I spent more than a year living on a 42-foot sailboat. What it’s truly like to make and cook meals on board is shown here.

There wasn’t much room on my 42-foot sailboat for ingredients and cooking equipment. I basically stocked my pantry with shelf essentials because there wasn’t much room for refrigeration or spices. I used a single pot or pan to prepare simple dishes on an outside grill or an alcohol cooktop. Join Morning Brew to receive the greatest tips for living more wisely. Thank you for registering! Cooking dinner required bringing out one or more of my numerous huge kitchen appliances before my boyfriend and I moved onto a 42-foot sailboat.

On the other hand, I was only given one pot and pan on board.

I had to be especially careful about the ingredients I required for my planned supper, as well as how I would keep and prepare them, in such confined spaces.


Only around 15 bottles of spices could fit in our spice cupboard.

Since I prefer variety in my meals, I didn’t think this would be a problem, but it turned out to be much harder than I had anticipated. In the end, I threw away the spices I would only use once.

We used a mini-fridge to keep our food cold, which we had to secure with rope so it wouldn’t tip over or open while we were sailing.

Since there wasn’t much room, I had to be careful how many chilled things I purchased when grocery shopping.

It was simple to run to the grocery store every day or two to pick up cold items when we were staying at a port. We relied on shelf-stable foods for many of our meals when we were traveling because we would go weeks without stopping at a store and only had a certain amount of supplies with us.


I packed my Instant Pot when we first boarded the ship because I believed it would be useful enough to warrant the space. After three months, we got rid of it since it was too heavy and power-hungry. I had only ever used it twice.

I typically used a pot or skillet and an alcohol-burning cooktop to cook. I only had one of each, so I had to either create everything at once or one thing at a time.

I thought about the optimum order to cook each component when preparing one dish at a time, and I kept the finished meals warm while I finished the rest of the dinner.

Having said that, I typically prepared my meals in a single pan because it required less planning and time.
GRILLING WAS AN EASY WAY TO ADD VARIETY TO Dinners. We also grilled meats and veggies for our meals.
My propane grill was suspended from the boat’s side. It was tucked away and small, making it ideal for little living.

Cooking on a ship occasionally could be warm and uncomfortable. However, the boat was not heated by the grill, which was a significant advantage, especially in hotter areas.

I occasionally yearned for my fully stocked kitchen, but simplicity has advantages. There were numerous occasions when I daydreamed about using my air fryer. And on occasion, I had to modify a recipe or discard it because I lacked access to the necessary components or cooking equipment.

But having a smaller kitchen had its advantages. Cooking was less stressful since I mainly made straightforward, easy meals.