Dan Harrington "Weal Sea" #1289
One of the first things my wife Pat noticed after we purchased Weal Sea was that there was no paper towel holder in the galley. “Humm…where to put those bulky rolls?”
My solution was a “removable” towel holder that could be mounted over the fiddle on the edge of the shelf along the starboard side of the boat or the back of galley counter top. Since it’s removable and partially collapsible, the holder is easy to store when guests come on board (unless, of course, you want to show-off you handy work).
This simple one-afternoon project involves making a wooden base on which you mount a plastic holder for a roll of paper towels with collapsible sides for storage. The plastic towel holders themselves are available from Wal-Mart, Home Depot or your other favorite sailboat supplies store for $5 or less.
For the base, you’ll need a piece of wood measuring 2 ½” x ¾” x 36”. I used a scrap piece of clear pine. Photos of the wooden base with the plastic towel holder attached and plans / drawing are shown below. I assembled the base with brass wood screws and stained it to match the wood trim of the salon using a maple stain. You can use a clear varnish or polyurethane to give it a finishing touch if you wish. Finally, attach the plastic towel holder to the wood base with SS fasteners, insert a roll of paper towels, and slip the base over the shelf fiddle.... that’s it!
Before you start cutting… a few comments on “measurements” are warranted. Much of the cabinetry and wood trim in the Catalina’s salon-galley are standard in size. However, some pieces are custom cut. All measurements in the drawing shown here are for my boat. Since the towel holder is designed to slip over the fiddle on the edge of the shelf on the starboard side of the salon (see photo), you’ll need to double-check (1) the width of the space between the fiddle and bulkhead (hull) cabinet to obtain the measurement for the bottom of the base of the towel holder (“B” in drawing = 1 1/4”), and (2) the width and height of the fiddle for the notch in the base (“N” in drawing = 1 3/8” and 3/4”). If you also want to be able to mount the towel holder on the fiddle attached to the back of the galley counter, you’ll need to check the distance from the top of this fiddle to the counter surface, and adjust the length of the “lip” of the notch appropriately (“ * ” in drawing = 7/8"). It is important that this “lip” makes contact with the counter surface and that the width of the notch matches the width of the fiddle -- you want a snug fit. If it’s not snug, the towel holder will rock forward and fall onto the counter.