Tips & Tricks
Provisions, Galley, Cooking and Eating out
On a charter vacation your going to be faced with options everywhere. Don't be overwhelmed. These options are good. You can create your experience. Unlike those big box hotels... this is not a package deal.. instead you create the package that fits how you want to spend your time. In this section we talk about food, provisioning, eating out, and all the things that go along with them. Dining options, tricks and tips, and must haves..
Provisions / Storage
When your booking your charter you will be face 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 most-likely a combination of these.
A common mix is to choose a provisioning package that will get you the basics plus staples such as Meat, bread, sandwhich fixings, eggs, milk, juice, water, softdrinks, 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 is worth the expense to have the staples delivered to your yacht before you head out. And the items we listed are tupically harder to find fresh in the local stores. Provisioning will get you high quality meats, eggs, and fresh bread and milk without rolling the dice at a local grocery store. You may find yourself asking.. How long as that 30 dollar streak been sitting there?
Local groceries are great for filling in the gaps after you have your staples.
Ok.. so now you have what you need to make breakfast, lunch, and a dinner for a few days. True.. you don't have 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 you run out of when you see what you truly need. Besides.. your going to run into great bakeries, BBQ's, and markets along your journey. Might as well take advantage.
Now, 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 is the equilivant to 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, your 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? One.. the cooler. The fridge on yachts are small, even on big yachts. Drinks, bottles of fresh water are the domain of the cooler. And your going to have lots of bottles of water.. you wont be drinking the tank water that's for sure (not potable). So.. if you want cold water and cold beer (or coke, whaterver), keep ice on hand. Becareful that you don't become an ice maniac.. your never to far from somewhere that has ice. And A 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 is 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. We covered this little switch earlier.
After you have the gas on, use your lighter to light the burner. 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 I 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. This is where things get a bit strange...
The outside of the oven seems to get hotter than the inside! You could burn yourself by leaning on the thing but yet the food inside never seems to actually cook. How in the heck did they pull that one off?! Moral of this story... there is nothing you need to bake on a boat, otherwise they would have put in an over that worked.
A.KA. the little power sucker. Yes.. this undersized piece of equiptment pulls a good load on the batteries.. but it is an necessary evil. Use the fridge for anything that cant 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 your 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 were on a cat 40 feet or larger. Otherwise you end up either 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 inbetween water stops. Besides, you don't want to have to plan your voyage around water stops every other day. Just to be clear.. we are talking about the tank water.. not bottled.
Tank water is only used for cleaning up. Showers, dishes, flushing the heads (toilets). Those sorts of things. Tank water is never drank unless it is boiled for at least 5 min (tea, coffee type stuff). Here are a few tips and tricks for making the water last longer.
1. In the Shower. Never leave the water running. The shower head has a 2 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 rinse off 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 away easy.. and 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!
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 when your done washing. You can reuse this water for the next wash up. You can get 2 washes out of each set of soapy dish water. You will 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.
We talked about BBQ safety earlier on. After you have competed the safety items, your good to cook. The only thing to note here is that Grills on yachts are small. If your cooking a T-bone... maybe 2 will fit. If your 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 your planning on a big BBQ, consider this limitation in your planning. Otherwise it is no different than cooking on that small webber grill we all started on.
And yes.. they are mostly all charcol 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