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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Provisioning
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Old 10-30-2012
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Need Some Advice on (6) Mo. Provisioning

I'm in the early panning stages for a cruise down the Caribbean chain of islands and return to Panama City, Fl (Lv. Jun., 13).

I will be going alone and don't plan on a lot of port stops along the way. I'm wondering on what to take. How much water on board ... is my 1st question. My boat is an Islander 37 MS, with 100 gal. tank for fresh water, has std. cold box frig. but fairly small, boat is 1970 year model.

I was thinking about taking a large supply of -- 1 gal. jugs of water as my most important item on board. Since I have a small cold box, frozen or frig. type foods will be very limited. I have in mind to buy a salt water/ fresh water converter but may be too expensive, have not check prices (yet). So, canned foods - soups, and all the canned foods I like & lots of them stored aboard. I have fished on chartered boats and would give that a try. I can & will stop in at different places but... but did not want to be packing a lot of stuff back & forth when I could have bought (most of it) it before I left from FL.

I'm very green and just putting all this together for my 1st long distance trip. I'd like to hear from the " experienced cruisers, " mostly from ones that are sailing single handed.. I'd like to hear some... good tips and what Not to Do. I plan on buying a couple good books om blue water sailing in the Caribbean area. Also, a couple good books that covers A to Z, any recommendations for a top rated sailing book ?

Thanks in Advance,

Avery
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Old 10-30-2012
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Re: Need Some Advice on (6) Mo. Provisioning

Since you'll be spending a lot of time sailing down the West Florida coast, why not make a stop or two along the way? Tons of places to pull in and hit the local Publix or Save-A-Lot for restocking?

One idea is to freeze gallon jugs of drinking water before your trip. That way they can serve two roles: 1)keep perishables cool in the beginning, 2)become another source of freshwater after the ice melts. Outside of that, you might want to consider larger containers for water stored on deck along each rail. Not sure you can have "enough" water when it comes to a 6 month trip, but again, I'd make a stop or two.

Good luck and have a great sail,
-E
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Re: Need Some Advice on (6) Mo. Provisioning

Emoney,

I will be making some stops but not a lot of them, only as needed. I'd like to go all the way down to Grenada.. if things work out. I leaned to sail down (Grenada) there in 1983 and had the time of my life there for six months. I could add a -- 2nd (plastic) fresh water tank or bag (internally) and you suggest storage on deck. I just checked water (salt/ fresh) makers and it was scary $$ so that's out. I like the idea of frozen water and contained in a HD insulated bag. I had a military (insulated) bag, was several years ago. I was surprised by the length of time that things would remain cold in it.

I asked about fishing at sea (above) and my fishing area would be down the Caribbean chain. << *** >> This is not one of my most brillant questions .. but is the sea poluted in certain areas ( ?? ) and consquently, can be deemed (fish) risky to eat. Again, I never heard of anything bad about the Caribbean area but had to ask. I'd like to fish along my way and add this to my diet and healthy too.. unless caught in a poluted waters.

Avery
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Old 10-30-2012
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Re: Need Some Advice on (6) Mo. Provisioning

I doubt you can carry enough fresh water to see you through six months comfortably. You could do it on survival rations, no washing up, etc. But there's no need -- there are plenty of marinas along the way to re-fill.

As for fishing, I think you're okay on that score, but be aware of Ciguetera.
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Re: Need Some Advice on (6) Mo. Provisioning

Avery,
for fishing, get your hands on The Cruisers Handbook of Fishing by Scott and Wendy Bannerot. Invaluable guide. I picked one up this summer.

Skip the 1 gallon jugs on deck thing - go with standard UV protected 5 gallon jugs. You can secure them better and they won't fall apart in the sun/high winds. Better if you can store a couple emergency jugs below decks too.

