Must Have Galley Equipment For Sailboat Cooking

galley equipment for sailboat cooking

Must have galley equipment for sailboat cooking.

The must have galley equipment for sailboat cooking is so completely different to the list of things I would need when cooking in a house, that galley cooking was one of the things that threw me most about living on a sailboat. You can’t use all the fancy equipment that you’ve come to rely on over the years.

You don’t have the space, the electricity, or even the water to clean it all up afterwards! You need low maintenance cooking equipment and you need to be picky about the essentials.

Now that we’ve adjusted to life aboard I’d say we’re pretty well versed on the galley equipment you’re going to really need, the galley equipment you’re going to want and the galley equipment you’re going to have to learn to live without. We’ve put together a list to help you out, so you don’t end up making the same mistakes (and wasting the same money!) as we did.

lots of different kitchen equipment that couldn't all fit into a sailboat galley
Cooking on a sailboat – a little different to cooking on land!
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Galley Equipment Quick List

Essential galley equipment for cooking

Must have galley equipment for dining

Essential galley equipment for baking

Must have galley storage solutions

Essential galley equipment for drinks

The best galley equipment for outside dining

Essential Galley Equipment For Sailboat Cooking

Slow Cooker

These slow cookers are absolutely fantastic for easy, warm meals. They also come into their own when prepping for off shore passages, as they can be used alongside your normal oven. Being able to just shove the ingredients into a pot and then worry about more important matters saves so much time and hassle. It’s a great piece of galley equipment for sailboat cooking!


Get. A. Blender. We lasted a year without a blender and I’m not sure why I didn’t buy one sooner (I’m writing this after eating a delicious homemade broccoli and potato soup). It’s great for whipping up healthy soups and smoothies with left over fruit and veg, and I also use it to mix cake mix together.

We only have a small blender that we can run off solar but we’ve found it’s plenty good enough, and not needing mains electricity is a huge bonus (or we’d hardly get any use from it at all!) Small blenders are also so much easier to store in a sailboat galley, so the trade off of a bit less power is more than worth it.

Electric Kettle

If you’re planning on spending any time in marinas, especially ones with free electricity, then a cheap kettle will pay for itself in no time. We actually found ours in a bin (no joke) and we keep it handy for any time we’re hooked up to free shore power. We then always boil cooking water before turning on the gas, it’s amazing how much it actually saves us.

Stainless Steel Nesting Saucepans

I would kill for these, literally (watch out Adam!) I have thrown many tantrums about trying to store our pots and pans. We have a frying pan and two saucepans, and I cannot put them away without wanting to throw everything we own over board. And when I have to get them out of the cupboard, everything has to come out. It is my biggest galley equipment bug bear. These stainless steel nesting saucepans will be the first thing we invest in when we aren’t busy fixing holes in the boat!

Ceramic Knives

Until I met Adam I didn’t own a single sharp knife. I didn’t know what I was missing out on! When we moved into our sailboat galley the knives and cutlery were all a little rusty, and certainly not sharp! We took the advice of fellow cruisers and bought some ceramic knives. They never rust, they sharpen easily and they wipe clean. You just have to be careful to keep them in their covers so they don’t break when at sea!

Must Have Galley Equipment For Dining

Falcon Wear Dishes

A prawn stew in a falcon wear dish on a sailboat
A piece of go to sailboat galley equipment

These are our go to dishes for, well, everything. We bake in them, eat pasta from them and even wash up cutlery in them. They’re meant to be pie dishes, but I don’t think we’ve ever used them to cook a pie. They are great little dishes for roasting veggies in, and they’re our go to ‘plates’ for taking to the beach for picnic and BBQs. They’re super durable, and they do the job of a lot of different things so they save a lot of space too! They are perfect galley equipment for sailboat cooking.

Top tip:The pie dishes make excellent bowls for long passages!

Coconut Bowls

We love these bowls for breakfast, or evening meals like noodles. They make food look even more delicious somehow. They’re also easy to store and clean, so a win win in a sailboat galley! Get a set that include wooden cutlery so you can try them out. We prefer normal cutlery but a wooden set would be so useful as you wouldn’t have to worry about rust.

Baking In The Sailboat Galley

It took me a while to get used to baking in our sailboat galley, but now that I’ve worked out what works and what doesn’t, I love it! Below are a few things that will make your life easier!

Silicone Baking Mats And Cupcake Holders

cupcakes on a sailboat, cooked in silicone cupcake holders
Cupcakes always boost moral on a sailboat!

Easy to clean and easy to use, these things are a super useful bit of sailboat galley equipment. The baking mats are especially useful and we use ours for just about anything that goes into the oven.

