Friday, March 30, 2012

Galley Flow

One of the things I've found to be most important in making your galley a workable place to produce nourishment for the crew is to be sure that the "flow" of the galley is natural.  What I mean by this is if you find that you are constantly reaching in the wrong place for something or if you have to move 20 things to get to something, then a change needs to be made so that the flow of your movements is more natural and, as a result, you become more productive and efficient, something that is extremely important in such a small space.

We spent this past winter working to improve the flow of my galley, adding little things here and there that have dramatically improved the experience for this particular galley chef.  A happy chef means a happy crew.

One of the things that was causing me some grief in my galley was the lack of proper lighting.  It was difficult to do dishes especially since there was no light over the sink.  I happen to be fortunate enough to have a really really deep sink in this boat, one big enough to do cookie sheets in, which is a real blessing.  But trying to do them in the dark meant re-doing them in the morning many times because of stuff I'd missed. We added an LED bar light over the sink so I can now see all the food stuck on the pans.  It made an unbelievable difference in the galley, making it seem nearly twice as big at night and offering some light to the salon as well.

Early in the winter we removed our totally useless nav seat and built a bench seat with an openable lid and storage inside with a cushion on top.  This provided the space I was missing for cookie sheets, pans, and a collapsible strainer, all of which used to reside inside the oven and had to be removed to the salon seat while I baked.

Over the last week we added a spice rack behind my refrigerator - a really big spice rack - which will empty my glasses rack and allow room for more glasses. It also puts my spices within easy reach instead of crammed at the back of a cabinet. It takes the place of 3 really hideously ugly placards that I hated having in my face all the time and which have since taken up residence on the front of the companionway stairs where they are a bit less obtrusive.

Sorry for the lousy picture - I never seem to get around to these posts till after dark...
A few months ago while perusing the ads for other Tartan 42s to see if they had any cool stuff in their pictures that we could adopt, we saw that we were missing a piece of counter that went over the stove and stored behind the stove when not in use.  A couple days' work, a few dollars of scrap corian countertop and some teak and we had that piece replaced, only better.  Now I have a place to knead bread and cut veggies without damaging our countertop.

Pulled over the stove
Stored behind the stove

There was the addition of the hinge for the fridge lid which you had to hold perilously while trying to get things from the bottom basket...

and fixing the small counter that comes up from the side of the sink so it sits level and doesn't let stuff slide on it.

And the last improvement that we did was to add an easily wiped off backsplash that would lighten up a dark corner behind the sink.

The total cost of these improvements was less than $200, and while they did cost a couple days' worth of work for each project, they will, in the end, save many more days of work in the galley, make spending time there more enjoyable, and also a good bit safer underway. So while you're working in your galley, use your imagination to see if you can dome up with some creative ways to improve the flow of your galley.  Your crew will thank you when you produce some freshly made loaves of bread and some coffee on a morning passage...even if it was them that had to do all the work on the projects!

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