Gallery for Yacht Carpentry

Here is an example of how to make a couple of small improvements to a luxury yacht. This is the  Pilot’s station trimmed out in wood, replacing factory installed vinyl.

This is some of what was installed by the manufacturer of the yacht. I took all the original upholstered pieces back to my workshop and then carefully selected the best mahogany for the refitting.

Before… vinyl covered wood removed.

After, with lacquered mahogany installed. What an improvement !

This curved piece is made up of 3 pieces glued into a large radius, cut on a shaper with a 2″ qtr. round bit.

This interior upgrade was the special touch this chartered luxury yacht needed to impress the guests.

Close-up of the high-polish and single piece, solid wood  trim selected for this boat.

If you think your boat is ready for some special trim work, send me your photos and ask for a free quote.

Aboard this 54′ Bertram is a large storage space on the starboard side of the salon. My job was to design and build a bar for the liqueur bottles and somehow still allow access to the storage compartment behind it. After some thought I realized I could hinge the cabinet if I built it in the shape of a semi-circle. From there all I had to do was work on the aesthetics. I combined curly maple since the rest of the salon was maple, and acrylic for a curved mirror and bottle holders. The bottles come in and out by lifting and swinging them out of the wood socket base. The clear acrylic holds the tops of the bottles securely while the boat is bouncing along on the seas. Since some brand of bottles where too tall to fit in this space I made use of another space adjacent to this one with the same holder concept.

This client needed furniture to complete her ideal of having her work place at home and on the water. We discussed the basic storage needs and the shape of the 'L' desk, which consisted of files, printer, binders, keyboard tray, and a place for her laptop. I proposed two 30" wide file drawers as well as a storage box on wheels to use the inevitable 'dead' space in the corner; she added the open shelves for her family photos. I concealed the keyboard behind a flip down front and made the desktop so that she could extend it another 11 inches to the left. A pencil drawer holds all the small items of doing paper work and a large drawer beneath the printer drawer holds the paper!





The couple who own and live on this yacht were tired of the cramped space dominated by a large refrigerator. They needed the space to open up as well as have more storage cabinets. We spent many days discussing the design, and it became a fun genesis to their ulimate galley. We went with a painted finish because the wood grain was too busy for the 7'x12' space and it was impossible to make it work with the granite countertop and teak. The teakwood trim is to match the adjoining rooms which are all teak. Drawings of the new galley included the dimensions of appliances they wanted installed, such as the cool drawer-type dishwasher and the twin, under-counter fridges. The drawings helped them to further detail their preferences, such as a rope moulding on the door fronts, the number of drawers, trash bin and lights. Though the outside of the cabinets are painted, inside are lacquered maple veneer. The fronts have a unique cove-mold edge made possible with a special hinge. I designed a stainless exhaust hood over the stove and had that fabricated to fit the space. To overcome the boxed-in feel, i built arches into the crown of the cabinets. I made a grid-pattern in the ceiling with removeable panels to access wires if needed and accented this with teak corbels. In the evening, soft halogen lights under the cabinets enhance the tranquility of this kitchen with an ocean view.




This yacht, a Searay, was built in the mid '80's and my job here was to simply replace the Lucite handrails, black acrylic panels and pickled oak tambour and mirror frames with the wood shown here, called bubinga. The interior of this large power boat consists of a galley, a big salon, guest berth, two heads, and the Vee berth that has a queen bed. I was able to pre-finish all the new parts off the boat with an epoxy finish. This can only be done where the flow properties of the epoxy mixture can be controlled, as with a horizontal tabletop. There are two plasma TV units, one in the salon, mounted above the new curved front cabinet and another smaller one fitted in the V-berth… which had to be combined in the wooden mount with the existing A/C grill. I used a shot of silver spray paint to match it with the TV. There are several drawers in the staterooms that received new fronts, as well as many mirror frames, like the one shown, that are hinged as doors for the hanging lockers.






