Sink Covers

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2013 • all rights reserved


Undermount sink with covers on Mainship Trawler

Wish you had more counter space?  Removable sink covers can go a long ways.  At the Annapolis Boat Shows (both power and sail), I noticed that most boats under about 45 feet come with sink covers right from the manufacturer.  But don’t despair if a new boat isn’t in your future — the photos below can give you a lot of ideas on how to make your own.

First up, shown above and in several more photos below, is an undermount sink.  Now, it’s possible to have an undermount where the side of the sink is flush with the opening in the counter, shown on the left below, or one where the sink has a bit of a lip as on the right.  The one where there is a bit of a lip is probably the simplest to make a sink cover for.


The sink itself can be stainless or a Corian-like material, but the lip makes it easy to have a cover that will be totally flush with the counter.  Here are photos of a couple:


Seaward 46RK


Hunter 33


Hanse 345

I particularly liked the ones that had two “half covers” (although these were usually with double sinks and I prefer single) as a nice compromise between gaining counter space and still being able to run water.  You could easily make a divided one for a single sink although I didn’t find any to take a photo of.


Seaward 32RK

Okay, so what if you don’t have an undermount sink with a lip?  You can still have a cover, although here you have to make some sort of arrangement so that the board will stay in place.  Some created a lip on the board, while others simply attached a small strip of the cutting board material or wood towards the edge of all fours sides of the bottom of the cover.  You want it to fit snugly. The disadvantage of any of these is that the cover is not flush with the rest of the counter.

Catalina 385

Catalina 385

Lin and Larry Pardey’s newsletter coincidentally just featured how Larry made their combination cutting board and sink cover.  See it here.

If I had to guess, I’d say that it was about a 50/50 split at the boat show of whether the sink cover could double as a cutting board.  If I were making one for myself, I’d definitely opt for making it out of a cutting board material.  Everything on a boat should do double duty where possible — and you almost always want to be cutting and chopping near the sink anyway.

Finally, if you are going to make a sink cover, use a reasonably lightweight material.  Que Tal’s was beautifully crafted of Formica over 3/4″ plywood with teak trim.  It was heavy.  Very heavy.  And that made it hard to wrestle from its storage position and even harder to put away.  Consequently, I rarely used it.

How about you?  Do you have a sink cover? Want one? Have things you particularly like or dislike about yours?  Leave a note in the comments!

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  1. We have a “partial” sink cover/cutting board. It’s piece of some very hard Mexican wood that is the width of the sink and about 7″ wide. Usually it’s over the divider of our double sink, but it can be pushed easily either way. It doesn’t provide a big unbroken “counter” surface, but is surprisingly useful in spite of that.

  2. My boat came with Corian counter tops and matching sink covers (double sink, two covers). I didn’t and don’t want to cut on the Corian – it’s rough on knives and scores the sink covers. I bought a good size cutting board, cut and trimmed it appropriately, routed a blood groove in each side, and glued them to the sink covers. Now I can flip the cutting surfaces down and have lots of counter space or flip the cutting surfaces up and have a great place to do prep.

  3. I think I see a new project for my honey.

  4. I just measured the sink which has a raised lip and bought a cutting board that would fit on top; seems to be good enough as is (of course my catamaran doesn’t heel much so I can see where people with monos might need better fitting).

  5. D and Don SV SOUTHERN CROSS says:

    CAROLYN I thought you might like to know that the link you provide to look at Lin Pardeys sink cover does not go where it should.

    Also, why do you not like double sinks?

    D & Don

    • Thanks, I just sent Lin a note that her site is down.

      My experience with double sinks is that they are usually small — too small to put a good size pan in (the one on our boat wouldn’t even hold a plate, on edge, diagonally). Since I never “filled” a sink with dish water, but just put it in a bowl or pan, I’d rather have one big space where I can contain even my largest pan underway 🙂

      Here’s a bit more on the one vs. two controversy:

  6. rose alderson says:

    I have to agree that these are great ideas, as we have done the same. We have a 1998 Catalina 34 MkII. We bought 2 cutting boards for our sink…luckily an undermount, used a grinder to shape the spot where they needed to meet the hot/cold knobs. We also did the same for our stove top…since we just happened to have another cutting board the right size. It is so much better. We also have an RV plastic sink dish drainer that works great and fits our sink to a T. It’s great when something just WORKS.

    Definitely worth the effort.


  7. yes, love them!

  8. Made one out of a chopping board. Quite useful!

  9. Does anyone know of a resource to buy them? I have not found anything and would love one.

    • The one on our new boat is simply a wooden cutting board that’s a little larger than the sink. It’s about a inch and a half thick, and VERY heavy. I’m thinking of replacing it with a large plastic cutting board.

  10. Love mine, especially when entertaining

  11. Ours is plastic works well for exrra bench space.

  12. We. Had them on our Cabo Rico and used them often!! Current boat doesn’t have but will soon!!

  13. Dan Thomas says:

    On our Lagoon I made one out a large cutting board. Plan on the same for “Escape Hatch “.soon.

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