Have some spare time? Build some shelves

I would love to have an oven on my boat. However, my otherwise excellent galley lacked convenient storage for regularly used food items. This suggested that the space required for an oven would be more useful as shelving.

On my previous boat I blocked the area in with a plywood front and hinged doors, leaving room on top for a non-gimballed, two burner stove with griller. This was excellent but the contents of the shelves tended to slide around unless securely chocked.

On my nine metre cat yawl Beluga Too, the space was much deeper. Accessing the back would have required kneeling or bending down to see the contents. Although this is not a problem, I decided to make life a bit easier as I am now twenty years older.

Once again I made two shelves, but this time left the front open and fitted twelve plastic baskets that can be slid out individually. I only need to remember the location of all items and select the basket containing whatever I am looking for.

Plastic was not chosen for aesthetics but because it is easy to keep clean. Wicker or fabric baskets would have looked nicer, but they also collect dirt, mould spores and cockroach eggs. I found these baskets at Kmart for $4 each.

All the other bits for the project were sourced from Bunnings except the stainless steel fastenings, which were far cheaper at my local chandlery. I had Bunnings cut the 7mm marine plywood exactly to size. This is a free service I find extremely handy.

The shelves are screwed to cleats of 19mm hardwood, fitted each side of the oven space. The fiddles inboard are also hardwood and stained to match the existing fiddles in the galley.

I have yet to install the stove, but intend to gimbal it because I have the space to do so. However, a fixed stove can be quite satisfactory on a monohull if pot holders are used while cooking underway. For coastal cruisers this simpler arrangement can be a better use of available space.

If you fit a non-gimballed stove, use wing nuts on the bolts so it can be easily moved for cleaning. With an LPG installation, this also requires some extra length in the flexible hose connecting the stove to the fixed copper pipe.

Sun Odyssey 380
Nav at Home
Lagoon 51
Sun Odyssey 380
West System Afloat