We asked a range of bluewater cruisers who are actively sailing the oceans to recommend their most useful item of galley equipment
Pressure cookers were the most popular galley appliance for their convenience and time- and energy-efficient means of preparing food. An airtight lid allows the ingredients inside to cook speedily as the pressure rises.
Bones and Anna Black
Bowman 57, Emily Morgan
Bones and Anna have both sailed from childhood and live aboard a 1982 Bowman 57, mixing their time doing ocean passages and private charter. Winter is spent in the Caribbean or further afield and summers in the UK.
Tefal pressure cooker
“Galley equipment would not be complete without our pressure cooker. We have a Tefal with all the safety features. It saves on gas by drastically cutting cooking time, and minimises heat and steam in the boat, which is important in the tropics.”
Tefal pressure cookers are sold in 5.7lt to 6lt models for feeding up to six people. The safety features to which Black refers include the opening and closing mechanism, a pressure-controlled valve and a safety gasket for pressure release.
Price £50 for the 5.7lt secure aluminium model. www.tefal.co.uk
John and Christine Lytle
Bowman 40, Oriole
The Lytles sail a 20-year-old Bowman, which has been based in the Eastern Caribbean for the past 14 years, having crossed the Atlantic via the Canaries and Cape Verdes in 2002. Since 1976 the majority of their spare time has been spent cruising with two sons who now both earn their living on the sea.
Prestige pressure cooker
“For cold climates, a pressure cooker gives great savings on cooking fuel and produces a meal in a fraction of the time taken for conventional cooking. Our pressure cooker is a Prestige, bought 20 years ago. It is fairly compact which makes storage easier and I can still get replacement seals, etc.”
Prestige has a range of aluminium pressure cookers from 4lt to 6lt.
Price £40-£70. www.prestige.co.uk
EasiYo yogurt maker
“For hot climates our best galley aid is the EasiYo yoghurt maker. All you need to make a litre of excellent-quality yoghurt is a packet of Easi Yo powder and water, and the Easi Yo container and vacuum flask.
“We bought ours 14 years ago when we left the UK as yoghurt was not readily available in the Caribbean Islands, but now is. Each year I bring out enough sachets to last the season.”
An EasiYo makes 1kg of Greek-style or fruit-flavoured yoghurt. A starter pack comes with maker, jar and two 1kg yoghurt mixes.
Price £22.99. www.easiyo.com
Geoff and Linda Erdman
Bowman 36, Curare
“It’s a toss-up between the dog bowls and the pressure cooker,” say the Erdmans who were cruising in Cuba at the time of contact. “Both get used together so maybe that’s one galley item?”
Lagostina pressure cooker
“A stainless steel Lagostina 4 quart version is great for preparing meals underway and the occasional canning.”
The Domina Vitamin model is so-called because the Italian maker says that the 6psi pressure setting is ideal for vegetables and preserves up to 35 per cent more nutrients. The mirrored stainless steel pot is a smart design for stove-to-table serving. The new Lagostina has a capacity of 7.4oz.
Price US$249.99 (£174.30) www.lagostinausa.com
“The dog bowls (never actually used by our dog) are wide-based, steep-sided dishes that hold food in nearly all conditions.”
David and Sally Batten
Stimson 56, Alcedo of Ryme
The Battens have owned a number of yachts including the Steve Dalzell-designed 45ft wood epoxy cutter Avocet of Ryme.
Alcedo was designed by Chris Stimson and built by Martyn Brake in Dorset using a strip plank system for the canoe body and an unusual flat-pack kit of composite panels for the topsides.
At the time of writing they had 1,630 miles still to sail across the Pacific.
Seagull water filter
“The Seagull water filter is brilliant. It makes lugging large water bottles unnecessary and we drink from it all the time. Just remember to ship a few spare filters because they get blocked up quite quickly if using iffy shore supplies.”
The Seagull filter purifies water instantly, removing any viruses or bacteria from dock or tank water by means of an ultra-fine filter, with no electricity or chemicals needed.
Price from £336. www.purewateronline.co.uk
Stuart and Anne Letton
Island Packet 45, Time Bandit
This couple bought their first boat together in their teens. Now armed with an Island Packet 45 they have crossed the Atlantic four times, cruised to the Lofotens and are currently on the first part of a circumnavigation.
Mr D thermal cook pot
“Stuff a chicken in it along with some veg, fill with water, bring to the boil in 15 minutes then leave tied up somewhere in the boat. Come dinnertime, a quick reheat and you have a full dinner for two. Minimal fuss. Minimal gas and water.”
Mr D’s eco-friendly thermal cooker can save up to 80 per cent on fuel costs. It is a slow cooker rather than a pressure cooker, so meals are boiled up and left to cook slowly in the retained heat. Food inside the pot retains a temperature of over 60°C even after six hours, says Mr D.
A two-pot option has a second top pot that allows you to cook two different items at the same time.
Price from £84.95 for the smallest 3lt model. www.mrdscookware.com
Paul and Caroline Frew
Oyster 575, Juno
The Frews have sailed for more than 30 years, initially in the Solent and then chartering abroad on holiday. In 2011 they bought Juno, since when they have sailed over 40,000 miles, including two Mediterranean circuits, two Atlantic crossings and most recently with the World ARC across the Pacific to Australia.
“The galley aid that we value most depends on who you talk to! For Caroline it is the EasiYo natural yoghurt maker (see left), but for me it is our Nespresso coffee machine, fixed to the bulkhead in the galley and able to make a cappuccino in any sea conditions.”
Price £89 for the compact Inissia model. www.nespresso.com
John and Stella Dyer
First 47.7, Exocet Strike
The Dyers ran their boat for skippered charter out of Plymouth before equipping her for long-term cruising. They are currently in New Zealand, having sailed there with the World ARC, a voyage they have been planning for the last decade.
“A gas barbecue is so useful for cooking without getting the below decks area too hot.”
Consider the coal-fired Cobb or Lotus Grill types. They are insulated so can be picked up even during cooking and moved.
The stainless steel dome-shaped Cobb has a clever design that allows fat to drip through, making it easy to clean. Price £99.95. www.cobb-bbq.co.uk
The German Lotus (above) is smokeless and, thanks to a built-in battery-operated fan, uses 90 per cent less charcoal than a standard barbecue. Price £129. www.cuckooland.com