Article by JFA Yacht & Ship Consultant Mark Outlaw
Although the planning stages can be time consuming, thinking through a provision strategy before you sail means your trip will be much more flexible and enjoyable. This blog is a continuation of our “How To Provision for a Yachting Trip” series. If you missed part one, “Planning and Budgeting,” click to read the article here. In this part, we get to shop!
Make a List
- When it comes to shopping for food, it’s always a good idea to make a list before you leave for the store. Your list will help you with “what to buy” and you won’t miss important items needed for one recipe or another.
- Just like a good captain keeps a logbook, a good chef keeps a recipe book. Once you decide what recipes are planned, write down the ingredients needed and items you’ll need to purchase.
- Think about what you want to drink with meals and in between those meals. Make sure to include alcoholic beverages too (a potential recipe book on its own).
- Think through what you want to eat the meals with. In many cases, eating with your hands is preferable and fun. I would still want a napkin though!
- Don’t overlook the messy part. Game plan how you’ll clean up after meals and what products are needed. Add those products to your shopping list as well.
- Stock supplies for your onboard “medical chest.” You’ll want to add basic pain relievers and first aid kit items like bandaids, antibiotic cream, rash and burn creams, sunscreen, and most importantly sea sickness relief.
Divide and Conquer
- Once you have your list, you are ready to shop. I always recommend shopping locally to support the economy in the location you are getting to enjoy.
- These days, all good shopping starts online. Before you buy, make sure you don’t already have what you need. In the case of provisioning for your bare boat charter, that can include sending an email to the crew, asking them to bring personal provisions that are their own absolute “must-haves” or comfort items (ie: specialty toiletries, difficult to find or way overpriced in the islands liquors, and a reminder to bring prescription medications). My personal must-have is usually candy!
Sort by Store
- Next, separate the shopping list you created into sub lists based on the specialty of the stores in the location you’ll be visiting. Simply google stores that meet those needs. You can imagine from the categories on the list, you would want to search for grocery stores, liquor stores and pharmacies. A lot of islands have Super Stores that will be able to handle bulk purchases of all three. Your menu, however, may call for more specialized shops (online is still the first place to look for those).
- You’ll be able to source and buy perishables as you go from the regions you visit. Look for current travel log reporting on what fresh produce is routinely available at street markets along your route. That may even give you ideas on a change in menu!
Ask Fellow Sailors
- A good sailor seeks local knowledge, so see what has been shared by other cruisers or ask people around the docks where they shopped.
Stay tuned to the blog for the third and final installment of our series, “How to Provision for a Yachting Trip.” Part three will cover “Managing the food and beverages once on board.”
For further discussion, contact Mark Outlaw at 561-319-7004 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark foraging for provisions.