We spend a lot of time with out customers, whether it's cruising with them, answering questions or catching up by phone. One of the most frequent complements we receive is on the size and layout of our galleys. We put a lot of though into designing cooking and dining spaces on the Great Harbours, and it's rewarding to know that owners appreciate the end results.
When I set out to create the first Great Harbor trawler, my goal was to build something that my family could live aboard comfortably, without sacrificing the conveniences of a shoreside home. But when I started looking at other trawlers on the market, it seemed like they were mired in a nautical tradition that made no sense on a modern power cruiser. It was crazy that a half-million dollar yacht would be fitted with 12-volt appliances originally designed for the cramped quarters and barebones electrical systems of a sailboat. The half-sized stoves and refrigerators they carried cost more but delivered less. And I knew that if something went wrong, I'd have to call a service tech that specialized in that particular brand of nautical hardware, and the bill would likely be much higher than for a typical home appliance repair.
In addition to small appliances, the physical size of many trawler galleys I looked at was quite cramped. In part, this was a result of the sailing heritage of some of the builders. When you are out in big seas on a small sailboat, rocking and rolling, the cook may be better off wedged into a tight space where everything is within arm's reach. The same probably holds true for some of the old-school, round-bottomed trawlers that are derivatives of sailboat hulls. But I wasn't building a sailboat without a mast. With the help of naval architect Lou Codega, I created a modern hull form based on lessons learned aboard commercial workboats, which not only had to survive challenging conditions, but also provide a stable working platform for crewmen.
It also helped that the Great Harbours have best-in-class interior volume. The original GH 37 has the equivalent living area of most 50-footers. With all that extra room to work with, it was fairly easy to come up with a kitchen that provided plenty of counter space, plus room for a full-sized sink, a standard 14-cubic-foot GE refrigerator, a radiant glass-top stove and a cabinet-mounted convection microwave—the same appliances you'd find in a suburban kitchen. We add dishwashers to simplify cleanup, and install built-in trash compactors, which really cuts down on the need to offload the trash on a daily basis.
When the GH series first came out, there were some who claimed 110-volt appliance had no place on a small seagoing vessel, and that we'd be tied to shore power, never able to spend a night on the hook. With modern generators operate in near silence, and reliable inverters capable of supplying reliable AC power when the generator is not needed, this simply wasn't true. In fact, we now hear from owners who spend weeks at a time away from the dock.
Our trawlers, endowed as they are with a broad beam, have ample room not only for an full-sized galley, but other home comforts as well. Our GH series boats can accommodate a a standard-size stacked washer dryer unit that tucks into a closet space, and some are equipped with stand alone units. The Navigator’s cavernous bosun's locker will accommodate a combo-unit washer/dryer, while her engine room will fit the same off-the-shelf washer and drier you'd find in a home basement. There are also places on either boat to put an off-the-shelf, top-loading freezer.
With sufficient refrigeration and freezer space to hold weeks worth of provisions, ample counter space to prep, and full-sized cooking appliances, Great Harbours really do deliver the “professional galley” others builders in our size range may advertise, but don’t deliver.