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Galley Advice from

Corinne Kanter S/V La Forza - Catamaran Cruiser

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The author of the popular K.I.S.S. Cookbook and the Culinary Corner column in Multihulls magazine, Corinne got hooked on cruising aboard a 24' trailer sailer.

What advice would you give women in setting up their galleys, in preparing to cook aboard?


“If you haven't got it, it can't break!” Consider that for everything you bring aboard.

Try to plan meals with no left-overs that will need refrigeration.

Use lots of dried fruit. It is healthy, satisfying and requires little space and no refrigeration.

Keeping track of what's in the galley. First make a diagram of your boat. Mark each compartment with letters or numbers and keep a good list of what s in each area. Place this list on your computer or inside a sheet protector. This way, you can easily keep track of what's in the galley and you know exactly where things are. You will also keep an accurate account of when to replenish your main pantry and with what.


What is the best aspect
of cooking aboard?

From the days of sailing ships:
“Captains are a dime-a-dozen,
good cooks are hard to find.”

This translates to me that
the cook gets most of the glory
and the captain
get yelled at for the mistakes.

What is the most challenging aspect of cooking aboard?

The most challenging aspect is also the most satisfying, and that is to create clever, satisfying meals out of whatever provisions I happen to have on board.

Next most challenging is to create wholesome meals from the local foods in that particular area.


What are the 5 items that you consider essential in your galley?

tea kettle

I mention the kettle brand name because of its durability and good handle design: I have a 2 « quart Revere Ware tea kettle. It is single-opening, trigger-operated spout and fixed handle are a basic design that hasn't changed in years. I'm glad, because it is functional and SAFE. This utensil will be used daily. It even is a whistler.

2 Corelle vacuum thermos bottles

Why 2? When I brew my fresh coffee in the morning, our 2nd or 3rd cups are stored in the thermos. Any remaining hot water goes into the second thermos, used only to store hot water. Example: during the day someone would like tea, cocoa, etc. Water stays very hot, saves fuel and time as well. Helps hand a cup of soup or hot cocoa for folks on that night watch.


When purchasing knives, it's not necessary to buy a large set. First, place knives in your hand to see if they feel comfortable. Next is quality. They should be stainless steel, buy the best.

You only need 5 knives:

  • a 3-inch paring knife,
  • a 10-inch chef s knife,
  • a 10-inch serrated bread knife,
  • a utility knife,
  • a fillet knife

and a knife sharpener.

Keep them sharp. Many accidents occur from a dull knife blade.

small terry-cloth hand towels

... are our everyday napkins. I place them in a napkin ring with your initial on them. Start with about 12 and change every 3-4 days. Paper napkins are messy and wasteful.

smokeless grill

What a great gadget! Not expensive. Use it indoors. The reason grills smoke is because the fat from the food drips into the fire. The smokeless grill consists of two interlocking pieces. The bottom (looks a little like a hub cap) houses the water. The top piece (looks a little like the Astrodome) fits into it and has grooves that channel the fat. You can find them in the housewares department, in kitchen shops and at major boat and RV shows.


Take along the old-fashioned 4-sided metal toaster to use on a small burner.


pressure cooker (6 qt. stainless recommended)

Pressure cooking is a pleasure. The pressure cooker is convenient, economical (they save water, fuel and time) and they make wholesome dishes.

Pressure cookers are most often used to cook food that require long, moist heat, such as stews or soups. As steam builds up in the tightly sealed pot, the pressure rises and the boiling point increases from the usual 212 degrees to about 250 degrees. This is why foods can cook in one-third of the usual time and are tender, fuller-flavored.

The pressure cooker can also double as a steamer or spaghetti pot when you don't lock the lid and use the pressure regulator.

Follow your pressure cooker manual. No oven on board? You can use the pressure cooker. Place rack or two chopsticks on bottom of pot, next place the small loaf pans on top, lock down, don't put the pressure valve on, use low flame.


