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86 Boat Food Ideas

Boat Food Ideas

From sunrise to sunset, keep your crew satisfied with our 86 boat food ideas. These delicious meals and snacks are perfect for your next aquatic adventure.

What foods should you avoid while boating?

Some foods you should avoid bringing on a boat are foods that melt or foods that can add to seasickness and dehydration.

Foods to eat in moderation for dehydration:

Foods that can speed up dehydration are simply anything that’s extremely salty, like nuts and jerky. These can certainly be eaten but should be consumed in moderation if you get dehydrated easily (especially while drinking alcohol).

Foods to avoid if you are prone to sea sickness:

  1. Alcohol: Although I can’t personally be on a boat without alcohol (lol), it might be a bad idea for some. Alcohol can dehydrate you quickly and make you more susceptible to seasickness. You should consider skipping the booze if you have any sensitivities or health concerns.
  2. Fatty or Greasy Foods: These can be harder to digest and can make you feel nauseous, especially when combined with the rocking motion of a boat.
  3. Spicy Foods: Like fatty foods, spicy foods can upset your stomach and exacerbate the symptoms of sea sickness.
  4. Heavy Meals: Large, heavy meals can make you feel sluggish and can be harder to digest, especially on a moving boat.
  5. Caffeine: While a small amount might be fine, too much caffeine can lead to dehydration, which can worsen sea sickness symptoms.
  6. Sugary Foods or Drinks: These can cause a spike and then a drop in blood sugar levels, which can make you feel worse.

To avoid Sea Sickness (If you are prone), opt for light, bland foods like crackers, bread, or bananas, and make sure to stay hydrated with water or sports drinks. If you’re prone to sea sickness, it might also be a good idea to take an over-the-counter motion sickness medication the night before your trip.

What Food to Bring on a Boat Trip

What Food to Bring on a Boat Trip
What Food to Bring on a Boat Trip

When planning what food to bring on a boat trip, consider items that are easy to eat, non-perishable, and don’t require much preparation. Some great options include:

  • Sandwiches or Wraps: These are easy to prepare ahead of time and can be filled with a variety of ingredients to suit all tastes.
  • Salads: Salads require utensils, which aren’t always ideal, but they are easy to bring along. The most popular salads for boating: Fruit Salad, Pasta salad, and Potato salad.
  • Dips: Most dips have to be refrigerated, but they can easily be put into a cooler without taking up much space. Some ideas include Spinach dip, buffalo chicken dip, guacamole, and hummus.
  • Fruits: Apples, oranges, and bananas are great choices as they come in their natural packaging, making them easy to carry and consume.
  • Pre-cooked Meals: Pasta salads, grilled chicken, or other pre-cooked meals can be kept in a cooler and eaten cold or heated on a boat stove if available.
  • Jerky: Beef, turkey, or even salmon jerky are high in protein and can last for a long time without refrigeration.
  • Canned Goods: Canned tuna, chicken, beans, or vegetables can be used to whip up a quick meal. Don’t forget a can opener!
  • Peanut Butter and Bread: Peanut butter is a great source of protein and can be spread on bread for a quick and easy meal.
  • Crackers: Opt for whole grain crackers for a healthier option. They can be eaten on their own or with canned cheese or meat spreads.
  • Powdered Milk or Plant-Based Milk: These can be used for cereals or in cooking, and they don’t require refrigeration until after they’re opened.
  • Instant Noodles or Cup Soups: Just add hot water for a quick and easy hot meal.
  • Canned Fruit: Look for fruit canned in juice rather than syrup for a healthier option.
  • Vacuum-Sealed Olives or Pickles: These can be a tasty snack on their own or used to add flavor to other dishes.

