Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Hinged Vs. Sliding Cupboard Doors"
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Thread: "Hinged Vs. Sliding Cupboard Doors"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012

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Hinged Vs. Sliding Cupboard Doors


Tom and Barb Koehl

I know most of you probably aren't in the position to change your cupboard doors, but I'm starting from scratch. The Westsail I crewed on last year had sliding doors in the galley and in a seaway they seemed to slowly work themselves open. I've also looked at several boats that have hinged doors in the galley and head. I have the original teak trim (bundled, never used) for the sliders per the factory drawings but wanted to get some feedback from other owners as to what seems to be the best way to go (if there is any). - Tom Koehl


Dave Kall
(Member)

All I know is we replace all of our sliders with Doors. However; beware that double doors will want to make a little noise as they're connected by hooks. We just stuff a little paper towel in them when we leave. Doesn't look pretty offshore but who cares. Boats are usually a mess sailing anyway!


Bud Taplin
(Member)

You can drill a small 1/8" hole through the sliding doors where they overlap and insert a cotter pin when you are out sailing and do not want them to move.


Aaron Norlund

Tom,

We recently replaced all of our galley's opening doors with four black-plastic sliding panels. We hated having to move things from in front of the doors to get into the cupboards.

If you'd like, I can have my father snap some photos and post them here with one or two of the galley as it used to be.

As for sliding in a seaway - we made the tracks out of the same material as the panels. We purposefully left the "sliding" part rough and uneven to increase the friction of the doors. It takes a second extra to open them, but they stay in place while the boats moving.

On a side note, at the same time we did the panels, I installed LEDs under the handrail and above the sink. They make the galley 500% more eye-friendly at night, looking like "undercabinet" lights. I highly suggest this!


Cheers!
Aaron N.



Stephen and Lu Ann Yoder

I wasn't too crazy about the sliders in our W28 when we got her but the longer I live with them, the more practical they seem to be. I, too, hate to have to move things to open a cupboard door. But, besides that, the ease with which sliders can be removed altogether when it's necessary to work in some dark hole (like under the sink in the head) give them another leg up for me. I'm glad you brought this subject up since I'm just getting ready to re-do much of the cabinetry in my boat. I was going to replace the sliders with hinged doors until this post made me stop and think hard about the pros and cons of each. I think the creeping open at sea is an easily-overcome problem using any of the suggestions above.

Thanks, Tom.
-Steve


Tom and Barb Koehl

I appreciate all the feedback and would love to see some photos of how others have dealt with the doors. I like the look of hinged doors, but I've also been giving a lot of thought (seems like I dream of boat issues every night) to interference with spigots, galley utensils, etc. Maybe what I need are sliders with a more three dimensional look to them. -Tom


Michael Dougan

I like the look of my hinged doors. they have a raised molding around the border, which looks great, but makes having a hardware catch or latch difficult.

The original owner thought he'd go low-tech, and just drilled a hole in the door, pushed a dowel with a knob glued to one in through, then glued a flat tab of wood onto the other end of the dowel. Spin the knob and the tab latches on the fixed part of the cupboard. Problem is, they sometimes work their way open at sea, then, I've got doors banging open and closed, very annoying.

So, if you do go with doors, just be sure to consider an adequate latch system ahead of time!


Stephen and Lu Ann Yoder

Tom,
I'm with you on preferring the more 3-D look of hinged doors. Since I haven't built my replacement doors I'll be pondering ways to get a more 3-D look on sliders. The hard part is doing it w/o taking upo too much space. Even if the doors are only 1/2" thick, since they have to slide past each other, you need 1" plus the width of the track assembly. Total thickness could be as little as 1-3/8" but that's really pretty thick for doors. Hard to pass up those 1/4" thick sliders that came with the boat. If they just weren't so plain looking. I'm thinking about maybe relieving the plainness by using a ventilation panel in the center. Then the doors could remain 1/4" thick with just a thin screening material of some kind fastened to the back of each. I used some galvanized hardware cloth with 3/16" spacing for ventilation on one of the (hinged) doors of the medicine cabinet I built and they look pretty good (picture below). Maybe I'll try something like that. Let us know if you come up with any bright ideas.

