How to cook on a sailboat?

How to cook on a sailboat?

Published in Sailing
How to cook on a sailboat?

So you plan to charter a sailboat, spend as much time as you can on an open sea, and cook on a boat? Don't miss this 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 own kitchen and the one on the boat, hopefully, it will help you when you encounter a smallest stove you've ever seen.
If you're not sure how much food you should take, it always depends on a number of people aboard, the amount of food they can eat per day plus a little extra. Usually, people get hungrier when they are 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 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 ask yourself „what to do with what I have aboard“ and be creative. You never know, maybe the best meal you'll ever make will be made your first time aboard a sailboat.

Here are the tips we promised that 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 substitutions won't re-create the meal you planned to cook, but it will for sure make a new one you probably never ate 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 what you'll eat and drink very well.

Your space is very limited

Imagine having only 1 pan dirty and the whole kitchen is looking like a bomb exploded (well maybe not that dramatic), preparing everything before boarding is the best idea. It's a lot easier to work in the spaciousness of your house kitchen than 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 Swiss army knife is the best choice, it has a knife, a can opener, bottle opener etc. That also applies to the food, buy groceries that can be used in many different meals, like potatoes, rice, pasta.
  • Don't waste space on the things you don't need. For example, buy boneless meat and make sure you freeze it. Cans and similar things don't just throw 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 considering the fact that 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 when 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 with the boat.