Sorry for the awful pun, but a very significant upgrade for Aurora is almost complete. Having admired the galley which Russell designed and had made by a local joiner for Zephyr, his Cape Cutter 19, I wanted one for Aurora. It turned out that getting the joiner to make another galley unit was just the first step.
So why does the Cape Cutter need a galley? This small boat is perfect for family trips, but without the means to prepare hot meals, its use is limited to being a day boat or hopping between marinas and eating out (which is mostly how we have used it so far). However we lack the ability to make a hot drink underway or easily cook a proper meal. We have used our much loved Trangia meths stove, but this cannot easily be used inside the boat and cooking in the cockpit is hard, especially when it’s windy. Others use a portable gas stove on the counter top; I don’t like this option, as the heat source seems uncomfortably close to the cabin ceiling and wall.
Russell’s design provides not just cooking facility (gimballed stove), but puts all the bits and pieces (chopping board, knife, condiments, etc) to hand. The cost is to sacrifice part of the starboard wing berth and I definitely don’t want to lose the ability to sleep 2 adults and 2 kids aboard, but having seen Russell’s completed project was convinced that neither seat not the ability to sleep in this berth is lost (the sleeper has to wriggle a little further under the cockpit). It was also important to me that I could remove the galley easily if I wanted to.
The galley unit, as provided by the joiner provides a space for a single ring burner (I chose an alcohol burner as I did not fancy gas on our small boat), as well as storage for cutlery and crockery, as well as a drawer for condiments.
As my carpentry skills are rather limited, Russell kindly agreed to help me fit the galley and I am very grateful, as it took several hours of careful work to scribe it out until it was a good fit into the cabin (I stopped counting after the galley had been in and out of the cabin a dozen times). The side of the counter top to which the galley is attached is not flat, so a panel with a large hole in the middle to accommodate the bow is glued to the grp and then the galley is fixed to that. A further bolt will be added to secure the base of the galley to the base of the seat.
Now the galley is fixed in position, I am waiting for the sikaflex to cure before unscrewing the galley and removing it for varnishing and fitting of the origo 1500 cooker. All got to be done in the next 5 days…..
After three coats of varnish and fitting the cooker, the galley looks great in position. The hardwood trim on the counter top needed a small amount a planing and the joiner made a shorter hardwood strip to replace the standard one that retains the seat cushion. All in all a really useful upgrade.