In order to produce all that waste I posted about previously, a captain’s gotta eat. So let’s talk about cookin’ on board. Most vessels about the size of the Fritter have a minimal galley to cook with. In addition to the sink I mentioned earlier there is usually an icebox, and in most cases, some sort of stove. Bigger and more expensive boats may have built in refrigerators, an oven, and even a microwave. It’s all in a very compact space, much like a rv. Cabinet space is minimal and counter space is almost non existent. It takes some doing but a person can do some decent cooking on a boat, as long as it’s sitting still.
For the stove, the most common fuel is alcohol. It burns clean and is not quite as explosive as propane. A built in stove top is gimboled so it will stay level in mild seas. The ice box is just a built in cooler. If you are willing to put up with the cramped space you can learn to cook some pretty decent meals but forget about the big 7 course major dinners. On a small craft like the Fritter, it ain’t happening.
What I have: Not much. The Fritter has a big ice box and a sink. The previous owner added in a nice little cube fridge that cools down nicely but can’t hold much food. There is no cooking stove. I’ve been living on the three “S’s”, sandwiches, salads, and sushi. I have been going into town on occasion looking for dinner deals. For example, the sports bar where I go to watch football offers a nice little steak and fries for $5 on Sat. With drink and a tip I have a steak dinner for about $8.50. I haven’t been into town lately to see what other deals are out there but I will find them eventually. For now I’m sort of picking through out the day and skipping the big meals.
One bonus that came with the boat. I have two gas grills. One is a standard patio version Weber gas grill. It looks like it is in good shape and I even got an aluminum propane tank with it. Aluminum is nice on board as it doesn’t rust. The other grill is a Magma, the industry standard for marine grills. Here is what one looks like:
These puppies ain’t cheap but they work great. Stainless steel to resist corrosion, nice small cooking area, and they mount easily on deck. You can hook up any kind of propane tank including those little green coleman bombs. I had one of these on my other boat and it did a nice job of cooking.
What I want: I would prefer to avoid all the standard appliances for a kitchen. I’m going to skip the microwave and toaster oven route for now. I am really interested in induction cooktops. Something along the lines that Mrs. Sand is using. Yeah, they take some power but there is no fuel to worry about. As for the ice box, it’s pretty large, about twice the size of the fridge. There are 12 volt refrigeration conversion kits out there that can make any ice box an actual fridge. I would need to get in and add more insulation around the box, not a huge deal, and wire it all in. Not cheap but it would give me twice the storage and I could get rid of the cube.
Reality: For the moment I don’t plan on doing much. That whole money thing again. But I will most likely get the Magma up and running soon. West Marine carries all the extras for it so when they have their next sale I may just hop in and get what I need. If I can grill some shrimp now and then or some chicken, I can do fine. The ice box conversion and induction stove top will wait until later, or until I get really hungry.
i don’t mind going out to eat now and then but the cost and dealing with a crowded restaurant always turns me off. For now I’ll go with what I have and see if I can’t find some good food deals on the island.