Food is one of the greatest pleasures – and biggest headaches – on any superyacht. And so is designing a suitable galley that can deliver high-end restaurant meals in the middle of the ocean.
Proper catering requires galley designs that closely tie their functionality with specific use
Before aesthetics or other considerations, the galley is a technical space, designed to facilitate one of the most important onboard activities: eating. The galley must have an efficient layout, the correct equipment, the most appropriate materials, well thought-out waste disposal, and as much refrigeration as can be fitted into it.
While a galley’s design and layout needs are dictated by a vessel’s type and size, the biggest factor when it comes to galley design is private versus charter use.
Private yachts can get away with standard galleys designed to service small groups and families. High-end consumer-grade appliances will suffice, and the galley itself may become a focal point of the main living areas, with islands and sofas providing a gathering spot for guests.
When your boat is intended for charter the requirements are different. No matter what galley you have, layout and space planning must facilitate an efficient work-flow.
The Dutch yacht design firm Vripack suggests a triangle design that allows the chef to move about unimpeded.
Yacht chef and design consultant Peter Ziegelmeier agrees: ‘We need uniform areas with easy access so we can twist, turn and get it done.’ He stresses stewards need to have prep areas and with the right design, this can be incorporated in smaller galleys. ‘Bigger isn’t always better. I’ve worked in large, but dysfunctional, galleys.’
Plenty of natural light is another request, as is adequate ventilation. Most HVAC systems account for the extra air needed in the galley to offset extraction hoods. Most builders factor in the ducting and the fact more ducting means more to clean.
‘An ideal layout situates the galley close to the top of the boat, to minimise tubing,’ says Ziegelmeier.
In a galley, details take on greater importance: like counter height, foot switches to trigger automatic doors, custom-sizeable plate holders and dual sinks.
But the one element that is requested the most has to do with loading provisions and garbage disposal – challenges yet to be completely resolved.
‘On some boats doors on either side of the galley allow us to bring in groceries, but on others you take your groceries or trash all around the boat,’ says chef Adrienne Gang.’
‘On some boats I’ve had to stack [bags of rubbish] on the galley floor,’ says Ziegelmeier, ‘because the only way to get it off the boat was to walk it past the saloon window.’
Rubbish compactors with foot pedals and direct access to a refrigerated waste storage area are common requests. ‘We’ve designed bins that store recyclables and waste,’ says Mark Obernberger, design manager at Delta Marine. ‘Other boats compact and refrigerate garbage and offload it at port.’