This convertible table was commissioned by the owners of this 'megayacht' in Miami to make dinner on board closer to what they enjoy at home. Of course, a permanent table large enough to seat everyone would overwhelm the cockpit area. The modern lines of the table are consistent with the Italian design of the vessel. The legs, or pedestals, are bolted to the deck, the folding wood framed "leaves" are attached by several chrome hinges, the see-through top is unbreakable acrylic, and the painted finish called Awlgrip is tough as nails. This simple design can be used when either closed or open. The shape of the wood frame acts like a sea rail on a small table to keep stuff from sliding off the side and when open it's shape provides the support for the leaf extension. Very shipshape!


The owners of this large motor-yacht hired me to re-design this forward cabin. They stipulated that the cabin retain the capacity to sleep two, but to be furnished for use as an office when guests were not on board. It originally came with two starboard bunks, one on top of the other, and a couple of drawers for crew. After taking out the old bunks, I built a mock-up of desk and new cabinet so that the customer could feel that the placement was right. All the components could then be built in my workshop and installed fully varnished. The double-berth leaves were cut to hang inside the narrow broom closet on the right; foam mattress is stowed elsewhere.




52 ft. Cross-designed trimaran. Wooden boat building and boatwright skills were applied here to re-construct the fair lines of this multihull. The insurers were doubtful as to her salvageability. However, she is now plying the turquoise waters of the Bahamas. The original builders used cold molding method of veneer and epoxy lamination and my job was to step the new veneer in layers onto the adjoining surfaces and first make sure the detached bow was in the right place. Longitudinal stringers were attached to bulkheads first just as in wood airplane constuction. Once the woodwork was complete several layers of fiberglass were then applied. This wreck was caused because the owner left the boat tied to the dock during a cat-5 hurricane and she went up oen the pilings.




This unit, built and varnished in-shop, is made up of three sections. The largest houses the boats bigger, new engine and still fits through the boat's main hatch. The other two pieces fasten on using brass thumbscrews. The client wanted to have access panels on four sides to service the engine and also be able to remove the cover entirely away when an overhaul is needed in the future. He also specified two full inches of sound and heat insulating liner. The geometry to do all that was made easier by using trigonometry to arrive at a proper angle of descent, tread depth and come within the given floor space. For all it has to do, conceal a big engine, withstand 300lb/sqaure inch of dynamic load, shed water falling through the hatch, and be dismantleable,… I think it is a pretty piece of furniture to look at.




The kind owner of this boat gave me license to build functional art. It began with a form that matched the deck's camber onto which the acrylic was heat-formed. The curved acrylic was set into a water-tight seal that also allows it to expand as sunlight hits it throughout the day. The 36 in. wide, heavy, wood frame slides easily with he help of ebony, a self-lubricating wood, and brass flatbar tracks. This design allows lots of diffuse sunlight into the boats interior and will support the weight of a man standing on it. The drop-boards louvers permit fresh air to circulate down below. In short, each of the two components are built to meter in just some of what nature is offering.


This photo shows a typical layout for a midsize sailboat navigation station, in this case made of teak. The tabletop hinges up to access a compartment for charts. An overhead panel will house the various electronic gear such as GPS, depth, speed, wind direction, radios, radar screen, and below that a shelf for books, a satelite phone, engine gauges and a mic/intercom to talk to the helmsman. On the right is the electrical panel that is hinged on the left edge so that circuits can be checked easily or new wires connected. Small teak drawers are especially important for all the small items that can get lost on board a yacht like keys, batteries, pendants. Most captains know exactly what configuration they need. But if not, I draw from years of offshore sailing to aid them in getting the most from what is usually very tight space.


This picture, taken just before installation, shows how my custom yacht cabinets can be fabricated entirely in my workshop from exact measurements of all adjoining surfaces on-board. Given that the inside of boats are only curves and obtuse angles, this is not as simple as making a set of kitchen cabinets! Moreover, the finish on the adjacent woodwork, usually teak veneer, has faded over the years and this means I must treat the new wood to color match. Fortunately, after years of experimenting with different techniques, I can now do all the varnishing off the boat to spare the owners the smell of drying varnish. In-shop time is always more efficient and predictable. That is why I can give a fixed quote up front on even this custom work. Installations, on the other hand, are estimated. With small jobs like this one, two visits to the yacht are usually sufficient.