Barbecue On A Boat? Yes, It Can Be Done

Spending a warm day out on the sea in your own boat with friends and family is a great way to pass the time. As the day wears on, nothing would compliment the trip better than a warm, delicious grilled meal! With a little preparation, the right equipment, and some safety tips in mind, you can eat like a king on the high seas!

Choosing your boat grill

Marine barbecues are a pretty standard feature on most pleasure craft now, because many see the benefits of dropping anchor in a cove or after a long day of sailing with a fine meal. It’s generally preferred to start with a stainless steel grill, especially in boats that operate in saltwater environments. These look great, will have a double liner to help guard against discolouration, and guard against rust as well.


Charcoal grills have some benefits over gas and electric: They can be smaller because they don’t require fuel to be piped in from the boat to operate. Because they don’t require fuel, charcoal grills don’t require as much maintenance or replacement parts as other types of grills. Charcoal grills have the added advantage of imparting what most would consider the best flavour on any type of meat you would grill.

They do, however, have some drawbacks to consider before hitting the buy button on a sweet new model, however. First off, the fuel source, charcoal briquettes, have to be kept dry in order to function, which can sometimes be quite the task depending on the size of your craft. Charcoal ashes can be kicked up in the event of a rogue wake, and those ashes can be spread all over clothes, food, and the deck. Finally, thinking of safety always, while other forms of fuel can easily be extinguished, Charcoal is not as easily put out and requires more thought put into it.


Gas grills will usually have a higher barrier of entry in terms of cost compared to a more simple grill, but are often the discerning mariner’s first choice due to the sheer convenience. Gas grills are most familiar to those that use the same at home, so they are comfortable using them on their boats. They come in varying sizes, from small ones perfect for feeding a small family, to larger ones that can serve upwards of 20 people. Gas grills can also either get their fuel supply from either easy-to-source canisters from back at port, or be directly piped into the LPG or CNG system of your boat with a separate adapter.

Because gas is heavier than air, it is important not to put your gas grill above an open locker, or a companionway, as this can lead to explosive results. Always keep in mind, that although primarily rest and relaxation are the goal in mind, safety is the number one concern in all cases when flammable material is being handled.


Electric grills are another option to consider when thinking of leisure cooking on your craft. They are often one of the safest options, simply because they have no open flame! There is some versatility here as well, as you can either get a permanent fixture installed in your boat, such as permanently fixed into the flybridge, or you can get a smaller rail-mounted unit that would plug into an outlet. While those units that would be installed would be much more costly, you could then enjoy years of tasty cooking in your craft without having to worry about fuel costs or the dangers of open flames.

General grilling tips on a boat

  • Read the manual. Not all grills are created equal, especially compared to its land counterparts. Be sure to make sure you know how to read your equipment. Safety is of the utmost importance when you’re on the water. If you’re unsure, or if the manual isn’t clear, contact the manufacturer to get clarification until you’re totally sure you understand.
  • Have backup equipment. If you’re using a gas grill, make sure everything looks in fine working order before you start to operate it. It’s good best practice to keep a spare burner or igniter in your cabin in case something has rusted, especially if it has been awhile since you last cooked, or if your boat is on saltwater.
  • Grill in the right area. Remember that all types of grills are designed to be used in open, well-ventilated areas. Don’t try to use them in places where something could go wrong, such as the galley, or below decks.

Corleone Marinas Knows Boating

No matter which option you choose, you’re sure to have a great day on the water with a marine-safe barbeque to feed the crew. If you need help choosing a marine barbeque or even need maintenance on your existing one, call Corleone Marinas.

Corleone Marinas has four stunning locations in Elizabeth Bay, Balmain, Drummoyne, and Hawkesbury River at Long Island, all of which are managed by some of the best in the industry. Each location offers a full range of marina services, including wet berths, moorings, slipways for boats up to sixty feet with shipwrights and mechanics on hand.

Contact us today to learn more.

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