Alwest Galley Replacement on Catherine Ann
As with most Alcan/Alwest boats . . . . after 35 years, the galley needs some attention. We decided that it would be hard to improve on the general layout of the original galley (which had already been modified to include a full size fridge) but since the original Alwest construction included some definitely “non-marine” materials such as particle board, etc . . . . complete replacement with all new materials would be the best approach. The only significant change to the original layout was to make space for the microwave over the fridge and to extend the overhead cabinets forward to line up with the counter top. I have since learned that other Alwests already have overhead cabinets for the full length of the countertop surface. (ours originally ended in line with the aft wall of the upper cabin)
The new galley was fabricated at home, over the winter, in a “take-apart” manner (modeled after IKEA) so that the pieces would fit through the cabin door and could be reassembled at installation. Construction is of marine plywood, with all internal cabinet surfaces laminated with white Formica. The front is custom made mahogany and black Formica to match the other restored parts of the boat. The original electric stove was completely disassembled and restored
The new lower doors are side sliders to prevent opening when bumped or while underway. Micro switches turn on internal lights when the doors are opened. Shelves in the lower cabinets are clear Plexiglas to maximize lighting of all spaces.
The upper cabinets are very similar to the original but made from marine plywood with white Formica interiors, mahogany trim and sliding doors to match the rest. The interior shelves are made from Plexiglas, lightly sanded to look like frosted glass.
All of the internal components of the drawers are from IKEA. These work really well and have reasonably tight “pull in” as they close. The front panels are custom made mahogany.
Since I was never a big fan of fishing for latches to open doors or drawers, the drawers are locked closed with the touch of a button when underway, using automotive power door lock mechanisms.
Multiple 12V florescent lights under the upper cabinets create a well lit work area across the whole counter top. In the facia surrounding these lights, are a couple of built in fans to cool the “galley slave” on those hot summer afternoons! The backsplash is a lightweight ceramic tile set on ½” marine plywood back board.