Stowage & Safety

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2012 • all rights reserved

A quick safety tip . . . but one that can save a lot of misery!

Due to the curvature of the hull, most boats have a storage locker just behind the stove, as in the photo above.  Know what you should never put in this locker?

Never put anything behind the stove that you might want to use when a burner is lit or when there is a hot pan on the stove!

Several reasons for this . . .

  • If you’re wearing a top with sleeves, a sleeve can catch fire if it comes too close to a lit burner.
  • Steam from a boiling pan can burn your arm. (I learned this one the hard way on our first passage, aboard a friend’s boat.  Luckily, the burn wasn’t too bad.)
  • If the boat moves as you’re reaching across, you can fall into a hot pan — possibly burning yourself where you come into contact with the pan, on the burner itself, or splashing hot food down the front of yourself or down your legs.  Just because you’re in a calm anchorage doesn’t mean the boat won’t roll when another boat — or JetSki — goes by!

Just turning the burner off before reaching across doesn’t eliminate the risk, as the hot pans are still there.

Another tip on this locker location — it tends to get really hot since it’s next to the hull as well as adjacent to the stove.  Don’t put things in here that would be harmed by heat.  I used it for “leftovers” containers that I’d only get out after we were done eating and thus the stove and pans were fairly well cooled down before I reached over the stove.

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  1. We have two very large drawers behind the stove. I put stainless steel cladding over the front to help with the fireproofing. Good article.

  2. small children?
    Ok, I’m kidding – thanks for the tip. It seems logical, but we don’t always think of the safety factor when we are used to having things” right there”

  3. Non flammables.

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