Houseboat Galley Tips

October 2018 Multimedia Jane Willow Web Exclusive

More accidents happen at home than anywhere else, and there’s no exception if your home is a boat. Cooking on a boat differs from on land because you may have limited storage, water, power, appliances and workspace. Another variable is that your boat might be constantly moving with the water beneath it, creating the potential for some safety problems. Regardless, you shouldn’t let it deter your cooking skills. A well-designed kitchen, some handy tips and a few gadgets can go a long way in improving galley safety whether you’re on the move or not.

Storing Perishable Food During Traveling

You may have a generator or batteries for power, but these won’t always last the full length of your journey and sometimes you don’t want the generator on at night since they can be loud. This means that perishable food is at risk of going off since your fridge won’t stay cold and it can be dangerous for your health if consumed.

The best way around this is to avoid the problem altogether, but this isn’t always feasible. On cold evenings you could put your food into containers and place it on the deck where it will keep cold to reduce bacteria growth. On warmer days and evenings where that won’t work, you can use a chiller with ice. You should buy the bare minimum perishable food that you need and re-stock as regularly as you can to keep your food fresh.

Safe Storage of Items

The water can become choppy at any point, so you should always prepare for the worst and embrace habits that will become second nature for keeping you safe. Due to limited space you’ll likely have utensils, cutlery and gadgets in your kitchen that are multi-purpose, such as sharp knives that can be used for meat, fish and vegetables, rather than an individual knife for each job. These are often sharper and can easily injure someone if they’re not handled and stored correctly and are responsible for 350,000 lacerations a year. Don’t leave anything sharp or breakable out. They should be stowed safely away and secured in drawers and cupboards to avoid sliding and falling.

Gadgets For Safe Cooking

Preparing and cooking meals around the stove and oven can pose a risk of burns if something spills out with the movement of the boat. Stove gimbals will keep the stove and oven level even if the boat moves and rolls, so you won’t need to worry about splashes of food coming towards you or the floor. Pot restraints attach to the stove will hold pots in place to prevent them from sliding across the stove as well. These are both simple designs that make a big different in the kitchen and can easily reduce the risk of burns.

Safety in kitchens is a concern everyone, but when you’re living on a boat the risks can increase due to movement and limited resources. Combining useful tips with common sense and some boating gadgets can make life a safer and easier in a boat galley.

Happy cooking on your houseboat!

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