Finger Food Snack Ideas For Shorter Boat Trips

finger foods
Finger foods

For shorter boat rides, you might want to pack light and bring snacks, specifically finger foods, rather than full meals that might require everyone to use utensils. Some good options include:

  • Chips: Likely the most obvious thing that’s already in your bag, but it must be mentioned.
  • Cheese and Crackers: A classic combination that’s easy to pack and eat.
  • Vegetable Sticks and Hummus: A healthy and refreshing snack.
  • Granola Bars: These are compact, non-perishable, and can quickly boost energy.
  • Rice Cakes or Rice Crackers: These are light, easy to pack, and can be eaten on their own or with peanut butter.
  • Trail Mix: Make your own mix with your favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and maybe some chocolate or yogurt-covered treats.
  • Pretzels or Popcorn: These are light, easy to pack, and can satisfy a craving for something salty.
  • Fruit Leather or Fruit Strips: These sweet treats are easier to pack and less sticky than fresh fruit.
  • Roasted Chickpeas: These can be bought in various flavors or make your own.
  • Dark Chocolate: Look for high-quality dark chocolate for a sweet treat that’s also high in antioxidants.
  • Seaweed Snacks: These are light and salty and can be a unique snack to enjoy while out at sea.

*Always keep chocolate or items that melt in a cooler

Keeping Food Dry In A Cooler

keeping food dry in a cooler
Keeping food dry in a cooler

I don’t know many people who haven’t experienced putting a sandwich or some other type of food in a cooler only to have it completely swamped by water as the ice melts.

If this is you, check out the Sub-Safe. I was introduced to the owners and the Sub Safe a few years back, and it has been an absolute lifesaver on and off the water!

Non-Messy Boat Snacks

If you like to keep things clean or have kids who don’t know what that word means lol, here is a list specifically of Non-Messy boat snack ideas. Some items above could certainly fit into this category, but I wanted to give you some additional ideas:

  • Nut Butter Packets: Single-serving packets of almond, peanut, or cashew butter are great for a protein boost and can be squeezed directly into your mouth.
  • Cheese Cubes: Hard cheeses like cheddar or gouda can be cubed and eaten with toothpicks for a no-mess snack.
  • Mini Muffins or Scones: Choose ones that aren’t frosted to avoid sticky fingers.
  • Canned Tuna or Chicken: Single-serving cans or pouches can be eaten directly with a fork for a protein-rich snack.
  • Edamame: If you have a way to keep things cool, pre-cooked, shelled edamame is a healthy, non-messy snack.
  • Pita Chips: These are sturdy and less likely to crumble compared to other chips.
  • Whole Fruits: Apples, oranges, and bananas are all easy to eat without making a mess.
  • Fruit Cups: Look for cups packed in juice rather than syrup for a healthier option. Don’t forget to pack a fork!
  • Dry Cereal: Choose a high-fiber, low-sugar cereal for a crunchy, non-messy snack.
  • Baked Veggie Chips: These can be bought or made at home with your favorite vegetables.
  • Dark Chocolate Pieces: Opt for dark chocolate as it’s less likely to melt than milk chocolate.
  • Single-Serve Hummus or Guacamole: These can be eaten with sturdy veggie sticks or pita chips.
  • Unsweetened Applesauce Pouches: Look for pouches with a resealable cap to avoid any potential mess.
  • Mini Rice Cakes: These come in a variety of flavors and are easy to eat without making a mess.
  • Pumpkin Seeds or Sunflower Seeds: Choose the shelled variety for a less messy snack.
  • Baby Carrots or Cherry Tomatoes: These are easy to eat with one hand and won’t leave any crumbs behind.
  • String Cheese: Easy to eat and no mess; it’s a great source of protein too.

