Onboard Cooking

33I have an oven with three stove-top burners, powered by two 9 lb  propane tanks nestled into the cockpit. There is a shut-off solenoid connected to a switch in the galley, so no need to get out and open/close the tanks every cook session. Each burner and the oven has a dedicated thermocouple to measure heat. If the flame blows out the propane automatically stops, preventing any unsightly boat explosions.

The fridge sucks about 5 Amps of electricity when running, runs about 3/4 of the time in the Hawaiian tropics, and averages around 3.5 Amps. My two 100 Watt solar panels keep up when it’s sunny, but as soon as a cloudy day hits it requires a few days to charge back up. So on long trips, I plan on zero refrigeration. The following lasts for a three week transit, no prob: Flour, rice, lentils, curry paste, eggs, cheese, UHT milk, onions, potatoes, peppers, apples, oranges, oatmeal, pasta, and of course canned goods. Most of my meat is canned (Chicken, corned beef, spam, chili, etc.) If there is plenty of sun and leftovers or fish to keep cool, I’ll turn the fridge on, but if I lose all electricity, my food won’t spoil.

I keep my fruits and veggies in hanging nets for better air flow, separating the fruits from the veggies. The ripening fruit gives off a gas that will hasten the spoiling of the veggies. Potatoes, carrots and cheese go in the coolest, darkest drawers I can find. And all the dry goods are packed in air-tight tupper-ware containers that won’t spill when dropped. My lentils went EVERYwhere on a good heel crossing the Kauai Channel one day because the snap lid popped off on impact. Lesson learned.

The photos to the right are some examples of what I’ve been preparing.

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