Food Storage and Cooling

Gas and electric fridges

The usual solution, and possible to pick up electric fridges second hand - but gas fridges use lots of gas, and electric fridges use LOTS of electricity. A much better way would be to find alternative ways of keeping your food (and beer) cool.

Storing stuff in the canal/river

An obvious way to keep things cool is to chuck them in the canal/river. Obviously you need to keep hold of them somehow so they don't just sink to the bottom! If you have old tyres hanging off the side of your boat as fenders you can put things inside them. Otherwise a bag with a piece of string might do the job.

An obvious concern, particularly on canals, would be the yuck factor of what's in the water coming into contact with your food (or the neck of your beer bottle!). What are good things to put your stuff in before chucking them overboard?

Using the bottom of your boat/bilges

Some people have suggested storing things directly on the bottom of your boat, so that the cool water under your boat can help cool your stuff.


In houses you can make a cupboard with vents at the bottom and a tall chimney, painted black at the top. This causes a draught from the cooler floor level to go through the cool box and up the chimney. Obviously this wouldn't work so well with boats where even the floor level can get quite hot in summer. Perhaps this could be combined with drawing air from your bilges, which are cooled by the water under the boat?

no power cooling

Fridges/ cool storage

Storing what you can on the cool baseplate is sound logic. I store beer, fruit and veggies on the baseplate and ballast(which acts like a larder slab)under my back cabin floor.

I'm almost embarrassed to admit to a fridge as well but suggest the following tip to aid its efficiency:
Behind the fridge and below the cooling coils cut a large slot or series of holes in the floor.
(I cut 3 x 3inch holes).
This allows pre-cooled air from the bilges to pass upward over the fridge coooling radiator and increases the fridge's efficiency. Additionally it helps ventilate and dry the bilges.

Keeping food cool

It may be obvious but going vegan is a good way of saving on land, water, and, handy on a boat - fridge power! Not having to worry about keeping meat or dairy products safe is great.
I do still have a fridge which on very warm summer days I run off my solar panels, but mostly I put anything I want to keep cool in a metal cooking pot in the cupboard under the sink. For some reason it's always coolest in there!

keeping food cool

Long ago when the Dead Sea wasn't even ill, we used to have a pantry with a thick stone shelf in it, surrounded by a fine mesh box.  The stone stays cold to the touch throughout the hottest summer.  This was the working man's fridge.