Thursday, September 8, 2011

But what about washing dishes?

One of the modern conveniences our sailboat doesn't contain is a dishwasher. While having to hand-wash dishes every night may seem like a huge inconvenience, I’m actually completely fine with it. In fact, washing dishes by hand is sort of second-nature for me. Growing up, my siblings and I had to hand-wash our dishes prior to putting them in the dishwasher. As a child, I never understood why it was necessary to clean a dish that was about to go into the dishwasher, since that is the whole function of the dishwasher, but I went along with it (we also had to clean our hotel room for the maid, so this double-duty business was quite familiar to me). Whatever the reason, the practice of washing a dish before placing it in a dishwasher has stuck with me over the years (as has cleaning my hotel room for the maid).

So for me, hand-washing dishes isn’t that big of a deal. It certainly beats hand-washing, say, your clothes. In my mind, the only true downside to hand-washing dishes is that it requires having a drying rack--a kitchen accessory I happen to hate. First of all, dish racks are ugly. I also don't like that, unless you are only using them periodically, you have to leave them out. They take up a lot of space on the counter and are one giant eyesore when they are “off duty.”

When we moved onto the boat, the previous owners had left us a Dish Drying Mat, which is great for drying a few items at a time--especially glasses. Although we really like this item, we felt we needed something more substantial.

I began scouring the Internet for modern dish drying racks, and even found a few I liked. The first contender was this contemporary design by Black + Blum:

It is certainly eye-catching enough to keep on our counter top, but unfortunately, the dimensions of this rack didn't work for our particular space, so we didn't get it. Next, I found The Dish Doctor:

Again, the dimensions didn't work for us, and Eric didn't particularly like the design. Additionally, it was $70, and considering our entire set of plates didn't cost that much, even I couldn't justify the price. The search continued...

Finally, we found a collapsible dish draining device that fit into our sink. It is the perfect size for plates, utensils, pots, etc. In addition, since it sits in the sink, as opposed to resting on the counter, we don't lose any of our valuable counter space (we also don't have to look at it):

The only downside to this rack is that it isn't great for glasses. Luckily, I remembered seeing a unique baby-bottle drying rack that I though would be perfect for that purpose. These grass-themed drying trays not only look nice, their dimensions also work for our space. Here they are in action:

Best of all, Eric really likes them. He keeps walking by them and saying, "I'm so glad we got these! They brighten up the whole room." I couldn't agree more. As an unexpected bonus, our placement of the trays has created a hedge-like boarder separating our "living room" from the galley, which is ideal in such a small space.

What I also like about these grass trays is that they give the illusion that we are health-nuts. At first glance, it looks like we have an abundance of wheatgrass on-hand for smoothies and whatever other concoctions wheatgrass goes into. Just seeing these little grass trays in our kitchen makes me feel better about having a stash of Doritos in our cupboard.

So now, we have an abundance of dish drying options that, at least for the two of us, are eye-pleasing and functional. Here they all are in our galley, awaiting clean dishes:


  1. We use them for the girls bottles and such. They really work great and they look great on the boat!

  2. We really like them so far! Nice to have found something that is a little different, but still works well.