Galley plans firming up

We have made a few key decisions and ordered a few parts.

Worktop, sinks and plumbing

Worktop

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).

Sinks

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.

Taps

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.

Plumbing

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.

Cooking

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.

Instant Pot

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.

Microwave

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).

Fridge

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.

Progress

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 🙂

No Friday progress this week

As is probably obvious, there is no Friday progress this week and that is because we didn’t get a day off to go to Vida this week (I had a funeral on Friday).

We did get a little research progress. One thing we are looking at is an electric multi-cooker to be an adaptable addition to the induction hobs. These combine pressure cooker, slow cooker and various other things. Hopefully an energy efficient and safe way to allow for more things to be cooked easily.

Inspirational sailing in bad weather

I really enjoy the videos like this from Erik Aanderaa, his equipment choices are well thought out.

He can appear crazy for choosing to go sailing in storms. But his videos are brilliant in demonstrating that with the right equipment, attitude and skills it is safe and achievable.

We want to prepare Vida and ourselves so that we are not limited to sailing in perfect conditions and not in a panic when faced with stronger winds.

Vida definitely has the design and build quality to be a safe boat in almost any weather. But that needs to be supported by the right equipment and a lot of practice and development of ourselves. A hydrovane is definitely on our list, possibly a Watt and Sea generator too.

Erik’s plans for 2020 as detailed in the video are really exciting, some absolutely beautiful destinations.

Highly recommended (but I wish he’d keep his hatchboards locked in place when out in bad weather) .

New saloon table

We now have a saloon table!

The leg is the permanent solution, the table top is temporary. For the moment we are using the scrap from the original aft cabin bed infill (the one that meant the bed wasn’t level).

We have fitted a Lagun table leg and we have an extra bracket so we will be able to use the same leg and table outside in the cockpit.

Compared to the original table we gain a lot more room and it is much easier to get round it to sit down. However, you can’t brace yourself against it when at sea. We will have to see if that is a problem later.

The original table could be (at least in theory) dropped down to make a double bed. If we decide we want that option we will find a different solution. The original could also have an extension fitted so that it spanned right across the cabin to the far seat, to sit about 8 people. We will be more antisocial 😉 with such a big table access to sit down or get to the loo would have been very difficult.

Here is a video from someone else explaining how adaptable the Lagun table leg is.

And some pictures with our temporary table top.

More clearing progress

Had a gentle day as we were both pretty worn out by the work on the windows over the previous 5 days.

Still we have managed to fully clear the forward heads compartment including headliner. We have found 3 common types of backing. One is a black with netting. It pulls off really easily. Another is a foam that is quite orange and just crumbles into dust, any remaining bits can be vacuumed off the plywood. Finally there is a more yellow foam which is firmly glued to the plywood after the vinyl lining is removed. This is a pain to scrape off.

At least temporarily we have removed the multi way door to the forecabin (it could either close off the cabin or the toilet). It needed a piece of wood across the “entrance to the heads” that I kept banging my head on. We have also adjusted the sliding door so that it closes a bit easier. Again this is up for potential redesign.

We want to use the area for our 2nd Natures Head composting toilet, a wash basin, a holding tank, a shower and possibly there is space for a spin dryer (we plan a hand cranked washing machine but a powered spin dryer to minimise electricity use but also to keep drying clothes as easy as possible).

From the heads we switched to the ongoing task of clearing the cockpit locker. Again very pleased with the progress. We have at last got rid of all the remaining metal hot air heater hose and exhaust (it was in very poor condition and made a huge mess).

Then I tackled the wood container from the paraffin Jerry can. That meant I could get to the broken water pump and water filter. Then the big triumph after a lot more cutting we got to take out the old calorifier water heater. It was was still full of water but started leaking from seams as well as all the connections.

We setup a block and tackle giving Jane a 5:1 mechanical advantage to pull it up while I manipulated it past the obstacles.

Then as it was pouring with rain we just threw it over the side to sort out later.

We also got rid of the last hose used to extract air from the battery compartment and engine, ironically it was full of water.

We have also cut away most of the old battery cables (very convoluted and all different lengths and specifications).

So now we can see better possibilities.

We should be able to provide access to the pump thru hull valve from the galley.

We want to site water pump and hot water tank where they can be maintained. Not yet sure where but certainly clear of electrics like the alternator.

This means we can make a better space for our new batteries with shorter cables and leaving more useful space in the cockpit locker.

We finish off the day with well earned Fish and Chips 😊