Cooking for your family in the comfort of your own kitchen is loads of fun, but it’s not that easy when you’re on a boat trip. If you’re lucky enough to have a large boat with a galley, then these recipe ideas aren’t for you.

But, if you are planning on going on a boat trip and want something easy to make, easy to take, with no need for an oven or fridge, then these boat trip sandwich ideas and recipes will be just what you’re looking for.

The easy option would be to grab a loaf of bread, throw on some deli meats with cheese and be done. But that’s boring… how about peanut butter and jelly instead (just joking).

Instead, take a look at my top 13 sandwiches for a boat trip that are just perfect for filling the hungry bellies that will often start growling out on the water. I include meat ideas, plus options for vegetarians and vegans.

Meat-based boat sandwich ideas

I love a meaty sandwich when I am out on my pontoon boat. My wife is a vegetarian (and you can see what options she suggests lower down the page), but I swear by the energy levels I get from a roast beef or chicken salad sub.

Here’s are some great sandwich ideas for your next boat trip, if like me, you like a bit of meat.

1. Chicken salad sandwich loaf

Get a large French stick, hollow it out, and then push chicken salad in. You can then take it on the boat trip and slice it up on deck or cut it into individual portions before you go. This is a favorite on our pontoon boat with my friends.

chicken salad

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2. Toasted chipotle turkey melt

Just because your preparing sandwiches to be eaten later, it doesn’t mean you can’t toast them. Toasted sandwiches taste great hot or cold, and the one below makes for a great boating lunch.

Turkey melt

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3. Philly cheesesteak loaf sandwich

This is a great sandwich idea if you have a grill on your boat (see which grills I recommend). Just imagine the sun going down on the horizon as you and your crew demolish a hot and melting philly cheesesteak sandwich each.

Philly cheesesteak loaf sandwich

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4. Roast beef sandwich loaf

If you don’t have the time and inclination to make a set of individual sandwiches for your boat trip, just whack a load of ingredients into a few large rolls. Then once you’re on deck, simply slice off upon request to feed the hungry hordes.

Beef Sub

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Vegetarian boating sandwich ideas

Vegetarian and vegan diets are becoming more popular in the United States. You will find plenty of people in the boating community who have committed to a new diet over the last few years, so I wanted to include some great options for this market too.

In the infographic below, you can see just how many Americans identify themselves as vegetarian or vegan (source:

sandwiches for a boat trip

Some interesting data on vegan and vegetarian diets in the United States.

If that’s you, and you want sandwich ideas that have alternative fillings to meat and dairy products, you can see the veggie options below, and scroll further down for the vegan section.

5. Pimento cheese sandwiches

With that sharp cheddar cheese taste combined with horseradish and cayenne pepper, these sarnies give a little bite giving you the energy to go catch a bigger bite… if you’re fishing of course!

Pimento Cheese Sandwich

Image credit Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.

6. Veggie focaccia

This meatless sandwich is filled to the brim with veggie goodness. Put some peppers and onion in a pan for a few minutes. Once crispy and tender, place into the focaccia bread and sprinkle on some cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese and basil. Lovely.


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7. Peanut butter, pear, and cream cheese

Crunchy peanut butter is such a cliché as a boating sandwich. But mix in some cream cheese, and sliced pears and you create a sweet sub that will replace any lost calories from a hard day’s water sports. You could also drizzle some honey on top like in the photo below.

peanut butter and pear

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8. Nutella and banana on challah

Another sandwich you can take on a boat that will appeal to the sweet-toothed amongst you is a Nutella and banana mix. Kids love the chocolate and banana combination, but I believe it’s even better when spread between two large slices of thick Challah bread.

nutella banana

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9. Greek salad pitta sandwiches

These taste great cold or warm, so if you have a grill on your boat, warm up the pitta bread first. Whichever method you choose, once you bite into the cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, feta cheese and red-pepper tzatziki you will feel like a Greek god. Poseidon in fact.

Greek Salad

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10. Santa Fe falafel sandwich

The possibilities of what you can put into a pita bread before your boat trip is endless. They can soak up a lot of liquid too, so they’re great for messy sandwich fillings. Our personal favorites though is a Santa Fe falafel mix. Try it, it’s a great veggie option!

Santa Fe

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Vegan boating sandwich ideas

And here are those vegan boat sandwich ideas and recipes I promised. Despite by meat diet, I have tried all of these as my wife is always trying to give me a healthier option when she can.

All the recipe ideas below taste delicious!

11. The ultimate vegan BLT

I found this on the excellent Strength and Sunshine website, and just had to try it. I love my bacon, so was intrigued to see how a vegan BLT would work out. It uses smoky egg plant bacon (no meat!, some lovely crispy iceberg lettuce, juicy ripe tomatoes, and a homemade tahini based mayo. Sounds lip-smackingly good, and it tastes as good as it sounds.

Vegan BLT

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12. Pita pockets with roasted veggies and hummus

That pita bread again! It’s great with hummus and roasted vegetables. You can buy vegan rainbow pita bread and knock this up in 5 minutes. Fold the pitas over, and try not too squash these sarnies in your bag as I’d hate you to miss out on what is a fantastic boat sandwich idea.

pita and hummus

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13. Vegan cream cheese sandwich

If I was to go vegan, cream cheese would be one of the things I would miss most. But don’t fear, you can now get amazing vegan-friendly cream cheeses that taste just like the real thing. Just look at the sandwich below… it looks creamy, it looks cheesy, and tastes amazing too. Add in some fresh spinach and sun-dried tomatoes and you have one hell of a boat trip sub.

Vegan cheese

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More boat food idea articles

If you haven’t realised by now, I love food as much as I love boating! The two are equal passions. Elsewhere on Pontoonopedia you can find a wealth of information about what types of food are best to take on a boat, including any gear you might need for storing it all safely. You can explore those ideas below.

The last word…

Sandwiches are by far the easiest food and snack to take on a boat. You can prepare them the morning or night before, put them in some ziplock bags, and have everything you need to keep the hunger pangs at bay.

If you do decide to try any of these sandwich ideas when you next to boating, just be aware of how to store and keep food safely whilst on the lake or sea. Things like lake water can quickly contaminate food, as can the sun. Be prepared and take a cooler box with you, and keep all food stuffs out of the shade.