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Tips for Cooking and Eating on Your Boat

Posted By Administration, Monday, July 27, 2020
Updated: Thursday, July 23, 2020

Tips for Cooking and Eating on Your Boat

Cooking at sea can be quite an adventure in and of itself. Galley kitchens are incredibly small if your boat is lucky enough to be equipped with one. Many boats have much smaller areas to prepare food and some boaters bring a grill on board. There are many safety concerns when it comes to cooking including boiling water, propane leaks, burns or a fire. All of these are dangerous in any home kitchen, but they could quickly become deadly on a boat. The Sea Tow Foundation has put together this list of 10 tips and tricks to make the most out of your cooking space on the boat and give you some food ideas, so that you can have a safe and fun time on the water!


  1. Use the space wisely. Now is not the time for a 7-piece cookware set. Only bring the kitchen tools you absolutely need. You most likely will not need more than: 1 skillet, 1 pot, plus only enough cups, plates, bowls, and silverware for each person on board to have a set.
  2. Multifunction is key. Not all galleys have a refrigerator or freezer. By bringing a hard top cooler, you can have a place to store foods and drinks. You also can use the cooler as an extra seat, a table, or even a food prep area! Think about all the ways you can use the items you bring on the boat to maximize your experience.
  3. Saving space. If your boat has a galley kitchen, there won’t be a lot of counter space to spread out on a boat. Use the wall space and maximize what you have. Pockets can be attached to a wall to hold silverware or tools. Hanging nets can be set up to hold produce as well.Get creative with storage solutions.
  4. Conserve water. Remember that fresh water is hard to come by while on the boat. Saltwater can be used for cleaning purposes to save fresh water to drink and cook with. Make sure not to dump the dirty water back into the ocean. Wait until you get to land and pour it into a pump-out drain.
  5. There is always movement. Even while docked, there will always be movement on the boat. Safety latches, railings, and strategically placed handles can help to keep you and your equipment safe and in place while on the water. Remember to only cook when the boat is docked or anchored (this includes grilling) for your safety.
  6. Emergency supplies. Before heading out on the water, make sure you have a well-stocked first aid kit and that your fire extinguisher is in working order. These are especially important if any cooking is being planned on the boat. Also, make sure that everyone on board knows what to do in an emergency and how to use the VHF radio to call for help.
  7. Meal planning. By planning your meals ahead of time, you can minimize the amount of work and excess food you will have to worry about on the boat. Do the chopping, dicing and slicing of vegetables and fruits at home and pack everything in storage containers. Simple dishes with minimal chopping will work best in smaller galleys.
  8. Cook ahead of time. It is important to make sure that you are thinking ahead to how much food you and your passengers will need to consume. Pre--cooking basic foods at home such as pasta, chicken, potato salad, taco meat, and other items can make the time on the water much more enjoyable. This way you won’t be stuck in the kitchen trying to cook while everyone else is fishing or swimming!
  9. Schedule boat trips between meals. If it is possible schedule your outing for the time between lunch and dinner so that you can avoid packing meals and just pack some snacks. Whole fruit, granola bars and individual packs of cookies or chips can make for easy packing without worrying about cooking or refrigeration. Don’t forget to pack plenty of water, too!
  10. Don’t rely on fishing. Fishing is a great way to enjoy the water and minimize the packing needed before the trip. However, there is no guarantee that you will get a bite. It is important to not rely solely on fishing for food while on the boat. Consider fish a bonus meal!


Do you have some favorite meals or snacks for a day out on the boat? Share your recipes here!

Tags:  2020  boat food  boat food prep  boat kitchen  boat snacks  cooking on a boat  eating on a boat  food for boating 

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