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I Love it When a Plan Comes Together!

We are getting there.  We have a lot of projects going on as we mentioned in the last blog and now a couple are finally complete!  Yesterday we had S Squared Cabinetry & Remodeling aboard Cygnet finishing the multiple jobs we had for them.  Our dishwasher install, our lower helm removal, our new bar cabinet, and the shoe cabinet.  Let's take a look at what they did.

We are now living in the 20th century!  Cygnet has two bathrooms with showers, a washer/dryer, a full size fridge, but no dishwasher.  The rationale we suppose was that you often use disposable plates and utensils when out for a day on the boat.  We do use disposables when we have a party (our inner tree huggers cry a little) but on a day to day basis we use real plates, silverware, and glasses.  For the last two years we've been washing by hand, something Kevin hates after slicing his right index finger open washing a glass eight years ago, and it seems like there is always a pile to finish.  We didn't know how we were going to accomplish installing a dishwasher since the galley is pretty tight on storage.  We found a Danby Countertop model that we knew would fit perfectly below the cooktop and hatched a plan.  We had storage for pots and pans there but figured we could move things and slide the little Danby right in.  S Squared removed the doors, opened up the cabinet just a tad, and made a new door for the small storage space below the new dishwasher.  Kevin ran the lines for intake and outtake water and hooked up the power.  We now have a working dishwasher and we love it.

We still have some pan storage below.
Here is the finished product with fold down door made by S Squared from the recycled doors.

Next up was our lower helm.  Many boaters think we are nuts for removing this, it was an expensive option when new and is a good selling point if we ever part with Cygnet.  But it didn't work, the previous owner disconnected the throttles, the tachometers were garbage, and the visibility is so poor inside we'd never use it anyway.  It's a nice option to have if the weather is terrible and you are heading straight across open water, but it did us no good.  It also closed off the dining area, which we use when entertaining and it meant people in the living room were walled off from people in the dinette.  So it was reduced from a non-functional helm into a functional wine rack and counter.  S Squared took the old helm base and cut it down to the height we wanted then built a rack that holds a dozen bottles.  The bottom is lined with neoprene and all the bottles have an individual space so they don't roll around while out on the water.  We were able to find a scrap piece of Silestone and had it cut and shaped to exactly the right size for the top.  It's perfect.

Old Lower Helm

New Wine Rack!
Now that we had a place for wine it was time to get the bar sorted out.  We had moved all the liquor and associated paraphernalia from inside to the aft deck cabinet (as noted HERE) but the door wasn't up to the task of the fancy new bar.  S Squared again came to the rescue with a new teak bar door that swings down instead of out so we can use it for mixing drinks.  They even made sure to get the maximum capacity of the hinges and let us know not to make more than 30 pounds worth of cocktails at one time.  Good to know.
Locking latch to keep Kevin out when Colette wants to go to bed.

Gorgeous wood, inside and out.

Lastly we had a shoe problem.  Cygnet has a place for nearly everything, the storage options are amazing, but no place that was great for shoes.  We were using a shoe rack on the back deck that worked but was unsightly.
Here you can see the shoes below the old bar cabinet.  Unsightly.

We looked for a while for a cabinet to put shoes inside but came up empty.  We called S Squared and they did a totally custom cabinet to exactly our specifications.  We worked together to design it and we are thrilled with how it turned out.  It's magnificent.  Two thirds of the cabinet is for shoes, the other third is for storage of essential boating gear, our bicycle helmets, and a few other things.  The shoe side has trays designed to allow wetness to slide off and there is a vent in the back of the cabinet to make sure it doesn't stay wet inside.  We added the boat cleats as handles just below the extended top to give it a bit of a nautical look.  The top comes out farther than it needs to but S Squared suggested that would be a nice place to set drinks or other items while out on the water.  We are glad it is designed this way, it's functional and beautiful.  They finished this and the bar cabinet with a teak sealer and it should last for generations.
Shoe side with adjustable shelves and trays.

Cleats make perfect handles.

Storage side with adjustable shelf for whatnots.

Matching bar and shoe cabinet.
Lastly we took the old gray carpet out and replaced it with a warmer, newer carpet.  Olympia Carpet did the job, Kevin threw the stinky and moldy old carpet in the car and had them use it as a pattern for the new carpet.  The new stuff should dry much quicker if it gets wet and is soft with a bit of a pattern woven in.  It really helps the aft deck and flybridge to feel cozy and comfortable.
Patterning the new with the old, see the men in the background for scale.
New carpet, a new couch is on the way (spoiler alert!)
The new carpet continues on the flybridge
Lit at night with the new LED lighting which we'll discuss soon.


  1. This is really cool. Do you plan to live on a boat forever? And how do you deal with the winters in Chicago? Do you still put the boat away when it gets super cold? You might have explained in previous posts but I'm not sure where it would be. Thanks!

    1. As of now we have no plan to move back to land, we love this life and our boat. Winters can be tough at times but check out the left side of the page for previous posts about winter. Most relevant would be the posts titled "Shivers in Me Timbers" "Heating Up and Blown Away" and "Not Again!"


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