Modern Canal boat or narrowboat galley has advanced so much in recent years, that these
days it can be almost as advanced as your kitchen at home. The First decision
that will determine what you can use in your galley, is how you intend to
power it. 12 Volt and 240 Volt Electricity, Gas and Diesel are all an option,
as well as a combination of several of these.
Traditionally gas has been the most popular choice on the canal network,
and thus is readily available almost everywhere you go. It can be used for
cooking, Heating and for fridges. Gas is available as Butane (Blue bottles)
and Propane (Orange Bottles), although most appliances are only designed
to run on one or the other. Butane, in cold weather can stay as a liquid
rather than evaporating to a gas as it leaves the bottle, which can be potentially
dangerous, so if you intend to use your boat through the winter months it
is probably better that you invest in propane from the outset.
Gas bottles must be fitted in a locker which complies with the EU Recreational
craft directive and the boat safety scheme, which are too detailed to be
covered on this web site. Generally though, they should be fitted above
the waterline, with vents at the base to allow any leaks to drain away.
All gas fittings should be inspected or installed by a Gas Safe registered
engineer, and all appliances must be to approved standards - i.e. they must
be "Room sealed" which means drawing and venting to outside the
boat, and they must have flame-failure devices. Cookers and some water heaters
are exempt from this legislation.
This method of power is generally only used for fridges and freezers on
canal boats, as the drain from other appliances is usually too high.
240 VOLT ELECTRICITY
An increasingly popular power source on board narrow boats is 240 Volt Power.
With this installed you can run virtually anything you'd find in your home
kitchen, including Electric ovens, Dishwashers, Washing Machines and Driers
(Depending on the specification of your power source). The ways of obtaining
this power supply are outlined in the Electrics Section of the site, and
should be studied first to give you some idea of how your galley will be
In the case of ovens and heaters, Diesel is an option which you should certainly
consider. A Relatively new innovation that means there is no need for generators
or gas, although the units are more expensive, and you will need more fuel
and tank space.