Skip to content

How to Choose the Best Galleyware for your Boat

How to Choose the Best Galleyware for your Boat

Compared to your kitchen at home, your boat’s galley requires a little extra thought when it comes to dinnerware. Your kitchen does not rock or sway (unless there is an earthquake – oh my!), and likely has a lot more room than your galley. Galleyware needs to be purchased with the limited space and dynamic environs of your boat in mind. In this article we will go over the most common galleyware options to help you choose the best dishes for your boat.

Wood

Some boaters like the look and light weight of wood or bamboo dinnerware. True, the look is distinctive, and wood is lightweight; however, there are some drawbacks to be aware of.

wood-dishesWood or bamboo can mold, and this is especially true in the damp interiors of boats. In addition, over time the finish on wood dishes breaks down or is scratched off and splintering can occur. On the other hand, wooden plates do not break when falling off a table or shelf, making them boat-friendly in that respect.

Plastic

Plastic dishes are a good option to consider in order to avoid breakage. Plastics, especially the softer varieties, are nearly unbreakable when sliding off counters or crashing off shelves. Harder plastics can snap or break, especially in colder weather or after prolonged sun exposure.

plastic-dishesPlastics make for quieter dishes if your boat tends to shimmy and shake. Plastic dishes do get marked up by utensils easily and become harder to clean and can stain. Many plastics should not be put in a microwave and never in the oven, making them less than ideal for reheating on board. Some plastics also give off a smell for some time after purchase as they gas-off. Some people are sensitive to gas-off, but if the dishes are left to air out for several days after purchase, they should be ok to put in the boat.

Stoneware

There are a surprising number of boaters who stock their cabins with stoneware. It is certainly the heaviest of the options discussed here. One reason for its popularity is its value. Stoneware has a nice look and feel while being inexpensive.

stoneware-dishesProperly glazed stoneware also stands up to multiple washings and utensil wear. It is great for reheating as it can go in the oven or microwave. On the downside, it is quite breakable and heavy if it lands on a foot, or if it misses your foot, it may dent the deck. It can also chip quite easily, leaving sharp edges.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel dinnerware is popular for people who like to travel light such as backpackers, but for similar reasons it works well on a boat.

stainless-steel-dishesStainless steel is light, durable, unbreakable, and easy to clean. It cannot go in the microwave, but the oven is ok. The worst that can happen is denting, and dents make obvious breaks in otherwise smooth and reflective surfaces. Some people report an unpleasant taste when eating from stainless steel, especially when drinking wine from a stainless cup. This may be a deal-breaker for those who are able to notice the difference.

Corelle

Many boaters swear by Corelle brand dishware. Corelle is a tempered glass product that is durable and break-resistant.

corelle-dishesIt takes quite a hit to break one of these dishes, but when one does break, expect countless sharp shards to haunt your dreams as you try to clean up every last one but still manage to get a poke in the bare foot. This is the greatest drawback of Corelle. Otherwise, it is medium weight, microwave safe, oven safe, easy to clean, does not mark or stain, and looks great. You will pay a little more for Corelle, but you are getting a quality dish.

Melamine

Besides Corelle, the other standard go-to for boaters is melamine, and for good reason. Melamine is an organic compound that can be made into a durable dish with pleasing high gloss properties.

melamine-dishesIt is also easy to customize with any design imaginable, so there are a vast variety of styles available. Melamine is break-resistant like Corelle, only much lighter. If it does break, thankfully the pieces are larger and less sharp than Corelle. They are also a quiet dish, sounding more like plastic if your boat experiences vibration. But unlike plastic, melamine has no gas-off smell. On the negative side, you cannot put melamine in the microwave or oven. Printed-on designs have also been known to wear down over several uses and washings. It can also get marked up and stain, but not as readily as plastic. One excellent option for boaters who are looking at melamine dinnerware is a non-skid bottom. Many companies offer this option on their recreational styles. This is great as the dishes are much more likely to stay put while your boat rolls over the waves.

Disposable

Last, and least, in our opinion, are disposable dishes. While they have their uses for parties or unexpected guests, by and large they are messy and environmentally costly.

disposable-dishesAs boaters we want to protect the natural surroundings that we enjoy while boating, and it’s always a let down when we see that all too common red disposable cup floating by, which could very well have got there unintentionally; a simple gust of wind could have swept it off someone’s upper deck. If you do get all the used dinnerware and cups home, it just goes in the landfill. Avoid disposable as much as possible, and if you cannot avoid it, try to get compostable options.

Final Thoughts

There are a few more things to consider now that we have covered the most common types of galleyware. Make sure you measure your cupboard or shelf space before you buy. Boats have odd angles and limited storage. You do not want to bring your brand-new dishes on board only to find that the cabinet door will not close because they stick out an inch.  Consider the dish shape too. Square dishes are available and may fit your space better than the typical round.

