9 Best Boat Snacks
Eating snacks on a boat can be a dicey proposition. Your ooey-gooey favorites at home can become a mangled mess on the water. Whether you’re out on your boat or on a boat rental, you’ll want non-messy boat snack options. Read up on nine great finger-food ideas for boating (you can thank us later in the form of a review!):
- Granola or protein bars
- Trail mix
- Frozen or dried fruit
- Banana chips
- Crackers, cheese, & meat
- Pretzel rods
- Veggie sticks
- Mini-muffins & cookies
1. Granola or protein bars
Today’s granola and protein bars can pack a lot of energy punch. That makes them ideal as a non-messy boat snack that is easy to hold, easy to eat, and delicious, all at the same time.
Look for bars that are more crunchy than sticky, and consider bars with chunks of nuts and fruit that won’t melt in the sun like, say, chunks of chocolate.
Fun fact: Jerky can be made from just about any type of protein. While beef jerky is the best-known option, you can find all kinds of long, dried slices ready to munch on board.
Look for turkey jerky, pork jerky, salmon jerky, and alligator jerky, There’s even mushroom and soy jerky out there for vegans to grab on the go.
3. Trail mix
Trail mix has long been a fan favorite of active people and with good reason. It comes in various nutritious ingredients, from dried cranberries to chocolate bits and pepitas. Look for trail-mix snack packs in different flavors if you have kids on board.
Pro Tip: There are plenty of kid-friendly boat rentals available for a family fun day on the water.
4. Frozen or dried fruit
Grapes, strawberries, and melon balls can be frozen ahead of time, making them a quick, easy, and healthy treat on the boat—with a refreshingly cool twist. Dried fruit is also a great option.
Everything from apricots to blueberries now comes in a dried version. Candied ginger is especially helpful if somebody on board is seasick.
5. Banana chips
Banana chips can be a healthy finger-food idea for boating. You have to watch how they’re made because some are loaded with calories and added sugar, but dehydrated versions are available that won’t beat up your body with saturated fat.
You can make banana chips yourself, too, by baking banana slices with a splash of lemon-flavored water.
6. Crackers, cheese, & meat
If you have a cooler or mini-fridge on board, then finger-size “sandwiches” made from crackers, cheese, and sliced meats are always a hit.
Pepperoni, salami, and sausage paired with a slice of cheddar or another favorite cheese on a cracker can ease a grumbling belly fast. Tasty and no condiments needed!
7. Pretzel rods
For some reason, there’s just something about the pretzel rod on a boat that makes it seem superior to the traditionally shaped pretzel or the bite-size nugget.
Perhaps it’s the fact that with the rod in hand, you don’t have to reach back into the bag as many times to get the same amount of satisfaction. A couple of pretzel rods make a great boat snack.
8. Veggie sticks
Carrots, cucumbers, celery, peppers—all of these healthy vegetables can be sliced and tucked into baggies, then loaded into a cooler before a day out on the water.
Pro Tip: No cooler? Many of our boat rentals carry an Add-ons list (viewable at checkout) with trip essential items such as coolers. Make sure to add on any items to your boat rental booking for your upcoming boat trip.
If you don’t want the mess of dip on the boat, you can season veggie sticks with salt and pepper, an Italian seasoning blend, or ranch dressing mix.
9. Mini-muffins & cookies
OK, not the healthiest option, BUT mini-muffins and cookies make great snacks for boating. Whether you bake them yourself or buy them, these snacks are exactly the right size for a grab-and-go burst of energy. And, since they don’t need to be refrigerated, no cooler is necessary onboard.
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Kim Kavin has been on boats in more than 50 countries and islands, including in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, South Pacific, Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia. She grew up learning to steer a ski boat and Hobie Holder at her grandfather’s lake house in New Jersey, and went on to spend time aboard everything from America’s Cup racing sailboats to submarines.
Kim is a PADI-certified scuba diver and animal lover who always enjoys a good, long look around a coral reef. Her award-winning writing and editing regularly appears in national marine magazines and on leading websites. In her early years, she was a Dow Jones editing intern and a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism. When she’s not writing, Kim can usually be found hiking northwest New Jersey’s beautiful park trails with her adopted shelter mutt, Ginger.