Kelley, the Carpenter


“Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach that man to fish and he’ll never go hungry again.” Or, something like that.

Back in Brooklyn Jason was an extremely talented carpenter, so I always assumed he’d be the one building out all our fancy finishing touches in the boat while I did things I was more equipped to do like fixing our sails. Luckily for me him, he is also an excellent teacher and now doesn’t have to do it all himself. Oh, the things he’s taught me!

A custom made bed by Jason of Sailing Chance
A beautiful bed frame and floating headboard Jason made back in his furniture days. Don’t worry, he’ll get back in to it eventually!

I can tell the difference between a #8 and #10 screw just by looking at it. I know the difference between a tapping and machine screw. Before I didn’t even know there were different kinds of screws. I know how to properly use a chisel, and have had too many times during this rebuild. He’s taught me so well I think that even his mentors back in Brooklyn would be proud! If you’re reading, I promise I’m not that random girl who just comes by the shop anymore! Now, I know things. And, can make things.

Custom cabinetry aboard SV Chance, a Seafarer 34
Don’t worry, all screws will eventually be covered by bungs and trim will be added so you can’t see the ply edges.

Anyway, last week I taught myself how to make trim and made some doors for our galley. For the door to the cabinet under our sink, I replicated the door style that already existed in the original design. I have to say, I think I did a pretty damn good job! I had to use the router, table saw, chop saw, hole saw, and drill to get these bad boys done, but I. DID. IT. It may have taken me three and a half days, but I. DID. IT. I had one stipulation for Jason as I was making these: I want to do it myself, don’t give me input unless I ask you. Shockingly, it only led to one mini argument, and I am attributing that to us both being hungry.


The other set of doors I had to make was for under our stove. Since our stairs would get in the way of any drop down style door, we opted to have a swinging saloon style door here. I had to include a cut out for our salt water foot pump as well. These doors lead to the galley sink drain thru-hull. It’s basically where all our dishwater drains. It’s important to have easy access to all thru-hulls on your boat so we wanted to make sure we did. I’ll also likely store some cleaning supplies in there. I also installed a fancy door closure on each one so that they don’t fly open when we’re heeling.


I also have yet to show you the spice rack I made. This was one of my first carpentry projects I did on my own for the boat. I’m pretty pumped at how it turned out. My only gripe is it’s just slightly too skinny to fit two of my square spices stacked. I’m talking about maybe an 1/8 of an inch too short. So, if you decide to make a spice rack take that in to consideration.

Not bad for a rookie, right?

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