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Planning an Efficient and Organized Galley March 8, 2021

If you’re going on for a fun day on the water with the gang, you probably don’t worry too much about feeding everyone. You might make some sandwiches, buy some on the way to the lake, and pack enough drinks in the cooler to keep everyone refreshed and hydrated. 

But if you’re planning a more extensive trip that involves an overnight or two onboard, then that galley and cabin area will be used. And that means a little forethought and planning.

In a limited space like a boat’s galley, efficiency is paramount. Pots and pans, dishes and glasses, utensils and more must all be stored and ready to hand when you need them. An overnight on your boat also means sheets and blankets, pillows, and clothes that will need storage.

Most captains have learned through experience that clear plastic storage bags of various sizes are vital for any kind of extended galley use. You’ll also need some Sharpies for labeling what’s in the bags. 

If you’re bringing some meat to cook, take it out of the supermarket shrink-wrapped tray and put it in a zip-lock plastic bag. Write what it is on the outside–a pork chop can look like a chicken breast in certain conditions!  These repurposed baggies are easier to store in your refrigerator unit onboard.

Helpful hint:

Eliminate cardboard.  Boxes of things, whether crackers, cookies, pasta or anything edible, take up a lot of room. Empty the contents into a zip-lock baggie or some other airtight container. Not only will the contents stay fresh in the humid conditions onboard, but cardboard boxes can be hiding places for roaches and other critters that you definitely don’t want on board.

Make sure you have a ready supply of trash bags. There will be waste in food prep and after you eat, and you’ll want to make sure the trash is containable and sealable until you get to the nearest waste bin ashore.

You can spend a lot of money to install wooden racks, spice racks, shelving units and the like, or just purchase some string bags or hammocks which hang from available hooks and are perfect for storing fruit or other items out of the way and off the counter. And they travel well on bumpy seas. 

Many captains like to shrink-wrap their dry goods–sheets, blankets, towels and more–with a vacuum sealer. This will keep these items dry, fresh and free of mildew and humidity. 

Helpful hint: 

If you’ve got a cupboard full of glasses, the sound of them clinking together when your boat is underway can drive one to madness!  Go buy a bunch of inexpensive terrycloth hair ties and drape one around each glass: that’ll end the clinking and prevent madness.  They’re available by the bagful at Wal-Mart or Dollar General stores.

Look for microfiber or chamois towels and dish cloths. They’re small, absorb many times their weight in water and dry quickly.

Pots and pans:

Magma makes a seven-piece set of nested pots and pans that will fit into a space 12 x 12 x 6. It includes a five qt. stock pan, nine inch saute pan, 2 qt. sauce pan, interchanging lids, removable handle and storage bungee. Priced about $140 at Amazon and West Marine.

It’s easy to organize your galley! Do a little planning and enjoy the trip!

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