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How Do You Feed a Boatload of Sailors for an Extended Voyage?

Since the first maritime navigators took to the sea over 10,000 years ago, the task of keeping hungry sailors fed throughout an extended voyage has been a daunting one.

Today, feeding our nation’s sailors still requires painstaking efficiency and conscientious ingenuity, as galleys operate around the clock to feed entire crews. When a maritime vessel heads out to sea, it can be under or above the waves for weeks, even months. After ten days, all fresh food has been consumed, requiring onboard cooks to become extremely creative in order to provide the sailors with a variety of flavorful options. After all, food provides more than just nourishment. It provides an opportunity for good company, a few laughs, a comfortable atmosphere, and even a small taste of home. Meals can often be the highlight of a sailors’ day.

Let’s take, for instance, the galley of a submarine like the USS Jefferson City. With a very compact 10’ x 14’ galley, only two can do the cooking—one during the day and one at night. There are two convection ovens, a microwave oven, a deep fryer, a pair of cavernous soup pots, and an industrial-sized mixer. A tiny sink, sanitizer, cabinets, drawers, a set of recipe cards, and a large assortment of spices fill the rest of the space. On a submarine, one must take up as little room as possible.

It’s hard to imagine the planning and organization necessary to provision the food for a submarine, or any ship for that matter, like the USS Jefferson City. Six months at sea means three weeks of full-time efforts to securely stow an initial food load worth about $150,000, followed by five replenishments of about $110,000 from ports along the way. The walk-in freezer and walk-in refrigerator are packed so tightly there’s not an inch to spare. Dry, packed goods are also stacked tightly from floor to ceiling.

With over eighty years providing innovative, quality, ship-worthy products for the military Cospolich continues to help feed this nation’s commercial and military sailors, by providing design assistance for well-designed, durable kitchen components including Galley/Mess Areas and Equipment, Refrigerators, Walk-In Coolers and Freezers, and Serving Lines. Cospolich, Inc.’s capable engineering staff carries on the quality established by founder C.J. Cospolich in 1937 by using computer-generated drawings and 3D modeling in every design, and a production crew that uses state-of-the-art lasers to cut the stainless steel integral to all their cabinets. Their unique expertise, fine-tuned for military use, is available to every kind of ship around the world.

Contact Cospolich to learn more about how we can help feed your crew and passengers!


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