-Steve



Stephen and Lu Ann Yoder

Tom,
I'm with you on preferring the more 3-D look of hinged doors. Since I haven't built my replacement doors I'll be pondering ways to get a more 3-D look on sliders. The hard part is doing it w/o taking up too much space. Even if the doors are only 1/2" thick, since they have to slide past each other, you need 1" plus the width of the track assembly. Total thickness could be as little as 1-3/8" but that's really pretty thick for doors. Hard to pass up those 1/4" thick sliders that came with the boat. If they just weren't so plain looking. I'm thinking about maybe relieving the plainness by using a ventilation panel in the center. Then the doors could remain 1/4" thick with just a thin screening material of some kind fastened to the back of each. I used some galvanized hardware cloth with 3/16" spacing for ventilation on one of the (hinged) doors of the medicine cabinet I built and they look pretty good (picture below). Maybe I'll try something like that. Let us know if you come up with any bright ideas.

-Steve
medicine cabinet


Tom and Barb Koehl

I've been giving it a lot of thought and I'm going to try a couple of different materials. The sliders make sense from the standpoint of efficiency of space and I'm thinking of layering the doors, sort of like a mat on an art print. Could even do a raised center with the trimmed down cut-out. At least it would relieve the stark simplicity of the flat panels. Since some of my doors are on a white background I' going to experiment with tempered 1/4 inch masonite (my workbench at home is covered with this, sealed with polyurethane and it takes a beating but still looks good despite oils, water, grease, etc.). Another possibility is styrene plastic. I'll report on what works. -Tom


Bud Taplin
(Member)

A dark plex also looks nice for a slider.


Bill Healy

How about frosted/engraved acrylic (or other plastic)? Talk to a local trophy shop, for instance. Get some dolphins on there, or maybe a Navy anchor.

Bill


Aaron Norlund

Bill,

We have glossy black plexi panels for our sliders - I really like you're idea of engraving on them.

Pictures coming!
Aaron N.


Tom and Barb Koehl

Bill,

I like the idea of the anchor! Makes a good vent hole and not too hard to cut. I'm going with a white finish to match the white beadboard on the vertical trim panel above the head counter and the for'ard and aft head bulkheads. I had to build out the bulkhead face by about a half-inch to match the fiberglass sole pan and decided to try the 3/8" thick PVC beadboard at Lowe's. It worked out very well, but it was tedious cutting and fitting each 5-1/2 inch plank. I fastened the tongues with #6x1/2 inch flat head phillips screws spaced 6" vertically and the overlap hides them nicely. I glued the outer edges that lacked a tongue with Liquid Nails. I used PVC trim on the top edge and cut and fitted a narrow ledge above that and a shelf (also PVC from 1/2"x 6) to the outboard ends above the countertop and attached oak "galley rail" around the edge to hold a shaving kit, softsoap, etc. The whole head will be impervious to water so a sloppy sponge bath or washing hair will be an easy clean up. If you check my blog you can see a couple of photos of it. <westsailinabarn.blogspot.com> I'll post photos of the experimental doors when I finish cutting them. -Tom


Tom and Barb Koehl

Bud,

I just thought of something instead of a cotter pin to secure the sliding doors. Has anyone ever tried using the spring loaded quarter-turn aircraft fasteners? They have "mouse ears" and are usually mounted on the corners of access panels. I'll experiment and let you know. Otherwise, the cotter pin is simple and makes sense. I suppose you could just chain it to the top of the cabinet to keep it from disappearing.

