Should a galley have a double sink or just a single bowl? That’s a question that I frequently see in cruising and boat-buying forums. Boat listings often play up that a boat has a double sink in the galley. But is it really that big of deal?
Supposedly, the advantage of a double sink is that you need less water for dishes. On a couple of boat-buying forums, I’ve seen people who are looking at boats with a single sink say that they can use a dishpan. I can’t imagine finding space to store a dishpan where it wasn’t a pain to get out every time you did dishes.
The reality is that I know few people who actually fill anything as large as a sink or a dishpan with water when washing dishes. You just don’t need to.
- For just a few not-real-gunky items, you can just put a little dish soap on a damp dish cloth, wash and rinse.
- If you have several items, put a little water in a dirty coffee mug or small bowl and add a bit of soap. Stick your dishrag in the soapy water as needed.
- For gunky pans, put an inch or so of water in the pan and add a bit of soap. Use this as your “dish pan” and rinse other dishes over it so that the rinse water helps to soak the pan. When everything else is done, wash out the gunky pan, which will have had a nice soak by now.
Bottom line: Despite all the experts saying that double sinks are almost mandatory in a galley, I disagree. I don’t think it really matters, with one caveat: whatever sink you have, make sure that your pans and plates will fit in it.
This was my big gripe with the double sink on Que Tal: the two halves were so small that I couldn’t put a plate in the sink, even diagonally on edge! Changing to a single bowl sink was one of the first upgrades we did (read the story here).
All that said, if you’re looking at boats and otherwise love one but the sink is too small, does that mean that you should pass on it? I wouldn’t. No boat is going to be perfect for you as is. Changing the sink (assuming there is space for a larger one; making a double into a single usually doesn’t take any extra space) is one of the least expensive upgrades you can do — much less than electronics, canvas, upholstery, dinghy, ground tackle, engine work, new sails or even just re-doing brightwork.