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Provisioning for a week-long boat charter

Traveling abroad presents a unique opportunity to try out new flavors of exotic cuisines. While many sailors enjoy dining ashore, some destinations require different planning due to the lack of local restaurants or available provision shops along the way. But even if you are sailing in culinary heaven, you might still prefer having a morning coffee and breakfast or a snack on board. To that extent, proper provisioning is essential to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable journey.

Most charter companies will offer provisioning services at different levels:

  • Pre-fixed menu provisioning based on the number of passengers

  • Online/list grocery shopping service delivered to the boat

  • Fully catered charters with a chef (of course the chef service is at an additional cost).

This article will focus on self-provisioning, either by going to a local grocery store or by ordering from n online/list of groceries provided by the charter company. We will discuss some provisioning considerations and ideas, and offer tips and insights to maximize your experience while cruising the seas.

  1. Planning and Preparation: Start by creating a detailed itinerary, outlining the route, destinations, and expected duration of your voyage. Research must-try restaurants and local famous or secret gemstone kitchens to help plan meals ashore and on board. Some destinations, such as Greece and Croatia, are famous to provide free dockage in exchange for crew dining at the restaurant on the quay. While exploring local cuisine can be a delightful part of the journey, familiarize yourself with the availability of grocery stores and markets along your route. Take into account the number of people on board, their dietary preferences, and any specific dietary restrictions. Lastly, ask your crew what is it that they can't live without, and make sure to add that to your provision list (of course, within reasonable scope... Some remote islands may not have almond milk and gluten-free crackers. In that case - make sure to instruct your crew to provision for that independently at home and bring these specialty foods with them.).

  2. Stocking Up on Food and Beverages: Prioritize non-perishable items such as canned goods, dried fruits, nuts, and grains. These will ensure you have essential sustenance even if fresh supplies run low. Remember to include a variety of snacks and easy-to-prepare meals that require minimal cooking, as kitchen facilities on boats are often compact, and sailing conditions may not be easy (imagine a boat healing...) Utilize their fresh produce and local foods to create delectable meals, allowing you to savor the regional flavors.

  3. Hydration and Refreshments: Staying hydrated during your boat charter is crucial, especially under the sun. Carry an ample supply of bottled water and consider investing in a water purifier for extended voyages. The average daily water intake of adults is 3 liters or 3/4 of a gallon. Multiply by the number of people on board and the number of days you will be spending on board to come up with the right amount to provision for. For example: for a 7-day cruise of 6 passengers, you need to get 3L (per person) x 6 (number of passengers) x 7 (days) = 126 Litres or 31.5 gallons. Remember that 1 gallon equals 4 liters. Enhance the onboard refreshment options by packing juices, soft drinks, and of course, a few selections of your favorite alcoholic beverages for evening relaxation.

  4. Kitchen Equipment and Utensils: Most charter boats will be equipped with essential cooking tools, utensils, pots, pans, cutlery, and dishes. A stove, a propane oven, and sometimes a grill are also standard on charter boats. As for refrigeration, all boats typically have a small refrigerator, and sometimes there's a freezer too. Since the refrigerator is powered by 12V house batteries, and especially if the fridge is overloaded, it might not be efficiently keeping cool. In that case, plan to provision and replenish ice to help keep the refrigerator temperature down. Remember that storage space is often limited, so choose multipurpose items that simplify meal preparation. Don't forget to provision cleaning supplies, such as garbage bags, dish liquid, dish sponge, paper towel, and ziplock bags to maintain proper hygiene during your journey.

  5. Provisions for Leisure and Activities: A week-long boat charter is not just about cruising and eating; it's also about embracing leisure and recreational activities. Pack a variety of books, games (card games are easy to carry), snorkeling gear (some charter companies provide those), floaties and other entertainment options to keep everyone engaged during the voyage. Some charter companies offer weekly rentals of kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, and fishing rods and equipment. These items will not only add to the fun but also allow you to make the most of your time spent on and around the water.

  6. Waste Management: Being responsible travelers, it is essential to adhere to proper waste management practices while on a boat charter. Minimize single-use plastics and dispose of waste appropriately, ensuring it does not end up in the sea. Remember to adhere to local regulations and guidelines for waste disposal at each destination. Bring refillable water bottles, try to use recyclable bags, sort your garbage to keep recyclable trash aside, and use biodegradable soaps and detergents.

Happy provisioning!

Book your next sailing charter with Neptune's Daughter and get a complimentary consultation covering provisioning considerations and planning at the destination of your charter.

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