10 Ways to Conserve Space in the Galley…SAIL Magazine, November 2011

My SAIL Magazine Cruising Tips article November 2011:

When we added a watermaker, I lost literally at least 25% of my storage space in the galley.  The only place aboard our cramped 37 foot sailboat for the watermaker was directly under the galley sink.  Not having to worry about leaving anchorages in paradise to refill water tanks outweighed my concerns about storage, so I’m constantly on the lookout for space savings in the galley.  Here are a few of my top space savers:

1.  Collapsible bowls.   These relatively new bowls collapse flat and stack on top of each other taking one of the biggest space eaters in my galley to almost nothing.  I now have more sizes of serving/mixing bowls and use less space.

2.  Collapsible Colander, Strainer and Funnel – more space savings by using the new collapsible versions.

3. Square Containers. It’s a fact.  Round storage containers simply use more space than square containers which stack together neatly with no wasted space.

4.  Heavy Duty Freezer Baggies.  Storing everything in the refrigerator in freezer baggies takes even less space than square Rubbermaid containers.  I also eliminated my marinade tupperware in favor of using freezer baggies – just make sure they don’t leak!  You can double bag if you are concerned.   Because baggies are flexible, they conform to fit whatever space is available and don’t leave wasted corners.

5.  Nesting Cookware/Pots & Pans.   There are many different varieties available.  The important part is that they stack and store in one small cubbyhole rather than being spread out around the galley.

Collapsible Bowls and Colander Save Space

Collapsible Bowls and Colander Save Space

6.  Chamois Dish Drainer.  A chamois cloth works well as a dish drainer, saving the s space needed to store the dish drainer.   We just spread it on the galley counter by the sink.  When the dishes are dry, we hang it outside to finish drying.  We don’t use the real thing because the leather is so stiff when it’s dry, instead we use a high quality synthetic, available in a plastic tube at any auto supply or hardware store.

7.  Provisioning:  Boat Friendly Flat Flexible Packaging.  Buying flat foil packets versus cans – tuna is a prime example, can save significant space, particularly when you are provisioning for a lengthy cruise.  Using tuna, chicken and salmon packets instead of cans saves 2/3 of the space inside my cans locker.  Increasingly a variety of food items come ready to eat in such packets:  refried beans, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup and many varieties of tomato sauce.   The condiment packaging works particularly well in boat refrigerators.

8.  Choose necessary appliances wisely … when I found I rarely used our small food processor, I sold it in a swap meet, freeing up more space for my stainless Mr. Coffee. I could have used less space with a French Press, but I chose the Mr. Coffee because it doesn’t heat up the boat and it makes several cups at a time and keeps them warm in the stainless carafe instead of using amps.

9.  Substituting powdered drinks for bottled can save significant space – we like Gatorade, but found that if we bought 4 Gatorade bottles and a tub of the powder, I could keep refilling the Gatorade bottles.   Same with water – we used to keep cases of bottled water aboard.   Now we have a Seagull water filter and refillable water bottles to keep in the refrigerator.

10.  Store only immediate need provisions in the galley itself.  We store most of our provisions in the salon, with only spices, condiments and such being stored actually in the galley.  This frees up space for more important things, like no stem wine glasses.

Do you have space saving tips for your galley?  Please leave a comment and share!  THX!  Jan


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