Our galley was in sad shape when we bought Ramble On. It wasn’t a catastrophe, but the stove didn’t work, the propane system was junk, the plumbing was iffy, and the refrigeration holding plate was leaking and not installed properly. On the plus side, the water heater worked great!
The propane system on Ramble On was pretty well shot when we bought her. The locker is small and not vented properly, the lines, which were disconnected, were poorly installed with Ts in all the bad places, and we still don’t know if the stove/oven works. The oven was small, the stove had only 2 burners and the brand (Mariner) is no longer made so if anything were to break we’d be S.O.L. Rich and I like to cook and figured we would use at least 3 burners. Rich did some research (thanks Tayana Owner’s Group) and found out that the Force 10 stove/oven we wanted would fit in the opening with only some small modifications to the surrounding woodwork. There was also a propane-fired instant hot water heater installed in the engine room…exactly where the instruction warn against installing it. Nice.
Our plan is to rehab the propane locker. The drains don’t drain properly and we might make it a little bigger so we can get a larger tank.
Equipment we installed:
- Force 10 3-Burner Gourmet Galley Gimbaled Propane Range (21 1/4″H x 21 5/8″W x 22″D Overall, 1.05cu.ft. Oven)
- Fireboy Xintex S-2A Propane Monitor & Control (not installed yet)
- Carbon Monoxide detectors (not installed yet)
- Trident Rubber Assembled LPG Supply Hose
- Trident Rubber Single-Stage Tank-Mount LPG Regulator
- Coleman hose adapter for the BBQ
We decided to scrap the Technautics holding plate (it was old and leaking anyway) that came with the boat and go with a Frigoboat evaporator plate system. Technautics systems use a holding plate and a water-cooled condenser. Frigoboat uses an aluminum evaporator plate and comes with either an air or keel-cooled system, or both. We decided to go with the air-cooled version with a spill-over fan for the fridge and possibly upgrade to the keel-cooled system when we haul-out in a year or two. Our refrigerator/freezer box is small (as are most refrigerators on small sailboats) and the holding plate was bulky and took up a lot of room. The air-cooled Frigoboat system was also about $900 less than the Technautics system. The price in conjunction with the review of the Frigoboat system in Practical Sailor and an endorsement by Nigel Calder made our decision a real no-brainer. Plus, we can upgrade the Frigoboat to keel-cooled down the road, which is supposed to be even more efficient.
Here’s what we did:
- Ripped out the entire box to the hull
- Installed Prodex reflective closed cell foam under new extruded polystyrene insulation – 4 inches for the fridge, 6 inches for the freezer, and 2 inches for the divider wall
- Installed .090 inch fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) panels to create the interior of the fridge and freezer
- Interior corners filleted and fared with West System 105/206 epoxy and 404 and 410 thickeners
- Built insulated doors and frame (top and front) from fiberglass cloth and resin
- Painted the interior of the fridge and freezer with Awlgrip
- Painted the area for the compressor in the engine room with Kelley Moore Dura-poxy
- Installed evaporator in freezer and spill-over fan on the divider wall for the fridge
- Installed power supply and electronic controls
- Installed shelf slides in the fridge
- Installed a light in the fridge (haven’t done this yet)
- Installed new Corian countertop – Rice Paper
- Installed hinges and latches (not installed yet) on the doors (3″ stainless steel hinges and and Perko latches)
- Built an acrylic plastic shelf for the fridge
We gutted the potable water system including our leaking stainless steel water tank, then replaced it all with this:
- Ronco Water Tanks – 40 and 36 gallon tanks with 8″ access ports
- Carbon filter at the water inlet on dock
- PEX water supply line
- Two-stage filter in the engine room for drinking water
- Peerless galley faucet
- Separate drinking water faucet
- Single-basin stainless steel galley sink
- New drain line and fittings
- Whale foot pumps (fresh and salt water) and faucets (not yet operational)
- New water inlet fitting in cockpit combing
We decided to temporarily ditch the pressure pump on the boat and hook the water system directly up to the well water. We were running out of time to get this thing operational and it was easier to do this than to install the new water tanks. We’ll install the tanks sometime after we move aboard. The marina occasionally loses power which means no power to the well pump which means no water so we definitely want the pressure pump as a backup at least. The boat came with three Whale Foot Pumps (two in the galley and one in the head). We rebuilt two of them; the third was cracked and has to be replaced. We’re going to install two in the galley, one for fresh water and one for salt water.
UPDATE: March 2017
Though it isn’t mentioned above, our boat came with a 6-gallon Atwood water heater. It was located in the engine room and took up a significant amount of space. We considered moving it under the quarter-berth where the batteries are located or ditching it altogether. We researched several smaller water heaters and decided to go with an Isotemp Slim 15 which is a 4-gallon water heater. It fits great under the galley sink and we’ve freed up a lot of useable space in the engine room. It’s connected to the AC system but can also be heated by the engine which we’ll hook up at a later date. Here’s a link to the video we made of the installation.
Cabinets & Countertops
We found a solid surface supplier in Auburn, California that was willing to sell us a sheet of Corian. We chose the color Rice Paper, mostly because it was on sale, but it was in our top 3 choices anyway. We bought under mount sinks for the galley and bathroom which look super clean with the Corian. Rich fabricated the countertops and cutouts for the lids (refrigerator, freezer, and storage hatch).
This boat has a lot of storage, but there was definitely room for improvement. One thing we noticed right off is there isn’t really a place for a decent sized garbage can. It seems many boat designers don’t plan for this so people hang up a little plastic bag they got from the grocery store for this purpose. Our boat actually did have a dedicated garbage can located next to the sink with a top loading hatch. It was small and hard to get to if you had anything on the countertop and it wasn’t an efficient use of space. We thought having a proper garbage can sounded like a good idea. We had two little drawers on the wall of the galley island where the sink is, that were pretty worthless. There was a wood box that the drawers slid into in the cabinet under the sink. We decided to rip out the box and drawers and cut an opening for a tilt-out cabinet big enough for a garbage can. This is still a work in progress, but still on our list of projects.
As for the area where the garbage can used to be, we converted that into storage. It turns out there was a LARGE dead space behind the old garbage can. Rich installed a shelf and now we use that area for storage of dry goods. It’s still not super easy to access since we have the dish rack on top of it, but very few places are super easy to access on a boat.
Another storage idea we’re kicking around is turning the chart storage under the nav station into a slide-out pantry. The space is really deep and would be idea for pantry items since we’re probably not going to have a lot of paper charts. For the outboard side of this space we’re thinking of making a computer/camera/electronics storage area accessible through a door in the bulkhead under the nav station. If the slide-out idea works we might install another one forward behind the port settee. There’s a dead space there that’s big enough and it’s hard to access through the settee. Cabinet/locker photos can be seen here.
UPDATE: December 2014
We did finally install a skinny slide-out cabinet where the paper charts used to be. I absolutely love it. The top shelf holds utensils and the bottom two shelves hold canned goods and other food. The latch at the top is like all the other lockers in the boat and I hope it’s strong enough to keep it closed when we’re heeled over.
UPDATE: February 2017
Behind the skinny slide-out cabinet in the nav station there was quite a bit of dead space so we did what we’ve always done and turned it into storage (video here). Rich cut a new door under the nav station to access it and it holds his computer and other electronics. We also changed the access to the area under the new breaker panel. There used to be a weird diamond-shaped hole as access to that area and it was hard to shove anything in there. Rich cut in a proper door and now we have another space for storing even more stuff. Cabinet/locker photos can be seen here.