Service for 6. My first choice is Corelle. They are handsome, lightweight, easy to clean, stack well, are chip resistant, microwave- and oven-proof, and come in a variety of patterns. Most sets also include a serving platter. An inexpensive, durable, good investment. If you have a large Tupperware cake container, turn it upside-down, it will sotre and entire service for 4 Corelle dishes.

flatware and glasses

Service for 6, 2-4 large mugs (use for hot drinks, soups), assorted drinking glasses, wine glasses, 2 large insulated mugs with tops, easy to sip from when in the cockpit underway

insulated soft pack bags

They make many sizes and they float as well. I use a small one for ship's papers and other important items on overnight passages along with out EPIRB, a medium-size one for our emergency pack of food and water, and the large size when one needs to store drinks or foods for cold or hot storage. However it will store a block of ice for 3 days. When not in use, it stores more easily than a hard cooler.

3-tier plastic sprouter

Go to the health food store for this wonderful, inexpensive $25 sprouter. Every other day I start a new sprout, so I get sprouts continuously: mung beans, wheat beans, radish sprouts ....


What items
can you easily
do without?

  • extra pots and other related items.

  • a standard leveraged corkscrew is a better asset than one of those expensive fancy wine bottle openers.

    Think along those lines, think basic.

What items
are hard to find
once cruising?

  • kosher salt. This salt is sea salt with large crystals.

  • tomato products such as paste and concentrate, can be used in many ways. One of our fellow cruisers used one small can of tomato paste which is concentrate to a magnum Vodka bottle of water for excellent tasting tomato juice. Add your own spices like Mrs. Dash or your own taste treats.

  • Nido dehydrated whole milk is a staple for us. Mixed according to directions, it is milk for cereal, baking and cooking. Less water, cream for our coffee, more water, whatever thoughts you have on skim or low-fat milk.


Can you describe your galley layout?

La Forza galley

Photo shows clever ergonomic arrangement of counter, sink, stove, cabinets, dish and flatware corrals, and storage.


My double extra-deep sink comes in handy to wash in one and spray rinse in the other (purchased at a restaurant equipment store). Make sure your sink is capable of handling your largest pot.

I do not have pressure water and use foot pumps for both fresh and sea water. When practical, I do wash with sea water and spray rinse with fresh (using a small 99 % plastic spray bottle). I installed a soap dispenser on the sink to preclude needing soap bottles on the counter top.

Refrigeration and stove

  • Both my refrigeration and stove use propane fuel. We burn about a pound a day and carry two 30 pound cylinders giving us plenty of time to get refills.

  • My refrigeration is under-counter, has a small ice maker and holds a 6-pack plus a few leftovers.
    HINT: If you have deep top-loading refrigeration, make a graph of the inside and the opening to see what appropriate size stackable container crates you can use in this space. By having items in crates, it enables you to pick up 3 or 4 crates instead of rummaging around for loose items piled or balanced on one another.

  • My 3 burner stove, with broiler/oven faces toward the bulkhead rather than toward the room. This gives me a safe and secure work niche out of any traffic path and allows others to access the galley with me. Frankly, a 2-burner that has sufficient room to properly center your largest pot or skillet is far more practical.

Cutting board

My large wooden cutting board is marked, one side for fresh (F): fruits and cooked foods, the other side for (R): raw meats, fish, chicken. I spray rinse this board once a month with Clorox and water solution.


  • I use an overhead rack for wine glasses. HINT: On boats that heel over, make a suitable stop to keep the glasses from sliding out.

  • The doors on the bottom cabinet under my sink both do double duty. They swing out with a divided rack for wax paper, plastic wrap and sandwich bags on one door and a trash basket on the other. Handles on my front lower cabinets are bronze rings for my towels.

  • One area on the port aft of our boat, La Forza is for storage of heavy food supplies, with one shelf serving as the booze cabinet. Another shelf has heavy-weather meals; each meal is stored in a re-sealable plastic bag, so one does not have to think - just grab the meal, heat and serve. Every 3 months, we use these meals and replace with a fresh supply. We also carry an emergency pack of food and water along with supplies in a soft pack carrier and replace that once we have done our overnight(s) crossing and are island hopping.

    There is also an area where I keep a hanging net for crackers, mostly lightweight foods.

    Once the foods are removed from the large pantry and get into the everyday cabinet, it's marked off on the stowage supply list. Next time we have to restock, we have an accurate account.

