"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works." - Steve Jobs
Storage space seems to be a limiting factor on many cruising sailboats. Because of this, many of us are forced to make tradeoffs. Should we leave both side decks open or cram one full with a SUP lashed to the stanchions? Do we want to bring along the spinnaker and play musical sail bags when it’s not in use, or should we leave it at home and curse the light air?
On our particular boat, a Catalina 34, storage tradeoffs often occur in the galley since lockers are limited there. So naturally I was eager to get my hands on some of the collapsible cookware from Nautical Scout. I tried the tea kettle over the weekend and came away impressed with the quality and how little the collapsibility effects overall function as cookware. It simply extends up from the 2.4” collapsed position in a second or two and is ready for duty as a 5-cup kettle (5.5” tall, 6” wide). I boiled a full kettle of water on our stove and didn’t have any issues pouring into a coffee cup, though the food-grade silicone does get slightly more flexible when filled with hot water. The kettle’s bottom (as with the other collapsible cookware available from Nautical Scout) is made of stainless steel. This little kettle will become part of our morning coffee routine while anchored out and make pouring through a filter screen into a coffee cup much safer than pouring directly from the sauce pan we’ve been using.
The other collapsible product I tried out was a 1.85 gallon bucket, also from Nautical Scout. This is a product that will get some serious use on our boat. We use a bucket to wash our decks, take showers in the cockpit, rinse laundry on the hook, collect beach treasures when ashore, and bail the dinghy after a hard rain. The 2” collapsed height will make it a welcome addition to the cockpit lazarette. When fully expanded, the bucket measures 7.75” high and has a maximum width of 11.5” at the top.
The best space-saving bucket I’ve used before this collapsible one was a bucket made of canvas. However, the canvas buckets don’t hold their form as well and tend to accumulate the dirt, oil and soap they are exposed to. The 100% food grade silicone from the collapsible bucket seems completely impervious to soap and dirt, something I hope proves to be true with time.
And I’m not the only one who likes these new collapsible products. My kids are oddly entertained by collapsing and then expanding the bucket and kettle repeatedly as if they were magicians. I'm not quite sure they care about the space-saving benefits of the design, but they're certainly impressed by the collapsing action.