There’s nothing like a day out on the water to get your appetite going! So if hunger strikes when you’re out on your boat, where do you turn?
That’s where we can help! We’re going to explore the 21 best boat snacks to keep hunger at bay. And they’re easy to prep while keeping your boat clean and tidy!
We’ve included a handful that need an on-board grill, but don’t worry if you don’t have one. There are lots of alternatives that don’t need any special equipment.
Ready to find out more? Let’s get started!
Best Boat Snacks
1. Fresh fruit
If you’re out on a hot day, there’s nothing more refreshing than fresh fruit. Prepare it in advance, or take some of the peel-and-eat variety for maximum simplicity.
Fruit will help keep your energy levels up without involving any processed sugars. Apples are among the most boat-friendly of snacks. No preparation is required. And when you’ve finished eating, you can even throw your core overboard without risking damage to the marine environment.
Other boat-friendly options are oranges, bananas, cherries and grapes (more on the latter later).
Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are great too, and suitable for anyone on a low-FODMAP diet. Just make sure you wash them before eating. Do it at home if you don’t have fresh water onboard.
Popcorn travels easily and can be served either sweet or savory. Buy it ready-popped, or pop it at home and put it in some Tupperware for the boat.
In its pure form, it’s low in calories but surprisingly filling. And it’s good as fish food too.
But watch out for sugary coatings which will boost the calorie content. Salty popcorn can also be very salty, so watch out for serving sizes. Remember, the recommended daily maximum for salt consumption is just 6 grams.
3. Watermelon Jerky
If you crave something sweet but want to choose a healthy option, watermelon jerky is ideal. The name might be unusual, but this is simply dried watermelon. It’s nice and portable and keeps well. And there’s no juice to get all over you or your boat.
You can make this yourself, and it’s very easy if you have a dehydrator. But if you don’t, just put the slices on baking trays lined with parchment. Then pop them in the oven at 135 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 to 18 hours.
4. Hot Dog
There are some brilliant grills available these days that can be used on boats. If you’re lucky enough to have one, why not treat yourself to a hot snack?
Grill a sausage, cut yourself a roll, put the two together and you have yourself a hot dog. Eat it straight out of your hands, no plate or flatware required. And unless you can’t cope without onions, there’s nothing to peel or slice.
5. Grilled Chicken
Another tasty snack that needs a grill is grilled chicken. Add some marinade and transform it into peri peri or tandoori chicken, for bags of flavor. Place it in a wrap, and you’ll have a snack you can eat without a plate or flatware.
And if you don’t have a grill on your boat, why not cook your chicken at home? Keep it in your cooler, and it will taste just as good served chilled. And unlike fried chicken, it’s low in fat too.
6. Fruit Popsicles
We’ve already talked about the joys of fresh fruit. But if you’ve got a good cooler on your boat, fruit popsicles are another refreshing option.
Buy them ready made or make them yourself. Using freshly squeezed juice will add zing, as well as avoiding any added sugar. But our absolute favorite is mango puree. Blitz slices of fresh mango in the blender with some water for the ultimate popsicle flavor.
Then just pour your chosen fruit base into a popsicle mould and leave to set in your freezer. Make sure you have plenty of ice for your cooler too!
7. Walking Tacos
Walking tacos need a little preparation upfront. But do that at home, and they’re super-easy to put together when you’re on the boat.
You’ll need ground beef, chili seasoning, a can of tomatoes, pepper, and a can of Ranch style beans. Use reduced sodium chili seasoning for a healthier snack.
Fry the beef in a large skillet until brown, then pour off the excess fat. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for half an hour.
Leave it to cool, then pack into Tupperware and store in a cooler. Take it to the boat along with your favorite bag of chips (it works especially well with Doritos). Open a pack and tip on the beef mixture. Top with cheese or sour cream for extra flavor.
8. Granola Snack Bars
If all that sounds too much like hard work, why not just grab a granola snack bar? Look for low sugar options – the nuts will add their own sweetness. They’re also high in calories, so they’ll fill you up and give you plenty of energy to keep you going.
And when you’ve finished, you’ll have just a wrapper to stick in your boat trash.
9. Trail Mix
When it comes to trail mix, you can either make it yourself or buy it readymade. If you choose the latter, just check the sugar content. Some brands add quite a lot, making it a less healthy option. And with the right mix, it really isn’t necessary.
Making your own trail mix means you’ll know exactly what you’re getting. Put it together in advance and store it in Tupperware for your boat trip. Pecans, cashews, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, dried apricots, dates or mango, dark chocolate chips and coconut flakes all work well.
10. Pasta Salad
A pasta salad works just as well as an individual dish or a bumper bowl for a crowd. Make it advance and store it in Tupperware or a large container with plastic wrap on top.
You can use any type of pasta (bar lasagne), and mix in whatever ingredients you like. Roast vegetables like courgettes or peppers, cherry tomatoes and corn all work well. If you eat meat or fish, roast chicken or tuna will make it more filling.
