A Tour of Moonrise, Part 2

When we left off on our tour, we were looking at the salon in Moonrise, a Cal 34.  It requires only a quick turn of the head to survey the galley, which is to starboard amid ship. Moonrise has a refrigerator/freezer (yes, the freezer works) , sink with a hand held sprayer, and a propane stove/oven combo. This description tells only part of the story, however.

The Galley, showing the old faucet. We have a fancy new one now with a sprayer. 

The heart of any kitchen can be said to be the stove/oven and a boat galley is no different. Originally, Moonrise was equipped with a Bristol Diesel Stove by Dickinson Marine.  When we bought the boat, we thought this was just about the coolest stove we’d seen. The stove is great for keeping the cabin warm, but cooking a meal on this stove was simply too much trouble for me. Yes, I’m lazy. That’s right. Let’s just call it what it is.  I never cooked a meal on this stove, and we never even tried to boil water on it. Why? Because 1) that stove takes a very, very long time to get hot and is difficult to light 2) that stove smells up the cabin with the smell of diesel 3) most of the time when we are cooking on the boat, it is warm outside and once that stove got hot enough to cook, the interior of the boat was sweltering. In a nutshell, if I wanted to sail in Alaska and keep that stove going all the time to keep the boat warm, it would be awesome. When we bought the boat, we thought we were getting a mighty cool stove.

Instead we ended up with a big hunk of metal taking up precious space and we used a propane camping stove, placed on top of the Dickinson, for cooking. Now I know why the yacht salesman looked away when I exclaimed, ‘What a cool stove!’ upon seeing Moonrise for the first time. I really need to learn to read salesman body language better. I recognize that these stoves are popular and I imagine that many people would jump for joy over that stove. So we kept it just in case the next owner wants it. It’s a great piece of equipment, hence the high price on the new ones. But it just didn’t suit our particular needs.

Mike removed this stove from Moonrise,  and it remains stored in the shed to this day.  In considering what to put in its stead, we came smack up against the cost of anything with the word ‘marine’ in front of it. Are you kidding me? They want how much for a ‘marine’ stove? Considering that the hunk of metal that now lives in the shed retails for over $2000 new, I shouldn’t be too surprised. So when I came upon something like this nifty little Camping Stove at Costco for about $100, I snapped it up without even a second thought. So maybe it will rust out on us in about 10 years. I’ll just buy another one and still be ahead of the game. This little stove runs on those portable bottles of propane you find in the camping section. They don’t take up much room, and one of them lasts us almost a week when we are cruising. We make coffee in the morning, cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Notice that removing the large diesel monster opened up storage space for our cookware.

Update July 2013:  We are in our third season with this little stove and it continues to perform great! No rust at all, and it’s been completely reliable.

Our cute little stove.

Enough about that. Now the refrigerator. The astute reader who has been following along on previous posts will recall that the door to the fridge is actually part of the counter top. Correct. In the photo, the flat wooden thing that looks like a cutting board is actually the lid to the refrigerator. This is where that fold down table has really come in handy. If you cook like I do, you don’t always know in advance what ingredient you’re going to need until you actually need it. On a sailboat, this is a dangerous way for a brain to work. Most sailboats, if they have refrigeration at all, have one like this one. It’s deep, not wide, so things stack on top of each other. The garlic I need is likely to be at the bottom of the fridge, and the sailboat will likely be heeled 15 degrees. Let the unpacking begin. Like I said, that table top is real, real handy.

The fridge holds a lot of food. It’s deep, and cold, and the freezer will make ice.

On the other hand, the freezer, though small, actually does freeze things. And the unit has a fairly large capacity.  The fact that it can freeze ice means that on our last trip, Mike and I enjoyed iced cocktails every night! Let me tell you something: that’s totally worth it!

Vew from the top. You can see the work space, and  sink.

Mike installed the hand held sprayer next to the faucet. It worked great but he wasn’t satisfied. So he installed a different faucet. It’s nicer than the faucet I have at home. As an added bonus, you can fill a pot with water while the pot is on the stove, just like in those fancy schmancy gourmet kitchens you see on TV.

New Sink

Our shiny new faucet from Second Wave Marine Supply. This makes hair washing a breeze. 

In terms of food storage, we do well on this boat. I stored watermelon, drinks, eggs, and a few other items in the bilge by the galley on the last trip and that worked out fine. The bilge has a flat bottom and three compartments. There is a lot of room there and things stay cool. There are also cabinets along the hull that run the length of the counter top plus stove. There is plenty of space for storing foods and dishware, and the 4 drawers offer more than enough space for cooking and eating utensils. In addition, with the removal of the huge table, we have easy access to the storage underneath the settee.

Next up on our tour: the head and the v-berth. I know you can’t wait for Part 3!



5 thoughts on “A Tour of Moonrise, Part 2

  1. The camping stove is a pretty neat idea. We’re shopping around to replace our ancient kerosene shipmate stove. I hadn’t thought of camp stoves but I do have one question…

    How does it perform in a seaway? I mean did you somehow gimbal it?

  2. Tate,

    The stove is mounted on a shelf that is supported by two cables which allow the stove to pivot about two bolts on either side of the stove. This was my attempt to create a gimbaled stove and it works, kinda. The advantage a properly gimbaled stove has over this system is weight. The light construction of this stove means that any pots placed on the burners represents a larger percentage of the total weight of the stove, moving the Center of Gravity proportionately higher. As you can imagine, a higher CG makes the stove pretty unstable without a compensating weight elsewhere.

    I could place heavy weights on the bottom of the shelf to improve performance or even place some ballast in the oven when using the burners. The actual solution so far has been to lock the stove in place with the two barrel locks you see in the photo. In short, without some additional modifications, I would not use this design gimbaled or in a heavy seaway.

    While we have used this stove quite successfully for two years now, it would be remiss of us not to point out again that this system would fail utterly as a marine installation. We currently use the small, one pound propane bottles for fuel which we store inside, a big no-no. We are careful to detach the propane from the stove when we are away, usually. I think with a properly installed propane storage system and a gas detection system, this unit would be quite safe even if it did not comply with ABYC standards.

  3. Beautiful work on your boat, and I enjoy your website.

    I too struggled with a satisfactory solution to the stove/range question, after throwing away the pressure-alcohol range top that came with the boat. For years we used a propane camp stove top, and it seemed to be fine. We never left the bottles attached to the stove after use, and stored them in a cockpit locker, so we felt reasonably safe. Then I began to see more accounts of propane accidents on boats with both “marine” installations and camping products. I finally decided that propane exceeded my comfort level for the risk injury or disaster.

    My concern for a camping-type stove is that the gas connections are not fail-safe with a solenoid cut-off, nor are the connections themselves leak-proof by UL and ABYC standards. There is probably little risk that a problem will occur, but if it does, it could well be life-changing.

    The secret to accident-free propane use is maintenance and inspection, of course. Consistency is so important with hazardous fuels and substances – I’m confident that I’m not that consistent!

    We finally banned propane from our boat and switched to absorption alcohol. Alcohol has its own set of risks and warnings, of course, but for my comfort level, they are more manageable.

    Rick s/v Cay of Sea

    • Thanks for checking out our blog Rick. I admit to some concerns about the use of propane on our boat or any boat really. There is some risk attendant with any of these fuels. I know I had a couple of exciting moments on our first boat, the Saucy Sue when I over filled the alcohol stove and fired her up.

      The camping stove has been a great, cost effective solution to our cooking needs for now. Our next boat will definitely include a more robust propane system with safety shutoffs and alarms.

  4. Pingback: A Tour of Moonrise | Little Cunning Plan

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