Constructing a New Galley
This page was last updated on 30 January 2002

Layout and construction of a new, super-insulated icebox  |  Layout and construction of the engine box and companionway ladder

Layout and construction of the galley countertop, stove enclosure, and storage  |  Rebuilding the Other Parts of the Interior

Installing the Stove and LPG System  |  Galley Water Systems

Please note that each section of this page details a single portion of the galley construction from start to finish, or nearly so.  Therefore, while each individual section may be chronological in terms of that part of the project, in most cases several of the projects were underway at the same time, and were more or less at a consistent level of completion with one another.  

Engine Box and Companionway

I began rebuilding the galley and interior with the enclosure around the engine, so that I can finally get some proper steps down into the cabin and get rid of the milk crate I have been using for the past few months.  Plus, building around the engine to give it the necessary space is one of the most important considerations in the new interior design.

The first thing to do was to cut out the settee on the port side where the icebox will eventually reside, to make it as big as possible, and to allow for the 4" of insulation I will be installing.  See details here.  I did this first so that I would have the best access to make the cut.

Next, I constructed a framework around the engine, incorporating two different levels, the lower of which will be the same height as the adjacent galley countertop (30" from the cabin sole).  These staggered platforms are necessary to take into account  the physical dimensions of the engine, but also work out well for steps.  The two athwartships cross braces, designed to support the weight of the step, are easily removable for wide open engine access by removing four screws from the top.  I used a combination of oak, cypress, and fir that I had in my scrap collection, all secured with #8 x 1 1/2" stainless steel screws.

The next step was to cut and install plywood as necessary to cover the sides of the engine box, as well as the steps and front.  To do this, I made patterns (click here for a brief lesson in pattern making), transferred the lines to the plywood, and cut the pieces out.  I used 9mm merranti marine plywood, a high quality, void-free, 7-ply product, for the areas that will be hidden or covered with Formica, and 1/2" cherry plywood for the vertical step riser and the large panel at the front of the engine box.  The various panels are designed for easy removal to gain quick and simple access to the engine for inspection or service.  Eventually, the edges of the panels will be hidden behind solid cherry trim pieces, which will also act as channels into which the panels can slide.  All the pieces are loosely installed at the moment, but as the adjacent cabinetry is installed things will fall into place.

With the basic pieces of the engine box and steps in place, and after completing some of the adjacent cabinetry (see other sections of this page for descriptions), I installed satin white Formica on the horizontal surfaces.  To protect the surfaces during the remainder of construction, I laid cardboard over the vulnerable areas.

With only the two steps built into the top portion of the engine box, I spent several months climbing in and out of the boat by stepping down on to the port settee--acceptable during construction, but of course not good enough for the long haul.  hinckleysteps.jpg (46916 bytes)Some sort of steps at the lower engine box were needed.  Last summer, I saw a nice, simple set of removable steps on a Hinckley Pilot (seen in the thumbnail to the right), and thought a similar setup would work well on Glissando.  Basically, the steps are a self-contained unit, secured with simple latches, that can be easily removed to gain access to the engine or if more space is required in the galley.  I designed the steps to be narrow enough to allow galley access in the narrow Triton cabin, and also to allow the oven door to be opened when they are in place.  A normal, centerline ladder would have been continually in the way.  The new step unit will be installed on the port side, nestled against the settee, leaving a foot or so of open space in front of the stove and galley.

To build the removable steps, I determined the size necessary--there are three steps, with an 8" rise, and the treads are 8" wide--and cut the various pieces to size.  Each succeeding step is 3" deeper than the one above.  I made the unit from 1/2" cherry plywood with solid cherry trim.  The treads are two layers of 1/2" plywood glued together and screwed to cleats attached to the insides of the plywood sides.  I plan to install the steps with draw latches for a tight, secure fit, but they'll be easily removable when necessary.  The steps will be finished to match the surrounding woodwork.  One side of the frame is shorter than the other to accommodate the curvature of the hull where the steps will be mounted.

For easy removal, as well as a tight, secure fit in place, I installed the steps with draw clamps.  When latched, these draw the two pieces together for a tight fit.  I used two of these on the steps, and they work pretty well, but, because of the curvature of the hull and the short leg's tendency to want to slip down the angle, some further restraint is needed.  To prevent movement and help lock the steps into place, I installed a wooden cleat on the angled portion of the hull.  The side of the step fits between this cleat and the side of the settee, effectively preventing it from its tendency to slide down.  To allow for the new cabin sole that will be installed in a couple months, I placed a scrap of plywood the same thickness as the new sole beneath the steps before installing the hardware.  I also had to cut away a small portion of the settee fiddle on the port side aft, so that the steps could fit tightly against the settee.

