Anyone interested in the finer points of managing a galley?

Here's where I'm coming from:

(1) John Hanna, designer of the famed Tahiti Ketch once remarked: "...and the only interior detail (of a sailboat) that really matters is a full, man-sized, actual, practicable working galley, for indigestion has wrecked more cruises than rocks and hurricanes."

(2) "The act of cooking seems to help people get along with each other, especially when they are in slightly dire, less than luxurious and more than stressful circumstances. - Dr. Robert Zubrin, President of the Mars Society, speaking of the long voyage to Mars.

After almost three decades of voyaging and living aboard the year around, chartering and delivering boats, and entertaining friends, I have come to believe, like John Hanna, that the galley is the heart and soul of life aboard a sailboat.

And I've learned that there's much more to preparing dynamite meals than mixing together ingredients according to a recipe, especially if traveling in a remote area, or offshore for weeks at a time. For instance, there are some interesting techniques for extending the life of perishables, dairy products and meats without refrigeration that seem to not be common knowledge among many sailors. Would SeaKnots members be interested in discussing and sharing ideas along these lines?

If so, let's hear from you and get started.

Robbie Johnson

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For instance, there are some interesting techniques for extending the life of perishables, dairy products and meats without refrigeration that seem to not be common knowledge among many sailors. Would SeaKnots members be interested in discussing and sharing ideas along these lines?

Care to share?

Is "care to share" your complete response?
Would I be interested in discussing and sharing ideas? Damn right I would! I've only been living aboard my 32-footer for the past two months, but I've been adapting quickly to the culinary demands and dictates of a sailboat galley (limited counter space, two-burner gas stove w/ oven, icebox).

At this point I feel like I've read just about every article, forum posting and blog entry regarding galley management, but I still have a lot to learn, so if there's a discussion to be found on SeaKnots, count me in. (I may actually have a few ideas and suggestions to offer as well.)

Of course, if money and time weren't factors, I'd prefer to rip out most of the galley and start over, beginning with beefing up the insulation on the icebox and adding real refrigeration.

I agree. How do you get a salad to stay fresh aboard? (And I am talking from Friday night to SUN afternoon).


What a great idea for a forum! And on a topic that you need to learn from experience. I do have to admit that I need to learn on land and on sea. I cannot wait to hear what you have to share.

I look forward to reading more on this forum.

Take care-
Ahoy, Andrea:

How to keep a salad fresh over the weekend? Why, with an ice chest, of course! Or if you have a functioning refrigerator on board, you're all set. No different than from your landside home.

However, once you unplug from dockside electricity or the ice in your cooler has melted, you've got a challenge.

We all know what happens to lettuce when it is left out on a counter top without being cooled. It wilts fast!

But the well-organized galley chef of a sea-going galley is prepared. If a meal calls for a salad to accompany the main course, there is a host of salads that can be created that don't require lettuce.

Cabbage, for instance, keeps very well for many weeks without refrigeration, and it's tough to beat a tangy slaw to accompany a grilled fish. Fresh tropical fruit combined with nuts, raisins, etc. are an excellent way to go. And don't forget the humble dried beans and all of their possibilities. There's a great bean salad made with white cannelini beans, garlic, capers, tomato, basil and a touch of balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil that's so easy to prepare. Let me know if you'd like the recipe.

Fair winds to you,

I would love to have your bean salad recipe - Please post it for everyone to see.
(By the way, I love this thread. It's all about food!)
Hello, Gail:

There are hundreds and hundreds of bean salad recipes in cookbooks and on the Internet, but this one is a tried-and-true one served to my paying charter guests. In the interest of time, I usually cook dried beans with my pressure cooker.

