Welcome Aboard!

In ten years and over 10,000 miles of cruising, on two very different boats, my husband and I have learned so much from so many other cruisers.

Here’s Dave and I, the day we bought our first cruising boat, Que Tal. We knew we had a lot to learn but never dreamed how much help we’d get from other cruisers.

Now I’m paying it forward with The Boat Galley.

I’m Carolyn Shearlock. What can I say? I love cruising – living literally on the water, enjoying nature, going new places and meeting new people and yes, even working on the boat.


While I’ve boated – sail and power – all my life, twenty years ago was my first liveaboard experience. My husband Dave and I – along with our friends David and Jan Irons – chartered a bareboat in the British Virgin Islands. All four of us were instantly hooked.

A few more charter trips convinced Dave and I to go all in – we bought a Tayana 37 and sold pretty much everything else in 2002.

We had the time of our lives, exploring the Sea of Cortez, Pacific Mexico and Central America.

Seven thousand miles and a little over six years later, we returned to land life to deal with some medical issues . . . but couldn’t bear to leave the cruising community we’d come to love. I began writing a cookbook for cruisers with Jan – they’d also gotten a cruising boat – and sharing tips for cooking on a boat, calling my blog The Boat Galley.

We dreamed of getting a boat again . . . and took friends up on their invitations to cruise with them. We sailed in Florida and the US Virgin Islands and spent 10 days on a trawler in the Sea of Cortez.

  • In 2002, we bought Que Tal, a Tayana 37. Our adventure begins!

In 2014, the medical issues behind us, we bought our second boat – a Gemini catamaran – with the idea of spending winters in the Florida Keys and summers at our house on a small lake in Illinois. That idea lasted exactly one winter and then we sold the house to be full-time cruisers again.

The Boat Galley has expanded to include our work on the boat, selling up and moving aboard (again!), living aboard, cruising and gear. The Boat Galley Cookbook was published in 2012, and in 2016 I began a podcast on Boat Radio (in 2018 it became The Boat Galley Podcast). 2017 saw another book: The Boat Galley Guide to Storing Food without Refrigeration, available as an eBook.

I love cruising. But more than that, I love sharing what I’ve learned with others. The Boat Galley gives me the chance to do just that . . . with the bonus that I learn just as much from readers, their experiences and questions. If you’re on Facebook, be sure to “Like” The Boat Galley’s page and take part in the conversations there.

Thanks for being part of The Boat Galley!

What do you have questions about?

If you’re just starting to think about getting a boat and cruising – whether on weekends or part of a long-term plan to sail off into the sunset, somewhere in-between or even chartering – your questions probably fall into one of six categories: Buying a Boat & Gear, Living on a Boat, Food & Cooking, Cruising & Chartering, Boat Work and Worries & Woes.

Below, and on every page, you’ll find a box called “I’d like to learn about.” Click on whatever topic interests you to explore it in more detail – this is great when you feel like you don’t even know where to start! Or, if you have a specific question, use the search box to go straight to the info you need.

If you want to narrow your exploration down a bit, the menu at the top of every page can help you (on tablets and phones, get to the menu by clicking on the three white lines at the top left of every page). Hold your mouse over Articles (on tablets and phones, click the > to the right of Articles), and you’ll get a drop-down menu showing the six main categories. Hold your mouse over the general topic that interests you (on tablets and phones, click the > next to the topic you want), and you’ll see 6 to 9 sub-categories. Just click on the one that you’d like to know more about.

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Want weekly tidbits of cruising information? Sign up for The Boat Galley's free weekly newsletter. You'll get the newest articles and podcasts as well as a few relevant older articles that you may have missed.

With your subscription, you'll also get a 28-page sample of The Boat Galley Cookbook with 33 boat-friendly recipes and other helpful information for cooking on a boat, and other useful downloads for buying a boat and cruising. Don't worry – if you don't find the newsletter helpful, you can unsubscribe at any time, and I'll never sell your address or send you a bunch of spam.