Sailboat Galley Equipment List: Essentials for Meals Onboard

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We also earn from other affiliate websites. We only recommend products we personally use and love.

cornbread muffins and pot of soup simmering on the stuff

Cooking in a sailboat galley is different than a spacious kitchen with land life conveniences. 

Making meals aboard is challenging enough in the small space. Now add in managing heat and steam while being conscious of water and propane usage. You have a challenge on your hands.

The hurdles of cooking aboard and limited space mean we have to be selective about sailing galley equipment. 

For this list, I used the criteria below:

  • Does it conserve resources (power, water, or propane)?
  • Is it high-quality and built durably for a boat environment?
  • Is it easy to use and clean?
  • Does it store easily?
  • Does it have more than one purpose?

These questions helped determine which items made our galley equipment list. 


Best Galley Cookware / Bakeware

Magma Stainless Steel Cookware

Great cookware is a staple of any great kitchen, no matter where you live.

Luckily, Magma builds high-quality cookware with small space dwellers in mind.

The Magma set distributes heat evenly and has all the trademarks of quality cookware, with the nesting bonus for your small boat galley.

nesting pot set stacked and unstacked

Why Magma Pots are Essential

  • They are 18/8 grade stainless steel with triple clad bottoms for an even heat distribution
  • The pots are oven safe to 500 degrees for use on the stove or oven
  • They hold heat well – they’ll conserve propane and keep food hot long after you’ve turned off the burner
  • They are efficient with space – the set is about 7-inches high and approximately 14-inches at the widest point of the handles

7-Piece vs. 10-Piece Set

magma nesting pot 7-piece set

7-Piece Pot Set

  • 5-quart pot
  • 2-quart pot
  • 10-inch deep-sided skillet/saute pan
  • Universal lid for 2-quart pot
  • Universal lid for 5-quart pot and skillet
  • Removable handle
  • Bungee strap
magma nesting pot 10-piece set

10-Piece Pot Set

  • 5-quart pot
  • 3-quart pot
  • 2-quart pot
  • 1 1/2-quart pot
  • 10-inch deep-sided skillet/saute pan
  • Universal lid for 2-quart pot
  • Universal lid for large 5-quart pot and skillet
  • 2 removal handles
  • Bungee strap

As an owner of the 7-piece, I would highly recommend the 10-piece set. In addition to the Magma set, we have 3-quart and 1-quart pots that are workhorses in the galley. Thank goodness you can buy individual pieces! I’ll be adding these when my cheaper versions need replacing.

It’s essential to have something around 1-quart for heating leftovers, a can of soup, or a single cup of oatmeal. If you opt for the 7-piece set, be sure to pick up a small saucepan.

You can check out the 7-piece Magma set here and the 10-piece Magma set here on Amazon. You can also purchase directly from Magma.

Read more about why these pots are sailboat galley essential and make the Best Nesting Pots for Small Spaces.

BONUS: The Magma cookware is also induction compatible. So, if you want to ditch the propane for induction, you won’t need a new cookware set.

Runner Up: Silicone Mats

Silicone baking mats are a big kitchen staple on a boat. They are flexible, distribute heat evenly, and are incredibly non-stick.

The Silpats silicone mats come in a variety of sizes. I have the Petite Jelly Roll (8 1/4″ x 11 3/4), which is perfect for our oven on the boat. But they also come in a toaster oven size that’s even smaller.

pizza on non-stick mat
Silpat Premium Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat
$16.00
  • Petite jelly roll size mat, 8-1/4" x 11-3/4"
  • Made of the highest quality food grade silicone
  • Safe for use in the oven, microwave, and freezer (-40° to 500° degrees Fahrenheit)
09/26/2022 04:45 pm GMT

Why Silicone Mats are Essential

  • They save on oil and eliminate parchment paper
  • They are easy to wash
  • Storage is a breeze; they roll up to squeeze in tight spots in a sailboat kitchen
  • They are great for baking and any scenario where you would use parchment paper

I have used the Silpat brand for over 15 years and can attest to its quality. They’ll last forever if you treat them well—no knives or cutting on the mat and no harsh dish soap.

Use these mats to roast vegetables, bake pizza evenly, make granola, or bake cookies. They also work for rolling dough and making chocolate bark.

Check out Silpat silicone mats and size options here.


Best Galley Drinkware

Stainless Steel Wine Glasses

Our stainless steel wine glass set was a thoughtful gift from friends when we left Colorado to start cruising.

These glasses have been my go-to for happy hour on the boat and during our RV days sitting by the fire.

