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post #1 of 13 Old 10-03-2006 Thread Starter
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Unhappy Canned goods on a cruising boat

This may be a dumb question, but I'm planning to sail south to the Caribbean in another couple of weeks. I've been provisioning my boat, and I may have gone a little overboard on the canned goods. I may have read a little too many of the Pardey books, with their goal of three months of food when provisioning is available.

At the same time, I have access to a vehicle and discount grocery stores right now--I'm assuming stores along the coast will be more expensive, and I know provisions are more expensive on the islands. The problem is that my boat is a Ranger 33, which is a cruiser-racer, a racing hull with a cruising interior. I know that Ranger 33s have crossed oceans, but I don't know with how much weight.

I know that all of my provisions are going to affect things like speed, and windward ability, and momentum, but do I need to worry about safety? Will they affect my degree of heel? And righting ability? I obviously will store everything as low and as close to the center of the boat as possible, and keep my wine bottles stashed in the keel, but you hear stories about fishing boats sinking because of greed and heavy loads.

After I had a nightmare last night about flipping my boat, I figured I'd ask the experts. What does everyone think?
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post #2 of 13 Old 10-04-2006
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For a reality check, look at your waterline now, compared to before. I'll bet that it's changed (at most) by a few inches. Sleep well and enjoy your trip!
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post #3 of 13 Old 10-04-2006
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Unless you're storing all your canned goods on deck, it shouldn't make the boat that unstable. That said...make sure how ever you do store the canned goods that they can not shift, even at high angles of heel or if you are rolled. A 16 oz. can of soup is a lethal projectile, and if the boat heels and they do shift, that could cause you a lot of problems.

If you are storing cans where moisture is an issue, it might be wise to mark the tops with indelible ink (think Sharpie markers) and coat the cans in wax. Removing the labels of cans stored in the bilge can be a really good idea too...as the labels will tend to come off and can end up plugging the bilge pump hose and such.

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post #4 of 13 Old 10-04-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
That said...make sure how ever you do store the canned goods that they can not shift, even at high angles of heel or if you are rolled. A 16 oz. can of soup is a lethal projectile, and if the boat heels and they do shift, that could cause you a lot of problems.
Good caveat SD.
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post #5 of 13 Old 10-04-2006
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Karl-
What sailingdog said, EVERY word of it. Labels off, wax (or shellac, something) on, and everything SECURED because those cans will become nasty missiles in a rough sea. If you have them below your floorboards, you should have positive latches to secure the floorboards, and strong enough to take the extra weight of the cans pushing against them.

If you find out you've packed too much food...give some dinner parties. Worse things happen.
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post #6 of 13 Old 10-05-2006 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice, everyone. The consensus from my other sailing friends is the same--no more nightmares! You're right, the waterline is at most an inch below, if that. Then again, I have all my books to move aboard!

I have been very careful about making sure everything's secure. The thought of a can accelerating towards my head is not a good one, as with the books, and the bottles of wine.

See you out there!
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post #7 of 13 Old 10-05-2006
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From: http://www.latitude38.com/calendar.htm

October, 1986 - Twenty Years After, from the article Reprovisioning in the South Pacific by Toni Withington Knudson:

To those of us who have been cruising longer than a year, the search for favorite American foods is non-ending and where to restock the larder is a major topic of conversation. When we left Hawaii five years ago, Ty, Justin and I bought what we thought was a year's supply of just about everything. This was a mistake. We wish we had filled our larder with special things we like most - and planned on getting staples along the way. For example, it was a well-remembered day when we ran out of American catsup - our last real hamburger. On the other hand, soups languished away in bins until they rusted and were thrown out.

This brings up another point about food planning for the tropics. Diets change. In the heat and humidity of the islands, no one hungers for the hot stick-to-the-rib meals of the north. Furthermore, recipes tend to get chosen for the least amount of time the stove or oven is heating up the cabin.

The truth about food in the South Pacific is that the longer you are down here, the more your diet goes native. The natural fruits and vegetables, while not too varied, can be prepared in many different ways. Our fish consumption increases each year. We don't even stock canned tuna anymore. Why bother when we catch them pretty regularly?

Cooking habits change as well as diets. At first I overstocked with convenience foods - open-a-can or add-boiling-water stuff. Meals tend to take on added importance on a cruise, especially at sea. I enjoy spending more time preparing meals from scratch than I did at home.

For several years I have been questioning fellow cruisers about what they wish they had brought more of and what they would have left behind. The usual answer is that more storage space would have been filled with specialty foods - sauces, condiments, spices and favorite snack foods. What would have been left behind are ordinary foods such as vegetables, fruits, corned beef, tomato sauce, soups and tuna. These can be bought just about anywhere, even in the smallest trade store. And in some places for even cheaper than in the States.
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post #8 of 13 Old 10-06-2006
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This is good info. I was just thinking about this type of stuff this morning as we are about a year and a half from taking off. I was wondering if things like toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo were things that we should start tracking to see how fast we now replace them so that we take an ample supply with us.

The spices and condiment I can also see would be right up there on the list. I wonder if there are any other items that are hard to replace with local provision items. I've heard some cleaners like simple green can be hard to come by.
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post #9 of 13 Old 10-06-2006
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"things like toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo "
If you simply can't live without lemon-mint-Crest or your specific shampoo......absolutely. But you may find that some of these basics are available at commodity prices all over the world, very often the same brands you've known at home from global conglomerates. Soap and deodorant are basic enough that really, all of them work well enough anyway.
Specialty cleaners might be harder to find, after all it is hard enough to get "the right one" based on personal choice at home anyway. But, like laundry detergent, there'll always be something there.
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post #10 of 13 Old 10-08-2006
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When we spent the summer in the Bahamas, we brought about 50 cans of heart of palm, one of my favorite snacks (a little oregano, pepper, oil and vinegar - yum!). We didn't worry too much about toiletries or cleaners, as they are available in some form or other. If you have a favorite, whether it's Campbell's chicken noodle or marinated artichoke hearts, take it! And remember that what isn't an import to us IS an import everywhere else - in the Bahamas a St. Pauli Girl and a Budweiser cost the same. D

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