Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Customizing the Galley to Better Utilize Space

As we continue to spend more time aboard Phoenix, we're really trying to hone in on how to better utilize the space down below. After redesigning the galley, we had a ton of new cabinet space, but we still wanted to maximize our storage as much as possible without making the boat look cluttered. So we decided to get creative and make use of areas under the new cabinets and counter tops.

Better utilization of space in the galley with our new under-the-cabinet spice rack, knife block, and under-the-counter garbage can.
Bill and I both love to cook and we typically carry a lot of spices on board. So one of the first things we chose to add was an under-the-counter spice rack. We found some hinges at our local flea market for an under-the-counter mount, which inspired Bill to use some scrap material to build the spice rack. The sides and dividing shelves were made out of teak, while the underneath side is almond Formica, making it easier to clean. A friend of ours in the dietary supplement business sent us a case of HDPE bottles to hold our spices, and Bill made the rack to accommodate three rows of seven bottles.

Our custom under-the-counter spice rack
The sides and inner shelves of the spice rack are teak while the bottom is Formica for easier clean up
Our spice rack accommodates 21 of our most used spices

Our next task was finding a home for the beautiful mahogany knife block that our friends Tom and Barbara gave us as a wedding gift. The design is pretty clever, in that it has a custom plexi knife guard that keeps the knives in place even when the boat is moving. A pin lock on the side allows you to move the guard out of the way to remove the knives, and then locks the guard back in place for proper stowage.

Our mahogany knife block made by our friend Tom. The pin in the left corner keeps the plexi guard in place and prevents the knives from moving while under way.

Moving the plexi handle guard out of the way to access the knives

Tom originally intended for the knife block to be mounted vertically, but in Phoenix's galley the best place is a horizontal mount under the corner cabinet. Bill made a mahogany mounting block so that the knife block clears our under-the-counter LED lights. Now we have easy access to our knives, yet they are safely secured when we are underway.

Our knife holder mounted under the corner cabinet with the guard in place

Moving the guard out of the way to use the knives

Our latest addition was an under-the-counter garbage can. We've seen similar garbage cans on newer boats with solid surface counters, yet on most of those the garbage can lid has a hole in the top to serve as a lift ring and there are no gaskets; a seemingly stinky option that could also invite flies down below. Instead, we installed a gasketed, water-tight access hatch in the counter to serve as our positive-locking garbage can lid. The garbage can is mounted under-the-cabinet below the access hatch, and either the entire can or the bag liner can be removed to empty the trash.

Our under-the-counter garbage can

The garbage can is mounted under the access hatch and can be easily removed to empty the trash. The gasket and positive lock of the access hatch help minimize odors that may lure pesky flies down below.
The galley is really coming together and is a joy to cook in! Each new addition not only improves our galley storage but really makes Phoenix feel more like a home. We can't wait to move aboard full time!