12 Best Coffee Makers for Boats

From the AeroPress to the Hamilton Beach Coffee Urn, this list of 12 coffee makers is bound to have a device that's perfect for your next boat trip.

Person enjoying cup of coffee on a boat

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Last Updated on January 18, 2024

When the weather is good, few places will give you as relaxing a night of sleep as a boat. Gently rocking to sleep on an overnight yacht trip, far away from city lights and noises, and the stresses of work and modern life, is restful and restorative for the soul.

However, the boating life is better known for quality of sleep than quantity. On board, early wakeup calls and grogginess are the norm when you have to prepare and plan for the tasks of the day ahead. A good, hot cup of coffee is the best friend of many habitual sailors.

If you’re in need of a new coffee maker to take out on your boat for overnight trips, what do you need to consider and which coffee makers are the best?

Man enjoying cup of coffee on a boat

The best coffee makers for boats are ideally quick, easy to clean, easy to store, relatively inexpensive and make great-tasting coffee.

The overall best style of coffee maker for boats is a French press, but a number of other methods are suitable. If you have access to electricity on board, a whole new category opens up for ocean-going coffee fans.

Coffee Brewing Methods to Use at Sea

French Press

French press coffee maker for coffee on a boat

French presses feature ease of use, good taste, consistent brews and a reasonable price. Cleanup can be a bit of a problem. Overall, it’s generally considered the top brewing method for many boats.

Stove-Top Percolators

Inexpensive and easy to use, these make strong, hot coffee. However, cleanup can be messy and you can get some coffee granules in your drink. It takes a while, and you must watch and time things carefully. Not good for sailors busy with the wind on deck.

Manual Drip Cones (Pour-Over Method)

Pour-over coffee method for coffee on a boat

Inexpensive, with ease/convenience, speed and relatively easy cleanup. Good idea to have as a backup plan on your boat.

Electric Coffee Makers

If you’ve got the power and the space, there are lots of models out there.

Small Espresso Makers

Lightweight and very compact, featuring quick, easy use and cleanup. These machines produce one cup of espresso at a time.

Instant Coffee

Whether for single-serve packets or a jar of coffee grounds, it can be stored onboard as an emergency backup option.

Coffee Makers We Recommend for Boats

So you’re ready to narrow your choices down and make a decision.

Here are several makes and models to consider, all of which brew great boat coffee.


Compact, portable and lightweight, the AeroPress makes great morning coffee and is a relatively easy clean. Unlike a standard French press, used grounds can be ejected from the device.

One minor drawback: it only makes a couple of cups at a time, so it’s best suited for one or two sailors.

Bialetti Moka Express

The Moka Express is compact, unbreakable, and makes a delicious espresso or strong coffee. A little more high maintenance: cleanup can be a bit messy, the handles get hot, and it requires some focus when using.

KONA French Press

The KONA French Press comes at an affordable price for high quality. It’s lightweight, with an insulated and protective outer sleeve and a comfortable handle that protects your hand from high temperatures. The filter does let some grinds through if they are too fine, though.

BruTrek Table Top French Press

Some of the best coffee makers for boats

The BruTrek Table Top French Press makes good coffee, with an easy clean, low maintenance and quiet operation (if your first mate is still asleep!). Some glass parts.

Cuisinart DCC-450BK Coffee Maker

The Cuisinart DCC-450BK Coffee Maker is compact and durable, with a brew-pause feature and easy pour spot. It uses just 550 watts. One drawback: you’ll go through a lot of filters.

Sboly Drip Coffee Maker

One of the best coffee makers for boats

A hi-tech powerhouse, the Sboly Drip Coffee Maker features touch screen controls, an LCD display, brewing strength control, and is 24-hour programmable. Available in stainless steel (preferred) or glass. The downside is the electricity (120 volts, 900 watts), and some users have noted the coffee does not stay hot for longer periods of time.

Bodum 1928-16US4 Coffee Maker

A combo of stainless steel and a fair bit of glass, the Bodum is an easy-cleaning fast brew and reasonably durable.

Farberware 47053 Classic Coffee Maker

The Farberware is a rugged, nicely finished steel machine. It’s non-messy and durable, with a large capacity. It does have a glass handle top that you should wrap a towel around when storing.

Moss & Stone Electric Percolator

Made of stainless steel and copper, the Moss & Stone is durable and features removable parts for a relatively easy clean. It maintains temperatures for 20 minutes and can brew 2–10 cups of coffee.

Melitta 46894 Thermal Coffee Brewer

This Melitta pour-over brewer features stainless steel and can keep 10 cups warm for hours.

Hamilton Beach 45-Cup Coffee Urn

Who’s throwing a boat party? The choice of Russian oligarch yacht owners, the Hamilton Beach Coffee Urn is a fast brew with a huge capacity and a ready indicator light. Also, a two-way dispenser. On the downside, the urn is not heat resistant and requires some serious cleaning.


Lightweight and very compact, the Handpresso is quick and easy to use with minimal cleanup, and makes one cup of espresso at a time. Impressive, but pricey.

Things To Think About Before You Buy

Before you get started shopping, there are a number of factors to consider that will help influence which coffee maker you buy for your boat.

Space and Sizing

On board, how much space can you devote to coffee? The needs and choices for a 24-footer can be very different than those for a 45′.

Interior kitchen space in a boat that has room for one of the best coffee makers for boats
Not everyone has a luxury boat with a kitchen like this. Where will you put your coffee maker?

Think about the sizing of cups and the capacity of your coffee maker.

Most coffee pots label by 6-ounce cups. If you have two coffee drinkers on board and each wants a couple of mugs in the morning, that could easily equal 8–10 “cups.”

Be careful with glass pots, which are not ideal for boat storage. If your maker of choice includes some glass, think about some simple padding options for when it’s not in use.


Is electricity available or not? This factor obviously greatly influences your options. An electric coffee maker can require up to 800 watts of energy. You need a 1000-watt inverter, a generator, or access to shore power.


Are you a recreational, one weekend away every month or two type, or a full-time live-aboard sailor?

Ease of Use

Coffee makers run the gamut from virtually hands-off operation to active involvement. Which do you prefer? How much attention/time do you want to give to a coffee maker in the morning?

Keeping Coffee Hot

Do you intend to drink the brew immediately or later in the middle of a watch on deck?

Couple enjoying coffee on a boat after using one of the best coffee makers for boats


Obviously, the coffee maker you ultimately sail with should brew fresh coffee that you really enjoy.

Making Your Choice

Evaluate the specific needs on your boat and then make your choice.

If you can’t decide, buy two and either return the runner-up or keep it as a backup.

Waking up to great coffee on the water is one of life’s great pleasures, and you’ll start planning boat trips just based on that sensory experience.

Gentle waves at night,
Coffee brews at dawn's first light,
Sailor's delight.

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