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Boat Projects
HVAC & Plumbing
Brass Hand Pump
~ Brass Hand Pump ~
The Galley Faucet
Master Control Center
Our galley had the highly recommended, deep double sink, a pressure fresh water faucet, a foot pump fresh water faucet, and spray hose, and one sad looking salt water hand pump. I had gotten so good at getting the bronze ports cleaned up that I took on the job of getting the hand pump working again. Disassembly was easy, and the rebuild kit was fairly inexpensive as boating things go. This was an easy fix, and worked great when reassembled.
Old Galley Faucets
~ Old Galley Faucets ~

The fresh water pressure faucet was also in sad shape. The enamel was chipping, the base was leaking, and a cheap spray head had to be added to the spigot to reach the other sink. I was frustrated by the layout, but holes were drilled and we weren’t ready to tackle the expense of new counter tops – yet.

Don was reluctant to spend money on a new faucet, but I had read that changing to a modern one with a highly aerated flow could mean a significant savings in water. Fact or fiction, I embraced it as my justification for tackling this project.

New Faucet
~ New Faucet ~

Knowing that I had at least 4 holes to fill, we selected a faucet style that would accommodate. But alas, when I removed the old faucet, I found a fifth hole hiding under the base. After some discussion, Don and I decided to fashion a base using polyethylene. It was perhaps our first jury rig, and it really came out nice.

I also decided on going with an oil brushed bronze, figuring that would be the color anything would eventually turn anyway. When all was installed, we had to chuckle. It looked like master control – and to one unfamiliar with the layout, could be intimidating. So from left to right, we have a salt water hand pump, the tank vent, the sprayer, fresh water foot pump, fresh water pressure faucet, water control valve, and a soap dispenser.

Refit: 27 Apr 2012
The day finally arrived when Don agreed that something needed to be done about the galley. The countertops protective coating had worn off so stains couldn't be scrubbed off the cracked Formica. The faucet that we'd installed was also showing signs of corrosion, and the stainless steel sink had been etched with acid that'd splashed over from an engine project.

At first, Don and I were leaning towards replacing the Formica with real granite or marble, but then we learned there was really no way to anchor the stone down. The thought of having a big, heavy plank tumbling around should we roll was enough to send us over to the samples of plastics.

Newer Countertop Layout
~ Newer Countertop Layout ~

Our next concern was the work it would take to lift all the built in cabinetry and the fiddle around the edge. It was daunting and we worried the entire project would require us to refinish all the woodwork. Since both of us had full time jobs, and no experience with this kind of project, we concluded this job needed to be hired out, and received an excellent recommendation from some fellow dockmates. Our carpenter relieved all our concerns by assuring us that the Formica could be fit in tight, with just the thinnest bit of caulk to fill the seams.

This project allowed us to fill in all the holes left by the previous faucets, so I decided to go with as few as possible. I was also able to center the faucet over the sink, instead of dealing with its old location off to the side (I've no idea what kind of thinking when into that!) I selected a modern spigot with the handle on the side and the spray hose in the head. We made an additional hole for a soap dispenser, but it was well worth clearing up the small counter space.

Finally, we determined that the big brass saltwater hand pump, though very nautical, wasn't practical and it was certainly too high maintenance for my taste. The idea behind having a salt water pump at the sink was great. One could conserve fresh water by rinsing the food off and washing the dishes in saltwater. But having to pump the water left the dishwasher one-handed. And the saltwater running through the brass meant rebuilds were a frequent chore.

We still liked the idea of the foot pump, currently plumbed to the freshwater tank. One could save power, or access fresh water should the electric pump fail. So we decided to put a bi-valve on the foot pump that would allow us to switch between salt and fresh water. This idea has worked brilliantly! We located the spigot for that on the sink's right side, which made sense for the order in which we use the sinks, and we took away yet another hole in the process.

The project was completed with a brand new stainless steel basin, because I was not going to ruin my beautifully refitted galley with a marred, dented old tub. This was an argument Don knew he would lose since he was the cause of the damage. But holy moly are marine basins expensive! The ridiculousness of overcharging for less materials sent me on a weeks long search for a solution. I visited home store after home store, considered two conventional bathroom bowls, and investigated getting the old sink refinished. But eventually, I hit pay dirt on the internet, and found a deep double that met the size for well under the $1000 the other's averaged. It is the sparkle on what is now a jewel on Re Metau!