To protect the top two countertop surfaces, I installed  two cherry step pads for the upper steps.  The pads are about 5" by 4", and feature a grooved top surface for traction.  These will prevent all the footfalls from landing directly on our sandwiches or on the steps, which are going to end up being a useful part of the galley countertop.  I installed the pads with screws from beneath.

I've found that it often works best to come down the first two steps and then turn around and back down the last three steps.  This is because the steps are so narrow and shallow, and therefore work best when the front part of your foot extends into the opening.  With the heel, there's only a few inches of bearing surface, and it's a little more awkward.

To complete the engine box portion of the galley, I installed a number of various trim pieces on the steps, engine box and around the galley.  Details on the trim can be found here.

Galley Countertop and Stove

The Triton was lacking a well-found galley in the original design, and one of the first things I did was rip the old junk out.  Now, almost a year later, the time came to begin rebuilding.  We purchased a 2 burner stove with oven, and to accommodate it's size, come changes needed to be made to the general cabin layout.

In order for our new stove to fit, it was necessary to shorten the starboard berth somewhat, and also to cut out the settee platform to allow the stove to sit at the proper height.  Using the dimensions provided with the unit, I marked the settee where cuts were necessary, and cut it out with a jigsaw.

With the cutout made, I used a tick strip to measure and make patterns for the two bulkheads that will go on either side.  The forwardmost bulkhead will be seen and was cut from 1/2" cherry plywood; the after bulkhead will not be seen in the final installation and was cut from marine merranti plywood.  

To install the bulkheads, I added cleats where necessary, and, when I was sure of their position, I glassed portions of the bulkheads to the hull. Because I had previously painted nearly the entire inside of the hull and lockers with Bilgekote, knowing that some areas would become inaccessible as I constructed the interior, it was necessary to grind off any paint that was located where I needed to install fiberglass tabbing.

To help support the galley countertop, and also to subdivide the large space beneath, I installed a small bulkhead/divider there.  Because it is lower than the one in the picture, you can't really see it in this view.  It can be seen in some of the other pictures in this section, though.




Next, I continued the stove enclosure by adding a bottom and back to the opening.  After consulting the owners manual for the stove again, with its measured drawing, I screwed cleats to the sides of the enclosure where necessary to support the new pieces.  This includes an angles section at the back of the bottom in order to conform to the hull.  Then, I cut plywood to fit the spaces; the plywood will later be covered with Formica.  This created a nice pan storage area immediately behind the stove, beneath the partial countertop.


This shows the new stove enclosure after installing the various plywood pieces over the cleats I installed.  The two pieces on the eh bottom will remain removable to provide access to the plumbing that will be installed underneath a little later on.




I cut two pieces of plywood to fit over the galley area.  Once I determine the sink I am using, and cut a couple access hatches to the storage areas beneath, the plywood can be permanently installed and covered with Formica.  

First, though, I had to cut some access hatches for the storage areas that were created beneath the new countertops.  I marked off the size of the openings I wanted and cut them with a jigsaw, and screwed wooden cleats around each opening to support the flush hatches.


With that out of the way, I went ahead and installed more satin white Formica over the surfaces of the galley, including the inside of the stove enclosure.  Later, the exposed edges of plywood and other junctures will get covered with pieces of solid cherry trim.   Please visit the interior trim page to see details on this trim work.




I enclosed the final remaining areas behind the stove and aft portion of the galley countertop with cherry plywood, cutting it to fit as necessary.  I cut openings in the face to allow access to the compartments behind. The placement and general configuration of these was determined arbitrarily by eye, and everything is installed with screws and wooden cleats as needed.  The cabinets outboard of the countertop, especially the after two, are difficult to reach because of the cockpit molding; I don't expect to use them for important items.  I will still be able to reach inside the upper cabinets in order to install the genoa track and any other deck hardware in the area.

Please click here to continue the galley construction project.


For more information on finish work in the galley, please visit the following pages:

Trim details

Galley Sink and Water Systems

Installing the Stove and LPG Supply System


Glissando, Pearson  Triton #381

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