Now we’re cookin’!

We have a shiny new stove!  We drove up to Phoenix last week for a few days of visiting with family and friends, shopping for fun stuff like stoves, solar panels, bar-b-ques, helm chairs, and other miscellaneous large treasures that become more and more difficult to find the farther south we travel.  Since this is our last stop within driving distance of a marine shopping mecca, it was time to heat up those credit cards a bit.  It was also very awesome to see familiar faces, not to mention enjoying that rib-eye steak we’d been dreaming about for months.  After recovering from the long boring drive back to Happy Dance with a car packed to the gills with treasures, today we finally got motivated to move the new stove from its perch on the settee to a place where it can be of some use.

In order to understand boat projects you have to realize that there is no easy boat project.  When you talk about replacing a stove it sounds pretty straightforward, I mean the thing just hangs there on two little knobs, take the old one out and plunk the new one in.  Simple, right?  Except that those knobs have to be set just right so that the stove balances correctly and to allow enough free space around the body of the stove for it to gimbal when the boat is heeling. I remind you of my first statement; there is no easy project on a boat.

The old stove came out pretty easy after finally removing the stuck fitting on the propane line, then with a few grunts and umphs Marty leaned over to lift it straight up and out.  It’s a rather awkward angle from where the stove is in the corner so it has to move at right angles, but the sad old stove was soon out in the cockpit enjoying some sunshine.

Then it was time to plop the new one in place, hook up the propane and start cooking…..right?  Not so fast there bucko.  First step, put the new stove in place (more grunts and umphs) to see how it would fit in the existing cut out.  Second step, pull the new stove out because it doesn’t fit in the existing cut out.  We knew it would be tight, but that extra 1/8″ always makes the big difference!

Out came the tools, and the dismantling began.  First off with the old gimbal knob holders, then the bigger job of removing the shelf from beneath the stove.  Jeanneau sailboats are cleverly designed and built in a factory in France and I am beginning to believe that maybe Jeanneau means jigsaw in French.  All the pieces of the boat fit into each other and it takes an engineer to figure out which piece has to come out before the next one can be removed.  At any rate, what that means to us is that the simple job of removing a shelf took over two hours!  The sides of the shelf were wedged in place with tabs that fit into coordinating slots in the walls just like one of those freestanding jigsaw puzzles.  Plus there were screws coming from the walls into the edges of the shelf.  That thing was not coming out easily.  But persistence pays when doing boat projects and even though it wasn’t pretty, the shelf was finally loose.

Next step, put the shelf back in, only 6 inches lower.  That meant that the refrigerator motor controls had to be moved down and the shelf had to have new supports.  This has to be performed while lying across a door threshold sideways, leaning into a dark hole and unscrewing things by braille.  Once that was all done it was time for round two of boat stove yoga, to make sure that the stove was hanging in the right place and could swing the necessary distance.  Then we’d pull the stove out, move the supports and try round three, round four…and pretty soon it was just like Goldilocks said….it was juuuuuust right!

As I sat down to write about our newest addition to Happy Dance, I flashed on the fact that I used to have lovely double ovens in my spacious kitchen back at the B&B.  I remember transferring pans of breakfast treats from one oven to the other, coordinating quiches and scones and sauces and meats in order to serve a houseful of guests.  Compare that view to the old oven on the boat which was barely big enough to hold a low fry pan with a flat pizza pan for a lid, and that makes our shiny new Force 10 American Standard model pretty darn close to perfect.  It has two burners, an oven that will hold a full size pan WITH a standard lid, and it even has a broiler…nirvana!  Thanks for a job well done Marty, after 7 hours of umphs and grunts and expletives!  Guess now I have to learn to cook…. 🙂