Onne’s New Goose: A Fixture Facelift

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There’s probably nothing on a boat that detracts more from the eye than a shiny object that’s been tarnished. And that was the case with the faucets and sinks on Snow Goose, Onne and Tenley van der Wal’s 1986 Grand Banks 32.

The original faucets and sinks in the galley and head on Snow Goose had seen better days, and because Onne’s wife Tenley wanted single mixing valves, she selected Italian-made Elka faucets from Scandvik to replace them.

“She’s very much an interior designer, so the look is important to her,” Onne says about Tenley’s input. “The Elka brand is really nice stuff and the Scandvik folks are really great people. We worked with them before on the Snoek project.”

But to get to the plumbing and pipes that were connected to the old galley faucet, Onne had to drop the sink. “That’s the only way you can get to those pipes and junctions and get the nuts off the faucets,” Onne says.

The next challenge was to connect the flexible pipe from the new faucet to the old existing pipes, both of which had female connectors. He needed a male pipe nipple to connect the two, so he headed to Jamestown Hardware, his local hardware store. “I was really worried,” Onne says. “When you do this kind of stuff there are so many sizes and threads, but the first one I tried fit.”

To hide the holes in the counter left by the old faucet, Onne created a small cover out of King Starboard, a marine plastic product that he really likes. It’s the same material he used to cover the holes under the new head he’d installed previously. “Starboard is so nice to work with,” Onne says. “It’s so easy to machine that stuff.” He used his bandsaw to cut the cover's shape, eased the edges on his router table and cut the hole for the new faucet on his drill press.

Onne dry fit everything before he applied any sealer. Once he was confident all the pieces fit together, he used TotalBoat Seal, an elastomeric marine sealant that can be used above and below the waterline to finish the job. “It’s a wonderful sealer,” Onne says. “The nice thing about the TotalBoat Seal product is that you take the cap off, give it a squirt, and it comes out. 3M 5200 dries in the tube, but you can reuse TotalBoat Seal over and over again.”

With the faucet reinstalled, he took the galley sink back to his shop for cleaning. He used a wire brush wheel on his bench grinder to clean up the edges and then used TotalBoat TotalBuff rubbing compound to scour and polish the inside of the sink. “That’s the first time I used that product,” Onne says about TotalBuff. “I started with some Soft Scrub, but then decided to try the TotalBuff. It has the same abrasive quality, but it has a polish in it and once it’s dry it shines like mad. I was blown away.”

Onne also replaced the faucet in the head, but because the area around the sink drain was all rusted, he replaced the bathroom basin. The new sink was a bit bigger than the old one, so he enlarged the counter hole with a router.

To top off the project, he installed a matching Elka showerhead with a rail, but that left him with the grungy shower valve controls. “I thought I had to buy new ones,” Onne says, but he used a buffing wheel on the bench grinder to make them shine again. “That whole head is all new now,” Onne says. “It shines and it’s clean.”

You can watch the faucet and sink project in the above video.


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