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On a Boat: Cooking In Rough Weather

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 21 Sep 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Boat Weather Cook Cooking Galley Manage

The galley of a boat is usually quite small and it’s often quite difficult to master the art of cooking on a boat even when the weather’s fine and the water is calm if you’re not used to it. However, when the weather gets rough, particularly out at sea, then you’re still going to have to eat so it’s important that you adopt some useful practices so that cooking on a boat isn’t going to faze you when the boat starts pitching from side to side or starts bobbing up and down.

Keep Your Galley Organised

A good galley should be well organised at all times and preparation is the key. Make sure that all of the utensils you are going to need are secured in cupboards so that they are not going to fall out on top of you when you open them. Any items that you hang up above you should also be secured so that they cannot fall on top of you.

All cooking items and food should be stowed away in areas where you can access them easily from the galley itself. You won’t want to be running around other areas of the boat looking for stuff when the weather’s bad and the boat is pitching this way and that. A good way of keeping on top of things is to make an inventory so that you know what you’ve got and where you keep it. It also makes sense to keep all of the things which you’d group together –pots and pans, for example – in one specific cupboard and know what is kept in each cupboard.

Don’t Compromise On Safety

Make sure your galley is properly rigged out with all the necessary safety features. This may cost you a little more and take up more time at the outset but it will not only save you a lot of annoyance later on, it could also save you from getting scalded or, worse still, setting the boat alight. Therefore, you should make sure there are sufficient handholds in the galley and that your stove has been clamped down.

You should also ensure that you have clamps fitted so that pots and pans can’t fly off in rough weather as well as making sure that they have lids securely fastened to them so that hot water and other fluids cannot fly out and scald you.

Buy things like non-slip mats to stop bowls and other utensils from flying around once you’ve served the meal up and keep meals simple in bad weather. Having to manage a soup or hot bowl of stew is not an ideal choice when the boat is going to be pitching from side to side.

Staying Calm And The Importance Of Organisation

One of the main causes of accidents when it comes to boats and cooking is down to the cook becoming irritable when the weather’s bad which makes cooking a rather thankless task. Therefore, the more organised you are the better. Things like finding the cooking oil is almost empty when you want to fry something or you’ve run out of other essential ingredients can start to make a cook lose their cool at the best of times but even more so when you’re cooking on a boat in rough weather. Therefore, always stay organised and keep essential ingredients topped up.

Keep The Galley Clear

Leave the cook to the cooking and don’t go near the galley unless you’re called to assist. As mentioned, galleys tend to be cramped anyway and in rough weather in particular, the more distractions there are in this tiny space, the more chance of an accident occurring. And, if you are the cook and you start to feel a bit overwhelmed, take a breather and get out of the kitchen and get some fresh air for a while.

Try And Predict Ahead

As a boat enthusiast, the weather forecast is something you’re more likely to take more of an interest in than you would, perhaps, otherwise ordinarily do. Therefore, before you’ve even hit bad weather, make some preparations with regards to cooking. Get things like paper plates ready. Why not do away with the stove altogether until the worst of the weather has passed? It won’t do you any harm to prepare and live off sandwiches and snacks for one or two meals.

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