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Date: 23 May 2014. How to Access Galley Storage.

Seaweed is a wonderful home, but like all boats access isn't always the best. Big areas in my galley were difficult to get to, and a gigantic cavern does not equal the best use of space in my opinion. But I fixed that and for less than $10 (the price of hinges and some latches) you could do the same.

I like shelves -- and do have Flat-Surface-Itis* a rather contagious disease you may not be aware of -- yet. I rather suspect a lot of people have a case of it. I'm infected for certain.

Flat-Surface-Itis is characterized by the inability to leave a flat surface empty without putting something on it. Aboard Seaweed, I've hidden my Flat-Surface-Itis traits behind closed locker doors, but today I'm going to show you the inside of lockers.


Above, Flat-Surface-Itis displayed.  My dinette is a magnet for Stuff and a challenge to keep tidy.

Access in my galley was not terrific, and I needed to make a few changes to improve things. Most boats are not designed with the idea of storing all the necessities of life, especially 23'ers marketed as weekend fun boats.  Seaweed is home, and as such, the need to access storage areas has become paramount.

For instance there is a nice shelf for my refrigerator to sit on. Below that is an 8" high area by 24" deep that the only way to get to it previously was via the cabinet under the sink. It simply wasn't convenient, and I couldn't reach the far corner without my back scratcher aka arm lengthener. 

And as an aside, yes, a back scratcher will pull stuff to you from corners that are just out of reach.  I recommend every boat have at least one. Mine is most often used to extend my reach -- far more frequently than scratching my back.

Though not fancy by any means I opened up the space, added a couple of hinges and voila: storage that is usable and easily accessible. It's also Skipper's favorite locker. Please note the puppy treats in those two plastic containers on the left.

Though not ideal for stowing my canning jars, it's good enough for now.

Eventually (soon) I hope to build a locker under my dinette that will fit the jars stacked two high. Three is wobbly. If I make the locker three jars deep (the smaller jelly jars) then I'll be able to fit two of the larger 1/2 pint wide mouthed jars two deep. 

In the meantime I've got my eyes open for potential materials. Once I've gathered them I'll give it a go. It probably will not be the best looking locker, but it will work. I'm rather excited about the prospect of having an easy way to locate the particular jar I want.

My concept at present is a locker on wheels so I can roll it out to the center of the galley. I'll tie it to the bulkhead under the dinette unless I need to open it. That's the current plan.

Also on the starboard side, aft near the door to my cockpit was an area under my silverware drawer that was inaccessible.  I was a bit braver with that one and cut out the opening with my jig saw. With a couple of hinges and a latch, I've got a cabinet.

It's not fancy, but it works.

However, said space was more cavern than usable.  So, with a bit of ingenuity and scraps of what I had on hand, I fashioned a shelf.  One of these days I'll fancy it up, but in the meantime I've got food on the upper shelf and the lower has cleaning supplies, lantern oil, electric tools (drill, sander, jig saw) plus my collection of screws, nuts and bolts.

Seaweed's galley isn't perfect but making access has made a big difference in the ability to use what space I have.  You don't have to do exactly as I've done, but with a bit of thinking I'll bet you could come up with some improvements to your boat galley.

Friends have a 40' Hunter sailboat named Moonlight Sue. Carol's galley sink had a large locker under it. Basically, it was a cavern -- huge, but largely unusable space.  In chatting with her one day while sitting in the salon I noted that if her husband opened up the locker from the salon side, he could build in shelves and they would gain a lot of accessible storage space.

I'm not sure if Carol's got her shelves yet, but I'm hoping so. I know I could use an area that big for my galley goods.  So when you look at your galley space also realize that access might be possible from the next cabin behind that bulkhead. [It goes without saying that you must make sure you're not cutting wires, hoses or hydraulic lines.]

A great galley with lots of room for the essentials of life makes boating more enjoyable. Today mine's got a nice cool glass of iced tea waiting for me, and a new book on the Kindle.

I just finished The Box-Car Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner. It's been great fun revisiting my childhood favorites of late.

Reading is a particularly relaxing way to spend an afternoon this time of the year. Perhaps for you as well? 

I'd love to hear what you've done for extra storage in your galley.
And, do you ever read a book again? I do, all the time.

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Categories:  Boat Talk, Boats, Books, Characters, Galley, Money, Organizing, Recommendations

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