Closing in open shelving

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Mar 20, 2007
500
Catalina 355 Kilmarnock, VA
One of the ways Catalina made the 309 a little more "affordable" was having open shelving along the sides of the main cabin instead of using closed lockers like those on most of the larger boats (and the new 315). I've never liked the shelves, as they become a collecting point for all sorts of stuff, and can really look messy and disorganized. As a winter project, I'm contemplating closing in the shelves with proper lockers with louvered doors (don't care for the flush doors on the 5 series). Has anyone else done this? Pictures? Ideas? My son is a professional cabinetmaker with a full shop, so will be enlisting his help.
 
Sep 15, 2009
6,242
S2 9.2a Fairhope Al
jsalley said:
One of the ways Catalina made the 309 a little more "affordable" was having open shelving along the sides of the main cabin instead of using closed lockers like those on most of the larger boats (and the new 315). I've never liked the shelves, as they become a collecting point for all sorts of stuff, and can really look messy and disorganized. As a winter projecte, I'm contemplating closing in the shelves with proper lockers with louvered doors (don't care for the flush doors on the 5 series). Has anyone else done this? Pictures? Ideas? My son is a professional cabinetmaker with a full shop, so will be enlisting his help.
Let your son build a face frame to your liking and then have doors made and install ....

Regards

Woody
 
Nov 18, 2010
2,441
Catalina 310 Hingham, MA
Others have done it. If my friend Tom is still around this winter (he is a finish carpenter who is fixing up a Freedom 32 to sail south with his wife) I will be doing the same to our 310.
 
Aug 2, 2009
476
Catalina 315 Muskegon
I had pondered building shelves on my 309, too. It's a job I could manage on my own, and keep it consistent with the other woodwork on the boat.

I didn't like the idea of covering the portlight in the topsides, which would mean on each side of the boat there would be a cabinet, an open space for the portlight, and another cabinet. That, for me, made the project more complex than I'd like, and each storage space would be smaller.

Our solution was to have simply limit what goes on the shelf behind the settees and it has stayed tidy. When we cruise, we fill the shelves with matching canvas totes. The two totes nearest the galley are full of canned goods, bread, and other foods. The other totes are full of clothes, organized by socks, underwear, toiletries, etc. This system allows us to store a LOT of stuff, and also allows flexibility between our daysailing and our cruising. And I didn't have to build anything!
 
Mar 20, 2007
500
Catalina 355 Kilmarnock, VA
Progress report: Decided to only close the aft parts of the shelves for now, as we found the shroud tie rods are in precisely the wrong place for placement of the forward cabinets. Gonna think about that some more. The cabinet boxes are almost finished. Need to build the louvered doors, round over the edges of the fiddles on top, and varnish.


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Detail of corner radius

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Corner detail

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Completed "boxes"
 

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Mar 20, 2007
500
Catalina 355 Kilmarnock, VA
More progress (at least on the starboard side). I built the door from a teak "kit" that I found online. I found that absolutely nothing associated with the existing shelves is square, symmetrical, or even the same measurement port and starboard, so fitting it required a lot of trial, error, and adjustment. I still need to rip down the teak seat backs to the height of the cushions. Getting ready to start on the port side, which should be a lot more straightforward. I'll post better pics when it's done. I've also spent quite a lot of time on a panel rewiring project that started with moving the electrical accessories/controls that needed to be remounted on the new locker, but developed into a pretty extensive upgrade of the DC side of the panel to clean up the wiring and fusing for the numerous accessories I've added over the years. I'll start a separate thread for that when I have time.

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Mar 20, 2007
500
Catalina 355 Kilmarnock, VA
Finished the port side today, which has a wider door since no space needed for electronics like the starboard side. I can't see a good way to add a locker to the forward ends of the shelves because of interference by the shroud tie rods. Think I'll make some "fences" out of 3" teak stock, similar to the port side of the C310 main cabin, running from the new lockers to the bulkheads at the forward end of the shelves. Seems like this project is never going to end...


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cat30

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Jun 2, 2004
51
Island Packet 31 stony point,ny
teak box kit

What do you mean teak box kit?
where can we find them?
 
Mar 20, 2007
500
Catalina 355 Kilmarnock, VA
What do you mean teak box kit?
where can we find them?
Only the doors come as a "kit", meaning you can purchase the rails, stiles with precut slat pockets, and slats individually from several vendors, including Amazon. They appear to all come from the same manufacturer, probably AFI. Just Google "teak louvered door kits" and you'll find numerous vendors. The teak stock used for the rails and stiles is not as is not the greatest quality (has some sapwood, mineralized wood, etc) but doesn't look bad overall. The rest of the cabinet was made from scratch from a combination of 1/2" teak plywood and various dimensional teak lumber.
 
Mar 20, 2007
500
Catalina 355 Kilmarnock, VA
Finally finished this project, by fabricating new teak plywood seat backs incorporating a cut-down aft to accommodate the cabinets. I made them a little taller than the originals, which I think helps blend the cabinets into the remaining open shelves. Pretty happy with how it turned out.

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