A Guide to Maritime Appliances

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"My big fish must be somewhere." - Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

Modern comforts may not have solved all of the Old Man's bad luck at sea but we can speculate that while in the middle of the ocean, Santiago would've enjoyed pulling a frosty beverage out of a mini-fridge. Boating as a recreational activity has seen a steady increase in popularity in the last 40 years. With that increase, boats and the features they are adorned with are becoming more modern with time. If a life at sea is your calling, the advances in boat-safe appliance technology can make for much smoother sailing.

Recent statistics indicate that over 87 million Americans partake in recreational boating, using a boat for activities such as fishing or watersports and/or travelling. The market for modern boats is booming as well. In 2016, boat sales reached over 3.6 billion dollars and most of those sales were on boats ranging from 36 to 45 feet in length. In 2015, it was reported that 11.87 million recreational boating vessels were registered in the U.S. The types of boats purchased included sailboats, personal watercrafts, sterndrive boats, inboard boats, and outboard boats. Even the smallest of those crafts can be equipped with modern luxuries and some of the biggest models are the equivalent of a floating mansion! In this article we will delve into the world of maritime appliances and explore which features are most important!

Maritime Appliances Welcome Aboard

What Constitutes A Marine Appliance?

There are specific parameters one must adhere to when choosing appliances to be equipped in a boat. The first of these restrictions is size/space. Boats have a finite amount of space and it is vital to consider this when considering any additions to your cabin. The second criterion for boat appliances is their electricity requirements. This is highly dependent, primarily, on how the boat is used. If most time on the boat is spent at dock or in a marina, power is plentiful and nearly any appliances can receive ample juice.

For those spending most of their boating time at anchor, keeping manual power backups are recommended. Examples of these items:

  • Battery Bank
  • Solar Powered Panels for Charging
  • Inverter for converting direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).

Gauging your electricity needs, once again, depends on your boating lifestyle. For basic needs, a 450 amp-hour battery bank with 450 watts of solar power and a 2500 watt inverter/charger might cover it. Many appliances have start-up power-surges initially so it's important to ensure your inverter can supply the power necessary.

Maritime Appliances Anchors Away

For extended voyages out at sea, many people outfit their boats with the essential appliances. Whether your primary concern is entertaining on the top deck or staying current with laundry duties below deck, choosing the right appliances is vital. There are many important factors in choosing the appropriate appliances for your watercraft. Compact and/or portable appliances offer the most efficient use of space but may lack in other features. Built-in models may require additional installation methods but offer stability and often, more bang for your buck. Below you will find examples of appliances that are crucial for a successful voyage.

Beverage Centers - For entertaining, a compact and/or portable beverage center is key. Beverage centers are miniature fridges used to store drinks, snacks and can even accommodate bottles of wine. Deciding between built-in, freestanding, or portable models depends on the amount of space available and how you plan to utilize the beverage center's premium features.

 Sub-Zero UC24BAORH

Sub-Zero - UC24BAORH - 24" Built-In Compact Beverage Center

Ice Makers - Keep the party going and the drinks clinking with a premium, portable ice maker. Built-in models and larger freestanding models offer many desirable features but a portable ice maker makes the most sense for nautical purposes. The small, mobile design allows you to keep it handy while you're below deck or bring it up top-side when necessary.


U-Line - ULNBI95FCB03A - 14" Wide Ice Maker with 23 lbs. Daily Ice Production

Refrigerators - Storing your fresh catches is vital to the maritime cooking and dining experience so you're going to want a premium refrigerator to do the job. Maritime fridges should have ample storage space, consistent cooling capabilities, and a durable design meant to withstand the choppy seas. Keep in mind that space restrictions may make compact models the most desirable choice.

U-Line - ULNCO29B03A

U-Line - ULNCO29B03A - Marine Series 21" Freestanding Compact Refrigerator

Air Conditioners - If you're planning a voyage through more tropical climates, you may want to consider a portable air conditioner. Most models will require proper ventilation to keep the hot air out and pump cool air into the cabin. Many of these models also feature dehumidifying capabilities to keep the air cool and pleasant while relaxing inside.

 Newair - AC-12200E

Newair - AC-12200E - 30" High Portable Air Conditioner

Laundry - Any extended stay at sea requires fresh, clean clothes and if you've got the space, a washer/dryer combination is vital. Several options include washer/dryer combos that require no additional ventilation as they utilize condensation drying technology. Select models are equipped with castors or offer a portability kit that allows you to store the units out of sight.

LG - WM3997HWA

LG - WM3997HWA - TurboWash Series 27 Inch Washer/Dryer Combo

Maritime Munching

Whether you're catching fresh fish and preparing elaborate seafood suppers or cooking ingredients you've brought from inland, there are several options for achieving culinary excellence at sea. Deciding which option fits your cooking needs depends entirely on your space restrictions, fuel capabilities and culinary intentions. Below we'll outline some convenient options for preparing a five-star meal with maritime appliances!

Cooktops - When it comes to versatility, cooktops are a popular option amongst the seafaring. Electric cooktops use less energy than portable stoves and offer the power of a traditional cooktop in a compact, sleek design that is ideal for limited space. There are many cooktop variations to sift through so we've highlighted some that would be best in the galley of your vessel.

Kenyon - B41606

Kenyon - B41606 - Caribbean Series 12 Inch Electric Smoothtop Style Cooktop

Ranges - While it may not be entirely viable or advisable to have ovens that utilize gas or propane as fuel, thankfully, there are many other options. Electric range ovens are ideal for the galley as they don't require a gas line and deliver professional cooking results. Slide-in models are equipped with cooktops and offer nearly seamless installation in your boat kitchen.


GE - JS630DFBB - 30 Inch Slide-in Electric Range with Smoothtop Cooktop

Wall Ovens - Wall ovens offer convenient, high-powered cooking if your kitchen layout can accommodate them. If you're leaning towards a wall oven solution, it may be best to pair it with a separate cooktop for maximum cooking flexibility. Choosing a model with steam-cooking functionality offers a healthy alternative and is perfect for cooking fish!

Miele - DGC6760XXLSS

Miele - DGC6760XXLSS - ContourLine Series 24 Inch Electric Single Wall Oven

Grills - One popular option for cooking on a boat is grilling, using either traditional charcoal, electricity or propane fuel. Nothing compares to throwing a fresh catch onto a fiery hot grill and enjoying the fruits of your labor moments later. Built-in models will require some counter/deck space. Portable models must be properly mounted for safe usage.

Napoleon - TQ285BL

Napoleon - TQ285BL - TravelQ Series 24 Inch Portable Liquid Propane Grill

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