The cupcake holders are definitely a nice to have more than an essential, but you’ll be surprised by how much you’ll miss these little extras if you’re living aboard your sailboat. All the things that were at the back of the cupboard at home suddenly seem like essential bits of galley kit when you’re lacking! These silicone ones take up hardly any space, so they’re a nice little extra for anyone that loves baking.

Galley Equipment For Sailboat Cooking – The Bread LoafTin

Galley equipment for baking

When you start cruising full time you’ll realise that bread is actually much harder to get hold of than you once thought. We have rocked up to many small village shops and been disappointed by their lack of bread! One way we get round this is to buy packaged wraps which store for much longer, but nothing beats a loaf of bread!

Even the sailor most afraid of baking has given in and tried to bake their own bread. It’s really not as hard as it sounds. One thing that has saved by bread many times is a decent bread loaf tin. This simple bit of sailboat galley equipment will change your bread making game! I also use it to make loaf cakes like banana bread and lemon poppy cake. Yum!

Galley Storage Equipment That Will Make Your Life Easier

Storing things on a sailboat can be an absolute nightmare (check out our tips for sailboat storage for some handy ideas), and storing things in the galley is the worst bit! But there are some hacks we’ve found to make life a little easier when it comes to the sailboat galley.

Sailboat Galley Equipment Storage Containers

These airtight, stack-able storage containers are perfect for keeping food dry and organised in your boat galley. They are convenient sizes and I love the fact they’re see through so it’s easy to see what you’re grabbing! I use these for food that once open, can’t get wet or damp. Humid boats are not flour compatible! We have one for flour, one for sugar and another for oats and cereals. The others are perfect for left overs that we don’t want spilling all over the fridge.

They’re a great shape for making the most of the space in the galley, and they stack really easily too. They are probably the thing I use most in the galley, just because they’re so useful! Make sure you get yourself at least one set for cooking in your boat galley!

Sandwich Storage Bags

Do the environment a favour and get yourself a reusable sandwich bag for any day trips from the sailboat. Adam and I often go for long treks where we want to take lunch with us, and these reusable sandwich bags are perfect for carrying snacks and not getting them all over your bag! We especially like the dolphin ones, but you can go for a plainer option if you’re boring! Haha!

Sailboat Galley Equipment Of The Liquid Variety!

coffee coming to the boil in a sailboat galley
Make sure you can make a good coffee on passage!

Coffee Making For Tired Sailors!

I don’t actually drink coffee, but I have never met anyone who needs a cup of coffee in the morning as much as Adam does. When we bought the boat it came with a proper Italian stove top coffee maker and Adam has completely fallen for it, refusing to go back to instant coffee. It’s actually really easy to use and works perfectly on the gas ring, and the coffee it uses lasts for ages so we never run out!

A lot of people prefer the AeroPress, which is another great way of making proper coffee without big electrical machines, but we got fed up of needing the filter paper. If you aren’t organised enough to be carrying a stash at all times then don’t bother with it. But I will say, it’s super easy to clean and apparently makes very good coffee!

Avex Pint Glasses – The Perfect Galley Equipment For Sailboat Cooking

These Avex glasses are pure genius! They keep cold drinks cold (and actually keep them really cold for a long time!) and they keep hot drinks hot. They are perfect for a big cup of tea on a cold passage or a nice cold beer when you arrive at a beautiful anchorage. They’re perfect for sailboat living.

Outside Sailboat Galley Equipment

meat on a bbq on a sailboat
You’ll want to add outdoor cooking to your sailboat galley equipment list!

Depending on where you’re planning on sailing (and when) it’s probably worth considering the fact that you’ll want to be able to cook outside. Last season during the height of summer we found it almost unbearable to be cooking in the galley due to the heat. We would argue about whose turn it was to cook, and make the quickest recipes we could think of so we didn’t have to be near the oven. It was a bit of a nightmare to be honest.

Cobb BBQ

We splashed out at Christmas and decided to buy ourselves a Cobb BBQ. It can be moved around while you’re cooking and used on any surface, as the outside of it just doesn’t get hot. It has a ‘moat’ where you can cook your veg and a lid that makes it more of an oven, and it barely takes any fuel to get hot. You can start cooking on it after just minutes. The other really great thing about it is that you can take it to the beach, or where ever, as it’s so easy to transport in it’s little carry case. It comes in several different versions, including a compact version for smaller sailboats and gas or coal alternatives.

Fish on a BBQ making it the perfect sailboat galley cooking equipment in the summer
You can take a Cobb BBQ anywhere!

As you can see, a few simple bits of sailboat galley equipment can go a long way on board. Hopefully this has given you a few ideas of some of the things that will really come in handy. Let me know in the comments below what your favourite bit of sailboat galley equipment is and if there’s anything I’ve missed….I’m always looking for ways to improve my sailboat galley!

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