10 Best Cookbooks for Boaters: Recipes to Keep You Afloat

Looking for the best boating cookbooks you can find to spice up the meals created in your galley? These top ten choices are sure to get thing sizzlin' onboard.

Read: 5 Tips for Cooking on a Boat


1. One-Pot Wonders — James Barber’s Recipes for Land and Sea

James Barber–Canada’s most famous television chef and author of more than fourteen best-selling cookbooks—is back with a new book geared toward people who are wet and cold and want dinner in a hurry.

Over the years, Barber has whipped up hundreds of meals while cruising, so he knows first-hand the challenges of cooking in a tiny—or non-existent—galley. One-Pot Wonders features over 100 simple recipes for mouth-watering dishes, includes tips for stocking your galley and recipe substitutions and variations to address diminishing supplies—a common issue at the end of a long trip.

From Georgian Salmon Stew to Sweet Pear Omelet to Shrimp and Cucumber Curry, these recipes will buoy your spirits and keep you afloat!

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2. Feasts Afloat: 150 Recipes for Great Meals from Small Spaces by Jennifer Trainer Thompson and Elizabeth Wheeler

Practical and inspiring guide will teach water-bound chefs to prepare mouth-watering meals with a minimum of effort–no matter how small the kitchen. Pack a day-sail picnic for two, plan a New England-style clambake, or serve hors d’ oeuvres in the harbor for your crew. Feasts Afloat offers crowd-pleasing recipes you’ll use long after the dinghy’s been stored for the winter.

  • James Beard Award nominee for Best Single Subject Cookbook
  • Detailed advice on how best to buy and store provisions for trips around the point or around the world

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3. Galley Guru: Effortless Gourmet Cooking Afloat by Lisa Hayden-Miller

For the cook who sails and the sailor who cooks, the Galley Guru is a connoisseur’s guide to simple ways to keep your grip in the galley. Featuring a delicious mix of recipes easily prepared and enjoyed on board, from survival food to gourmet feasts, all 120 recipes are tagged with appropriate sailing conditions, from anchorage to heavy seas. Galley Guru will even tempt landlubbers, as Lisa makes the exotic accessible and the simple, simply wonderful.

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4. No Baloney On My Boat! Recipes to be Enjoyed in the Great Outdoors By Marcelle Bienvenu

Filled with dozens of recipes for tasty, nutritious dishes, such as summer spaghetti, antipasto salad, marinated shrimp & corn and grilled tuna that can be prepared in advance for outdoor adventures, this small cookbook is portable and practical. All the recipes are easy to prepare either before leaving home or once you’re on the boat, at the camp, or on the beach. Ideal for fishing or hunting trips, camping trips, picnics, beach parties and patio events.

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5. The Care And Feeding of the Sailing Crew (Third Edition) by Lin Pardey

The preferred resource for cruising and racing sailors–whether they’re planning a weekend afloat or a round-the-world voyage. This unique volume covers everything from outfitting a galley to organizing meals safely in rough weather; from controlling seasickness to creating the right conditions for a well-rested crew. Expanded with new information on nutrition, waste disposal, entertaining, feeding vegetarian crew, choosing clothing for sailing offshore, and modern technology in the galley, reprovisioning as you voyage, buying wines and liquors around the world and much more.

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6. The One-Pan Galley Gourmet: Simple Cooking on Boats by Don Jacobson and John Roberts 

Turn even a one-burner galley into a gourmet kitchen and enjoy hot, wholesome, delicious meals wherever your boat takes you. The One-Pan Galley Gourmet has it all: one-pan simplicity; delicious recipes using fresh ingredients; advice for provisioning anywhere in the world; and plenty of spice and personality.

Special features include:

  • 200 boat-tested meat, fish, and vegetarian recipes
  • Soups, stews, breads, and desserts
  • Menu plans for cruises of three-day, seven-day, and longer duration
  • Provisioning advice emphasizing fresh ingredients with selective canned substitutions
  • Every recipe can be prepared in a single pot, pan, or small oven

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7. Cruising Chef Cookbook (2nd ed.) by Michael Greenwald

The bestselling, most extensive sailors’ cookbook ever written–a book of nautical wisdom in the guise of a cookbook. Twenty-two years in print and ten reprints prove that sailors consider it essential. It contains hundreds of tips, useful cooking techniques, plus more than 300 delicious recipes, all spiced with Greenwald’s salty humor. Includes an extensive discussion of preparing for a voyage and resupplying in native markets.

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8. SEAsoned: A Chef’s Journey with Her Captain (Volume 2) by Victoria Allman

Sprinkled with over 30-mouthwatering recipes and spiced with tales of adventure, SEAsoned is the hilarious look at a yacht chef’s first year working for her husband while they cruise from the Bahamas to Italy, France, Greece and Spain; trying to stay afloat on a floundering yacht wrought with problems, problematic passengers and inexperienced crew.

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9. Gone Overboard (Easy Semi-Gourmet Cooking on a Boat or Anywhere) by Sandie Parker 

A collection of more than 200 of the best-of-the-best recipes from live-aboard recipe columnist Sandie Parker. Designed for boaters, RVers and even home cooks with recipes focused on simple preparation, healthy ingredients, impressive flavors and eye-catching presentation. Each recipe has been taste-tested until perfected. Gone Overboard also includes Sandie’s tips & tricks, ways to lower fat content, low sodium ideas and more..

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10. The Boat Galley Cookbook: 800 Everyday Recipes and Essential Tips for Cooking Aboard by Carolyn Shearlock and Jan Irons

A solid reference book, containing basic recipes and more for a self-sufficient galley. Every recipe was carefully tested aboard in a galley and selected for ingredient availability, ease of preparation without the need for mixers, blenders, etc., and special cruiser considerations such as propane consumption and galley heat.Includes more than 800 everyday “from scratch” recipes, sprinkled with a taste of Mexican, Asian and other cuisines.

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Read Next: 5 Tips for Cooking on a Boat

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