Stove Removal, Microwave & Induction Range, Cabinet Refinishing, Counter Top Issues, Wine Storage

Stove Replacement


While the Force 10 stove was is functional, we really want to use the space for a combination microwave/convection oven with a propane cook top.



So, out with the old….


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While doing research on propane range tops, we started thinking about going the electric route.  This lead us to learning the about the advantages of an induction unit as we realized that we could salvage some counter space by not having a built in propane range top.


Our replacement for the propane range and stove is a Sharp combination convection microware and a True Induction brand range.   The Sharp fits very nicely in an existing cabinet, with less than ¼” to spare from the back of the unit to the closed cabinet doors.  The induction range top stores underneath the microwave when not in use.

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We did go out of our way to build a shelf for the microwave to make sure the unit does not move in any direction when the boat is either rolling or pitching.  Recesses for the legs accomplish the task nicely.


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We really like the induction top for cooking.  It is easy to clean with the glass top and the only region that gets warm is the area directly under the pan.  You do have to use mildly magnetic cookware but the technology is quite efficient, being able to boil water faster on this unit than our gas range at home.  We needed a new set of pots and pans anyway.   The added benefit is that when we are done cooking, it goes back in the cabinet freeing up counter space.  In theory, our 125 amp alternator should be enough to float our battery bank when using this on the inverter but the reality is that we don’t cook underway.  The 8kw genset is enough to power this guy, the microwave, air conditioner and still have enough to charge the battery bank simultaneously when at anchor.  When dockside there is ample AC power.


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We did get around to replacing the old lighting under the cabinet with some cold cathode fluorescents.  The bulbs are 36” long and draw .3 (point three) amps each.  They are incased in plastic tubes as they were sold for under car lighting applications. They do a good job in lighting the area.



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We were working on wiring the switches for the under cabinet lights in the picture below.


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2012 has come and almost gone.  The only thing we accomplished on this project was painting the region where the stove/range lived. How we will utilize this space has not been decided.  Pieces to support the counter top replacement were added and a temporary piece of plywood is temporarily being used to cover the hole.  We are still trying to decide on what to do about the counter tops as they either need replaced (not really an option as they appear to be both glued and screwed to the cabinet frames) or refinished in some fashion. 



Spring of 2013 saw us remove the wicker, strip them, stain and varnish all the cabinet doors in the galley and saloon.  This turned out to be quite the tedious job as there were 20 doors that needed work.




Fortunately there were only a few doors that somebody else had “repaired”.  Trying to dig out the splines on these was incredibly difficult and time consuming.  All the doors needed the spline grooves re-routed to allow the new spline material to properly seat.




Stained and getting varnished.




The handles were especially painful due the number of them.




The cane and spline needs to be soaked to make it pliable enough to go into the grooves.  We needed to put together a waterproof box for this process.  Old shrink wrap comes in handy at times.




YouTube videos can be quite helpful if you don’t know exactly what you are doing and we didn’t as we have never had the occasion to do any caning work before.  The one thing I learned is that you better have the proper tools when doing so many doors.  We saw a video where some English chap was pushing the cane down with a brass tool.  We duplicated the design using some polycarbonate and added a wooden handle for comfort as you have to work the cane into the slot.  There is a large radius at the bottom of the tool that lets you accomplish this.  After this step you can insert the spline that locks the cane in and trim off the excess.  We used hide glue as it is water soluble and will allow for the replacement of the cane if it ever becomes necessary again.


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We decided to replace the hinges as they were corroded and didn’t clean up well.  Of course no good deed goes unpunished.  While we could find hinges that were essentially the same size, evidently somebody decided that it would be a good idea to change the hole spacing for the screws that go on the door side.  The holes were only off by about one hole diameter, but of course that only made the job more difficult as all the holes needed to be drilled and plugged first.  To keep from losing the hinge registration, one hole needed filled, then the hinge positioned over the remaining holes so you could mark the center hole in its new location before filling the other holes and then remarking those using the newly located center hole.  Six holes/door times twenty doors.  What fun.


