Food boats: The new food trucks

Culinary school online​ might be a great first step toward opening a food truck, but don’t limit yourself to land right away. While food trucks rely on being mobile culinary hubs around cities and parks, a new trend in food boats has on-the-go eateries heading out to the high seas. These nautical restaurants are the perfect fix for any avid boater out on the water. Summer is a time to enjoy the lake, but it can be tough to pack a large meal without a place to cook, especially in a small boat like a canoe or kayak. Luckily, food boats will help solve your hunger when you cast out for an afternoon on the water.

Why food boats?
Food trucks have risen in popularity due to their mobility and convenience. Similarly, food boats are seeking to make eating easier on boaters. Rather than dock the boat at a local deli or grill, boaters can now eat right out on the water and enjoy the same fast service as they would from a food truck. Such is the case with the Burger Buoy, a refurbished houseboat that serves burgers around the south shore of Long Island. Local boaters dealt with long lines that took away from their time on the boat, so the Burger Buoy developed a docking system to safely pass off food to hungry boaters on open water. Customers can either hail down the food boat or call in advance and place an order. Food boats  then benefit from servicing a niche market, and they don’t have to worry about having too much competition.

Like-minded chefs saw a similar demand in Seattle and repurposed a 24-foot pontoon boat to service as a floating hotdog stand. Summer Dog, as the barge is known, generally operates near the University of Washington boat launch on Lake Washington. The Summer Dog team anchors down to avoid too much rocking in the waves, and serves passing by boaters classic hotdogs with a wide array of condiments.

The major drawback of food boats is that in most regions they only cater to a seasonal crowd. States such as Michigan have many lakes, convincing numerous local residents to try out food boats in the summer, especially on weekends like the Fourth of July. Yet in these locales, cold winters make food boats in such locales an impossibility outside of the hot summer months.

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