Preparing the Galley

Advice on how to prepare your space on-board in light of the big pre-cruise shop

In a boat, there are two enemies: the cold and hunger. Thankfully, in the summer we don’t have to worry much about the first, but eating on board is very important! Here is some advice to best prepare the galley on board, in order to be ready to make quick and easy meals for when you are navigating, or more elaborate ones for those candle-lit dinners when you are anchored at a deserted roadstead!

Before talking about ingredients, however, it is important to discuss where to keep them. Here is some advice on how to prepare your on-board space in light of the pre-cruise shop.


The first thing to think about when organising the galley is that the space on a boat is usually much less than that at home, so we must optimise it as best we can in order to not leave boxes, tins and bottles lying around, which could roll away if there are some rough seas.

And because of this reduced space, we need to think about buying foods and drinks whose packaging does not take up too much space or that can be folded once used. We strongly advise against using glass, also because it is extremely dangerous on a boat: a broken empty glass bottle smashing in the cockpit would be enough to ruin the two weeks’ holiday of the first distracted sailor to come in in bare feet!

We all know that it is very rare that when we go on board with our thousand bags of groceries, that the whole crew remain to see where the food will be stored, making so that half the contents are pulled out of the cupboards on the hunt for that elusive packet of biscuits! It is therefore important to make a “map” to tape up in a strategic location visible to everyone, for example near the kitchen, with a quick sketch of the boat and where all the food is stored in the cupboards and dunnage. For example:

– BREAD, CRACKERS & CO: first cupboard, upper left-hand side
– BISCUITS & BREAKFAST STUFF: second bottom cupboard to the left above the stove
– WATER: under the dunnage, in the bow, middle
– DRINKS & BEER: under the dunnage, in the stern, to the left, etc.

For fruit and vegetables, it is important to find a way to make them last as long as possible, considering that it is difficult to have a fridge large enough, and that with the hot temperatures and high humidity produce will go bad quickly.

This is why it is important to equip your boat with some nets to hold fruit and vegetables, to hook onto a porthole near the kitchen to allow air to circulate. Equally important is to check your fruit and vegetables often, so as to immediately eliminate any that are showing signs of moulding, before affecting the others.

To better learn how to best use the products in your galley, don’t forget to visit our SECTION on COOKING ON BOARD!

Francesca Pradelli


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