Healthy Snacks For The Boat

Just because you’re on a boat doesn’t mean it’s time to ignore the waist line! Here’s a list of snacks for someone looking to stay fit and/or healthy:

  1. Hummus and Veggie Sticks: Slice up some bell peppers, cucumbers, and carrots and pair them with your favorite hummus.
  2. Mixed Nuts: A combination of almonds, walnuts, and cashews can provide a healthy dose of good fats and protein.
  3. Fresh Fruit: Apples, oranges, bananas, and grapes are all easy to eat on a boat and provide essential vitamins and fiber.
  4. Greek Yogurt: If you have a way to keep it cool, Greek yogurt is a high-protein snack that can be paired with fruit or granola.
  5. Edamame: Pre-cooked and shelled edamame is a great source of protein and fiber.
  6. Whole Grain Crackers: Pair with cheese or nut butter for a satisfying snack.
  7. Chia Seed Pudding: Make ahead with almond milk and a sweetener of your choice for a fiber-rich snack.
  8. Hard-Boiled Eggs: A great source of protein that’s easy to eat on the go.
  9. Tuna or Salmon Packets: These are high in protein and can be eaten on their own or with whole grain crackers.
  10. Quinoa Salad: Make ahead with your favorite veggies for a protein-packed salad.
  11. Roasted Chickpeas: These can be bought in various flavors, or you can make your own for a high-fiber, crunchy snack.
  12. Cheese Cubes: Opt for low-fat cheeses for a healthier option.
  13. Granola Bars: Look for bars with a mix of protein, fiber, and a bit of sweetness.
  14. Kale Chips: You can buy these or make your own for a healthy, crunchy snack.
  15. Popcorn: Choose plain or lightly salted popcorn for a light, whole-grain snack.
  16. Seaweed Snacks: These are light, salty, and packed with vitamins and minerals.
  17. Dark Chocolate: Opt for high-quality dark chocolate for a sweet treat that’s also high in antioxidants.
  18. Fruit Leather: Choose 100% fruit options for a sweet treat without added sugars.
  19. Cottage Cheese: If you have a way to keep it cool, cottage cheese is a high-protein snack that can be paired with fruit.
  20. Smoothies: Make ahead with your favorite fruits, veggies, and protein powder and keep cool for a refreshing, nutritious snack.

If you bring chocolate or protein bars, remember to keep them in a cooler or A/C if your boat has A/C, or they’re going to melt!

Boat Snacks For Toddlers

When it comes to toddlers, you’ll want to bring snacks that are nutritious, easy to eat, and not a choking hazard. Here’s a list of toddler-friendly boat snacks:

  1. Cheese Cubes: Opt for softer cheeses that are easy for toddlers to chew.
  2. Fruit Pieces: Cut up apples, pears, or peaches into small, manageable pieces. Berries are also a great option.
  3. Cucumber Slices: These are refreshing and easy for toddlers to eat.
  4. Mini Sandwiches: Make sandwiches with your toddler’s favorite fillings and cut them into small, bite-sized pieces.
  5. Rice Cakes: Opt for the mini ones and spread a thin layer of cream cheese or avocado on top.
  6. Cooked Pasta Pieces: These can be eaten cold and are easy for toddlers to handle.
  7. Banana Bread or Muffins: Make sure these are cut into small, manageable pieces.
  8. Yogurt Pouches: Opt for low-sugar options and remember to bring a cooler to keep them cold.
  9. Hummus and Soft Pita Bread: Cut the pita bread into small pieces for easy dipping.
  10. Soft Granola Bars: Look for ones that are low in sugar and high in whole grains.
  11. Cooked Chicken Pieces: Make sure these are cut into small, bite-sized pieces.
  12. Mini Rice or Corn Cakes: These are easy for toddlers to eat and can be spread with a thin layer of nut butter.
  13. Steamed Veggies: Carrots, peas, and broccoli can be steamed until soft and then cooled for a healthy snack.
  14. Scrambled Eggs: These can be eaten cold and are a great source of protein.
  15. Tofu Cubes: Soft, cooked tofu can be a good protein source for toddlers.
  16. Avocado Slices: Rich in healthy fats and easy for toddlers to eat.
  17. Pancake or Waffle Pieces: Make these with whole grain flour and cut into small pieces.
  18. Fruit Puree Pouches: These are easy to pack and most toddlers enjoy them.
  19. Oatmeal Cookies: Opt for ones that are low in sugar and high in fiber.
  20. Cottage Cheese and Fruit: If you have a way to keep it cool, this can be a nutritious and tasty snack.

