Induction Cooking For Boats—Part 1, Is It Practical?

Testing setup

We just remodelled our kitchen here at Base Camp. (Don't worry, I'm not going off topic, I will explain how this is relevant to boats in a moment.)

Being a cook who firmly believes that if some heat is good, more and faster heat must be better, I always liked cooking on gas, but because our kitchen is so tiny there was no way to get the clearances required for that fuel, so we went with a Bosch induction cooktop.

And now I'm a induction convert. Instant off-on like gas, but way easier to precisely control (think simmer), and one hell of a lot easier to clean than a gas cooktop—you would know how fantastic this last benefit is if you had ever cleaned up after I cooked a meal.

So now that I'm an induction fan-boy, I started wondering whether it's practical on a boat, and, if so, what modifications to the electrical system would be required to support it.

And, yes, I have seen a couple of videos by yachties extolling the virtues of induction. But the glaring problem, in common with most videos, is the lack of consumption numbers, never mind boring old math, or even simple arithmetic.

And one thing I know for sure, good outcomes around boat electrical systems, and most other things in life, are the result of proper numerical analysis, not watching installers with bulging pectorals or bikini-clad induction cooks.

Yup, our job here at AAC is to bore you with detailed analysis...that will help you go into a project with an overall understanding of what's required for success, or even just save you from doing something ill-advised and expensive.

This analysis was made possible because we also bought a single-burner induction cooker (to supplement the four-burner cooktop when cooking big meals like Christmas dinner) so we have a practical test rig.

So go get a Red Bull, don't want you nodding off, and let's dig in:

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Meet the Author

John

John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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