Floating Point Modifications


When we bought the boat, we found that a few things were lacking from the galley, and we decided to modify the galley to better suit our needs. We required the following: One of the major problem with the galley, (like most galleys on boats) had almost no usable counter space. The only space in the galley that was usable was the top of the icebox, but when cooking, most people need to gain access to this cold dark hole that stores infinite amounts of food (not to mention about 30 new forms of life.) It was obvious that we needed more counter space, so after a few days of playing with different ideas, we decided to add a small flip-up counter to the side of the galley next to the sink. This collapsible counter only adds about a square foot of counter space, but even that is some help compared to none. To add more counterspace, we are considering constructing a small countertop that sits on top of the sink that can be used to hold things when use of the sink is not necessary.

Original galley design

The other modification to the galley that we did was to make better use of the shelf over the galley. The boat originally had just a simple shelf behind the icebox and stove that had just a small lip on it to hold things in. It was pretty nicely finished, so I was careful when I ripped it out. While ripping the face of the shelf off, I learned a very interesting fact about how most of the interior seems to be put together. The interior was constructed using about six screws and about 25,000 gallons of glue. When I initially began disassembling the interior, I figured that it was probably all screwed together, and would be relatively easy to take apart. Wrong. I removed all the screws from the shelf face, and pulled on it, and it didn't move. I tugged some more, and it still didn't budge. As it was beginning to get late, and I wanted to get the face off so that I could use it to construct a new one, I had to somehow hammer it off. Realizing that I had no hammer on board, and being too lazy to run home, I picked up a 50,000 candlepower handheld spotlight, and proceeded to pound the daylights out of the cabinet face until it finally came off (miraculously, nothing on the boat was damaged. Unfortunately, I can't say the same thing for my fingers.) Once the cabinet face was off, I traced it's shape onto a board and cut the board out. To add counterspace and a microwave compartment, I made the new shelf face only half the width of the original. Also, I put a door where there used to be just an open space. The door folds down, and is supported by two small lengths of line that give it strength to serve as a small fold down counter. And the microwave fits in nicely beside it. With these modifications complete, the galley is complete (at least for now....)

Nav Station

The nav station was pretty decent when we bought the boat, but after examining it closely, we found that it could be improved in both looks and functionality. The only major problems with appearance were in the fact that the trim around the nav table was mahogany, which tended to clash with the teak in the boat. The other superficial problem was with the bare plywood instrument panel at the back. It was just asking to be covered with formica and have a nice teak trim put on it. Once again, I doodled for a few weeks trying to come up with a better design for the nav station.

Nav station before modification

Finally, I decided to remove the entire station, and discard the lower half. Once again (as is present in most of the interior of the boat) I found that the primary fastener used in the construction of the nav station was not screws as most people would expect, but an enormous amount of glue. I removed all 5 screws or so, and then figured that I could just pull on the nav station and the glue would break, and the station would come out pretty easily. Once again, the boat proved me wrong. After wasting about 3 hours (and burning about 40,000 calories), I finally had to admit that the nav station had me beaten. But rather than give up like most normal intelligent people, I ran home, grabbed a sabre saw and a 150' extension cord, and ran back to the boat. I plugged in the extension cords and the sabre saw, and proceeded to hack the nav station into a few uniquely shaped pieces, all the while laughing maniacally (and probably worrying the people in the apartment building that is behind the boat.) Once the carnage was over and the dust had settled, I had about 6 pieces of a nav station, all still perfectly glued to the inside of the boat, and refusing to come out. By this time I was getting just a little bit ticked off, and after muttering a few choice words, decided that the nav station had finally won, and I packed up and headed home. A few days later, I came back to the scene of the battle, but this time with reinforcements. My brother, my dad, and I proceeded to wiggle and flex the pieces of the nav station until the glue finally released it's iron grip on them. I took the pieces of the nav station home, and traced most of the dimensions onto some marine plywood, and cut out the new face to the nav station. I added a stack of three drawers on the left side of the nav station, and one drawer on the right side. I then put white formica on all of the exposed plywood on the nav station. I also built a new face for the shelf over the nav station so that we could flush mount most of our instruments. Once I had all of the plywood covered with formica, and a nice teak trim on all of the edges of the nav station, the nav station was complete, and now, much more useful, because it now had storage space.

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