Sunday, October 13, 2013

Almost Timeless

For the most part, Sea Gem could pass for a new sailboat.  Cruising sailboats are designed conservatively, and have changed very little over time.  Electronics, of course, change all the time, but there is nothing about Sea Gem's design and construction that would appear dated if it were in a boat show with brand-new boats.

With two exceptions: the galley (kitchen) and the heads (bathrooms).

Although most of Sea Gem's interior is varnished teak, as has been used in good boats forever, the builder, for some reason, decided to make the galley and heads "modern."  In 1986, when Sea Gem was built, modern meant an unrelenting expanse of off-white formica.  And today, that looks dated.

Since our galley and heads are perfectly functional, modernizing them is not a high priority, but it is on our list of future upgrades.

This weekend, we took our first step towards modernizing the galley by installing tiles over what was the blandest expanse of off-white formica: the "backsplash" behind the stove (I don't know why it's a backsplash if it's not behind the sink, but apparently that's what it is).  This area had no trim, no texture, no color--just off-white formica as far the eye can see.

Our solution was to install multi-colored vinyl tiles over the entire backsplash area. Vinyl may seem like an odd choice for tile, but despite being synthetic, the backsplash looks just like the real thing:

The Smart Tiles
The tiles match the rest of the galley and provide a much-needed break to the sea of formica. 

We have more changes in mind, but I think we're off to a great start.


  1. Thanks! I wasn't really expecting to like it, but I do.

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