Since our departure from Goderich in mid-July, we’ve been enjoying the new galley layout Gozzard Yachts completed on Gaviidae this spring. It was a major refit, so this “Galley Reveal Party” is long overdue!
Needing some Love
She was on the hard in a Rhode Island marina when we first saw her in October 2017: a 2003 Gozzard 41A. We already owned a smaller Gozzard but had always wanted a G41. Her hull paint was tired and she showed the wear and tear expected from extensive saltwater cruising, including seasons in Florida and the Bahamas. She needed some TLC, but we recognized her value. We knew she was meant to be ours. Since she was on the hard, we brought Mike (and Liz) Gozzard to Rhode Island to do a thorough survey. He recommended buying and we did just that.
As with the G37, we sailed our newer, bigger Gozzard—which we also named Gaviidae—before deciding on updates and upgrades. At the end of our inaugural sailing season, which included bringing her back to Lake Huron on her own bottom, our G41 list was almost identical to one we had drawn up for the previous Gaviidae.
Upgrades and Improvements
We threw a lot of work at the Gozzard boatyard over the next two winters and dropped more than a few boat units–marinerspeak for $1,000. An inside joke among mariners is that the word “boat” is an acronym for “break out another thousand.” Mike Gozzard and his crew did a superb job on the exterior with a new Awlgrip finish (Ka-ching!), the brightwork (Ka-ching!) and the new hardtops and davits (Ka-ching! Ka-ching!) as well as new electronics and communications equipment (Bling! Ka-ching! Ka-ching!)
Being fair to Gozzard Yachts, they have always been very reasonable in their pricing and in many cases, have tried to talk us out of modifications they do not feel are essential. In an effort to reduce some of our overall cost, Julie cut and sewed all the canvas, windows and screens for the new cockpit enclosure. When we sailed out of Goderich in June 2019 we were feeling relief that our biggest expenditures were behind us.
That relief proved to be temporary. Below decks we had some cosmetic issues. Some of the cherry laminate on the wall above the refrigeration was bubbled. In addition, Julie absolutely hated the cream-colored countertops in the galley. It was also time to re-do the cushions for the dinette and navigation station. We would soon be spending more boat units.
We had been on another Gozzard 41 before we left Goderich that spring. This particular Gozzard happened to be the very first one Julie and I sailed on years before we bought our first Gozzard. Mike Gozzard invited us aboard to hear how the engine sounded with an AquaDrive vibration noise-reduction system installed on the boat. It was impressive as to how quiet it was compared to our boat.
The other G41 also had a different floor plan than Gaviidae. Our G41A floor plan had the refrigeration and the single bench seat navigation station to starboard; the galley and a small dining table were to port. The other G41 had a B configuration that put refrigeration in the galley. The counter and cabinets wrapped around to the mast compression post at the center of the boat, displacing the small dinette table. The nav station took up the entire starboard midsection with a larger table and two bench seats. Overall, the G41B layout felt more spacious; it also afforded more counter space in the galley and more storage space throughout.
We were impressed and spent the 2019 sailing season discussing the differences in the layout. Our plans already included repairing the wavy wall and replacing the counter. We wondered how much more it would cost to expand the galley and refit the nav station. Mike Gozzard said it could be done but couldn’t provide an estimate. We envisioned moving the refrigeration to where the dinette table was located. That configuration would eliminate tearing most of the galley apart and rebuilding all new cupboards, lockers and drawers above and below the offending countertop that initially inspired all this re-rigamarole.
What some skepticism, Mike agreed to give it some thought. Within a few days, he came up with a solution that would eliminate tearing out the galley and accomplish our ambitious goal. The key was to move the freezer compressor to space behind the aft cabin and install a two-drawer pullout refrigerator with a built-in compressor—like what we had seen on the 41RC he built in 2017. We picked out the new countertop material and gave Gozzard the go-ahead for the refit. In addition, we asked him to install the AquaDrive system we had seen (or rather heard) on the G41B.
After some cajoling by us and some additional configuring on his part, Mike gave us a “ballpark” quote for the project. He couldn’t be sure of the final cost because Gozzard Yachts had not done a refit quite like this and warned us the total cost might be higher. Knowing that there there is nothing on a boat that is without a rounded edge or angle, we figured our expectations had been adequately set.
And yes, the cost was higher, but the result is spectacular. Gozzard was able to salvage the original Italianate accent tiles in the galley; they look great with the new blue countertop that looks like the Milky Way on a clear night. Between the expanded galley and the expanded nav station our midship storage space is nearly double what it was. The pullout refrigerator installation has a stainless-steel face that matches the new sink and high-arc faucet we had installed. And the overall counter space tripled! The new woodwork is nearly indistinguishable from the original cherry cabinetry and joinery.
The cherry nav station table is large enough for two people to work simultaneously on their laptops or do chartwork or enjoy a nice dinner. Or all at once, if necessary! Julie made seat cushions with striped blue covers that work great with the blue counters in the galley as well as the Persian runner rug we found last fall in Washington.
Julie’s offseason sewing projects also included making covers for the worn-and-torn Bottom Sider cushions in the cockpit since that manufacturer is no longer in business. Other new items for the boat include a midship butterfly hatch. Mike happened to have one on a shelf in the factory. We also ordered the AquaDrive system. It has reduced engine noise enough that we can talk on a cell phone in the cockpit. We discovered that our increasingly unreliable bow thruster was irreparable, so Mike installed a new Sleipner Side-Power bow thruster. (Ka-ching!)
One last little item
One additional unplanned purchase was a slightly used Westerbeke 71 diesel engine! (Zoom Zoom! Ka-ching! Ka-ching!) We inherited a problem-prone diesel when we bought our G41. An identical engine with only 650 hours on it became available at the Gozzard boatyard over the winter. The price was right, so now we have had a smooth, trouble-free and quieter cruising season.
Except for all the Ka-ching! Ka-ching! Ka-chinging still ringing in our ears.