Remember, always supervise your toddler while they’re eating, especially on a boat where distractions abound. With these toddler-friendly snack options, your little one will be well-fed and happy on your next boat trip.

What to Bring on a Boat for Food

When deciding what to bring on a boat for food, consider the length of your trip, the facilities available on your boat, and the preferences of your crew. A cooler filled with ice can keep drinks, fruits, and pre-cooked meals cold. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially on hot days.

What Food to Bring to a Boat Party

Boat parties call for fun, easy-to-eat food that can be shared among guests. Consider:

  • Finger Foods: Mini sandwiches, sliders, or skewers are great options.
  • Dips and Chips: A variety of dips with chips or bread can be a big hit.
  • Desserts: Bite-sized desserts like brownies or cookies are easy to handle and enjoy.

What Snacks to Bring on a Boat

Snacks are essential on any boat trip. They provide energy between meals and are easy to eat on the go. Some good boat snacks include:

  • Popcorn: It’s light, easy to pack, and a great snack to munch on.
  • Jerky: High in protein and doesn’t require refrigeration.
  • Dried Fruit: A sweet, healthy snack that’s easy to pack and eat.

What is the Best Food to Take on a Boat

The best food to take on a boat is nutritious, easy to prepare and eat, and something you enjoy (Just incase fishing is slow).

This could range from a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich to a gourmet cheese and charcuterie board. The key is to choose food that will keep well on a boat and provide you with the energy you need for your boating activities.

What Food to Bring on a Pontoon Boat

Pontoon boats often have more space and facilities than smaller boats, allowing for more elaborate meals. Consider bringing a portable grill for a BBQ on the water. Burgers, hot dogs, grilled vegetables, and even grilled fish can be great food options for a pontoon boat trip.


  • Can you cook food on a boat?

    Yes, you can cook food on a boat, but it largely depends on the type of boat and the facilities available. Many larger boats and yachts have fully equipped kitchens or galleys where you can prepare meals. Smaller boats might have a simple stove or grill that you pop into a rod holder. If you plan to cook, remember to consider safety, as cooking on a boat presents unique challenges, like a moving cooking surface and limited space for storing a hot grill.

  • What food is unlucky to bring on a boat?

    There are many maritime superstitions, and one of them is about bananas being bad luck on boats. This superstition dates back several centuries and has various origins, from bananas causing boats to become lost, to bananas harboring dangerous spiders. While it’s largely ignored in modern times, some fishermen and boaters still prefer to leave the bananas on shore.

  • Is it better to go on a boat with a full or empty stomach?

    It’s generally better to have something in your stomach before you go on a boat, especially if you’re prone to seasickness. An empty stomach can make nausea worse, while a too-full stomach can be uncomfortable, especially when the water is choppy. It’s best to have a light meal or snack before you set off and then eat small, regular meals or snacks during your trip. Foods that are easy on the stomach, such as crackers, bananas, or rice, are good choices.

Conclusion: Preparing for Your Next Boat Trip

Planning your boat food is an essential part of preparing for your boat trip. Whether you’re going on a short boat ride or a longer voyage, the food you bring can greatly enhance your experience. Remember to consider the length of your trip, the facilities on your boat, and the preferences of your crew when planning your meals.

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Picture of Steve Momot

Steve Momot

Steve is an accomplished professional photographer and marketer who specializes in the Fishing, Yacht, and Boating industry. With a strong presence as an influencer and marketing expert in the Marine Industry, he has made a significant impact in the field. Additionally, Steve is the original creator and co-founder of Sportfishtrader. Prior to his career as a marine photographer, he gained extensive experience as a licensed boat and car dealer in South Florida.

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