Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Galley Redesign

One of the many modifications that sets Phoenix apart from its Andromeda and Christina sisters is the location of our galley. Bruce Bingham's original design called for a mid-ship galley to starboard, running both sides of the passageway leading from the main to aft cabin.

Bruce Bingham Andromeda original interior design
While this is a great galley location for an off-shore cruiser or sailing in cold waters, there is little ventilation in this area (only one port that opens into the cockpit well), and most of the heat is funneled aft into the aft stateroom while cooking.

Phoenix's previous owner began our galley redesign by relocating the galley to the port side of the main cabin, just left of the companionway ladder. In the above drawing, it replaces the door to the head, the hanging locker and shelving aft of the port-side settee. From what we can tell, the entrance to Phoenix's head was always from the aft cabin, so in essence we really only lost a hanging locker.

What we gained instead is a massive U-shaped galley with a ton of storage and counter space, which is not how you'd typically describe a sailboat's galley! Plus, with the 8 opening ports in the main cabin, the companion way, and our overhead skylight, the galley is extremely well ventilated and heat or steam from cooking does not stay down below. But before I jump ahead of myself, here's what Phoenix's galley looked like when Bill found her in Detroit.

Phoenix's galley when purchased
 Phoenix came with a Norcold AC/DC Refrigerator/Freezer, a cutout for deep double sink, and plans for an electric stove top next to the refrigerator. A good start, but with two avid cooks on board, we needed a bit more prep space! The DC refrigerator electronics died on the trip home from Detroit, so that was the first thing to go.

Bill saved the doors, outer framing and seals from the refrigerator, and designed an under-the-counter 6 cubic foot stainless refrigerator box that would accommodate our Norcold door. A new stainless front panel insert helped dress the door up quite a bit. The freezer door will be used on a separate freezer box that's in progress. With the refrigerator under the counter, we were able to extend the counter top amidship almost to the companionway ladder, really maximizing our food prep area.

Between the fore and aft cabinets along the hull, Bill removed the counter top and opened up the lower cabinets to accommodate our gimballed Princess 3-burner propane range. Behind the stove we added a stainless back splash to make clean up easier. We added two shore power/generator GFI AC outlets and another separate inverter AC outlet to the galley, which allows us to run the microwave and other small appliances as needed.

The top cabinets were modified to give an extra-deep corner cabinet and we added two larger cabinets against the bulkhead where the Norcold refrigerator used to be. I'm sure I'll eat these words later once we're living on board full time, but so far I have more galley cabinet space than I know what to do with! Bill also ran under-the-counter LED lights under all of the cabinets to help illuminate the galley with very little power draw.

To really maximize storage and food prep areas, Bill made a 5-drawer cabinet next to the sink. Even though it's a smaller workspace, it's probably my favorite food prep area, especially since its right next to the sink. Having the deep double sink is wonderful for a variety of reasons. Our collapsible  in-sink drying rack fits snugly in one side so we can safely do dishes while underway without anything going flying while we're heeled at 20 degrees, and you can safely stow open bottles, etc. in the sink while prepping or serving beverages.

Phoenix carries 200+ gallons of fresh water, but we don't go through the water that quickly and we're pretty picky about our drinking water, so we installed a 7 gallon drinking water tank under the sink cabinets. The Nalgene tank can be easily cleaned, won't leach plasticizers, and can be filled directly or from our Echo-Tech RO water maker. We have a foot pump for the drinking water spigot while the sink pulls water from our main tanks for washing dishes, etc.

Phoenix's new galley layout with extra cabinets, under-the-counter refrigerator, gimballed stove, microwave and new drawers. The camp stove will go away once the propane system is installed (LOL)

New galley drawers with African mahogany drawer faces

Galley and port-side settee
New galley sink with built in soap dispenser. The small spigot on the left is for drinking water and is controlled with a foot pump.
As soon as the weather gets warm enough to start working on the boat again, Bill's going to finish installing the hot water plumbing from our 20-gallon hot water heater to the galley sink, finish the propane system to the stove, and mount the refrigerator's Keel-Cooler compressor to finish that project.

In the meantime, Bill's been in his workshop creating some other galley customizations for me that I'll share with you soon -- I really am lucky to have such a handy husband!