This is a guest post by “Barnacle” Bill Holcomb, author of the blog Barnacle Bill Holcomb’s Sailing. He has been sailing for over 50 years on all kinds of boats from daysailers to two-masted cruisers. Bill and his wife Kathy bought their Catalina 25 #4839 new over 30 years ago and can often be seen daysailing, cruising, or racing Snickerdoodle on Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho. I’ve enjoyed reading Bill’s tips, ideas, and stories for a couple of years now and he graciously accepted my invitation to share some of his wisdom with you.
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And now, some galley tips from Bill:
Two things that Kathy and I realized quite quickly after we took delivery of our Catalina 25 in the spring of 1985 were:
- The Optimus Princess pressurized alcohol stove was difficult to use and frequently flamed up dangerously.
- Just about anything that we put on the shelf above the galley flew off whenever the boat heeled sharply.
Here are the fixes I made before the end of our second season:
We replaced the Princess stove with a non-pressurized Origo alcohol stove. I bought the Origo with gimbals and it fit right into the existing stainless steel tray in the galley. The alcohol containers for each burner have a cotton-like stuffing in them that keeps the alcohol from burning too fast and spilling.
We always buy the expensive stove alcohol that has some hotter burning additives. The performance of the stove is at least as good as the Princess (when the Princess was working properly) and there is no danger of the stove flaring up. What a relief that was. If your boat has a pressurized alcohol stove, I’d sure recommend switching to a non-pressurized one. The Origo stoves can be purchased as single burner, double burner, flush mount double burner, etc.
The second thing I did was to glue (with 3M 5200 adhesive) pieces of teak channel to the inside edges of the two vertical dividers on the shelf above the stove. These are the same profile as the edge trim around the galley partition and the forward bulkhead. It works perfectly to secure two long wooden staves that hold spices, one-pound coffee cans, liquid soap containers, etc. in place even if Snickerdoodle heels hard to starboard.
The teak trim channels worked so well that I also used them to make a wine glass holder under the port side deck.
Of course, Snickerdoodle is a Catalina 25. But, you can do similar things in the pre-1985 Catalina 22 which also has shelves along the side of the cabin. All it takes is a jig saw, scroll saw or band saw to cut the pieces so that they fit properly. If you haven’t done this kind of work before, use a piece of cardboard and a utility knife to make a template. The whole thing is more time consuming than difficult.
By the way, red cedar lumber is way less expensive than teak and with a few coats of Deks Olje #2 finish, the cedar looks almost the same. For interior wood projects, I always use cedar. It looks good and smells good too.
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