What a great yarn. Only 70-odd posts in four years? You should visit more often!
As for the dish issue, I have mulled this one over. I think the key is to make the cabinet specifically for the biggest dishes, to stack them vertically in wooden racks, to put a foam pad on the inside of the doors (yeah, you need doors, and to secure the doors with a metal drop bar using a clevis pin or one of those little tubes with a pull ring at one end and a little ball and spring at the other.
Remove a couple of plates (or deep plastic bowls, preferably) for crew feedings, which are going to be staggered (as are the crew) and keep them in the sink in a cleaned condition. Stuff a pillow or cushion in the sink. Use as needed, and clean immediately for the next person. Even in an inversion, the weight of a couple of bowls and forks might not dislodge a cushion stuffed into a sink, and the main dish cabinet is essentially a locked box.
I am also a fan of thermos flasks and water bottles and a good way to stow both that is secure from all but a capsize is to screw plastic bicycle "bottle cages" at certain spots. If the fit is loose, put the item in a sock and jam it in. If you hit a full "cage", the plastic is kinder than the metal ones, and if you smack a plastic one, it will deform without hurting you.
I'm a fairly avid cyclist as well as a boater and I've discovered some interesting cross-overs. You can get a 100 PSI air horn for bikes for less than 20 bucks that I guarantee is just as loud as a truck horn...but the duration is about 10 seconds. Still, if you *really* need to be noticed, take that and a bike pump.
Amazon.com: Delta Airzound Bike Horn: Sports & Outdoors
Check it out. Better than a can of Freon, which is nasty stuff for the atmosphere.