They’re so versatile – great for Chardonnay, rum liqueur, or boxed red wine with a couple of ice cubes (no judgment, please).

stainless steel wine glass on boat deck with sunset in the background
Stemless Metal Wine Glasses - Stainless Steel
  • Stainless steel tumblers, set of four
  • Unbreakable and shatterproof, 18 oz.
  • Great for camping, boating, and other outdoor activities

Why These Wine Glasses are Essential

  • They are 304-grade stainless steel and absolutely won’t break
  • They keep wine and other iced drinks cold and are freezer safe
  • They’re super easy to clean
  • They don’t get as many fingerprints and hard water spots as our GCI wine glasses that are made from a Copolyester material.

Get ready for sundowners with your set of these stainless steel wine glasses.

BONUS: You’ll fill a whole lot fancier drinking your run and coke without any added hassle.

Runner Up: Yeti Tumblers

A good everyday glass is essential on a boat. You don’t have room for a cabinet full of drinkware, so what you have needs to work.

The Yeti insulated tumbler is a versatile piece of drinkware. It works for iced tea, hot tea, rum and coke, and coffee.

Yeti stainless steel tumbler sitting on table
YETI Rambler 20 oz Tumbler, Stainless Steel, Vacuum Insulated
$35.00
  • 18/8 grade stainless steel BPA-free, dishwasher safe
  • 6 7/8" high with a lip diameter of 3 1/2"
  • MagSlider lid
09/26/2022 07:53 pm GMT

Why an Insulated Tumbler is Essential

  • As with the wine glasses, stainless steel is easy to clean – we use a small amount of diluted bleach to clean the tea stains every month or so
  • They have double-wall vacuum insulation, so if it’s cold, it stays cold, and hot stays hot
  • They are very durable at 18/8 stainless steel

Yeti is known for being a high-quality brand. Still, any well-made insulated tumbler will be a versatile cup amongst your sailing kitchenware.

View Yeti’s insulated 20 oz. tumbler, which is available in a variety of colors.

PRO TIP: You can clean coffee and tea stains on the steel and lid by soaking in water with a little bleach.

Best Galley Storage Solutions

Quality Storage Containers

I discovered the OXO Smart Seal storage containers when we moved into the RV. Finally, after buying one-offs every time I would see a Bed, Bath & Beyond, I broke down and bought a full set.

containers organized in small boat fridge
OXO Good Grips Smart Seal Leakproof Plastic Food Storage Container Set
$32.95
  • 5.7 oz. containers (2), 1.6 cup containers (2), 3 cup containers (2), 4.6 cup container (1), 6.2 cup container (1)
  • All containers nest and stack for easy and compact storage
  • BPA free - microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe
09/27/2022 06:05 am GMT

Why These Containers are Essential

  • They look and feel high quality
  • The removal silicone lining on the lid makes them very easy to clean
  • They are microwave and freezer safe, helping to eliminate freezer bags (the 4.6 cup size is perfect for freezing broth)
  • They stack and nest without issue

These have a locking tab on each side and are leak and spill-proof. This is key, so you are 100% sure the lids are locked.

They come in plastic or glass. We have the plastic, and they are holding up well since we hand wash.

You can view the OXO Smart Seal containers here.

BONUS: They come in a 5.7-ounce version that is perfect for little bits of herbs, chopped veggies, freezing pesto and pizza sauce, and more.

Runner Up: Basket with Handles

These are the solution for all the lost food on the back of the shelf. Whether in the fridge or cabinet, you want these baskets.

You can easily pull them out to get what you need while staying organized and maximizing space.

storage baskets in sailboat galley cabinet
Refrigerator & Pantry Organizer Bins with Handles
$11.99 $9.99
  • Set of four plastic food storage baskets with handles for ease of use
  • Great for use in the kitchen in cabinets, fridge, and freezer
  • 100% food safe BPA free shatter-resistant plastic.
  • Bin size 12” long × 6.75” wide × 4.45” high
09/26/2022 05:41 pm GMT

Why These Baskets are Essential

  • They make use of hard-to-reach space in the galley cabinets or fridge
  • Although not pricey, they are durable – we have consistently used ours for two years with no cracks
  • They clean up quickly, even when we have big spills in the fridge

We found ours at Walmart, but I’ve seen them at the Container Store and Amazon. Be sure to measure your space before committing to a size.


Best Galley Zero Waste Product

Reusable “Unpaper” Towels

One of the first things I tackled when we moved aboard was how to be more sustainable. I was previously a die-hard user of paper towels.

