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Date: 10 September 2015. Making a Shelf (and paper towel holder)


It all started out innocently enough. Back in 2008 my *Norcold reefer died and needed to be replaced. At a cost (then) of over $600, an identical replacement unit was beyond my budget. Instead Kidlet gave me a small cube refrigerator that fit into the slot of the old **Never-cold.

* and ** Norcold is a brand of marine (12-volt and AC powered) refrigerators irreverently called Never-cold.

I liked my Norcold until it quit. The one on Seaweed was a 1983 model so to have it fail in 2008 was not terribly unexpected. If money were no object honestly I would prefer a DC model. These units are good.

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Norcold 2.7cf DC/AC 72qt refrigerator

Replacing the Norcold with another 12-volt reefer would have been ideal. The Engel brand line of refrigerators have low power consumption and great reviews. They are $$ and frankly, I cannot afford an Engel. Were money no object however, I would have one.

Engel 60qt AC/DC refrigerator

Engel makes a well-regarded line of refrigerators and freezers. They are known for low power requirements. Again, for those than can afford them the Engel or Norcold would be a good choice.

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With solar once I install the next two panels I should be able to run a regular inexpensive AC powered refrigerator 24/7. That is the theory anyway. As we all know everything works in Theory.


Finally I have upgraded to a larger reefer/freezer. Part of the upgrade meant that the entire cabinet including my stovetop needed to be removed. That was a chore. From the top I had my stove, then a silverware drawer (behind the dish towels) and finally a two-shelf locker.


The galley was in chaos in the photo below. I was moving stuff around and it was a real mess. Ugh.

The duck's head on the right is a handy and pretty hook. I used to hang my umbrella on it.

Below the stove and hidden behind the dish towels is my silverware drawer.

Beneath the silverware drawer is
a locker with a couple of shelves.



Getting rid of the old was not for sissies. I hired a *shipwright for the job.

*Shipwright is simply a fancy term for a carpenter that works on boats versus in houses. It does take a special talent as boats do not have anything that is at a right angle. Not a thing is square. For proof positive of that, and to remind you why I hired an expert this time, see the articles
Building a Locker (Part 1) and Building a Locker (Part 2).

Once removed you can see where the old hose from my propane tank outside came through the aft bulkhead. The water hose is back in place. In the cockpit I have a spigot to rinse off when I'm done swimming. Before traipsing salt through the boat a quick shower is nice. It's also refreshing.



Before the remodel I had bolted a small shelf that fit my aluminum foil, Ziploc baggies to the side of the old storage locker. With the locker sides removed however, I had nothing to attach my shelf too. This is how I solved that issue.

Side Note: For the sake of adequate ventilation (refrigerators put off a lot
of heat) I did not want to enclose the space the new reefer would occupy.

Between the sink and where my new refrigerator will live is a small area of otherwise useless space. It's not real accessible however it is perfect for storage of skinny stuff. I had been on Pinterest and seen lots of great ideas for boxes of baggies and such, none of which would work for Seaweed. I had to adapt.


I had a thin piece of wood leftover from another project. It's less than 1/4" thick. What I'm putting on it won't weigh much so sturdiness is not a factor.

I needed to attach it and had nothing on the right or left to bolt it to. That's when I noticed the LIP where the hull and cabin are bolted together. It's about 3/4" wide and would allow that piece of wood to sit there.

To wedge the wood back, I screwed in to the bottom of my countertop an EYEBOLT. A small string holds the shelf back against the hull.


The above photo was taken before the refrigerator was installed.


Voila: one shelf. Of course once I had put it in place I realized without a fiddle to prevent stuff from falling off, my boxes would not remain where I wanted them.

No job is ever as easy as imagined. I took the shelf back down. Then I added that little 1" high piece of wood you see above. To attach the fiddle, I used small screws from the bottom of the shelf up.

Next I realized if I took a piece of teak long enough for a paper towel roll to fit on, I could have a snazzy paper towel holder too tucked out of the way and still relatively convenient. The STRING (one at each end) holds the teak roller in place.



Photo of new shelf, taken from inside the locker:

The new shelf tucks in beside my fruit and veggie net. It's not perfect however it is Good Enough. And that is the story of my life.

Happy cruising to you all.

I'd love to know where you store your tin foil and related products.
On Pinterest I saw them in a magazine holder bolted to the inside of a cabinet...

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2015, 2023

Categories: Boat Talk, Galley, Money, Organizing

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