We thought that would be the end of things but when we went to hang the doors we found they didn’t shut.  It turns out the “bend” in the hinge was slightly different than the old ones to the tune of about the thickness of the material the hinge was made from.  This means we need to cut a recess in all the face frames so the doors will shut.  We made a jig from some acrylic to let us use the Mutimaster to create recess.  Ok, we only had to do this two times twenty doors or forty times.  The man hours keep piling up.




To keep the cabinet doors from dumping the cabinet contents when the boat gets rolling we added some positive latches on select doors.




The counter tops kept haunting us.  I priced out material to do the replacement ourselves and realized how expensive that was going to be considering the fact that I didn’t exactly own all the necessary specialized tools for working with solid surface material.  We finally decided on having somebody else do the work (not my style but a man has to know his limitations).  We heard that the big box stores don’t do boats but there really wasn’t anybody local that I knew so it was off to Lowes for a quote.  They have a minimum square footage requirement and to meet that we would have to do the counter top in the head also.  What a shame.


I told the people at Lowes that the installation is on a boat, they called the subcontractors that do their work and they said they didn’t care; a counter top is a counter top.


They measured the original counters using photogrammetry which somewhat surprised me as I didn’t think it would be accurate enough given the fact that things weren’t square.  I didn’t have them do the cutouts for the sinks as the tolerances were +/- nothing and we needed to re-use the sinks.  Anything more modern was either too big or too small.




Since we were using the original counter tops as an underlayment (the new tops are only ½” thick) I needed to trim the overhang back to allow the new ones to fit properly.  In the U portion of the galley I used a flush cut router bit to trim things back flush with the face frames.  We used a piece of ¾” plywood to fill the gap where the stove had been removed. 





To finish preparing the site we refinished the “Pilgrim Post” as it really needed it and got a number of coats of varnish on the face frames in the process.


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The installers show up right on schedule and begin the finish process.  The back piece fits the curve of the side of the house perfectly.




The remaining piece needed to get taken off the boat a number of times for minor alterations before they can get it around the post.  They have some pretty neat vacuum clamps for putting this stuff together.




After they sanded the joint smooth you can’t even tell it is there.




The head went just as well.  Total time for the installation was 2-1/2 hours with two guys working.  Total cost of having this done by somebody else was $1100.  That is the best boat buck we ever spent as our cost for materials was going to be in the $700 range. All of this stuff is cut with a CNC router and it fit perfectly, the extra thickness region around the edges clearing the face frames by less than 1/8” in places.





Now it was up to us to finish the job so we carefully laid out the cut out for the sinks and got to work.  I was surprised at how heavy the material was that I removed.  It is really solid acrylic and now I know why the installers looked like they were struggling when maneuvering the large pieces around.






We did buff out the stainless on the sinks before reinstalling and they look pretty much like new.


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A new wire chase needed fabricated for the galley outlets so we did that.  There is almost no room for the outlet box but we made it work.




Next up is the cabinetry for where the propane stove used to live.  We cheated again and purchased custom drawers and doors.  The drawers were really nice dovetailed units at $20 each




The doors were a little pricey at around $100 but they were mahogany and we were able to match the stile width on the existing lower doors.  We did have to do the edge treatments as well as the finishing ourselves.  Since you can’t buy the handles we have we needed to make a set of those also. 




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We also ditched the noisy Nevercold refrigerator and replaced it with a Nova Kool that has about 1/3 more volume, energy efficient, an internal LED light (hooray) and quiet.  We made up a set of teak panels for the door fronts rather than use the black plastic pieces provided. 





Every boat needs wine storage, so this is our solution.  Actually we had some wine cabinets at home that nobody wanted so I salvaged the racks out of them and put them in the cabinet under the counter.  This pretty much completes the refurbishment of the galley.





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