The galley is what the landlubber refers to as a kitchen.  

There are some galley items you should have to make living aboard as comfortable as possible.


Many liveaboards say the heck with making meals aboard and decide to eat most meals out, especially the evening meal.  These people don't really need much of a galley. 

A minimal set up can be a two or three burner alcohol stove like you would use on a camping trip.  They won't be doing any baking, so they don't need an oven either.

Here is what the galley looked like on AWOL, my Island Packet 26 MKII.  The two burner alcohol stove on the left side of the picture is covered with a cutting board. 

Notice the small air conditioning unit in the companionway hatch to the left.  Also see the small fold up counter extension that you can raise when you need more counter space.

Galley on Island Packet 26Galley on Island Packet 26

The sink faucets operated on a system pressurized by an electric pump, but could also be operated using the manual foot pedal pump you see near the bottom of the cabinet.

The more a liveaboard becomes a homebody, however, the more he will want a first class stove and oven combination.  Quite often these are gimballed so they will stay level no matter the heeling angle of the boat. 

They resemble your home kitchen appliance but are smaller.  They usually use propane gas for fuel.

Here is a picture of the gimballed stove and oven I had aboard Silverheels, my CSY33. 

A gimballed appliance is most useful when you are underway.  It keeps pots and pans on the stove level so they won't go flying away.

Galley on CSY33Galley on CSY33

The cold plate refrigerator/freezer equipment and insulated box are below the brass lamp and counter to its right.  

The tilt-out garbage receptacle is just to the left of the stove and oven.  

The two drawers below the opening portlight are for silverware and cooking tools.  

The sink faucet uses either a manual foot pump or an electric pump.


The typical liveaboard will have a stove and oven that uses propane for fuel. 

Propane tanks are usually stored well aft on a boat and in a vented locker so that if propane leaks from the tank it will dissipate harmlessly over board. 

Propane tank systems also have safety switches so you can't accidentally gas yourself or blow yourself up.

Simpler liveaboard boats use an alcohol stove.  And almost all liveaboard have a propane or charcoal grill clamped to their stern rail.


Stowage is the word sailors use to mean storage.

When you start looking for places to store your food, you will find you need to be creative.    Many liveaboards find they need to shop frequently to restock their pantry. 

Vegetables and fruits can be stored in net hammocks in plain sight somewhere in the galley. 

Stash canned goods wherever they will fit and write down where they are so you can find them when you want them. 

Don't hide perishables where you might forget them;  the unpleasant odor will eventually lead you to their hiding place.


Refrigeration units can be either AC/DC or propane.  There are also holding plate systems that depend on running your engine for an hour or so a day. 

The most reliable of all systems is an ice box. 

A bag or two of ice in a well insulated ice box will keep stuff cold for a few days without all of the mechanical and electrical disadvantages of more sophisticated systems. 

If you will be living in a marina and eating out, an icebox will serve you just fine.


A microwave oven is a nice little luxury, but you will usually have to have a freezer of some kind to keep your frozen dinners until you nuke them. 

Even the smallest of these things takes up a lot of counter space, so make sure you really need one. 

They gobble energy, which is no problem in a marina but can be a nuisance when on a mooring or anchorage.


We discovered this website which is loaded with good information about boat galleys, recipes, cooking equipment and just plain fun.  The Boat Galley.


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