Dried bean take up very little storage space, and there are so many different ways to use them. They store well aboard a sailboat, and will stay "fresh" for many months if kept in dry, watertight containers. Dried beans contain more energy and nutritional value than just about any other food. They are high in fiber and full of complex carbohydrates including sugar. Here's one of my favorite bean salad recipes. It goes great with grilled meats and fried fish:

The Skipper's Bean Salad
2 cups cooked cannelini beans 1 lg. ripe tomato, chopped
1 garlic clove, sliced thinly 2 tblsp fresh basil, minced
1 tsp capers 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced Salt & Blk. pepper to taste
1 1/2 tblsp x-tra virgin olive oil

Preparation: Put garlic slices and oil in skillet over medium-high heat, moving garlic around in the oil for about 4 minutes, or until it begins to color, then remove and discard it. Reduce heat and add the basil, tomato, parsley and capers, stirring for about 5 minutes until tomato becomes pulpy, then add the vinegar, stir and remove from heat. In a bowl, combine beans (if using canned, first drain and lightly rinse in cold water) and tomato mixture, mixing it well. Season and serve at room temperature, or slightly chilled.

Bon apetit!


Try these, they work.

If you want to convert an ice-box to a refrigirator, try this. I installed it on my Morgan 28. It will freeze things if I am not careful.|406|10789|86418&id=323775

Hello, Pete:

Sounds like your boat is very similar in size to mine. Check out the photos on my Sea Knots profile and take a look at the tiny galley on my Tahiti Ketch. There's a lot to be said for planning, organizing and equipping your galley when the available space is at such a premium. I wrote an article for the April 2008 issue of Windcheck Magazine on outfitting an offshore galley. It is archived and you can read it on the magazine's Website ( Maybe it will be helpful to you.

In my experience, the key to successful galley management is implementation of the philosophy of "simplicity," from utensils, to stocking stores, to meal preparation. My goal is be in and out of the galley in less than 30 minutes, preferably less than 15 minutes, with minimum pots to clean afterwards, and meals that are uncompromised in nutrition and taste. It's really a lot easier than you think. And the bonus is if you're cranking out really sumptuous meals from your galley, you'll never lack for volunteer crew!

I'd be very much interested in your galley ideas, and I am sure all of our fellow sailors on Sea Knots would as well. Let's hear from you. Maybe we should have a monthly "Sailing Chef Award" for the Sea Knots member who by popular vote contributes the best recipe/idea?

Fair winds,

In my list of galley gripes, I'd also have to include the sink -- or sinks -- on my O'day. Why on earth someone felt it necessary to install two side-by-side mini-sinks is beyond me. Maybe one is for washing dishes and the for rinsing or draining, but if so, that's a pretty lame explanation. I can't even got a medium-sized pot to sit flat in the sink (it has to be tilted). I can just imagine what fun it would be if I had my good ol' 12-inch skillet from home on the boat.

If I were going to rip out the galley and start fresh, I'd put in one normal size sink rather than these two silly little leftovers from a wet bar.

Bon appetit!

I think this thread is a great idea, but I don't have much knowledge or experience other than with eggs. If an egg has never been refrigerated, it will last many weeks. Once refrigerated, they are doomed.

It is tough to get unrefrigerated eggs in the U.S. except at farmers markets. Good place to start.

Hello, Buzz:

As with any natural perishable products, success in extending the storage life varies owing to many factors, including original condition, temperature and packaging. But on average, fresh eggs, even previously refrigerated ones, can be kept for 3-4 weeks if they are kept in a relatively cool place and are turned regularly. Try storing your eggs in those plastic egg carriers that campers and backpackers use. Put the eggs low in the bilge area or at the bottom of cabinets away from galley heat or sunlight streaming through ports. Turn over the egg carriers every other day without fail.

After the first week or so at sea, break eggs into a cup to check for spoilage before dumping in with your other ingredients. In practical terms, you will seldom ever be at sea or without access to shore stores for more than 30 days.

With the growing emphasis on organic foods, unrefrigerated eggs are becoming easier to find in the US. But unrefrigerated eggs have always been the norm in the more remote parts of the Third World because of the lack of electricity and refrigeration. The eggs bought in most native markets in Central and South America, for instance, are seldom refrigerated.

Best regards,



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