Why is the galley so important on a superyacht?

Few owners or guests would dispute that great food and 5-star hospitality are what define the superyacht experience. Providing such a level of service takes a dedicated and motivated crew, as well as an efficient working environment.

The galley is at the very heart of the yacht’s activity. That is why we regard it as the single most important technical work space on the vessel. Sadly, our experience tells us that the galley is frequently undervalued in the design process. This all too often results in unhappy chefs and stewards who work in badly planned galleys, fitted with wrong specification appliances.

Not surprisingly, enlightened captains and chefs see a refit as a golden opportunity to make changes and transform the galley into an effective workspace. If correctly managed the new galley motivates the chef and crew, improves service levels and, ultimately, adds value to the yacht.

How do you go about a refit?

Partial or complete refit? That is the question

Partial refits will usually be limited to exchanging like-for-like appliances. Most substantial appliance upgrades, e.g. larger induction hob or combi steamer, will require furniture modifications which start becoming costly and compromise the original layout.

A complete refit is ideal and potentially allows the galley to be remodelled and the latest appliances to be installed. On new build yachts it is important to involve the galley designer early in the process, which will reap rewards later. A frequent problem with yacht galleys is not just a lack of space, but also to do with the proportions of the galley area. So defining the galley’s floor space and access points before fixing the GA is crucial.

How do you start to plan the refit?

Do the groundwork and involve the chef and stewards to find out what is good and bad about the galley, what is liked and not liked.

Be realistic about the budget required. Professional marine galley furniture and equipment is expensive but ultimately a worthwhile investment because of the improved performance, durability and hygiene aspects that it brings to the galley. Superyacht galleys will in most cases have been custom built and carefully assembled on site, so you can see how the costs add up.

What makes a good galley?

Form should follow function. Knowing the routine in a busy galley, a good designer will concentrate on getting the workflow right, then specify the appliances and finally work on the galley aesthetic. They will aim to maximise worktop space, storage and refrigeration capacity in the galley. Other considerations are good ventilation, lighting, good sight lines for communication, as well as easy-to-clean designs to maintain the highest hygiene standard.

Ralph Olingschlaeger

T: +44 (0)19 92 89 37 13