Article by JFA Yacht & Ship Consultant Mark Outlaw
After the menu is planned, lists are made, and the shopping is done, it’s time to stow the provisions and manage how the crew (and Captain) interact with your carefully laid plans (which will take a bit of organization on its own!).
First Things First: What to Bring on the Boat vs. Leave at the Dock
To maximize your space aboard, discard as much packaging as you can. Never keep cardboard on the boat (including cereal boxes). Roaches live in cardboard, and we don’t want them, or any other critters, as special guests. Additionally, you don’t want to have to deal with disposing packaging once you’re out at sea. You’ll have enough garbage as it is. Pro Tip #1? Use clear your biggest ziplock bags for the cereal!
Perishables that spoil or melt get top priority when loading provisions. First, find and transfer all things frozen to the freezer. Even if you’re waiting for the freezer to get cold, put frozen items in right away because it will act like a cooler until the refrigeration catches up. Next, find the meat. Freeze everything that isn’t going to be used the first day (just remember to keep out a pack of bacon for breakfast). From there, each night you’ll move the protein for the next day from the freezer to the refrigerator.
Eggs come in their own sealed container (aka the shell) and a dozen of them come in a styrofoam or paper container. Eggs do not require refrigeration. Find a shady place out of the way to store them. I like storing eggs in the microwave (it makes a great bread box, too.)
Fruits and Veggies
Take into consideration which vegetables have longer shelf life than others (ex: romaine lettuce can last a week, potatoes and carrots longer). Some fruits and vegetables aren’t compatible to store together. With a quick google search, you can find information on long term food preservation. Before you store, give your perishables a quick scan and send anything with questionable freshness to the trash. This will save you from dealing with early deterioration.
Non-Refrigerated Foods & Medical Items
Use baskets to organize non-refrigerated foods that aren’t stowed in a pantry. Breakfast items can go in a basket, lunch in another, and the like in a third. Pro Tip #2 – create a snack basket and put it in a convenient location (I like a shelf behind the dining table) with cereal bars, chips, crackers, candy, and fruit. First aid, sunscreen, motion sickness and other consumable meds will go in a different basket.
Keep Updated Notes on Inventory
Always keep in mind what, where, and how much? You can create an all-up stores location list on a spreadsheet. Mark the quantity of food and beverages and edit as items are used.
Keep a cooler in the cockpit filled with drinks and ice. Each crew member should have their own Yeti cup to drink out of. Pro Tip #3 – Put koozies on them so it’s easy to identify whose who’s.
Manage the crew
Likely, the planned menu includes rotating proteins (as discussed in part 1 of our blog series) and ingredients for your recipes are dedicated to a specific day and time for use. However, the crew gets hungry when you least expect it and may start shopping for a snack. Items that are critical to a certain recipe may disappear if you don’t socially engineer the crew to do their part in following the provisioning plan.
Have the captain give a galley briefing following the safety brief that includes:
- Respecting your fellow crew members’ share of the meal. For example, if the serving is buffet style at each meal, your portion would be 1/6, if it’s a six-person crew.
- Everybody helps with meals. Either cook, clean or prep (ie, set the table, fix drinks, etc.). This is made easier by setting a routine. Set easy to remember rules such as:
- “The person coming off watch cleans up”.
- “The person going on watch preps the meal.”
- “The person on watch gets served at their station or rotated with a relief while they eat.”
- If you get hungry between meals, grab something from the snack basket which is fair game all day long. Please don’t go after items that are stored somewhere else, as they are needed for meals.
Now it’s time to set sail! You have made a plan and will implement it in style. Everyone eats together (as much as possible), and everyone shares the workload. A well-fed crew is a happy crew. A happy crew makes for a very happy cruise and memories that will last a lifetime.
We hope you enjoyed our three-part series on “How to Provision for a Yachting Trip. To read part one click here, and to read part two click here. May you have fair winds and following seas!
Mark Outlaw is a founding member of the JFA Yacht & Ship Team, serves as CIO, and continues to enjoy working with his clients as a veteran yacht consultant. Looking for an expert yacht consultant who is an innovative expert who value’s integrity, superior service, and authentic relationships? Contact Mark Outlaw today at 561-319-7004 or at firstname.lastname@example.org