Provisioning a yacht for a long passage can seem daunting but with a bit of planning it need not be.
When provisioning a yacht things to consider are
- Length of the passage
- Will there be stops or will you be sailing continuously
- How many crew do you have
- Dietary requirements of your crew eg vegan, vegetarian, allergies
- The climate you are sailing in
- Storage on the vessel, do you have a working fridge freezer?
It goes without saying that running out of provisions on a long passage is going to make an unhappy crew so having enough food for the length of passage and number of crew on board is essential but also having a bit in reserve in case of hold ups is also a good idea.
Consider will there be stops? Is it a power boat and will you be making regular fuel stops in which case you could pick up fresh fruit and vegetables at the same time, are you provisioning a yacht planning only minimal stops, will there even be places to stop on the passage you are undertaking?
The climate that your passage is in will have an impact on the type of food you have, cold climates require stodgier, filling food, stews, curries whereas provisioning a yacht in a hot climate may mean you go more for cold salad lunches and lighter meals.
Have a plan
Firstly have a meal plan before going to the supermarket, it will make provisioning quicker, easier and mean you have less waste.
To make your life easier in a rough sea and if you have a suitable freezer you could make some meals and freeze them before leaving this way they will take up less space than individual ingredients and the packaging can be disposed of before leaving port. It is also easier if you are in a rough sea if you have meals ready prepared that can just be reheated in a sauce pan.
Pasta, rice and sauces, these essentials have a long shelf life, easy to cook in a rough sea and can have a variety of different sauces, meat or vegetables added. They are also easy to keep and reheat hours later on a night watch although be careful with rice, for information on reheating rice and storing cooked rice safely visit NHS site
Lots of fruit and vegetables will last for weeks sometimes months hanging in a rope baskets, potatoes, cabbage, parsnips, onions and apples are just a few examples. These baskets can be suspended somewhere freeing up cupboard space and once again packaging can be disposed of before leaving the marina.
When packing your provisions on the vessel it also a good idea to put things with a shorter shelf life at the front of cupboards and easy to get to places to ensure they are used first.
Tinned goods have a long shelf life and there is no need for refrigeration. Soups can be tinned and in some circumstances make a good easy base for a stew, just be cautious about storing them in a bilge where they may be exposed to salt water and in time cause the tins to corrode.
Love them or hate them, pot noodles and alternatives can have place on a boat, from past experience there is no meal in any restaurant that beats a pot noodle at 3 am on a cold winters watch, its quick, easy, stores almost forever and warming. If pot noodle is not quiet your taste other options include Cup of soup, instant oatmeal, instant pasta and rice pots
Bottled water or water from your tanks?
How well do you know the boat? On a yacht delivery we usually have no knowledge of how long the water has been in the tanks, if a boat has been sat for sale for some time it may not be safe to consume anymore unless boiled first or maybe you would just like to use it for washing and cooking.
If this is case it may be safer to take bottled water for drinking, plastic bottles are safe to be stored anywhere on board.
If it is a new yacht does it have plastic tanks? Sometimes these can leave a fibreglass, plastic after taste. Interestingly this also happens on new boats with fibreglass fridges the food, especially cheese, takes on a fibreglass taste.
Part Baked, finish at home bread.
Part baked bread available from most supermarkets is an excellent way of having fresh bread on a long passage. It’s sealed in plastic and has a long shelf life, easy to cook in a rough sea, just drop in to a hot oven and wait 15 minutes.
Another favourite of ours when provisioning a yacht although they do take up space, they are great in a rough sea as all you have to do is put them in an oven and wait, also good if you have crew with different diet requirements eg vegetarian as you can buy them with different+ toppings or add your own.
If you have time consider preparing vegetables, things like carrots can be peeled and chopped then placed in a fridge in a freezer bag, again it is easier than doing in a rough sea and all the peelings and packaging can be disposed of before leaving port.
A good source of recipe ideas is available on AllRecipes.com there’s lots of ideas for lentils, cabbage, butternut squash, pasta dishes, rice dishes and so forth, all long lasting ingredients which do not have to be refrigerated.