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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody!

My husband and I are refitting our Catalina 27 - our first boat. We intend her ultimately for coastal cruising in a couple of years. Until then, she's on a South Texas lake. In the midst of the plethora of projects, large and small, looms the Galley Refit. She wasn't originally ordered with a complete galley - I'm lucky in that I have her original spec sheet, so I know what came from Catalina what was added/subtracted subsequently. We've decided on an Origo alchohol/electric two-burner stove, a rebuild of the icebox with more modern insulation, and leave the sink/foot-pump water system as it is. I can stand that. However, the counters... Honestly, they aren't all that bad, but the cutout is absolutely wrong for the stove. What's the opinion on counter materials? Corian - pricey? Tile scares me because 1) the backerboard alone is very heavy and 2) boats flex more than land-based kitchens, I would think, which might lead to problems. Formica again? That's what's there and they're making pretty Formica these days. Am I worried about nothing?

Thanks!
Debbi
s/v Gypsea
1977 Catalina 27
 

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Another option you might consider for your counter tops and cutout -

Been around since 1962.



Good luck with your project ..
 

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I'd just rebuild with the proper cutout using a good quality arborite/formica. Corian style counters are in vogue nowadays, but they make creating a decent fiddle that works and looks right more difficult. You really need some kind of edge on the countertop to prevent stuff from sliding off in wave or wake induced motion.
 

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Montgomery 17
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If the counters aren't all that bad, why not just get the same type of counter top that is there now?

Another option is some of that Marine Lumber that West Marine caries. What it is, is like a synthetic lumber that actually a type of rubber/plastic. Kind of like that new composite material that they use to build decks and docks around a marine enviroment. Would be excellent in a boat and easy to clean.

Personally, I HATE the two burner alcohol stove in my boat. It just doesn't get hot enough for me, and I like to cook. I would go with propane, I know I will on my next boat.

Good luck with getting her ready to go! Maybe you'll pass by my way on your way to the Keys in a few years!
 

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Another option you might consider for your counter tops and cutout -

Been around since 1962.



Good luck with your project ..
As someone in the restaurant biz, I love the look and finish of stainless counters. Looks better as it wears and is easy to keep clean. BUT getting it made right (the first time) can be a real challenge and is really pricey compared to laminate on top of 1/2" ply. It is also hard to modify sitting at the dock unlike laminate.

Have fun. I'm doing a new ply / laminate counter as soon as I can get to the boat under all that snow. And once the Toronto Island ferries run a decent schedule.
 

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My last boat had an origo alcohol, I hated it. My new boat has propane and I love it. As far as the counter top Formica works great but make sure you have a lip on the edge. I have formica with a wood facing that comes up above the counter top. Keeps things sort of in place in the waves.
 

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We're going with Corian, it's easy to work with ( think wood ) cuts, routers like hardwoods and edging can either be in Corian or teak or even Corian with teak inlays.

We, look at a Tayana 55 several years ago that had ceramic which was really nice and grouting was with a caulking, I wouldn't be too concerned with CT tops, also 1/4 hardibacker is pretty lightweight

All our tops, tables and even the nav desk is formica right now and though formica has a lot of choices, Corian is just easier for me to work with.

Plus we want the polished granite look
 

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Retired and happy
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What's the opinion on counter materials? Corian - pricey? Tile scares me because 1) the backerboard alone is very heavy and 2) boats flex more than land-based kitchens, I would think, which might lead to problems. Formica again? That's what's there and they're making pretty Formica these days. Am I worried about nothing?
Hi DaleDoll and welcome to SailNet (I just read your post in the "Introducing Yourself" thread).

I guess the answer here depends on what kind of surface you want, what your budget will stand and the skills/tools available to you. If plain white is OK then I would certainly consider the West Marine synthetic lumber. It is easy to work with and you can edge it with teak/mahogany or whatever to create a fiddle rail. If you want some variety in the choice of surface design, then formica/plywood fits the bill. I'm not sure how these two options would compare in price.

I am very attracted by the corian option, but my experience of using it in a domestic kitchen suggests that it ain't that easy to work. SailingDog says otherwise, though, and he obviously has more experience......

Good luck and have fun

Stuart
 

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Telstar 28
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LEither—

I think you're a bit confused... I haven't worked with Corian much at all... The last kitchen I did work on had granite counters. :)

I'm not a big fan of using starboard for things, and think that a marine plywood with formica laminate would probably be the way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You all are wonderful! Thanks so much! I forgot to mention that we have the original teak edging on the counters. I'll have to get my husband, the woodworker, to create one piece for me to go over the opening where the original Princess stove would have slid in, but that's not a big deal. I think we may well go with Formica over marine ply.

I guess I'll have to revisit the stove issue. We currently have no dedicated ventilated locker for propane storage - the gas tanks for the outboard motor sit in the stern locker, which would have been my first choice.

Fortunately, we're at the planning/dreaming stage of the galley refit. We're still recovering from the initial purchase and what we had to invest to make her safely sailable. ;-)

Deb
s/v Gypsea
1977 Catalina 27
 

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LEither—

I think you're a bit confused... I haven't worked with Corian much at all... The last kitchen I did work on had granite counters. :)

I'm not a big fan of using starboard for things, and think that a marine plywood with formica laminate would probably be the way to go.
Me??!! Confused???!! Good grief!!

Er, well you are right, of course, as always SD.

Damn!

Stuart
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Someone mentioned Starboard. This is NOT a good countertop material. This is a thick piece of harder than normal polyethylene - nothing more, nothing less. It melts, does not hold screws, scratches like crazy and is just nasty stuff all around. It has some legitimate uses but they tend to be found on powerboats.

Corian is good. It is more expensive than laminate but for the amount that you are lokking for the cost will be negligible. Look on Craig's List for someone who is remodelling their kitchen, or go to Home Depot and buy the display counters when they are changing their kitchen layouts.

We have 20 year old Corian on our boat (on a plywood substrate). The countertop has an aluminum edging which works nicely as a fiddle. Here is a pic prior to some recent upgrades...

 

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We've used Corian, Surrell, and Avonite on boats. Surrell is what I have the most experience with personally. If you use their adhesive, you can make invisible joints and attach fiddles and backsplashes easily and strongly. You can also join smaller pieces to get the size and shape you want, but be sure to use a plywood substrate as Sailormann mentioned. Personally, I loathe Avonite (I've only used it once though): it doesn't finish well and cracks easily. The Corian brand is the like the 'Kleenex' of countertop materials.

Oh, and he's bang-on about Starboard too. It's good for fish tables in the cockpit, making up equipment panels for the engine room and it makes great drawer slides. It does hold screws as long as you predrill them, but the threads don't have enough bite to sink a countersunk head without stripping. Apparently they make an adhesive for it but I've never tried it.
 
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