Don’t ask me why, but as soon as I get on my boat I’m feeling hungry. And that’s goes twice as much for my kids who burn up energy like nobody’s business.

Over the last couple of years my wife and I have developed a master list of what we believe to be the best boat snacks that deliver every time without fail.

They are easy, simple to pack, don’t leave a load of mess, and more importantly, will keep hunger at bay if you’re on a long boat ride.

You can go take a look now at our recommendations below, many of which also fall under the category of healthy boat snacks – in fact, I’ve separated those ones out to make your selection a lot easier if you want to keep things healthier.

Whether you own your own boat or have been invited out onto the water for the day, I hope that you find this list of snacks to take on a boat useful.

Scroll down now for all of the ideas, and then at the end some comments from other boat owners where I asked for their recommendations too.

Good Boat Snacks for a Boat Ride

The snacks below are the ones that we always take out on our pontoon boat every summer. The reason we choose to take these ones is that they are simple to buy, prepare, pack, and won’t need any refrigeration at all.

Handy Hint: We’ve also put together a list of finger foods that you might want to try when boating. To see those alternative recommendations, click here now. 

1: Cooler Corn on the Cob 

If you have a cooler box, you can fill it with boiling water, throw some corn cobs in, and they will cook in a couple of hours, resulting in a great snack once your passengers are hungry.

Cooler Corn

Corn on the cob cooked in a cooler! Image copyright

If you do this before you get on the boat, you can also take some spray butter with you and be feeding a ton of people in no time – just be careful of the heat that escapes when opening the cooler up.

2: Goldfish Crackers are Always Popular 

You either love them or you hate them, but you can’t deny that they are easy to take on a boat and have a slightly nautical theme – so makes sense, right? At least they will do to the kids on board!

Goldfish crackers

Fish crackers on a boat, surely it’s a no-brainer?

And whilst you’re here, did you know that Goldfish Crackers were originally made to be used as floating crackers to go on soup?

3: Thermos Hot Dogs are Insanely Simple

Using a similar method, you can cook up hot dogs in a cooler box too with some boiling water. But if it’s a smaller group of people, you can do exactly the same thing with a large thermos flask.

Hot dogs in a Thermos Flask

You can cook hot dogs and keep them warm in a Thermos flask or cooler. License: Creative Commons Uploaded by: Wikivisual

Around 20 minutes before your hungry crew is ready to eat, place a bag of bread rolls out in the sun. They will then warm up nicely too before you put the hot dog into the roll with any sauces you choose.

4: Pasta Salad 

For a tasty boat snack that combines meat, veg, or fruit depending on your own preference, then how about pasta salad? It should take no more than 20 minutes to cook up before your ride or trip.

pasta salad

You can cook this up the morning or night before and customize until your heart’s content.

You don’t need to be a great cook to make this stuff up. It’s filling enough to provide a great meal whilst boating, whether you’re on a day’s boat ride or something longer term.

5: Tacos in a Dorito Bag are Messy but Effective

For something truly delicious and a little off the wall, mix up some taco mixture the night before the boat ride and store it into a container.

Taco bags

Tacos in a bag… simple yet effective food to take on a pontoon boat

Then the next day when you’re out on the water, open up the taco mix and empty some into an open bag of Doritos – this is one of the most popular and best boat snacks ever published on Pontoonopedia so please give it a go!

6: Pretzels

Pretzels are very rich in carbohydrates, but also low in fat… making them a winning boat snack. The most nutritious ones will be those labelled as whole grain, as they contain more fiber than standard pretzels.


Just don’t get them wet and they will not taste as good!

And you don’t want them getting soggy, so store them in plastic sandwich bags, ziplocs, or plastic containers. Take some dip too, as this makes them a small yet tasty snack to suit any boat ride this year.

7: Popcorn

Believe it or not, popcorn is a healthy snack, providing you don’t buy the sugar or chocolate varieties. Low in fat, high in fiber, and easy to pack, you can’t go wrong with this idea.


Choose low salt and un-sugared popcorn for the healthier option.

And if you do choose the salted variety of popcorn, make sure you take plenty of drinks. Nothing makes you thirstier than a salty snack, so be prepared and take bottles of drink.

8: California Veggie Wraps

Another suggestion to get those bellies filled would be one of these wraps. If you pack them with veggies, then you should still have plenty of room left over for any treats and candy.

veggie wraps

Tasty, healthy, and simple to prepare (Image copyright

If your day on the boat is going to be active with water sports, then these won’t leave you feeling bloated – unless you decide to customize them with calorific meats and sauces – and why shouldn’t you!

9: Cheese

Sliced cheeses or string cheese make for very good boat snacks as they are easy to eat, easy to store, and packed full of proteins and fats to keep you going.


Sliced cheese is simple to pack, fills you up, and can be stored easily.

But cheese by itself can be a little boring, so think about taking breadsticks or dips with you to make more of your packed lunch.

Healthy Boat Snacks

As I mentioned earlier, boating can real tire you out, in particular the kids so we are always looking to give them something that’s healthy but will still fill them up enough.

It’s also important to recognise than being on a boat on a hot day can dehydrate you. That’s why fruit is such an important component of our healthy boat snacks selection which you can view below.

10: Fruit to Keep You Hydrated

Any type of fruit is a great idea to take as healthy snacks for a boat ride. Whether you cut the fruit up before hand, or just take some apples, oranges, or pears with you, it’s something and would have on hand.

Fruit slices

Sliced fruit or vegetables can keep you hydrated when boating.

Fruit is a very simple snack to pack and can be kept fresh in a portable cooler box pretty much all day. It’s healthy too… and for boat owners apple slices and similar won’t leave stains or a mark on your boat.

11: Sliced Veg

Just like fruit, sliced veggies are simple to prepare, simple to store, and easy to eat with no knifes or forks required meaning you won’t have to pack as much.

Sliced veg

Simple to prepare and simple to place in a container.

Once prepped and wrapped up in some foil it’s an easy snack package to slide into a bag, or even up against some colder and larger food items in a cooler box if there’s no refrigeration on the boat you are riding on.

12: Frozen Grapes

For something cold and refreshing on a warm or hot day on the water, consider freezing some grapes or even strawberries. Just throw some in a freezer bag the night before the boat ride.

frozen grapes

Grapes taste so much more refreshing once they have been frozen.

What I love about this boat snack idea is that you can snack on them at any point during the day, and they will also help to keep other food and snacks cold in your bag. They work almost as well as ice packs.

13: Tuna or Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Protein is essential for battling tiredness so for something suitable as a meal snack, I’d go with chicken or tuna sandwiches, wraps, subs, or rolls.

tuna sandwich

Tuna sandwiches are an old favorite with my boating family.

To get some more taste into the meal, use flavored dressings and not mayo as that tends to be full of calories. In fact, just one tablespoon of mayo could contain up to 90 calories, which isn’t going to help keep your weight down! 

14: Hummus and Crackers

High in protein and low in calories, these are also very simple to take on a boat. I’ve been on a health kick the last 12 months, and this is my personal favorite healthy snacks for boating.

hummus and crackers

This is a high protein and low calorie snack that’s simple to prep on a boat trip.

Yes, it can be a little bit messy, so you could prepare it beforehand. Even so, it’s not hard to take a small plastic knife with you and make this up on a plastic container lid or similar.

15: Oven Roasted Almonds

Almonds contain protein and omega 3 fatty acids and are really good for you! Take a load in small plastic containers or bags but opt for the oven roasted ones with no salt added.

oven roasted almonds