Not just any galley, but a removable galley. Something you can take out of the boat and take camping, like we did last weekend, for a test drive. Again, I’d like to claim credit for a stroke of genius, but the truth is a little more mundane - a square box is easier to make than the curvey-wurvey thing I’d need to make for a permanent fixture. Besides, if I’d got it wrong, it could be removed without leaving a lasting scar on the boat.
It’s a bit agricultural. If I would remake it, I’d do it in aluminium. The 6mm Hardiflex that lines the stove box ensures that the thing will not catch fire, but its made of cement, and weighs a ton. Ok, that’s an exaggeration. The whole box weighs about 25kg, which is not much when you’ve got a straight back and plenty of room to move. But, doubled over in the confines of a cramped cabin manoeuvring the thing into place, I was acutely aware of how easy it would be to give myself a lower back injury. An aluminium box would be equally as difficult to set alight as concrete, but at a fraction of the weight. That would make it easier, for example, to haul it out into the cockpit for an open air barbecue. At least I now know the dimensions I would need.
The metho stove and sink works well, as we found out last week whilst camping at a mate’s property. It could do with a rack to drain the dishes (I’ll check out the camping stores), and a drawer below the sink.
However, Version 1.0 was too big for the boat. I could either open the front, or the top, but not both. There was not enough room in the cabin. After a lengthy chin-scratch, I sawed the lids in half and hinged them. Now they fit - Version 1.1. The advantage in doing things on the cheap is that you know you won’t lose much by sawing your beautiful creation into bits.
I'll need to fix it into place. In the accounts of Sir Francis Chichester and Robin Knox-Johnson on their solo-round-the-world voyages, there are scary descriptions of knock-downs in stormy seas. The boats had survived remarkably in-tact, but both sailors had estimated, from the dirt and debris deposited on the cabin roofs, that their boats had been turned from between 90 to 135 degrees from the vertical. To visualise this, imagine the mast as the hand on a clock, starting at around 12:00 and moving through 3:00 to about 4:30, and the cabin below doing much the same thing with everything in it. I doubt I would get the same extremes in Moreton Bay, but the lesson is clear; if it's not physically tied down, it might end up somewhere other than where you put it. And, if its as heavy as my galley, that means some serious damage between point A and point B and all intervening points inclusive. For fixings, I'll probably fix some eyes on the interior, and lash the galley to them. I should also do it before attempting to take the boat to sea again. No matter, I have some eyes and screws salvaged from the shelf (see below). Yes, I am the kind of person who keeps the screws from things after I have unscrewed them. Yes, I also sort them into different pots in the garage. Don't hate me. I do chuck out the ones with damaged heads.
The only sacrifice was the starboard shelf, the source of my new set of screws, which is now sitting in my garage amongst the small, but growing pile of boat-junk (I need to keep an eye on that, to make sure it doesn’t grow much more). Not a great sacrifice, because the remaining port shelf has enough room for the usual cabin bric-a-brac, and a previous owner had cut a car-radio-shaped hole in the starboard shelf for a now-defunct-car-radio. Apparently, marine environments and car-radios don't mix. Ho hum.
I’m not sure if I’m a dreadful snob, or just plainly sensible, but I find the noise of commercial radio unbearably intrusive. The car-radio and its speakers were among the first items to leave the boat, together with the rotting shoes. The gentle sound of the water on the hull is perfect therapy for me and I can’t imagine how that could possibly be improved by the urgent pleading of some numb-nuts psychopath trying to sell me carpets, or pizza, or shampoo, or the latest TV do-not-miss episode of pure shyte. If that’s your poison, then I hope you enjoy it, but, for me, one of the reasons to get on the water is to leave all that behind.
With a galley, and working anchor lights, I can think about longer trips on the water. I can now make a cup of tea, I exclaimed proudly to my wife, who then put my grand designs into perspective with just two words, as wives are wont to do; thermos flask.
|Galley - open, showing metho stove and sink|
|Galley - open, showing metho stove and sink|
|Galley - closed, showing drain pipe from sink|