Can't keep your stove lit as wind comes through the galley and keeps blowing it out? Use a windscreen -- here's a couple of ideas.

Stove Windscreen

Here’s a problem I never knew existed before spending 10 days on Beagle Knot, a Lagoon 380 catamaran:  cats with a galley up (on the bridgedeck) can have problems keeping the stove lit!

One great thing about the Lagoon 380 is the ventilation in the saloon/galley area.  Denis and LaDonna could open two large ports on the front and a huge sliding “patio door” to connect to the cockpit area.  Great for keeping the boat cool, but the 20 to 25-knot tradewinds would come through the galley area and blow the out the burners on the stove.

I assume there are other cats (and maybe some monohulls and motor yachts) with a similar problem.  You don’t want to close the ports in order to cook, but you do have to keep the burners lit. UPDATE: This is also a problem on our Gemini (galley down).

LaDonna used her cutting boards to create a windscreen on the front side of the stove, as shown in the photo at the top.  This protected the flame without sacrificing the great ventilation of having the galley on the bridgedeck.

And while this worked, we discussed the two basic problems:

  • Couldn’t use the cutting boards for their intended purpose while they were in use on the stove; and
  • The worry that the cutting boards (a plastic material) could melt or burn.

A metal plate would solve both problems.

I immediately thought of the camp stove windscreens I’d used as a teen, as well as the “spatter guard” that my stepmother always used.  Both are hinged metal plates that you can put around pans — the first for exactly the purpose of protecting the flame from the wind and the second for keeping grease splatters in a confined area.

In looking online, I discovered that while splatter screens still exist, they get horrible reviews (all brands!) for having sharp edges and cutting users.  I quickly eliminated those!  But there are many camp stove windscreens available that had good reviews and no one complaining of cuts.

windscreen-3Many of the camp stove windscreens are short and would work well if set up in a curve around the pan on the stove.  While the photo shows one around a camp stove, you can envision how it could be set up around a galley stove burner, or be a straight strip to use at the front edge of the stove.

I also found one brand that makes a “tall” version which could be used as LaDonna used hers at the front of the stove, wedged into the oven handle.  A quick look at your stove will probably tell you which would work better for you. UPDATE: I bought the shorter one for Barefoot Gal and it works perfectly!

Both of these come in foldable sections, so can be used in a curve or used as a flat piece.  Both are made of aluminum and available on Amazon:

These lengths aren’t going to go totally around any but the smallest pans — but that’s okay.  You really only need it on the side that the wind is coming from, not totally around the pan.  Or you could use it in a straight line at the front of the stove as few boat stoves are wider than 24 inches (most are 20″ or 21″ wide).

These are not only rustproof but compact to fold up and store.  I haven’t used one with a galley stove, but I have used one extensively on camping, hiking and canoeing trips.  It made a huge difference, and setting it in a curve kept it from being knocked over by the wind.  I’m positive one would work well in the galley. UPDATE: Yes, it does!

  • Jim and Barbara Shell
    Posted at 10 February 2014 Reply

    We use a tri-fold metal screen (10″x9″x1/2″ folded) as a splatter screen on Phantom. It would easily work as a wind shield. Yes is gets grungy with grease splatter but it is easy to wipe clean and it folds neatly away. The edges are rolled over and not sharp. We bought ours at Kitchen Collection at an outlet mall, but we see them regularily at grocery stores.

  • Yvonne
    Posted at 20 February 2014 Reply

    In a pinch, you could always use heavy duty aluminum foil…..

  • Heike King
    Posted at 27 June 2014 Reply

    How about using a baking sheet or griddle plate? I was planning to take one of my thick bottom cookie sheets on board, which can be used as a griddle and would also double as a frying surface. I used it in the past for making pancakes, bacon, sauteed veggies and even seared steaks on it. Cooking a whole meal for two easily. I see it perfectly fitting across 2 burners. And when you don’t need it for cooking it would make a great wind shield!

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 27 June 2014 Reply

      If it fits and stays in place, that would be good. The problem with “fitting” is if it has sides on it that make it hard to really wedge it in place on its side. Be careful that it doesn’t fall out of place — and onto your toes — with the movement of the boat.

  • Dave Skolnick (S/V Auspicious)
    Posted at 05 August 2015 Reply

    This is a good idea. The smaller the space the more like a chimney the stove top will become which is likely to me the handles on cookware will get quite hot. You may find a need to turn off the burner and use hotpads to move a pot or pan off the burner.

  • Dave Tew
    Posted at 18 December 2015 Reply

    I sailed on a boat once where the cook had fashioned short cylinders from bronze screen material, about the diameter of the smallest of her pots. On hot days when the wind blew through the galley she set them down around the burners to prevent blowouts. They stored away in a nearly empty can of Brasso cotton when not in use.

  • Rick Garvin
    Posted at 18 December 2015 Reply

    For us it’s the fan. Pointing the fan at the cook rather than the stove works. I like screen idea for the BBQ.

  • Christian Hansfort
    Posted at 18 December 2015 Reply

    I had a problem with my two burner stowe, setting the wood around the stowe on fire when using my wok. So I got a metal screen from Ikea that is made to screen off for kids. The gimbal stowe can swing freely but the wood is now screened off with no risk of more fire than needed

  • Gustavo Luna
    Posted at 18 December 2015 Reply

    with the proper diesel stove you’ll never have problems with the burners blowing out they are completely encased in the heating chaimar and only the blower air gets in to it, gale force winds can not blo it out.

  • Jessica Hopkins
    Posted at 23 March 2017 Reply

    I would love to know how to fix this problem on our grill .. we can never keep it lit if the wind is blowing … it’s a vent for the gas that the wind comes through

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 23 March 2017 Reply

      That’s a problem with a lot of grills. Magma’s very top end one supposedly has the least problem, but it’s very pricey. $$

  • Chuck's Seaswirl Alaskan
    Posted at 24 March 2017 Reply

    Hi! I’ve looked at several of your post about coffee makers. What is the best way to store or secure a unit while boating or moored? Thanks

  • Darlene Luxton
    Posted at 02 November 2017 Reply

    We cheat! We have a diesel hob!

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