Tips for Provisioning for a Sailing Voyage

Tips for Provisioning for a Sailing Voyage, Tips for Provisioning for a Sailing Voyage

With a recent real ice box voyage in Maine completed, I pondered all I had learned and remembered about provisioning supplies and loading food in a fridge or icebox. Some of these tips are from a month-long Bahamas plan for a group of sailors sharing a 35-foot sailboat. Add your tips in the comments!

Initial questions to ask:

  • How long is the trip?
  • Is there a place to reprovision at any point? 
  • How many breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners?
  • How often are you probably going to eat ashore?
  • How many people are going on the trip? 
  • What is their eating style? Small meals? Big meals? 
  • Are you likely to have unexpected guests join you?
  • How many passages are involved? Ready-to-eat and snacks needed!
  • Will you catch any fish or shellfish to augment supplies?
  • Does anyone have any food allergies / preferences / requirements?
  • Does anyone have medications that need space in the ice box?
  • How big is the ice box? 
  • Are there items you can use canned / dry? Example; powdered creamer.
  • Are there meals you can semi-prep ahead of time? 
  • How to store/protect recipes – or make meals for which you don’t need recipes?
  • Who is cooking what when – one person or rotate duties?
  • Where are the fire extinguishers, fire blanket, curtains, escape hatches?

Tips for supplies:

  • Remove items from packaging, keep instruction section.
  • Reduce every supply to its smallest size. 
  • Cut or rip trash into tiny bits, stuff into plastic jugs.
  • All food waste goes overboard.
  • Permanent marker tops of canned goods; labels get lost – mystery meal!
  • Cardboard boxes host roach eggs, other undesirables. Leave those ashore.
  • Make a list of what / where supplies are in the ice box and cabinets.
  • Pack and freeze meats in reusable bags and label with name, amount. 
  • Freeze items flat and square, in stackable uniform sizes.
  • Consider vacuum packing.
  • Long voyage? Store small portions of flour, pastas in separate bags. There will be bugs. 
  • If you have a huge fridge; you can precook your rice to save time and fuel.
  • Milk can be frozen – take a bit out to allow for expansion. 
  • Hummus can be frozen too; layer with olive oil.
  • Butter and cheese freeze well. 
  • Don’t freeze potatoes – they last a long time, nor sour cream, or meat with bones.

Good items to bring:

  • Chickpeas are a protein…
  • Canned goods last without ice and are cooked – canned chicken, tuna, etc. 
  • Same for veggies. Choose those that last ages; butternut squash, pumpkin, cabbage, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots.
  • Use salad dressings that don’t need refrigeration – oil and vinegar.
  • Rice does a lot – rice bowls, rice and beans, under chili or curry. 
  • Bring foods that last a long time. Cabbage, carrots, parsnips, roots, squash, pumpkins, apples.
  • Items that you “just add water!” Example; Nuun, Scratch, Clif instead of Gatorade.
  • Protein shakes that need only water – Isagenix, 
  • Add water items: instant oatmeal, dried soup, noodles, milk, dried insert food here. 
  • Mixes – packaged or make your own – brownies, cookies, cake, pancakes, muffins.
  • Tomato powder – add water for tomato paste or more for tomato sauce.
  • Huel – – nutritionally complete plant-based food.
  • Isagenix shakes – – mix nicely with water; good consistency.
  • Peanut butter, 
  • Tortilla wraps don’t take up much space and they last a long time.

Ice box packing tips:

  • Block ice lasts longer than cubes.
  • Whatever touches the ice will freeze a bit.
  • Put produce at the top. Use jars of mayonnaise, etc to put a barrier between ice and produce.
  • Plan ahead, open briefly, close quickly. Don’t leave it open for long periods of time.

Tips for action:

  • Whoever cooks cleans up. Inspires cook to take it easy on creating a mess.
  • Coffee – French press, Moka pot, pour-through or percolator.
  • Everyone bring their own drinking water cup with non-spill lid.
  • Salads blow away, but soups don’t. 
  • Use the lids on pots.
  • Washable napkins for each person cuts down on trash.
  • Or – use your paper towel to wipe your plate to make cleanup easier, discard overboard.
  • Balance proteins, carbs, fruit and veg. Make room in the plan for “fun” comfort food.
  • Plan ahead for passages and rough weather – prepare food in advance.
  • Plan ahead for cooking once, using leftovers in the next day’s meals.
Tips for Provisioning for a Sailing Voyage, Tips for Provisioning for a Sailing Voyage

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