I immediately discovered that sourcing and storing such giant disposable products was zero fun on a boat.

reusable paper towels rolled and stored in glass jar
MioEco Reusable Paper Towels, Washable
$19.95 ($2.00 / Count)
  • Eco-friendly, reusable paper towels
  • Made from 100% organic cotton
  • 10-pack
09/26/2022 02:22 pm GMT

Why Unpaper Towels Are Essential

  • They reduce trash and increase storage space occupied by rolls of paper towels
  • They are easy to wash and do even better if you initially rinse stains with a little dish soap
  • If you don’t use cloth napkins, these can double as casual dinner napkins

I sourced our reusable paper towels in Brunswick, Georgia, at a locally owned store, Dot & Army. Check out their unpaper towels here. They carry lots of other eco-friendly options as well.

BONUS: I love that these are trimmed in a rainbow of colors that add a little fun to the galley.

Runner Up: Beeswax Wraps

These have been all the rage as an eco-friendly item for the kitchen, and with good cause. I was a bit spectacle when I bought the Beeswax Wraps but quickly jumped on the bandwagon.

With a small fridge, a big concern is how much space a container occupies. The beeswax wraps adhere nicely to the shape of any fruit, veggie, or cheese, while efficiently using the room in the fridge.

kitchen bowl and cheese wrapped in bees wax wraps
Reusable Beeswax Food Wraps in 3 Sizes (S,M,L)
$18.99
  • Made of certified organic cotton (plastic and silicone free)
  • Washes easily with soap and cold water
  • Made in Vermont, USA
09/27/2022 06:40 am GMT

Why Beeswax Wraps are Essential

  • They maximize space and minimize trash since you can reduce plastic bags
  • They clean easily (a little cold water and minimal dish soap if needed) 
  • They fold up for easy storage when not in use (I keep them in a jar in the cabinet)

You can get the Beeswax Wraps here.

If you are planning your move aboard, start your sustainable journey now. The sooner you can learn what works for you and your crew, the better.

READ NEXT: Check out our full zero waste swaps list for more sustainable products in a small space.

Best Galley Gadget

Hand-Powered Food Chopper

In the growing list of boat galley accessories, the Chef’n VeggiChop is at the top. It checks all the boxes for cooking equipment in the cruising lifestyle.

food chopper with onion inside
Chef'n VeggiChop Hand-Powered Food Chopper
$18.35
  • Manual, hand-powered food chopper for veggies, fruits, herbs, nuts, and more
  • Perfect for travel, RVing, tent camping, boating, and more
  • Bowl, blades, and storage lid are dishwasher safe. Hand wash the pull-cord lid.
09/26/2022 05:36 pm GMT

Why the VeggiChop is Essential

  • It’s easy to clean, especially compared to blenders and food processors
  • The convenience of a food processor with no sacrifice to power
  • It’s durable – I have been using it consistently for over a decade
  • You can also use it to chop nuts or make guacamole, salsa, and even pesto

How to Use the Chopper

  1. Roughly chop your onion, celery, carrot, or bell pepper
  2. Plop it in the container with the blades inserted
  3. Put the lid on and pull the ring like you are cranking the dinghy! (Ok, not quite that hard.)

Pull more times for finely chopped veggies. Presto, chopped in no time, and it’s completely man-powered.

Just recently, we took apart the top to oil the inner workings. There is minor fraying on the cord after ten years, but it is working great after oiling.

Check out the Chef’n VeggiChop here.

BONUS: If you are sensitive to onions, this is a lifesaver. Seal your onion while chopping, and keep those tears at bay!

Runner Up: Immersion Blender

A stick blender is excellent for soups, chili, hummus, and blending ice for smoothies or shakes. Most importantly, it does the work of a blender while fitting in a small boat galley.

This KitchenAid model breaks down into two 9-inch pieces for easy storage.

stick blender on counter

Why an Immersion Blender is Essential

  • It’s effortless to clean compared to a full-size blender
  • It does take power (about 200 watts), but most things you are blending will only require 20-30 seconds
  • It is relatively small for a kitchen gadget (especially compared to regular blenders, Ninjas, etc.), which will allow you to store it conveniently for quick use

I have an older version of the KitchenAid immersion blender, which has 9-speeds. They are now between 2 and 5 speeds, which should be plenty. Some are cordless with a 12V lithium battery, which I am curious to hear more about. If anyone has used the cordless version, please let me know your thoughts in the comments!

You can browse KitchenAid immersion blenders here.


