Al & Michele's Catalina 34

Hull #55 "Kindred Spirit"
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Galley Counter Top Removal, C34 (1986)

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Procedure for Removal of C34 Galley Counter Top

Over the years, improvements in galley counters have been made. Can we make old look new? The slow deterioration of the old, around the IceBox...Sink and other areas may require that it be replaced. In my case the Stantion bolts leaked for years letting water drip down the sidewall and under the counter and rotted it away. (Remember I just bought this boat, so it was not my caulking neglect).

Now that I have my galley counter out I was going to get a piece of Corian and produce a new my dismay I can not buy a piece because they will not sell to just anyone. Now I am looking into Cast Polymer, a SYN-MAR Product that is a cast polyester resin and stone fillers. It would be poured around a mold made from my counter top (by the counter shop). It should be less expensive that Corian. Turns out it will be $650 so now I will use the old stand by, Formica.

First a description of what the counter is made of. The sink / icebox / stove areas are a one piece fiberglass shell laid into the boat waiting to have a top placed on it. Catalina made a 3/4" plywood top to fit, covered it with Formica and added nice teak trim at all edges except the edge against the starboard wall. It can be removed without removing any of the draw slide built-in units, but it is recommended.

Removal Procedure:
Remove all draws from galley area, removing hinge doors around side and front of sink area would be helpful.
Disconnect both sink drain hoses at the bottom side of sink.
Disconnect hot, cold and foot pump water supply to sink.... Remember it is easier to disconnect lower in the lines instead of up behind the sink.
Carefully pry sink up and out. Edges will bend!!!!! NOTHING HOLDS IT BUT CAULK. (some may have bolts). Shoot the person that sealed it with 5200. If it will not pop out you can wait and take it off, counter and all.

While the sink is out is the time to replace the hot water heater. You would have to remove the draw slide unit though.
Next remove the wood dish fiddle that goes across the counter by the icebox and stove. It is held in with five screws, Two through the small bulkhead at the shelf above the settee seat, two in aft cabin bulkhead wall (in aft cabin) (two horiz (counter screws, do these now and you will not have to come back) and two vert (these for dish fiddle)) and one behind stove up into wood dish fiddle. Feel with your fingers till you find the screw hole. Tilt stove forward and it can be reached. Remove dish fiddle and set aside.

To remove the wood plugs from the bulkhead walls ...take a fine threaded sheetrock screw, cut the head off, put it in your trusty battery drill, aim at the center if the plug and screw it in. When the screw tip hits the head of the ss screw it should (with luck) drive the plug out cleanly. Probe the Philips into the hole, light whack with the hammer till you find the slot and unscrew the fastener.
Now it is time to remove the screws that hold the counter top in. It can be done with sink in or out. I recommend, sink OUT.

Location of Philips screws: (you must reach up inside the fiberglass shell unit to remove these screws...they are screwed up into the bottom of the counter top.) One center of front of sink. One center rear of sink. Three portside edge of sink (left of sink for those who are laying with their head somewhere under the sink.). Three right side edge of sink, real close to draw slide unit. Three or four above the draw unit to right of sink. One IN ICE BOX, front, stove side...feel around with your fingers till you find it.... (never thought to look there.)

If you have done all the above, lift the counter behind the stove at the rear aft cabin wall, upward, a light tap upward may free it from the wall. Once high enough to clear the stove, slide it out. Remember if the sink is still in, that end of the counter must be lifted to clear the sink.

After removing from the boat and placing on sawhorses, take a scrap block (to protect the wood) and tap all the teak fiddles off from the inside...screws and all. I described above how to remove the plugs and screws. Good job to do home in the basement.

Now you have a perfect template to take to your counter top shop and have them reproduce one with your choices of color and material. If you are handy, get a new sheet of 3/4" plywood and new Formica and go to town.

Al and Michele #55 "Kindred Spirit"

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