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


Seaweed is a wonderful home. Like all boats however, access to storage areas is not always the best. Large areas in my galley were difficult to get to, and a gigantic cavern does not equal the best use of space in my opinion. I fixed that for less than $10. Hinges and some latches solved my problems. You can do the same.

I like shelves and do have Flat-Surface-Itis* which is a rather contagious disease you may not be aware exists. I rather suspect a lot of people have a case of it. I am 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 have hidden my Flat-Surface-Itis traits behind closed locker doors. Today however I am going to show you the inside of my 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. That simply was not convenient. I could not 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 is 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 is good enough for now.

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

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

I will need hinges. Fortunately I have a good supply:


My concept at present is a locker on wheels so I can roll it out to the center of the galley. I will tie it to the bulkhead under the dinette unless I need to open it. That is 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 have 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 shall fancy it up. In the meantime I have 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 have done, but with a bit of thinking I will bet you could come up with some improvements to your boat galley.

Down below on our 40'er the snack bar support was our canned goods locker. Cans were easy to access.


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.]

Seaweed has a fabulous galley. This is the window by my sink:


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 has 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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2014, 2023

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

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