Having a BBQ on the boat is great. It is amazing how often we actually use it. There is something special about grilling some freshly caught fish on the BBQ while watching an amazing sunset. Not all BBQs do well living outside in a salty environment. We have been through a few BBQs here is my opinion on the Best Boat BBQ.
Originally we bought a Magma BBQ, not only was it expensive but it was awful. It amazes me that Chandleries happily sell Magma BBQs to unsuspecting cruisers. We mounted it on the side of the boat with the bolts that were supplied for this purpose and made sure we kept a cover on it whenever it was not in use.
After about six months it started dying. First, the propane cylinder rusted at the BBO connection BBQ. This made it really difficult to remove when we needed to replace the propane cylinders. Next, the interior burner plate started rusting. So, you were no longer able to regulate the flame size. Fortunately, there were some less rusted spots you could use if you needed a smaller flame. Eventually, the whole inside rusted out and it had to be thrown away.
We had a friend with a Magma, he invited us over for a BBQ one evening. He said, “Come around for chicken BBQ, but I can’t guarantee whether it is raw or burned depending on what the Magma feels like doing tonight.”
So What Is The Best Boat BBQ?
In my opinion, the Weber Q1000 is the best BBQ for a boat. We have had ours mounted on the side of the boat for more than three years. It is covered with a Sunbrella cover to help keep the elements away. We mounted it on a piece of starboard and bolted the feet of the BBQ to the starboard with big U-bolts. Interestingly we still use the Magma mounts, the only part of the Magma that survived. It is secure even in the worst sailing conditions.
The quick-start button still works perfectly and it lights easily every time. There is no rust, and it still works as well as it did the day we bought it. The only mod we have added is a piece of Aluminum Foil on the windward side of the BBQ when the wind is strong so that the flame doesn’t get blown out.
Weber BBQs are popular amongst cruisers, we have many friends with them. One of our friends bought the bigger Weber Q1200 with the cool added table which I thought could be a good idea, but he ended up melting the table after a few uses.
Not only do we use our Weber Q1000 on the boat, but we regularly take it with us to Beach for BBQs. It is light and portable. It is really great when we go to a beach that does not allow fires, or when we don’t want the hassle of making a fire.
When we finally got out of COVID lock-down in Nuku Hiva, ours was the main BBQ used for the ‘Cruiser Freedom Gathering’ there was a gathering of about 50 boats worth of cruisers. We were all so happy to be able to socialize again. All the food was cooked on our Weber Q1000. For more information on what to take to the beach with you, take a look at my “Beach BBQ Checklist“