We have made a few key decisions and ordered a few parts.
Worktop, sinks and plumbing
First up was to decide what to build the new worktop from. We were attracted by the Solid Surface worktops. However, we realised that we were going to be talking well over £500 (even potentially approaching £1,000), especially if we were going to have fiddles, any form of splashback to match and have the fiddly cutouts done for us (including drainer grooves).
So we have gone for something quite different. I’ll be creating a worktop from 18mm softwood plywood. Once I have got all the shape including fiddles, cutouts, drainer grooves etc done then we will coat it with a food safe epoxy resin with a grey pigment mixed in. Sadly the Bio epoxies have not been tested to be food safe so I’ve bought a separate food safe epoxy just for this task (hopefully will have enough to also cover surfaces in the two head compartments).
We have ordered two sinks (a small 1 bowl and a small 1/2 bowl). They are made from a composite granite and fit to the underside of the worktop. Certainly not cheap but they don’t require us to make the worktop deeper than it was.
I’ll be cutting drainer grooves so that the worktop drains into the 1/2 bowl. That leaves more useful worktop than having a sink with drainer. See from about 3m42s in this Sailing Uma video where Dan cut’s their sink hole and drainer channels in a Corian worktop.
We will have chopping board style lids for both sinks to maximise working space.
We liked the idea from Uma of having the taps fixed to the wall rather than the worktop. But we have decided to have separate hot and cold taps rather than a mixer tap (although Uma only has a cold water supply at the moment). This way when we do have hot water we never use any of it “accidentally”. So have ordered a cheap pair of wall taps for the bigger sink. We will have to see if we feel the need for an extending or spray tap later.
I’m also making some progress on sourcing a new fresh water pump (and accumulator tank which is used to level the load on the pump so it doesn’t need to come on just to fill one glass of water). Where we put them is still an interesting question. I really don’t want them in the engine space as they are so difficult to access there (plus I don’t really want plumbing near our expensive Lithium battery bank). Under the saloon bench is one possibility.
That leaves the remaining key plumbing challenge of finding where the old really nasty hose connects to the fresh water tank so that it can be replaced. We haven’t found a way to get access to that yet.
I think we will fit a carbon filter for the water coming from the tank to the kitchen (also useful later for flushing a watermaker in the future).
We are pretty sorted with the intermediate waste tank under the sinks. However, while we are ashore it will be more convenient to have the sinks drain into a bucket which we can take off the boat to empty.
We now have a 2nd Aobosi single induction hob (having 2 separate hobs gives us redundancy and more flexibility). Plus a kettle that works on an induction hob ( a lot safer and hopefully quicker than using a pan to boil water).
At the moment we are potentially going to add four more electric cooking devices.
A solar oven
As an oven: a GoSun Fusion. This is a solar oven that can also run on electricity when there is no sun. I think we are both a bit sceptical about the potential for cooking using a solar oven in the UK. But these video’s are pretty impressive.
It won’t need to be integrated into the galley, I suspect I’d fabricate a bracket that would allow us to securely position it in a sunny spot out of the wind. Otherwise in electric mode it can go on any safe surface.
As a safer and more efficient option for big one pot meals, we are looking an an InstantPot. These are electric multi-cookers that combine a pressure cooker and slow cooker. Much safer than trying to use a traditional pressure cooker on the hob plus lots of other options.
It is possible that it might be something just for winter use when we are ashore. We will just have to see how the power consumption and generation works out.
Filter coffee machine
This is a change of mind following this video from Ryan and Sophie.
So we will use the normal coffee maker from home. This way we only pour in cold water and the hot coffee is in an insulated jug with a lid that only releases coffee when you press a button.
Again this we can try in the winter while on shore power to decide if the power consumption is acceptable. Certainly adds convenience for some things but certainly not essential (and probably only for use when moored or in a flat calm). We know lots of people like them for popcorn but I can’t remember the last time we had popcorn 🙂
Fitting them in
I am going to create a large gimbled tray (the gimbles mean that the tray can stay level as the boat rolls, it keeps your pans on the hobs and the food in the pans). Each device (Hob, InstantPot, Coffee Machine) will be fixed into it’s own tray. All these device trays will be the same size and exactly half the size of the gimbled tray. Any 2 devices, on their tray’s, can be put side by side on the main gimbled tray and latched into place.
The hobs will have clamp pan holders fitted to their device tray so that pans won’t slide around their smooth surface.
Using when sailing
When sailing we can use two devices at a time on the gimbled tray. This way at breakfast time we can have the coffee machine on (for me) and the kettle on for tea for Jane. Later we can use the InstantPot and the Kettle or Coffee Machine at the same time. All with no danger of spillage or of devices sliding onto the floor.
The big gimbled tray will have an “in use” position but also a storage position. In the storage position it is moved to the back of the galley under the side deck (clearing the worktop). If we decide to have a microwave then the storage position of the tray will be under the microwave.
Using at anchor or when moored or when ashore.
Each device can be moved on it’s tray and used where safe and convenient. That might mean the InstantPot and Coffee Machine are on the chart table and the hobs on the worktop when being used. We can use them all at the same time or independently (providing we don’t go above a peak of 4,000 watts and providing we have enough energy stored).
We will eventually have two hatches in the worktop to provide easy access to a big fridge (taking the space of both the original fridge and the old cooker). One of these hatches will be in the corner of the worktop (where the old fridge hatch was). The other will be under the gimbled tray when it is being used.
At the moment the goal will be to get the worktop, sinks and basic cold eater plumbing in before we launch. Everything else can come later. Meantime, once we have the worktop done, life will be a lot more comfortable when staying on the boat in the boatyard 🙂