  • Open crates are stored on the forward port side with tissue wrapped Granny Smith apples, crates of eggs are kept in Styrofoam containers. Green tomatoes are kept in paper bags (peeking in every three days) for if there is a pink one, out it comes because it's telling the green ones "hurry up and ripen". This is all in a well ventilated area. When storing eggs in a cool ventilated area in the original cartons, turn them over in their carton every 3-5 days, especially when you carry 3 or more dozen eggs at a time.

  • Next, straw baskets are up in the main salon where I keep our fresh vegetables and fruits.

  • We also use small, sturdy, plastic hamper-like containers which double as seats around our dining table. Inside are our sheet sets, towels, cloth napkins, etc. I also use the commercial size plastic food containers that once had mayo, ketchup, relish, etc. and now store rice, flour, oatmeal, etc. adding 2-3 bay leaves to keep the weevils away.


What is your eating/cooking style on board? Who cooks?

Pressure cooker chicken soup

We start the day early with a big breakfast. Depending on where we are and what we are doing, we will have a light lunch.

Hot soup is almost always a good lunch.

Our main meal is post celebrating sundown cocktails. It begins with a good healthy tossed salad, followed by main course and dessert.

If we are at sea, we usually have hot coffee, tea or cocoa and a good snack at watch change, a hot cup of soup in appropriate weather is always appreciated


What cookbook do you recommend?

The Cruising K.I.S.S. COOKBOOK II (my cookbook)

It is really 5 volumes in one. 645 time-proven recipes. Delicious and economical recipes, many gleaned from fellow cruisers.

To know it is to love it.


Would you like to share a recipe that works well on the boat?

Pressure Cooker Chicken & Mango

from Corinne Kanter

Serves 4

1, 3   pound chicken cut in half and half again
3   tbsp dried Italian seasonings
1/2   cup water
1/4   tsp kosher salt
1/8   tsp ground black pepper
1/8   tsp red pepper flakes
1   ripe medium to large mango peeled, cubed *
1/3   cup soy sauce
1   large sweet onion, thinly sliced
1   large green bell pepper, cut in strips
*   substitute 1 small can of Mandarin orange slices (drain slightly) for fresh mangoes.

Combine mango, soy sauce, bell pepper and onion in bowl, set aside. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towel. Place chicken and remaining ingredients into pressure cooker. Secure cover, bring up to pressure cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, allow pressure to drop of its own accord. Place cooked chicken on platter, add mango mixture to hot chicken juices, stir, simmer uncovered 2 minutes or until peppers are fork tender. Pour mixture on top of chicken. Serve with cooked rice.

18 Boat Recipes

About Corinne Kanter

Corinne Kanter

Corinne is a grandmother with over 30 years of sailing experience including racing, cruising and 15 years as a full-time live aboard with her husband Charles. Corinne is the author of the Cruising K.I.S.S. Cookbook II, and has written for many sailing publications, including the column "Corinne's Culinary Column" in Multihulls Magazine which she began in 1976. She is willing to share helpful hints, as she does in her “How to become a Galley Guru” lecture series which she presents at boat shows. She is honest, dependable and helpful to her fellow cruisers.


32 x 16 catamaran, galley up. Their main cabin measures 12' wide by 10' deep with exceptional counter space and an ergonomic layout. There are 4 single bunks for guests and kids and a big trampoline up forward.

Cruising grounds

Most of Corinne's sailing has been Northwest South Atlantic (which includes the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos and the northern reaches of the greater Antilles) the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean and 31 trips on the intercoastal waterway. Their last major adventure was to Cuba in 1998 (with license from the Government).


An autographed copy of Corinne's book can be ordered direct from www.sailcopress.com. The book is also available at www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com.

Corinne Kanter also contributed to our article "Refitting the Galley: 12 Experiences": you can read what she had to say here.

[February 2009]

Coastal Cruisers and Island Hoppers
have more ready access to regional markets, and cook mostly at anchor

Ann Vanderhoof Heather Stockard Kathy
Mary Heckrotte Sylvie

Catamaran Cruisers
cook on boats that don't heel


Long-Distance Cruisers
provision for long passages and cook often at sea


Cruising Charter Chefs
current & former; challenged by cooking for guests

Swan Neal