Best Galley Small Appliance

Thermal Cooker

Like many boats out there, our oven is older and tends to put out as much heat as it retains. Anything that takes more than 20 minutes to cook can really heat up the galley.

thermal cooker on galley counter
Tayama Stainless Steel Thermal Cooker, 5-Quart
$75.99 $69.90
  • Saves energy, approx. 80% on electricity or gas
  • Saves time by reducing stovetop cooking time to 10 - 15 min.
  • Perfect for picnics, camping, travel, and more
  • Food stays warm for over 6 hours
09/27/2022 03:45 am GMT

The thermal cooker reduced heat dramatically compared with the oven. It cooks with an insulated container by locking in heat once your food has come to a boil. It’s a good alternative to the stove when simmering beans or broth for hours.

With a thermal cooker, you are trading cooking time for the convenience of less heat. In the heat of the summer months, that’s a fair trade.

Some thermal cookers have a second inner pot allowing you to cook two things simultaneously. Make potatoes in the bottom and a casserole on top.

Things to Put in a Thermal Cooker

thermal cooker on stove sautéing onion

How to Use a Thermal Cooker

  1. Sauté any veggies and bring your food (beans, soup, broth, etc.) to a boil in the large inner pot. If cooking a casserole, boil water only in the large pot.
  2. Boil for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Remove from the stove and insert the large pot into the insulated container. If cooking a casserole, prepare it in the small pot and place it over the large pot of boiling water in the insulated container.
  4. Lock the lid and wait. Generally, the thermal cooker time is relative to a slow cooker.
NOTE: Don’t forget to use the boiled water for washing dishes.

Why a Thermal Cooker is Essential

  • It saves on propane and keeps the heat out of the boat
  • It serves as a cooking and baking appliance
  • Inner pots are stainless steel and clean up as quickly as any regular pot

We have this thermal cooker. For more on cooking with a thermal cooker, The Boat Galley has some great information.

BONUS: Experimenting is fun! We tried making banana bread in the second inner pot, which turned out delicious and gooey. It was moist due to being cooked with water instead of the oven’s dry heat. But if you are open to trying different textures, you won’t be disappointed in the taste.

Runner Up: Ice Maker

I’m ashamed to say I was against an ice maker when we became liveaboards. It didn’t seem like a smart trade-off for space. Obviously, I had not been cruising during the summer in the southeast.

If you have the space and the power, an ice maker is a huge morale booster for hot afternoons and happy hours.

ice maker sitting on galley counter
Frigidaire Counter Top Ice Maker, Stainless Steel
$123.49
  • Can produce 26 pounds of ice per day
  • Makes ice in less than 6 minutes
  • Can produce two different sizes of ice cubes
09/26/2022 01:55 pm GMT

We opted for the Frigidaire, which has worked well with heavy use for over a year.

This model makes ice in under 10 minutes, making nine cubes per cycle. The specs show it draws around 200 watts when producing ice and a little more when it’s cooling ice in the basket.

Why an Ice Maker is Essential

For this last essential, I threw out most of the criteria. An ice maker can drain power, is sometimes hard to clean, and has just one purpose. But because having ice has been a daily treat for us, I had to include it on the list.

As we learn more about how to live with less on a boat, I find sometimes you just need something that makes you happy, even if it requires a little more time and energy. For our lifestyle, the ice maker is worth it!

There is now a newer version of this Frigidaire ice make found here.


Deciding on Galley Kitchen Equipment

Defining your galley cooking style, what you like to eat, and how conservative you can be with resources will dictate your boat galley equipment. Everyone will be a little different because we all have our own priorities when it comes to how we cook and what we eat.

I hope this list has been helpful and given you a few ideas for items that will make cooking on a boat a little easier and more enjoyable as a liveaboard.


Want to learn more about cooking on a boat?

Read more on meal ideas, provisioning, and outfitting your boat galley on our guide.


Like this post? Save it on Pinterest for later.

pin of manually operated vegetable chopper in sailboat galley kitchen

Similar Posts

4 Comments

  1. Just stalked your whole site and love it. So informative ❤️ Thank you so much for posting and sharing

    1. Thanks, Nakailla! I’m so glad you found it helpful 🙂 I love sharing about this lifestyle, but love it more when readers find it useful. Thanks again!

  2. This has been SO helpful on putting together our list for what we need on board! Thank you so much for putting this together!

    1. Hi Jaclyn! I’m so glad you found this helpful. There’s definitely a lot to think about for that first outfitting of the galley! Wishing you many delicious meals on board 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.