Moving Right Along

Things are going well on 45 Gaege. The refit (renovation) is moving along nicely.  I now know what they mean by “Hatteras screws”.  Every screw on this yacht has a square head.  I had to purchase the bits in every size.

After my uncle and I tore the salon carpet out of the boat,  I had the floor layers come in and install pre-finished Brazilian Koa.  It goes nicely with the teak and afromosia.  Originally, I had planned to go with cork flooring because it is good for insulation, sound, and is supposed to be good with moisture, but after talking with a friend who has used it and tore it up because of water damage, I decided that it wasn’t a good idea.  Also, the saleswoman warned me that my cat would use the floor as a scratching post.  My kids would be traumatized by Sassy overboard.

My biggest concerns that influence my product decisions on this yacht are: durability and weight.  Of course, I am also looking at the aesthetic impact, but I want to be sure that any product that I use will hold up in a moist marine environment and won’t add much weight to the yacht, impeding performance.  That being said, there are flooring choices that are much lighter than hardwood, but I love hardwood so I decided that I would do only the salon in wood.  I installed a moisture barrier with insulation under the new wood floor.


I have to say, that I have made a couple of stupid rookie mistakes.  I am actually a little embarrassed to admit it, because with my renovation background I really should have known better, but I guess we are all entitled to a bang your head moment every once in a while.  I had a couple of guys haul the new stove aboard using the davit.  As soon as we got the stove into the salon from the aft deck, I realized that it wouldn’t fit through the galley door. Should have measured that first, right? Yeah, pretty stupid…I know.  The bigger problem was that I had to wait for the fridge delivery (which is were I made my other stupid mistake, but I’ll get to that in a minute) before taking the range back off of the boat and putting it through the galley window.  When you remove the glass panels from the galley window, you have 27″ to play with, so most appliances will fit.  Refrigerators will fit as long as they are counter depth, which is 24″.  By the time the fridge arrived, I had moved to Yacht Haven. We docked starboard so that I could caulk my porthole windows, but the davit can only be used port side, so my guys had to lift by hand the 240 lb stove over the side of the aft deck and onto the dock in order to then get it back in through the window.

My other stupid mistake was that in all of my attentiveness to the counter depth measurement, I foolishly neglected the width measurement of the fridge.  The night before my fridge delivery, as I was looking everything over, I suddenly realized that the new fridge would be 3″ to wide.  Most appliance companies will make the counter depth refrigerators slightly wider than standard to compensate for the space loss in the depth.  I had to jump online and find a fridge that would fit.  I did find 1 fridge, a Fisher & Paykel that worked.  I ordered it immediately and cancelled the other.  I have done lots of renovations, but I have never once dealt with an existing kitchen.  I have always gutted and started fresh with my own design.  Working with a pre-exisiting layout was different for me.

The wonderful almighty sawzall.  I had my carpenter chop up the old fridge, because it was 28″ deep and would not fit through the galley window.



Getting the old range/oven/dishwasher combo unit was no easy task either.  It had to be dismantled piece by piece.



The microwave had no upper cabinet for support, so we had to build a ceiling support and a wall brace.



I spent a day ripping out the old curtains in the master stateroom and getting rid of the old headboard.  Both were mildewed and gross.  The support bracket for the curtains, of course, was more difficult to remove than I anticipated. I had to use brute force, loosing a little blood in the process, but I was so happy to finally see them gone.  I will work on a replacement soon.  Be sure that whatever I put up, unlike what I took down, will be removable for occasional washing.


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Moving Right Along — 4 Comments

  1. Gray Hawk came with 2 low profile 12 volt Norcold fridges. The cat thought they were a great deal – like an eye level buffet for cats. We were less enthused about accessing the fridge on our knees. Fortunately one of the units failed within weeks of our taking possession. So we hired Joey-the-dirt-carpenter (because all the marine carpenters we talked to were bandits) and he built us a custom enclosure for an apartment sized fridge. We selected the fridge from the array at Best Buy with tape measure in hand. The salesman at Best Buy assured us that their delivery men would absolutely put the fridge on our boat, through the removed hatch and set it in place in the galley. When the delivery crew arrived at the dock they initially refused to set foot on the floats but finally – reluctantly – brought the fridge to our pier. Absolutely no way were they coming aboard. I ran my best bluff on them but time was short so I couldn’t risk them taking the fridge back to Best Buy. When it appeared that was precisely what they were prepared to do I relented. Then Marilyn and I wrangled the fridge from the pier to the galley alone. We had measured accurately – as I recall we had a good half inch of clearance all around.

    • Nice Bob! Smart that you paid close attention to the dimensions and smart building a custom enclosure. I’m not a fan of those under the counter fridges either. I can’t see bending over to look inside. My delivery guys surprised me. They actually climbed up on my homeade platform on the dock and helped my guys hoist the fridge through the window. I gave them a nice tip 🙂

  2. I imagine the square head screws are less of an ouchy for hands and feet! Or not?

    I suppose the cork would be hard to clean, in addition to being too soft/crumbly and a cat target! So, your move to hardwood is a nice choice. I looked at your pics and got a preview for what I’m going to be doing in a few weeks. We’re putting hardwood floors down in four rooms of our land cabin. Anyway, I can tell you’re enjoying your new lifestyle, because you’ve been too busy to post on CF! Keep on having fun!

    • Ron, the square heads have me scurrying for a bit every time a contractor boards my boat.
      The cork is actually a really good looking product, especially the new designs and you would be surprised at how smooth they are, but too risky for me. A couple of years ago I did a dirt unit with bamboo and then discovered that it can’t be easily refinished as needed and since vowed never to make a foolish choice like that again.
      I am enjoying the refit (most days), but will be happy when it’s done. Good Luck on your cabin install!