Take Two has entered a new phase as a family cruising vessel. The boat was charmingly simple, with a one-fuel system, when we bought it. One fuel means 200 gallons of diesel to run everything—engines and generator, for propulsion and electrical appliances, including a 17-year-old BOSCH oven and ceramic cook-top. We liked the one-fuel system, but it required a lot of generator run-time, which is noisy, and the wear and tear on the electrical system ultimately means expensive battery replacement every couple years. Most cruisers espouse two views about energy use: there should be some redundancy in case of failure, and greener is better. If the generator fails, how would we cook? And why not use the sun to keep our food cool and make fresh water?
After agonizing over the details, we decided to make a fundamental change to Take Two and make her more sustainable and energy-efficient. A welder is working on an archway/bimini (i.e. cockpit shade) where we will mount solar panels and hoist the new inflatable dinghy out of the water. Jay heroically removed the ancient, noisy and heat-belching BOSCH and installed a brand-new four-burner propane oven/stove. Only boat people will appreciate this, but this is not a marine unit with an oven too tiny to make lasagna—I can get two 15” cookie sheets in there, or simultaneously bake four loaves of bread. It works beautifully and we christened her with my sister-in-law’s best cookie recipe: coconut-chocolate chip-almond-oatmeal cookies. It is a happy day for this galley slave, I can tell you that much!