Finally, add mayonnaise or your own choice of dressing, and it’s ready to go.
Kabobs are incredibly versatile. All you need are some skewers, and you can serve them either hot or cold.
If you’ve got a grill on your boat, grilled chicken or cubed lamb work beautifully. You can also grill halloumi, tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers and courgettes. Just add whatever combination you fancy to the skewer.
Cold skewers work just as well. Mozzarella balls, raw vegetables, and fruit like watermelon or pineapple are great. You could also add cold meats like turkey or ham. Delicious!
12. Corn on the Cob
Corn on the cob is particularly tasty when served hot straight from the grill. Just wrap it in aluminum foil to cook. To serve, add a knob of butter for a touch of decadence.
If you don’t have a grill on your boat, you can roast the corn ahead of time and serve it cold.
You don’t have to forego dessert, just because you’re on the water! Yogurt is a great option, either on its own or alongside fresh fruit.
Keep it simple by buying individual pots. That means you can also bring a range of flavors to suit different guests.
Just remember to keep it in the cooler. If it doesn’t stay chilled, it’s a recipe for an upset tum.
No list of food away from home would be complete without the sandwich! And there’s pretty much no end to the list of combinations you can include. That makes it a great option for fussy eaters.
Choose fillings that are as simple or as luxurious you like. Add mayo or sauce, or keep it plain. Pack it with meat or keep it veggie. Serve it cold, or heat it on the grill.
It’s easy enough to make on board. But if you want to relax on the water, make your sandwiches ahead of time. And if they involve mayo, meat or fish, keep them fresh by storing them in the cooler.
15. Cornish Pasty
The pasty is a traditional fisherman’s snack from Cornwall England. It’s designed to pack enough of a nutritious punch to keep sailors working through the night on stormy seas.
Traditional pasties use ground beef or lamp mixed with potatoes and onions in a pastry case. These days, vegetarian options are available too, often including potatoes, onions, carrots, parsnips and grated cheese.
They’re delicious hot or cold. And because everything is contained in the pastry case, you won’t need crockery or flatware to eat them.
16. Tuna Salad and Crackers
Tuna salad and crackers are a healthy and filling option at any time. And by making the tuna salad at home, it’s simple to serve it up on your boat.
Use dolphin-friendly tuna and mix it with mayo, spring onions or red onions, and chopped celery. Corn will add a lovely hint of sweetness.
Keep your tuna salad in the cooler until you’re ready to eat. Then just top your crackers with it and enjoy!
17. Veggies and Dip
Raw vegetables and dip are a brilliant option to keep your energy levels up while you’re on your boat. They’re healthy too. And they offer a huge range of choices to suit all preferences.
Raw carrots cut into batons, mangetout or baby corn all work brilliantly with dip. Salad vegetables like cucumber and cherry tomatoes are delicious too.
When it comes to the dip, the options are just as wide. Keep it simple with sour cream, or mix things up with thousand island dressing or salsa.
18. Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad
If you’re looking for a simple and refreshing salad, watermelon is a great base. Add in feta and mint and you’ll have a crisp, delicious and light meal.
If you’d like something more elaborate, optional extras like cherry tomatoes or olives work well. And whatever you decide to use, you can either make it in advance or while you’re on the boat.
19. Pigs in Blankets
There aren’t many meat eaters out there who don’t love pigs in blankets. The combination of small sausages wrapped in crispy bacon is a sure-fire winner. Pop them in the oven at home, then wrap them in foil and store them in Tupperware.
If you want to keep them warm, an insulated container will be your friend. But don’t worry if they cool down. They taste every bit as good served cold.
They’re small enough to be easy to eat too. And there won’t be any packaging to clutter up your boat.
Sometimes we want something sweet and just a little bit naughty! So why not give into temptation now and again, and take a packet of cookies on your boat trip?
With so many different flavors on the market, the choice is pretty much endless. And if you want to make a healthier choice, look for brands that are lower in sugar.
If you enjoy baking, you can also make your own! As with all home-made food, you’ll get the benefit of knowing exactly what you’re eating.
Store your finished cookies in Tupperware lined with kitchen paper and clip the lid on tight. That will make sure they stay the perfect texture until it’s time to tuck in.
21. Frozen Grapes
We promised you more on grapes – and here it is. Fresh grapes are tasty and refreshing. But if it’s possible, the frozen kind are even more so!
Just keep them overnight in the freezer, then pack them in your cooler. You can also pull off the same trick with strawberries and raspberries.
That brings us to the end of our look at the 21 best boat snacks to handle your hunger pangs! We hope it’s given you inspiration for your next day out on the water.
Whether you crave hot or cold food, sweet or savory, there’s something here for every palate. Keep things simple by preparing as much as possible before you leave home.
Enjoy your trip – and bon appetit!