As delivery of my new boat has been postponed to mid-January due to the Covid 19-turmoil, ever changing rules for the quarantine and of course the onset of winter in the Alps (which are situated between Germany where I am and the yard in Slovenia)), I used the spare time to do a bit of equipment shopping – the soft way. “Soft way” means tat I started buying all the stuff for the galley and for achieving comforts on board, the “real” stuff like safety and emergency equipment will be done next. So, here´s a bit of my thoughts and choices for GEKKO.
First of all I decided to go for the solely green design of the boat´s outward appearance and skipped the blue bow. I think that´s a better coherent design and fits more the theme and the name of the boat. In that, the blue Gennaker may be changed over time to a green one as well too. So, green is the main color for the boat. Together with her orange cushion inside which may be interpreted as the color of the sand or the sun – the biotope of a gecko in nature. Nice. Let´s go shopping.
A small boat´s galley
I do have written about it already – the First 27 does not have a dedicated galley. Instead, a swinging arm with a gimbal may be installed to fit a single-flame camping stove. I´ve already shopped the Jetboil cooking system and tested it (read it here) which fits neatly into the gimbal. Also, I´ve bought the Lotus Grill which is a great product: Real BBQ with charcoal but virtually no smoke nor any flying sparks.
Now, considering the fact that most of the time GEKKO will be occupied by no more than two people, I do not need much crockery and kitchen equipment. I decided to go for melamine tableware. I know that there is a lot of discussion going on around melamine as it may contain formaldehyde and other harmful components, but in the case of the product I chose – made by Italian company and outdoor-expert Brunner – it´s free of BPA. There was no green crockery available, so I went for the nice a aquamarine-colored style. I´ll take four of each on board.
The nice thing about Brunner is that each of the tablewear – the pots, the plates – are fitted with an anti-slip ring of rubber underneath so these are kind of safe to use in an ever moving environment like a boat. I also shopped Bamboo-made chopping boards small and large, a small set of knifes, a set of cutlery and of course a French press for coffee in the morning. Together with apple-green towels my small boat´s galley seems pretty complete, don´t you think?
I also acquired a set of plastic boxes for sugar, salt and other ingredients needed. What is needed now as the last item is a bowl for doing the dishes. After receiving the boat in January I will take some measurements of the aft section of the saloon that is underneath the cockpit benches and coamings to go and buy a large chest – probably made of plastic too – which will then be turned into the “galley box” where all of the above items are stored. Nice.
Micro cruising with comfort
I am a huge fan of the Seascape-boats which are now distributed by Beneteau and labelled “First” – the quality of the build is great (vacuum infusion is standard) and the equipment mounted is exceptional – Ronstan quality. The only detail I really do not like is the quality of the flooring finish inside the boats. It´s a soft grey foam which is prone to instant staining. Even bare feet will leave marks – constant cleaning is required. In this I´ve decided to take out the original flooring and have it substituted by high-quality faux Teak.
You may remember one of my oldest posts regarding the refit project of the OLIVIA King´s Cruiser 33 – here I´ve take out the old saloon´s flooring to replace it by faux Teak as well. I got to know a Hamburg-based manufacturer of fake Teak plastic flooring, called Rosch Yachts, who showed me his production. I was excited. After seeing some of his works in real life on client´s boats my decision was made. Talking recently with Ralph, the owner of Rosch Yachts, I re-newed my decision to go for his products in my new boat and ordered the saloon flooring for GEKKO. It will be light grey for the “Teak” and an even lighter grey for the caulking. It will be a bit lighter than the original color and enhance the overall feel of the boat for sure.
I have already tested how a small boat is feeling like over night in a First 24. For GEKKO I am planning to do it as well the classic way: Both myself and guests aboard may bring their own sleeping bags for an overnight stay. On the orange cushions however I will have a nice, cozy, fluffy blanket in dark grey with a camping-grade inflatable pillow. Of course, the pillow is apple-green matching the overall Gecko-color in the boat.
The pillow has also been tested by me at home. Nice thing about it is that one can regulate the softness/hardness of the pillow by putting in more or less air. The pillow is covered in a nice, fluffy denim which makes placing one´s head on it very comfortable. The pillow is made by Chinese outdoor brand Hikenture which may be bought via amazon – currently virtually the only way to shop. So, sleeping time will be great on GEKKO, let´s check the last spot aboard where I´d need some equipment: The bathroom. Other than on late OLIVIA where I´ve completely restored the bathroom, taken out the WC and got a brand new one, the head on GEKKO is already brand new …
Well, “bathroom” in the First 27 is a bit exaggerated. There is an ordinary pumping toilet (Jabsco) and that´s it. No sink, so fresh water, no nothing. With the new Aluminium-rigged First 27 the Gennaker-stowage vis-à-vis the toilet is replaced by a small galley with a sink, but not on the Carbon-version. Anyways, the toilet will be the place where teeth are brushed and so I need some equipment here too. That be like towels, a hanging bag for items of personal hygiene, a small mirror possibly. Everything in nice shiny green, of course. The items are already ordered and on the way.
All set to go for GEKKO
I know, it´s a bit lame to be writing about crockery, the color of blankets and towels and how I´m planning to fix the hanging bag for toothpaste and skin care crème to the wall of the head but that´s literally all I can do now for my new boat. And to be honest, these are the details which easily get forgotten when talking about boat´s equipment – details which are nevertheless absolutely basic and necessary. Choosing the right style and color is also important: Especially in a brand new boat at least I have the pretense to start perfect in all respects. As my kids chose the name for her – GEKKO – I also shopped a nice little rubber made guy to have it placed on the port side of the bulkhead … they absolutely love it!
So, what are the next steps? Well, after completing the galley I will turn to the second chest to be placed in the stern section: The navigation box. From Charts to ruler, dividers and essential books to the logbook and aides like bearing compass, lights and harbour guides. I will also re-visit my article on the safety-concept of a sailing yacht to adjust it to GEKKO. Most certainly more fun than shopping green towels for sure …
You may also want to read these articles:
Micro cruising: My first time on a small boat
Why I nearly decided to go for an Oceanis 30.1