Tom


Tom and Barb Koehl

Bill,

I like the idea of the anchor! Makes a good vent hole and not too hard to cut. I'm going with a white finish to match the white beadboard on the vertical trim panel above the head counter and the for'ard and aft head bulkheads. I had to build out the bulkhead face by about a half-inch to match the fiberglass sole pan and decided to try the 3/8" thick PVC beadboard at Lowe's. It worked out very well, but it was tedious cutting and fitting each 5-1/2 inch plank. I fastened the tongues with #6x1/2 inch flat head phillips screws spaced 6" vertically and the overlap hides them nicely. I glued the outer edges that lacked a tongue with Liquid Nails. I used PVC trim on the top edge and cut and fitted a narrow ledge above that and a shelf (also PVC from 1/2"x 6) to the outboard ends above the countertop and attached oak "galley rail" around the edge to hold a shaving kit, softsoap, etc. The whole head will be impervious to water so a sloppy sponge bath or washing hair will be an easy clean up. If you check my blog you can see a couple of photos of it. <westsailinabarn.blogspot.com> I'll post photos of the experimental doors when I finish cutting them. -Tom


Aaron Norlund

Tom,

I noticed on your blog that you have a bunch of lamps and fans. Did you find a place with reasonable prices from which to buy these? I'd like to purchase five of the little Hella fans.

Cheers,
Aaron N.


Stephen and Lu Ann Yoder

Tom,
I like your idea of approaching it like a matted art print. Please post a picture of whatever you ultimately come up with.

I think I just came up with what I'm going to do. I've been replacing my original naugahyde overhead with pine beadboard finished bright. It comes pre-milled in pieces about 1/4" thick. My thought is to glue these to a thin backing like formica. Probably have to mill the edges down a little where they slide in the tracks down but shouldn't be too much. Sliding doors that match the overhead. Sort of like having your socks match your hat, right? I have some of the pieces of my boat at home right now for rebuilding so I might do a prototype this weekend. If I like the way it comes out I'll post a picture.

-Steve


Michael Dougan

the Hella fans are great, put out a lot of air, but they (re: one) tends to run down a single house battery overnight.

I use these little hand-held battery operated fans from Westmarine (yea, I know). But, you can move them around with you, place them just where you want, and you can bring all the D-Cell batteries you want.

Tom, Poly Vinyl Cloride is poison. Use wood. (yea, I know, the fans are probably PVC too)


Aaron Norlund

Mike,

I've installed DC outlets throughout the boat and plan to put an extension and clip on each, this way people can move the fan close to them while relying on our 450ah batteries.

I just checked and the little hella fans use 3.5W, while the 2 speed turbos use 6W.

Glad we've stayed on topic

Cheers,
Aaron N.


Tom and Barb Koehl

Aaron, I got the fans and lights them Defender.
Mike, I know that PVC gives off toxic fumes when burned, but so does half the other materials we use on boats - glues, laminates, plumbing fittings, plastic accessories, etc. - even the faceplates for our electronics. The head is probably the safest place for such materials, being away from the ER and electronics.

-Tom


Stephen and Lu Ann Yoder

Aaron,
Your black panels look really nice. It looks like you've already figured this out bit to anyone who hasn't: Do yourself a favor and drill finger holes in both ends of your sliders like Aaron did. That way there is no right or wrong way to close the doors.
-Steve


Aaron Norlund

Hey all,

My father took a few photos. He couldn't make it out at night, so no shot of the undercabinet lights, but one day I'll get them in action!

Before


galleybefore

galleybefore2

Now - it's still a work in progress!


galleynow

galleynow2

We like it more now. We're planning to make dish holders in the area behind the sink. Sometime we're going to install a solid surface counter there, on the nav table, and in the head. Slowly we're winning.


Cheers!
Aaron N.


Aaron Norlund

Hey all,

I finally took a few photos of the LEDs we installed under the handrail in the galley. There is a toggle switch mounted in a whole one of the previous owners drilled the bulkhead for God only knows what:

leds1
leds2

For larger photos, visit:
Asia Marie General Photos

Happy days to you!
Aaron N.

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