FOOD BOAT: Pizza Pi to Go From a Rebuilt Motorsailer

Take out window

Gourmet food trucks are very trendy these days. Witness last year’s popular film Chef, about a gourmet chef who rebuilds his reputation peddling Cuban sandwiches out of a truck after getting into a debilitating social-media spat with a powerful food critic. So why not a food boat? Enter Sasha and Tara Bouis, a young couple who spent two years fixing up a hulk of an old motorsailer and rebuilt it as a floating pizzeria, called Pizza Pi (as in the mathematical term). They just started peddling pies this past November at Christmas Cove off Great St. James Island, between St. Thomas and St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Bareboat charterers and transient cruisers take note. You should grab a bite here if you are in the vicinity.

It seems Sasha and Tara had the idea for a food boat long before they ever found the right sort of boat to do it in. They needed something cheap, bulky, preferably with no interior (so they could build one to spec), and with an orifice that could serve as a take-out service window.

They finally hit paydirt when they came across this old 37-foot G.L. Watson aluminum-hulled motorsailer:

Pre refit

The diamond in the rough. Pretty it is not. The key fact was that the interior was gone, as it conveniently had been consumed by termites as the boat sat abandoned in Antigua for 10 years

Galley before

The galley, prior to the refit

Galley after

The galley, after the refit

Sasha working

Sasha at work during the refit

Hauled out

Pizza Pi on the hard waiting to launch post refit. Gotta dig that paint job!

The critical part of the reconstruction, obviously, was installing a commercial-grade galley, which now features a proper wash station (three sinks total), a 20-quart mixer for making dough, a 7.5-cu.ft. freezer, a 22-cu.ft. fridge, and (of course) some pizza ovens.

Weighing dough

Tara weighs some flour prior to mixing

Out of oven

Pulling a pie from the oven

Sasha in galley

Sasha in the galley (looking forward)

For a more complete idea of how the boat works now, you can take this short video tour:

Taking orders

Where the action is. Business seems to be brisk

You can check out Pizza Pi’s website and menu right here. (Be sure also to check out their Aluminuts blog.)

I think I’ll take a Carbonara pie, please. With shrimp.

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