This is my favorite part of the transformation. All of the mechanical and technical modifications are absolutely a priority – safety first! But…… if you are going to spend extended time living on a boat, as in months or years, it needs to feel and function like a home.
There was nothing horrible or old about this galley, especially if you have no intention of cooking much or traveling far. I immediately knew that this galley did not have enough storage space for me, for the type of cruising we do. This is my little kingdom on the boat and I had a lot to say about its transformation. I needed more storage space, but there is a finite of amount of space on a boat, so where do you find more? You repurpose!
The traditional chart table (for holding all of the paper charts) was in the galley on the port side opposite the inside helm station on starboard side.
With the use of chartplotters and iPads for navigation, having a dedicated chart table isn’t as necessary. We still use our paper charts and always have them nearby, but other places can be found to store them when not in use. I looked at all of the space inside of the chart table and declared that it would be better suited to dish and utensil storage.
We were on a hunt for more storage, evaluating every nook and cranny for possibilities. The pull-out cabinet under the interior helm seat was directly across from the galley, and wasting valuable potential galley storage space. Why not pull out the inefficient round-holed racks for the glasses and bottles and use it for pantry items? We can find another place for the wine and beer – that would never hold it all anyway! 😉
Every boat has storage under the salon seating; the challenge is to get at it, easily, when you need it. Lifting up the cushion and then the plywood is not something you want to do repeatedly each day.
Al added a drawer in the side of this part of the salon seating (where his feet are) so that the space could be more conveniently accessed, by me.
The finished drawer —–
There was no place for a trashcan in this galley or salon. If you leave one sitting out, not only is it unsightly, but it will also tip and spill. Hmmmm…… what to do? Al loves his “sawzall” for a reason – it is the solution to so many problems. 😉 He determined that there was quite a lot of space under the sink for storage, and well, a trashcan! Rather than open the door and reach under every time, he sawed out part of the shelf and cut a neat opening in the side of the galley, creating a tilt-out trashcan.
And now for the pièce de résistance! Al saw another Mariner Orient, 40-footer, with a pantry in the galley. What a project this became, but so worth it! Below the chart table, which is now dish storage, there was a blank empty wall. The other side of that wall was in the guest cabin and held a mirror above a small vanity table with a drawer. Why not build a pantry accessible from the galley and bump into the guest cabin, where the mirror hung? Why not indeed?
There were other modifications to the galley that required an even greater degree of technical and mechanical skills than storage, beginning with the refrigeration dilemma. The boat has a Norcold upright refrigerator and freezer unit in good working condition. We discussed replacing the upright Norcold with drawers so that the freezer space could be enlarged and be more efficient than an upright. The existing freezer (that narrow door on the left) would not hold enough food for long-term cruising (it’s only a pinch bigger than .75 cubic feet.)
On the Morgan, Al had spoiled me with custom built, highly-insulated, refrigeration and freezer units of 5 cubic feet and 2 cubic feet, respectively. I knew I could manage with 2 cubic feet of freezer space, but ¾ cubic feet???? Nah. After much debate and research, we decided it was more practical, both physically and financially, to keep the existing Norcold unit and add additional freezer space elsewhere. But where??? A new search for hidden unused space began.
In his investigations throughout the boat, Al uncovered a large amount of completely unused but not easily accessible space under the galley counter. He reached it through the salon seating. Here would be the location for a new freezer unit.
The question — Build a freezer unit himself again or purchase a ready-made one? Al found a drop-in 1.5 cubic foot Engel that would fit perfectly in this “dead space.” He really had enough projects to do without building a custom freezer. This type of major work meant that the green marble (?) counter had to be sacrificed to be removed. I didn’t like it anyway; there was a seam and white stains that wouldn’t come out.
We decided to use a solid surface counter, just as we had on the sailboat. After reviewing and deliberating over the various shades and styles of solid surfaces, we agreed on Corian “Witch Hazel.” The big hardware stores like Lowes and Home Depot won’t sell sheets of Corian or any solid surface material to regular folks, so we returned to an online source, SolidSurface.com, the same one we used for the Morgan.
I continued to look for ways to maximize the space in the galley in any way possible. Spices and coffee making supplies take up space. A magnetic tin spice rack seemed like a neat solution and an attractive one. I used chalkboard stick-on circles, cut in half so that you can see the spices, with a chalk permanent marker pen. I know that spices should be kept in the dark and away from heat, but I think it will be ok. There was only space for 12 spices, so some are still in the pantry. There was enough space between the chart table and the window for a wicker basket that could hold coffee supplies.
The New and Improved Galley!
Next blog – the salon.