The original kitchen (or galley if you prefer) left a lot to be desired. The fridge was a household style that only operated on 120V, the cabinets were original and the counter top was covered in formica. To add to that, if you were working in the kitchen, the cabinets were so high you were cut off from the rest of the boat. Opposite the kitchen was the dinette, which we have no use for. The helm level is fully enclosed and holds a teak table for 8-10 people, no need for another one. So we decided to remove the dinette, and the raised floor it was on and create a kitchen across the entire beam. We would add a bar with a couple of stools, and ensure while in the kitchen you can still interact with people in the living room.

First let's take a look at the original kitchen

In the picture above you can also see the light pod that hangs down. Lovely, except they each hold three 120VAC lights, that can only be described as heat lamps! They were so warm, my kids would sit on the deck above because it was warmer to the touch. Not what you need when you are planning to spend weekends on anchor.

In this picture, you can see how closed off the kitchen was from the rest of the boat. That artificial plant certainly didn't help!

This was the dinette

More floral pattern and of course the thick green shag carpet. The dinette sits on a raised floor that is 9" over the rest of the kitchen. Turns out the normal floor level was still under there, so the raised section just had to be removed.

This is what happens when you start to demolish a kitchen

Right in front of the pile of wood - you can see the garbage disposal that was installed. While I love mine in my house, I can't imagine dumping chopped up food into my favourite bay.

Blank canvas, back to the hull.

Electrical panel in the kitchen that will need to be relocated

A look at the new plan. I drew this up in SketchUp, a free and really easy to use 3D program.

The new cabinets need to be built in place since the door is only 22" wide. Everything will be constructed from marine grade mahogany plywood with mahogany end trim. I used white oak blocks and stainless steel wood screws. Most components are screwed and also epoxied into place with West System Epoxy. The plan was always to paint instead of stain/clear coat, so I didn't get veneer on the plywood. This would prove to be a mistake, since when painted, the grain showed through. We fixed this by filling the grain on all surfaces before painting, but it would have been much easier to buy the plywood with a smooth veneer like maple. Everything was pre-cut in my home shop and driven 4 hours to Bay City to be installed.

Cabinets starting to go in

The corner cupboard will be accessed from the living room, you can just see the opening by the clamp.

This is the taller side, that holds the pantry to the left and refrigerator to the right. The pantry will have 5 full extension sliding drawers in it. To the left you can see the original formica really too bad they didn't continue to use real mahogany in the later years.

The interior shelves were created with exterior grade (waterproof glue) birch plywood - half the cost of the mahogany! Each self has a raised lip to keep items in place and the doors use soft close hidden hinges.

The foot well for the forward starboard side bed creates a natural shelf

The sink is in!

This is really starting to look like the design. Laura's been out shopping and found the stools.

The doors are on...and the handles are exactly what we wanted.

Let's turn our attention to the lighting. Not wanting to replace the headliner, I had to get creative. I pulled down the two light boxes and cut the center out between them.

Some nicely shaped frames and lots of staples, and we have a shape that will hold our new lights

This is what happens when you clean something from the headliner - you discover it's actually really dirty! So now you need to clean it all!

Test fit the 1/4" mahogany panel

Stain it grey to match the floor and add in 12VDC LED lights

Start applying primer to all wood surfaces

Here you can see the space under the side walkways. We'll eventually (this spring) put sliding frosted glass panels to cover this space.

Add a counter top

And a back splash (still don't have grout in there).

You can see one of the two lights over the bar in this picture.

Fit the refrigerator. I could not find a stainless steel refrigerator that was less than 22" deep or wide to fit through the door. This Isotherm is silver and it looks pretty good.

No, we aren't adding a toilet to our new kitchen!

Put some flooring in and finish the painting. This is really starting to look good. Just need the kick boards and the sliding frosted panels to hide the dishes.

The most complete picture. We had planned on a dishwasher in the space you see next to the drawers, but have since decided to not add it. We'll put in a wine rack, hard liquor holder and bread basket in this space instead.

A compare of new vs old. Which do you prefer?

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Comment by Timothy "Tim" Miller on February 3, 2018 at 12:48am

Wine and bread rack to fill the space by the fridge?  Nice work!

Comment by Steve on January 30, 2018 at 10:45am

Thanks Bill, still working on my own!

Comment by Bill Hayes on January 28, 2018 at 3:59pm

WOW come do my galley.

Club News

2019 Regional Rendezvous Hosts Wanted

Are you yearning for a little fix for Commander-itis?

Would you like to meet other Commander owners in your area?

Do you have a great idea for a Commander gathering on or off the water?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then we have just the remedy for you: We encourage you to think about hosting, or, indicating your interest in hosting a Regional Rendezvous in your area in 2019.

For more information about hosting - click here:

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Char Pike has volunteered to be the EC “Point Person” for 2019 Regional Rendezvous. Please contact Char if you are interested in organizing & holding a Regional Rendezvous in your area. Char’s e-mail address is


Help Wanted!!!

New Faces, New Perspectives - Executive Committee Openings to start in January 2020

Would you like to be more active in the Commander Club? Would you like to help chart our course? Are you willing to commit the time, energy and creativity needed to assist us in promoting and supporting our mission?

We are searching for new faces and new perspectives. Positions start in January 2020 for a two year term.

There are four positions available. Chief Commander, Treasurer, Public Relations Chair and Membership Chair.

Duties for each position are located in the bylaws

More details about each position here.

The Executive Committee (EC) convenes monthly via conference call. Meetings typically last 90 minutes or less. Most work done via e-mail. Each job has its own time commitment depending on club activities. Current EC members will mentor you.

Interested in any of these positions?

Please drop Char Pike an e-mail at


2018 Photo Contest Winner

The 4th Annual Chris-Craft Commander Club Photo Contest had more than 50 entries and selecting the winners was not an easy task. 

First place: submitted by Pat Chaps

Second place: submitted by Martin Krall;

Third place: submitted by Jeff Pacy.

To view all entries to this year's contest,         Click Here

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