How to Cook on a Sailboat?

/ Published in Sailing Tips
How to Cook on a Sailboat?

So, you plan to charter a sailboat, spend as much time as you can on the open sea, and cook on a boat? Don't miss these tips.

If you are new to cooking aboard, don't expect too much of a yacht's kitchen. Here we will mention some of the biggest differences between cooking in your kitchen and the one on the boat. Hopefully, it will help you when you encounter the smallest stove you've ever seen.
If you're not sure how much food you should take, consider the number of people aboard, the amount of food they can eat daily, and add a little extra. It is common for people to get hungrier when on a boat.

Creativity is the key

Once you sail, there won't be a chance for you to hop to the store and get something you are missing for the meal. Whether it’s provisions, pans, tools, or recipes, you have to make do with what you have until the next time you are at a store.
Don't be scared, if you have forgotten something. The only thing you can do in that case is to ask yourself „what to do with what I have aboard“, and be creative. You never know, maybe the best meal you'll ever cook will be the one from your first time aboard a sailboat.

Here are the tips we promised will help you keep organized and get all the things needed before you undock:

  • Make a list
  • Once again – innovation and creativity- lack of ingredients, or using substitutes won't re-create the meal you planned to cook, but it will make for a new one you probably never eaten before, so don't be afraid to experiment
  • Prioritize – do you need more beer than drinking water, more snacks over the canned food, or vice versa? Plan well what you'll eat and drink.

Your space is very limited

If you can imagine having only 1 dirty pan and the whole kitchen looking like a bomb exploded in it (maybe not that dramatic), preparing everything before boarding is a good idea. It's a lot easier to work in the spaciousness of your house's kitchen than in the boat's. By that we mean, chop onion, salad, carrots, and everything else you think you'll need at home.


  • Carry multi-functional things: something like a Swiss army knife is the best choice as it has a knife, a can opener, a bottle opener, etc. This also applies to food: buy groceries that can be used in different meals, like potatoes, rice, and pasta.
  • Don't waste space on things you don't need. For example, buy boneless meat and make sure you freeze it. Do not just throw Cans and similar items into the garbage - they can be reused as the small garbage cans
  • Get enough drinks: make sure you get at least 2 liters/person/day. Buy enough (or some more) soda and alcohol drinks. Coffee and tea should also be on the list.
  • Suggested groceries - Quantities are difficult to estimate, especially because at sea people get hungry and eat more than on dry land.

Bear in mind that groceries like milk, meat, bread, and vegetables need to be restocked whenever possible.

You don’t have to cook aboard if you don't want to. Navigare Yachting skippers are familiar with the best restaurants near our sailing areas, some can be reached only by boat.