There are a number of things to consider when deciding how you’ll make coffee in your boat’s galley. No one system is right for everyone.
The only method that I don’t recommend is trying to use a 12 volt coffeemaker. Everyone I’ve ever known who has tried one, and every review I’ve ever read, says that they take way too long to brew a pot of coffee. One friend said that when she switched from a 12 volt to a 110 volt coffeemaker with an inverter, she actually used less power since it went so much more quickly.
Considerations in Making Boat Coffee
How long are you going to want to keep your coffee hot? Will you have a cup or two in the morning and that’s it, or will you want to have another cup hours later, perhaps in the middle of a watch?
How Do Various Boat Coffee Systems Stack Up?
There is no one method of making boat coffee that’s right for everyone. In the following articles, I discuss how seven systems stack up on each of these considerations, and show recommended models for a boat galley.
No Electricity Needed:
One safety issue: with any of the stovetop methods, you really need a gimbaled stove and pot restraints to boil water if the boat is moving at all – the dangers of a pot of boiling water tipping or sloshing are just too great. And for the same reason, I prefer to use a tea kettle instead of a saucepan – water doesn’t slosh and it’s easier to pour accurately.
A number of cruisers also like using an electric drip coffee maker with stainless thermal carafe — while it will keep coffee warm, it does not do as good a job as a good Thermos, but the pot is non-breakable. Unfortunately, the ones with the best customer reviews on Amazon are not cheap!
And finally, in the last year or so, several friends have begun using a Keurig single-cup brewer on their boat. The electricity needed is less than most of the other electric options, you only brew one cup at a time so there are no issues with keeping a pot hot, and it makes a great cup of coffee. The down side is the cost. The DeskPro model is smaller, has an automatic off sensor which saves electricity and only holds one cup of water — you have to fill it for every cup (I think this is an advantage on a boat; I don’t want water sitting it in when I put it away for the day).