Victory Break

The head is done!
The galley is done!
The topsides are done!
The deck is done! *almost


It’s time for a relaxing lunch to celebrate the progress we have made. In town, there is a quaint restaurant that serves the most delicious cheese on toast. This is a wonderful way to celebrate our little victory on the projects list!

Galley Refit: Completion

The galley is done! The wood working and counter top making ended a while ago, but the stove and oven were somewhere in the mail. Without them, I could not “finish” the galley refit, as a galley without a stove is nothing more than a sink.


Our new stove and oven are an older Origo 6000 alcohol system that fit nicely into the space provided. One of my friends has this same stove in his boat and he highly recommended this unit for our new stove. The best part of the unit is that the entire system is gimballed which will allow us to cook much more comfortably while making a passage.


With the stove and oven installed, our galley is finished! This project proceeded much faster than the head refit partly because I was working exclusively in wood, instead of a combination of fiberglass and wood, and because the final design was well thought out before the project began.

The head refit was a nebulous idea that morphed along as the project evolved. Every time I went to attach something permanent, we would look at the proposal and wonder how it would affect everything down the line. I always worried that what I built today would be removed tomorrow due to a change of plans. This led to a much more cautious approach which was also a much slower process.

The galley was anything from an evolving concept. We had the sink, all the wood, and the stove; though the stove was in the mail. The plan was well thought out and the goal was to finish as soon as possible because our end date was fast approaching and this wasn’t the final project for the boat.

With sure thought and a sound plan, the galley came to be in a very short amount of time which also allowed us to get our boat back into living condition with a relatively minor upset in the timeline.

Galley Refit: Polishing Hardwood

All the glue sanded off and the entire counter fit in place. The plastic has been removed and everything is looking ready to go!


Before the wood can be finished, the wood first needs to be prepared! I initially sanded the wood with 60 grit paper to take off the glue lines and fair up any imperfections. Then I graduated to 320 grit paper, then 500 grit paper.


At 500, the wood felt smooth and looked great, but I knew I could do better! To take it the extra mile, I sanded the entire counter with 2000 grit paper, the same kind you use to polish porcelain.


The result was wood that not only felt smooth, but also looked smooth too. Being a very hard wood, the wood itself could be “polished” on it’s own to have an amazing luster where it was “almost” reflective.

With the wood dry and “thirsty” I then caulked the seam between the sink and the counter top. Once that was cured, the counter itself was oiled with linseed oil.

Galley Refit: Countertops Part 2

Time is short, let’s get gluing!

With the sink set in the area and the mahogany dry fitted onto the counter, everything was measured and fitted. Now it is time to glue up the four independent parts in place, but without getting glue on any of the galley components.


Like the old commercials used to say: “Plastics make it possible!” I cut open a large black trash bag and covered the sink with it, as well as the entire area that will live under the counter. Then the four independent pieces of the counter were isolated from each other with shrink wrap. Having everything in place makes the gluing process easier since I can assemble the whole counter top and just clamp the edge to the bulkhead, applying even pressure to the entire structure.

Titebond III was used to give a permanent and waterproof bond between the planks.


The pieces were allowed to cure overnight and then all the clamps and plastic could be removed from between them.

The inboard edge needed to have a rabbet cut into it to fit onto the edge of the counter’s plywood sheathing. The issue is I didn’t bring my rabbet plane to the Azores, so I had to use a table saw and carefully cut out the section of wood that needed to disappear in order to get it to fit flush up against the edge.

With the four pieces glued into solid pieces and everything test fitted, the next step is to glue the whole counter together, just like before but without the shrink wrap isolating the four pieces of wood.

Galley Refit: Countertops Part 1

Unlike the head, which had a nebulous plan of fiberglass and wood construction, the galley is much more straight forward. The counter top is going to be made out of edge grain sapele mahogany, the plan is completely thought out, and there is a much shorter amount of time available for the project.

Let’s get started!


I had previously ordered all the mahogany that I needed before I even started the head refit. Having a stack of lumber in a boat is always fun! The wood sat in the galley area waiting for me to get around to working with it for months.

The planks that run the length of the galley are simple and straight forward. The pieces that sit at the ends of the sink are a different story. There were the really small blocks and the longer blocks. It was easy to think of the wooden sections as four independent areas: the forward piece, the aft piece, the inboard piece, and the outboard piece.


With a chop saw, we were able to quickly make all the blocks uniform in size and fit nicely into the space available. With all the wood ready and organized, the next step was for Maddie to organize the grain patterns and wood colors into a pattern she found appeasing to the eye. The blocks were then marked and oriented so that we could glue each of the four groups up independently.