most,
access and storage.
Someday we would like to be able to wash both hands at once,
but we can live with the ‘pump and squirt’ faucet one more season.
Just a lick of paint,
Captain’s innovations,
inspirations from our social media boating community,
…a collaborative effort…
and voilà,
all pretty once again.
Refrigeration back onboard…
(link to construction for housing of our cooler here)
…and all the little monkey socks ready to protect François’ boat buddies:
Jack, Johnny, José and Captain Morgan.
I am one Happy (can’t-wait-to-be-back-on-the-water) Galley Kat!