Charter Advisors' How To Guide
Provisions and Storage
Provisions / Storage
When you're booking your charter you will be faced with the decision to either choose a provisioning plan, shop for food when you get there, or take on the basics (water, ice, toilet paper, garbage bags, etc) and eat out for each meal.
Don't be fooled into thinking these are your only options. Just like most things in life the best thing for you is up to you. No provisions, a full provision plan, or a mix of the two.
A common way to mix provisions with your own cooking is to choose a provisioning package that will get you the basics plus staples such as meat, bread, sandwich fixings, eggs, milk, juice, water, soft drinks, and ice. This will get you what you need to get going without spending a fortune. Provisioning service is more expensive than shopping yourself, but it can be worth the expense to have the staples delivered to your yacht before you head out. The items we listed are typically harder to find fresh in the local stores. Provisioning will get you higher quality meats, eggs, and fresh bread and milk without rolling the dice at a local grocery store. You may find yourself asking... how long has that 30 dollar streak been sitting there?
If there is a local grocer or market nearby (even the provision market) and you have the time, you may want to opt to shop when you get there. The benefit to this is that you can choose exactly what you want in the exact quantity you want. No substitutions, no packages with things you don't need, no mountain of plastic cups you will never use. They are great for filling in the gaps during your trip.
In general, when charters provision, they order WAY too much. By a long shot. There can be between 1/3 to 1/4 left over. Again.. this is a general thing. But why? Because people shop like they would for a week's worth of food at home. In actuality you will need much less. You eat lighter and you will eat out and pick up local flavors along the way. Buy only what you know you will need. You can always pick up more.
Ok, so if you followed our tip, would now you have what you need to make breakfast, lunch, and a dinner for a few days. Not enough for the whole trip, but so what. This method will give you flexibility to eat out when you want, cook when you want, and shop for whatever when you run out. You're going to run into great bakeries, BBQs, and markets along your journey. Might as well take advantage.
Ok, if all of the above makes your eyes water, consider either full provisioning for every meal or eating out exclusively. But we would still recommend the basics we outlines above for staples. It is handy to have food in the fridge no mater what your plan is.
ICE, ICE, ICE
Ice might as well be called "Cold Gold" in the islands. It must be. It can be hard to find, sold at a market premium, and sold in quantities larger than you desire.
But, you're going to need it. So, ice up when you go ashore. Grab a bag each time (or one every other day) and you will always have fresh ice on hand.
Why do you need soo much Ice? A, the cooler. The fridges on yachts are small, even on big yachts. Drinks, bottles of fresh water are the domain of the cooler. And you're going to have lots of bottles of water. You won't be drinking the tank water that's for sure. At least it is not advisable. So.. if you want cold water and cold beer (or coke, whatever), keep ice on hand. Be careful that you don't become an ice maniac.. you're never too far from somewhere that has ice. Luke warm water never killed anyone (Luke warm beer is another story all together).
Stove / Oven
The stove is hot... the oven may not.
At least this has been our experience. The stove-top burners are just like any other gas stove with one exception. You will have to turn on the LP/Gas switch on the control panel to the gas flowing.
After you have the gas on, use your lighter to light the burner. Or if you have an electric starting oven, a press of the light button. That's it.
Note.. it will heat up the cabin a bit, so open the windows and hatches.
The oven... yes, it is there, but we swear they build these things inside out.
Just like the stove you have to sick your lighter into the oven lighting port to get the gas burning or push the light button. This is where things can sometimes get a bit strange...
In some cases, the outside of the oven gets hotter than the inside. You could burn yourself by leaning on the thing but yet the food inside thaws quickly rather than cook. We figure there is a hidden truth here. There is nothing you need to bake on a boat. Otherwise they'd put in an oven that worked.
A.KA. the little power sucker. This undersized piece of equipment pulls a good load on the batteries, but a necessary evil as we all know. Use the fridge for anything that can't go in the cooler or on ice. You may require a "cooler-box" as a back up to your fridge if you are taking on a lot of provisions. A cooler box is a second fridge that plugs into the 12 volt outlet inside the cabin. It keeps food cold just as the fridge would. The drawback is that it is sitting on the floor in the cabin taking up space. If you're on a smaller cat or Monohull a cooler box will probably get in the way. We only use cooler boxes when we have to AND when we're on a cat 40 feet or larger or a Monohull 44 feet or larger. Otherwise you end up climbing over it or using it as a piece of oversized furniture.
Tank Water / Use - Tricks
Water just as ice is a limited commodity. Yes you can always get more, but with a bit of care you can extend the time in between water stops. Besides, you don't want to have to plan your voyage around water stops every other day. Just to be clear, we're talking about the tank water, not bottled.
Tank water is only used for cleaning up. Showers, tooth brushing, dishes, etc. Tank water is never used for drinking unless it is boiled for at least 5 min. (tea, coffee). Here are a few tips and tricks for making the water last longer.
1.In the shower. Never leave the water running. The showerhead has a two-position switch. One position is on and the other is a trigger. Use the trigger to wet down and rinse off rather than running the water the whole time. The more people you have the more important this is. Showers are the main pull on your tank water resources. Or just take a group of guys, they can wash up in the salt water!
2.Bring a multi use bio-degradeable soap. Why talk about soap to save water? Well, a "camping" soap of this type breaks down in salt or fresh water, rinses clean away. You can clean everything from yourself to dishes, to clothes with it. And it will even get you clean in salt water. You will waste less water rinsing off and have the option for a sea bath if you want one! Not to mention, it's no harsh detergent. Good for skin and the environment.
3.Dishes. Leave the soapy water in the sink (not advisable in a Monohull, it will spill). If possible, leave the soapy water in the sink after a round of dishes. You can reuse this water for the next wash up. You can get 2 washes out of each set of soapy dish-water normally. You'll have to leave this in the sink anyway until you have motored out of the mooring area or anchorage anyway. It's bad form to empty your sink in these areas as the dirty sink water is going to be emptied directly into the water under you. Your neighbors will not be impressed at the bubbles floating by. At least you know it's OK IF you used the biodegradable stuff!
We talked about BBQ safety earlier on. After you have competed the safety items, you're good to cook. The only thing to note here is that grills on yachts are small. If you're cooking a T-bone, maybe 1 1/2 will fit. If you're cooking for more.. consider smaller cuts of meat. The most we have ever fit on one of these is 4 burgers or 4 tenderloin fillets. If you're planning on a big BBQ, consider this limitation in your planning.
Lighting these can be challenging. Opt for the briquettes in the paraffin wax carton or use a paraffin wax starter if you're using regular charcoal (even if it's match light). Between the wind and humidity even the best, "one match" charcoal can delay dinner indefinitely.
Otherwise it is no different than cooking on that small Webber grill we all started on.
And yes. They are mostly all charcoal grills (even if they were intended to be gas!). Some lucky few will get a gas grill set up as it was intended, but this is not the norm.
- Charter Review: The Moorings 5800 Ocean Suite by Captain Kev
- Charter Review: VOYAGE Charters, VOYAGE 520 Silver Lining by Capt. Kev