Saturday, 21 February 2015

Galley Makeover - The Beginning

Hi everyone,
It's been a while since our last blog.  We've been busy on various small projects and have started a big one - a galley makeover!  This started with a decision to replace our portable Waeco fridge with a better insulated built-in unit.  Then our sinks started leaking and we realised they needed replacing.  Before we knew it we had a major galley makeover happening.

Existing Galley
The galley had a locker where the Waeco fridge lived.  The top of the unit is visible in the photo above - on the left in its dark grey cover.  There was next to no work surface there.  The second work area was taken up with the dual sinks and a wooden locker outboard.  Next to no work surface there either.

Galley with new work surfaces temporarily in place
The amount of new work surface available will be huge without the portable fridge or the sinks!  On the left (aft) there will be the new fridge lid but it will be flush so not rob work space.  On the right (forward) there will be a single sink plus a flush-fitting locker lid.

Prior to commencing work on the new fridge there was a substantial period of research.  The portable unit gave us about 30 litres of refrigerated volume.  The volume in which the unit sat will give us a 50 litre fridge with 75mm insulation all round.  Due to the woodwork over the area the fridge box will have to be assembled in place and from the outside in.

Key design decisions were the types of condenser unit, evaporation plate and insulation foam.  We decided on a Frigoboat Capri 50F condenser unit with a Inox 180F evaporator plate.  The 50F is "overkill" for a 50 litre fridge but has compressor RPM control which seems like a good idea.  For insulation we chose extruded polystyrene (XPS).  XPS has a slightly lower R rating than polyurethane but is reputed to hold its rating better over time.  XPS is considerably cheaper too and appears easier to work with.

Frigoboat Capri 50F Condenser Unut
Frigoboat Inox 180F Evaporator Plate
XPS Foam Panel
Initial work involved lowering the floor of the compartment in which the fridge box will live.  Since the box will be permanent we needed to ensure future access to the volume below the floor.  That's because a bilge pump hose, gas line and a bunch of electrical cables cross the space.  Happily there was already an inspection hatch providing access to the volume.  All we had to do was fit a conduit around the cables and fit a mouse line to pull any new cables through.  The cables emerge beyond a new wall forming the outboard side of the fridge box.

Floor supports lowered and conduit fitted
 The floor and wall were epoxied individually before being screwed and epoxied into place.

Epoxied floor and wall in place
We decided to avoid an irregularly shaped fridge box, preferring to have a simple cube shape.  That left us with a narrow volume outboard of the fridge box which will be a useful storage locker.  It may become the pots and pans locker, or perhaps a wine store!

Outboard locker
 To be continued!