A beautiful, custom-built wine cellar system adds a feel of sophistication to your boat’s cabin. It’s elegant and svelte, totally streamlined and glass-panelled on the outside. On the inside, the cooling system keeps the stylishly displayed rows of wine perfectly chilled. Surely, looking like this, there’s nothing that can go wrong? No one wants to be the bearer of bad tidings, but there are several issues of boating-specific concern to solve.

Wave Rolling Challenges

Boats roll on rough waters. Even when the waves quieten, the boat still bobs at anchor. If its engines engage, as commanded by the skipper’s press of a throttle lever, a responsive engine will send the vessel surging across a lake or sea. If anyone’s belongings aren’t stowed away, they’ll go spilling across the floor, where they could send someone sprawling. If that’s what could happen to someone’s belongings, what’ll happen to a bottle of wine? Nestled in its cavity, it’ll jump forward and break. Wine cellar systems aren’t generally built to be used on boats, which is why specially customized units have been developed for exactly that purpose.

Wine Cellar Owners Beware

Without a custom-built, seafaring wine cellar, a costly row of Chardonnay could end up as a mess of wet, glassy fragments on the cabin floor. To combat this issue, specially designed wine racks secure the bottles in place. The storage units benefit from the installation of roll-dampening mechanisms, too. The next problem is a little easier to manage. Back on a boat, the vessel travels all over the seas. There are high and low temperatures to face, plus the different humidity levels that accompany the temperature spikes. In a land-based wine cellar, the below ground room naturally stays cool. Humidity controlling mechanisms and environmental management systems are available for the times when home cellars aren’t up to the job. Of interest to yachting wine aficionados, those fixed environmental controllers have adapted. Indeed, there are boat-specific variants, which can be further customized to suit any cabin layout, large or small.

In summary, the wave rolling issue isn’t hard to deal with, not when the installed wine racks incorporate special bottle retaining measures. Environmental controls come next, with their cooling innards keeping bottle contents perfectly chilled. Adding some real specifics to the issue, boat skippers do view engine vibrations as potential taste spoiling sources; the engine noise unbalances the tannins that give a bottle of wine its flavour. Therefore, consider purchasing a compact, glass-fronted cooler that offers a superior vibration-dampening feature. By the way, to keep the temperature and humidity controlling apparatus wave-immune, install it low down, deep inside the hull and close to the boat’s central pivot point.