GAL­LEY UP­GRADE

Chip Law­son im­proves the gal­ley stowage on his Pear­son 40

SAIL - - Contents -

How to build a cus­tom rack for gal­ley stor­age

One com­mon gal­ley fea­ture on pro­duc­tion sail­boats is a large open stor­age area be­hind the stove, typ­i­cally cov­ered with slid­ing plexi or wood pan­els. How­ever, while this space pro­vides a rea­son­ably large amount of stor­age area, it is rarely ef­fi­ciently used be­cause of the odd shapes of most gal­ley gear—think large plates staked only a few high. In­evitably, you end up pil­ing many items on top of each other. Worse yet, the one you want is seem­ingly al­ways on the bot­tom. Some boats have fixed wooden di­viders, which helps, but re­quires that you buy gear that fits the spa­ces in be­tween. With stor­age space in such short sup­ply, it’s a shame not to use this space ef­fi­ciently as pos­si­ble.

My so­lu­tion was to build a ply­wood locker bot­tom that fits on top of the ex­ist­ing bot­tom and then use a set of ad­justable pegs, or “ver­ti­cal or­ga­niz­ers,” that can be placed to prop­erly hold the gear. The pegs have a threaded stud in the bot­tom that screws into a stain­less steel T-nut in­stalled on the bot­tom of the new locker bot­tom. These al­low you to ad­just the pegs to fit any ex­ist­ing set of items. You can also eas­ily adapt to any new gal­ley gear by sim­ply read­just­ing the pegs to fit. This is a rel­a­tively sim­ple, easy to build project that does not re­quire any so­phis­ti­cated wood­work­ing skills or tools and is rel­e­vant to many boats. Here’s how I did it: 1 First, com­pletely empty the locker and re­move the slid­ing pan­els. (Most are re­moved by lift­ing the panel up and slid­ing the bot­tom of the panel out­board un­til it can be dropped down and out.) Make a pa­per pat­tern of the bot­tom of the en­tire locker, not­ing any ob­struc- tions in­side the locker. 2 It is worth­while at this point to take your pa­per pat­tern and see if it will fit into the locker open­ing when it is flat and stretched out full length. In most cases you will need to cut the ply­wood bot­tom into two or pos­si­bly more pieces to al­low it to fit in­side the locker through the open­ing. 3 Cut a piece of ply­wood (half-inch should work well) to match your pat­tern. A sim­ple jig­saw will do the trick. For the edge that faces the hull, an­gling the jig­saw blade to ap­prox­i­mately match the hull an­gle will al­low your locker bot­tom to more com­pletely fill the bot­tom of the locker. How­ever, this is not es­sen­tial. 4 This is the point where you want to de­ter­mine, us­ing the ac­tual ply­wood bot­tom, how you will need to cut it so that you can fit it into the locker. Try in­sert­ing the ply­wood from mul­ti­ple di­rec­tions to find the best fit that re­quires the fewest cuts. 5 Once the bot­tom has been cut so that it fits into the locker, you can be­gin drilling holes through the ply­wood for the T-nuts. The spe­cific pat­tern and spac­ing is up to you. I laid out mine in a square grid with 2in be­tween cen­ters. 6 Next you need to in­stall the T-nuts and fin­ish the new bot­tom. I did the fin­ish­ing

first, but you can in­stall the T-nuts first if you want. The nuts are in­stalled by pound­ing them in from the bot­tom with a ham­mer. Use a block be­tween the ham­mer and the nut to avoid dam­ag­ing ei­ther the wood bot­tom or the nut it­self. 7 Next, cre­ate the pegs. I used plain old wood dowel from the hard­ware store, cut into three dif­fer­ent lengths. For the threaded studs you can use ei­ther threaded rod cut to length or ma­chine screws with the head cut off. Make sure the thread matches the T-nut—10-24 is a good size. The trick­i­est part of this project is drilling the holes in the bot­tom of the pegs; they need to be ap­prox­i­mately cen­tered in the dowel and deep enough for the threaded stud. I made a lit­tle ply­wood jig to hold the pegs and align the hole while I drilled them. Once the holes have been drilled the studs can be in- serted with epoxy to hold them in place and to keep them from turn­ing. The stud should stick out enough to thread into the T-nut. If you use hald-inch ply­wood, the stud should stick out slightly less than ½in. If the studs are too long, they can be filed off or ground down once the epoxy has set up.

That done, you can in­stall the new bot­tom and be­gin or­ga­niz­ing your gal­ley gear. s

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