Navigation Area Shelf
by Gerald Misenar
Did you ever wish you had more shelf space on the Catalina 34? Maybe for a TV, VCR, portable stereo or a slew of other uses?
Having placed a portable stereo on the shelf above the nav station, I now wanted a place to put a 13" TV. I decided there was a lot of free space above the stereo sitting on the hanging locker.
To make the shelf you will need the following:
1 ea. (16 1/2"x24 3/4"x3/4"Thick) Melamine covered shelf material 1 6' length of Teak Trim from H&L Marine 1 ea. (1"x1"x24" long) Teak board 2 ea. 16" shelf posts miscellaneous wood screws, decorative washers, plain washers, etc. I made the shelf the same depth as the 'hanging locker top - 16 1/2". (Note this includes the part of the shelf which is hidden by the teak trim.) Then the shelf was trimmed so that it extended from the vertical molding (for the head/door corner) back under the teak drip rail under the ports. (Approx. 24 3/4" long) The shelf was designed to extend back under the rail so it could be screwed to the top of the cabin top between the drip rail and the sliding doors for the storage cabinet above the power panel. This will provide ample support for the port end of the shelf, but I added decorative shelf supports for additional support.
Once the shelf has been cut to size it needs to be positioned and leveled so it is parallel to the shelf below. This will require approximately four hands or a reasonable amount of patience.
First cut the 1"x1" support board so it leaves clearance at the starboard end for the teak Shelf trim (from H&L). Make sure the 1"x1" support extends to the port end of the board. Drill the board along the bottom with counter sunk holes spaced approximately 6" apart and then drill counter sunk holes along the front side of the 1"x1". The first set of holes will be used to screw the shelf support to the bottom back edge of the shelf. The second set of holes will be used to fasten the 1"x1" board to the head wall. (Be careful to not use screws so long the penetrate the top of the shelf or the head wall on the inside of the head.)
Attach the 1"x1" lumber to the back side of the shelf. Using the 1"x1" strip of lumber for the rear shelf support mark the head wall by drawing a line along the bottom edge while the shelf is level. Drill the port end of the shelf with holes to be used to screw the shelf up to the cabin top. I used 2 1/2" galvanized Drywall screws for this. and counter sunk them so they were flush with the bottom of the shelf.
You are now ready to mount the shelf. Position the shelf and make sure there is sufficient clearance for the Shelf trim at the starboard end. You can use a piece of the trim to get a good fit. Screw the attached 1"x1" board to the head wall. (Be careful not to countersink the screws too far or the screws will go all the way through the wall into the head.) Now drill pilot holes in the cabin top using the previously drilled holes as guides. Then install the 2 1/2" screws hold the port end snug up against the bottom of the teak drip rail.
The shelf support posts now need to be cut to length. Measure the distance between the Locker shelf and the bottom of the new shelf. Cut equal amounts off of one of the decorative shelf supports and slide it into place. Mark the top and bottom shelf so you can drill holes in the for the center of the post. Make sure you have clearance inside the locker so you can screw a screw up into the bottom of the post. Countersink the hole in the top of the new shelf so the screw can be level with the shelf top. Now cut the other shelf post for the port end of the shelf. Measure it separately from the other post measurements in case it is not quite the same and install as the first one was installed. Note: Since I used a decorative post it had to be stained and sealed, then it and the teak trim were varnished with a good satin varnish.
The next step is to cut and install the H&L shelf trim. This is a cut to fit process. I used a 45 degree corner cut / mitered corner, you can do the same or you can purchase a round corner piece from H&L. I think the squared corner looks better since the bottom shelf is square. The trim piece for the front of the shelf requires a 45 degree cut at the starboard end and a compound cut at the port end to match the drip rail angles. I would suggest doing the drip rail end first allowing extra length so the trim extends under the drip rail about an inch or so to the end of the shelf. Then carefully cut the 45 degree corner to match the other shelf trim.
When all is said (@#*^%+) and done you will have a very functional and beautiful addition to your boat, as well as something to show off.
After the shelf was installed I added another electrical circuit with a GFI Outlet and a standard outlet back under the cabinet were the stereo/TV could be plugged in conveniently.
In order to keep the Stereo and TV from shifting around when heeled or crossing large power boat wakes I placed strips of non-skid material under them that was purchased at a Campers World. Additionally, I keep the door to the head securely latched open by the addition of a hook latch attached to the molding on the shelf immediately above the nav station. If you expect sever roughness, you might consider adding a bungee strap hold down that goes around the TV and Stereo. You could drill holes in you shelf or add Eye Straps/Plates to the shelves.
Note: H&L Marine - 213-636-1718 - Teak Trim Model number - 2020T