Now that we have finished our third year of cruising and are starting our fourth year, I have some opinions about what products work for cruisers. Please note that no one is paying me to tell you this information, my opinion is based on actual use on our sail cruising boat.
This first post is all about products for the galley. The first two pictures show you what my galley looks like on Mahi.
Kuhn Rikon Pressure Cooker– In the image, above, you can see my pressure cooker sitting on the propane Force 10 stove. Many people are scared of pressure cookers since early models decades ago would explode if left unattended. Modern pressure cookers are designed to vent, and this Swiss made, Kuhn Rikon is, in my opinion, the best designed on the market. It is pricey, but worth every penny since we use it so much. In fact, I love my Kuhn Rikon so much, I bought a second one for home. I use my pressure cooker a minimum of 5 times a week when we are cruising.
Note: I used to also have an Instapot on Mahi, however after only a few months, I gave it away. Why? Three main reasons- the power consumption was too much living at anchor. If you are a liveaboard in a dock space hooked up to power, then you might feel differently. More discussion on this below.
The other reason was that it was impossible to safely use underway in any seas over 1 meter. You would have to build a special place to keep it from moving in big seas near a plug. The last reason has to do with storage. Space is at a premium on my Taswell 43, so storing it and then having to retreive it was a pain in the you-know-where.
Omnia Stovetop Oven– There are hot days when I really didn’t want to use my Force 10 oven because it would heat up the boat’s interior space. That is where the Omnia Stovetop oven comes in. You bake items in it on the top of the stove. So far, I have baked bread, cakes, brownies, casseroles, and cinnamon rolls with it. I highly recommend you buy the silicone insert as it as it helps with clean up and eliminates stickage.
Tip: When I am making my own bread, I make the dough and rise it in the silicone insert and place it in my Microwave oven. Not to cook, but doing this keeps my rising dough draft free and also keeps it safe while we are underway.
Once we anchor, I pull it out of the microwave oven and bake it on the stove. Easy!
Check out this cake I baked for Ethan, it lookes like a very large donut:
Magma Nesting Cookware Set– I absolutely love my nonstick nesting pans as they are easy to clean and also saves on space by stacking. I store them inside my oven when not in use. Worth the price!
This is what the set looks like nested:
Collapsible Measuring Cups and Spoons– Another space saver item you cannot live without. I am on my third brand, the first two did not work out. The first brand fell apart when the rubber failed. I had purchased that at Bed Bath and Beyond. The second brand became a bit of a guessing game when the quantity printed on each one wore off over time. (I think maybe this is half a cup??)
I finally wised up and found this set at an RV store which has the quantities molded into the design. Brilliant! My measuring spoons were also changed out for the quantity molded into the plastic.
Collapsible Bowls, Strainer– My favorite bowl is this Squish Bowl. It is the perfect size for mixing bread dough and other baking jobs. Very sturdy and strong, too. I also have a collapsing strainer, too. They all store flat, which is great!
Ceramic Fry Pans– Target has my favorite Ceramic skillet set- 2 sizes for about $25. My first pan I purchased at Publix for about $30, and it sadly didn’t hold up very well. I purchased these inexpensive T-Fal Ceramic set and they are still working and looking great!
Notice that the T-Fal pans nest and I store them in a space under my stove. If you spray a bit of your favorite oil, nothing sticks to them. With my old ceramic pan, that was not the case.
Drink Cups– We do not carry plastic bottled water on our boat because we are trying to eliminate use of disposable plastics. Instead, we have a Rainman watermaker, with lots of filtration under every sink for great tasting water.
A few years ago, we discovered Hydro Flask at our local REI. I bought three- one color for each person on board so you could tell yours apart. The first year the Hydro Flask worked beautifully! And it better well should, given the hefty price tag I paid for them. No sweating, kept the water cold and no leaking.
Second year was very disappointing. The stainless steel rusted, they sweat, and I felt they earned a solid two MAHI Thumbs down for not surviving well in a marine environment.
So this next year, I am purchasing three different brands of various price points and testing them out. One will be a Yeti, the second will be an inexpensive water bottle purchased at Target, and hoping my readers will suggest the third brand to test out. If you love your water bottle- and it is sweat proof, keeps the water cool for minimum of 24 hours, and doesn’t leak, please leave me a comment.
Collapsible Dish Drainer– Another winner in my galley is the Progressive Prepwork Dish Drainer if you look closely in the galley photo towards the top, you can see mine sitting on a microfiber absorbing dish drying mat. It can also fit in your galley sink, but I find that I like having it on the counter next to the sink. The absorbing mat also keeps things in place when we are underway in any sea less that two meters.
Quality Knives- I got this idea from Carolyn over at the Boat Galley website. Thanks to her tip, I purchased a set of Victorinox Swiss knives, along with their plastic protecting covers. These are holding up wonderfully, and I loved them so much, I bought some for use at home. My most often used knife is this 8″ Pro Chef’s Knife, along with the Blade Safe Cover.
Vacumn Sealer- I purchased a Foodsaver Vacumn Sealer, the smallest one that does the job. I found mine at Costco, along with the bags.
These bags are used when I am provisioning. I buy meat in bulk, wash and divide into small portions, seal and then into the freezer. I also seal lots of dry provisioning or if I feel moisture will get into the packaging in
the tropics. Leftovers are also sealed and placed in my freezer.
Another use is preparing for longer passages. You can pre-cook meals, divide and seal. Then, each morning, just take it out to defrost in the refridgerator. If you troll for fish when cruising, you fillet them, cut into individual pieces and vacumn seal.
When I leave the boat unattended for hurricane season, I will vacumn seal spices, sugar, and any other items that could attract critters or ants. When traveling home, I will vacumn seal sea beans, shells, and other beach treasures. Really, the uses are endless! If you are a new cruiser, you will certainly want a vacumn sealer.
What Items Did I Give Away or Take Off The Boat?
Instapot was the first to go. Why? Unless you are hooked up to shore power or generator when you use it, the power consumption will kill you. It is a power hog. For instance, I had a model that used 1000 watts- which translates into roughly 9.1 amps at 110 volts at 12 volts DC it was over 80 amps. This assumes no conversion losses.
Breadmaker was the next to go. Again, same reason- it consumes too much power. Besides, I love making bread by hand and trying new recipes.
Yogurt Maker went back home. I found it was easier to find yogurt in most stores. Again, our maker was electric and not worth the power used.
Hydro Flask- Didn’t stand up to the marine environment.
I hope my list of what works helps you if you are a newer cruiser. I love to test out products, so if you have a favorite product, please leave me a comment. Cheers!