Your boat rocks and rolls, even when you do not have the music cranked up! Keep this in mind for your storage and place settings. As mentioned above, some melamine sets come with non-skid bottoms, but you can also purchase non-skid placemats that will work similarly on the table, in the cabinet, or in the drawer. Here is a helpful hint about non-skid: even if your dishes do not move, their contents will, so you may want to choose dinnerware with higher, steeper sides.

Finally, make sure your cabinets lock shut or install cabinet locks to keep those dishes in! If you have got shelves, ensure you have lips on them and that they are in good repair. Also, if you can, store your dishes in low shelves or cabinets so that they will not fall as far if they do slip out.

Published

Recent Posts

Bent Boat Anchor Shank: Common Causes and Prevention Tips
Bent Boat Anchor Shank: Common Causes and Prevention Tips
Numerous factors can ultimately lead to a bent anchor shank, but the majority of the time this is caused either by a bad snag or from the boat shifting its load in a perpendicular direction from the anchor set. In this article, we will discuss common causes and prevention tips to help you avoid finding yourself in such an unlucky predicament.
Prepare Your Boat For An Above Average Hurricane Season
Prepare Your Boat For An Above Average Hurricane Season
According to the Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS), 2021 will likely bring more hurricanes to the Atlantic coast than we have typically seen in the past. As a result, boaters are being warned to immediately begin putting together a plan of action in case a hurricane does touch down in your area.
Best Methods For Anchoring Your Jet Ski in Deep or Shallow Water
Best Methods For Anchoring Your Jet Ski in Deep or Shallow Water
Jet Ski and PWC riders often don't have actual docks or slips for you to tie up to when exploring new areas. As a result, it's important to have the right gear and know-how when it comes time to take a break and drop the anchor. Follow along below as we discuss the best methods for anchoring in either shallow or deep water.
Best Options For Connecting Your Boat To WiFi Internet
Best Options For Connecting Your Boat To WiFi Internet
Whether you’re sailing around the world, exploring remote destinations, or hosting a few friends for a weekend getaway, there has never been a better time to connect your boat and guests with high-speed internet. Today’s digital era has made connectivity an essential part of work and play for most people, so we’ve assembled the best methods for accessing the internet right from your boat.
Best Boating and Fishing Mobile Apps of 2021
Best Boating and Fishing Mobile Apps of 2021
In today's modern world, there are a plethora of apps available to help us navigate our everyday lives. In recent years the boating world has benefited greatly from a variety of helpful apps that can help take your boating experience to the next level. Boaters today can download apps to help them log their trips, download nautical charts, reserve a slip, and even learn to tie essential boating knots. We have reviewed many of the apps on the market today and are sharing our best boating and fishing apps.
Choosing the Right Lighting For Your Dock
Choosing the Right Lighting For Your Dock
Dock lights not only help give your dock the right look but also go a long way to ensure you, your guests and your property remain safe and secure. We've assembled a list of the best dock lighting options to help you find the perfect solution for your dock.
Best Anchor Rode Accessories to Make Anchoring Easier
Best Anchor Rode Accessories to Make Anchoring Easier
Anchoring with inadequate ground tackle is not only unsafe but can also make setting anchor a painstaking and arduous process. Luckily there are a number of solutions available to help simplify the process and to help keep you and your craft safe. The three main components of your anchor rode are the anchor line, chain, and anchor but additional accessories can be added to customize your system for your specific needs to help make dropping anchor a snap.
2020 Holiday Gift Guide - 15 Best Boating Gift Ideas
2020 Holiday Gift Guide - 15 Best Boating Gift Ideas
It's that time of the year again! Are you having troubles finding that perfect gift for your boating enthusiast? Never fear, we have assembled 15 of this years coolest and best gift ideas that will put a smile on any boaters face.
Best DIY Upgrades to Add Comfort and Value to Your Boat
Best DIY Upgrades to Add Comfort and Value to Your Boat
As the weather begins to cool off and the boating season starts to wind down, now is the perfect time to start planning a few DIY upgrades you can perform to improve the comfort factor and value of your boat for seasons to come.
Outboard Boat Engine Won't Start: Common Issues and Fixes
Outboard Boat Engine Won't Start: Common Issues and Fixes
Oh no! You go to crank your outboard only to realize it won't start. Don't fret - by following these common outboard problems and fixes you'll be able to identify and resolve the issue in no time.
We use cookies on Anchoring.com. By using our website, you're agreeing to the collection of data as described in our Privacy Policy. Learn more
Accept