Figure you'll need a minimum of 2 gallons of water a day for drinking and minimal cooking.
If you go with rice and beans instead of canned foods you'll need more water to cook with (you can cook canned foods with the liquid in the can sometimes). Rice and bean bags store easy, but take more to cook, they do however go well with fish.
Stock some basic spices. Bland food sucks.
Rain water catchment systems are easy to rig (think tarp with a plastic through hole and hose leading to a jug/tank inlet).
If you do that do not stint on a water filter on the faucet you will pull drinking and cooking water from.
Water makers, even small ones can run thousands of dollars. Even a hand pumped one can run over a grand. There are emergency de-salinator kits available (check defenders.com) - great for when you need to have, store a couple away.

Assuming you have an alcohol stove, don't forget to stock up on fuel.

Personally, I think the purpose of making such a trip is to stop in and hang out in as many places as you can on the way, I'm more a destination guy than a 'going there' guy.
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Re: Need Some Advice on (6) Mo. Provisioning

Avery,
for fishing, get your hands on The Cruisers Handbook of Fishing by Scott and Wendy Bannerot. Invaluable guide. I picked one up this summer.

Skip the 1 gallon jugs on deck thing - go with standard UV protected 5 gallon jugs. You can secure them better and they won't fall apart in the sun/high winds. Better if you can store a couple emergency jugs below decks too.

Figure you'll need a minimum of 2 gallons of water a day for drinking and minimal cooking.
If you go with rice and beans instead of canned foods you'll need more water to cook with (you can cook canned foods with the liquid in the can sometimes). Rice and bean bags store easy, but take more to cook, they do however go well with fish.
Stock some basic spices. Bland food sucks.
Rain water catchment systems are easy to rig (think tarp with a plastic through hole and hose leading to a jug/tank inlet).
If you do that do not stint on a water filter on the faucet you will pull drinking and cooking water from.
Water makers, even small ones can run thousands of dollars. Even a hand pumped one can run over a grand. There are emergency de-salinator kits available (check defenders.com) - great for when you need to have, store a couple away.

Assuming you have an alcohol stove, don't forget to stock up on fuel.

Personally, I think the purpose of making such a trip is to stop in and hang out in as many places as you can on the way, I'm more a destination guy than a 'going there' guy.
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Re: Need Some Advice on (6) Mo. Provisioning

Six months and no stops????
Stopping at a marina for water and fuel is too easy. If you are not stopping you need a watermaker. If you are stopping get a water filter.
What are going to do about laundry?
If you are looking for foodstuff that will keep for six months, look at survivalist sites on the web (emergency essentials is one) for dehydrated and freeze dried foods. Repackaging from #10 cans to something you can stow in your boat will be necessary. A vacuum meal sealer can make that possible.
As the post above says, fishing will be okay, reef fish carry ciguetera.
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Re: Need Some Advice on (6) Mo. Provisioning

Would stopping every couple of weeks be acceptable? If so, your 100 gallons on board will be fine for washing and cooking and you'll only need drinking water. I plan 1 gallon per day per person to drink, plus spares. Always have backup supply for leaks and I highly recommend at least a manually emergency watermarker.

If you're staying away from port for more than two weeks at a time, I don't really understand how it matters where you are?

I also recommend this book on provisioning and cooking. He makes a very good point about stocking things you can't get anywhere, but not so much on things available everywhere. Rice and beans, for example, are available nearly anywhere in the world. Toilet paper may not be.

Cruising Chef Cookbook,2nd ed.: Michael Greenwald: 9780939837465: Amazon.com: Books Cruising Chef Cookbook,2nd ed.: Michael Greenwald: 9780939837465: Amazon.com: Books


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Re: Need Some Advice on (6) Mo. Provisioning

Toilet paper is a luxury most of the world does without. Washcloth and frequent rinsing (over the side even) works.

In the Navy, we quickly learned to carry a roll of our own in most 3rd world port visits.
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Re: Need Some Advice on (6) Mo. Provisioning

I did not say No Stops, said that... I would not stop that much. I don't have anyone to go with me. If I fool around, perhaps, health wise.. I will never go. I will end up with an Islander 37 as a giant lawn item that's just a little too big to fit in with everything else (dumb joke).

Also, I'm a lone wolf type guy and grew up that way, at 64, too old to change.. I think. I want to sail here & there on my own schedule. I will stop in at different marina's that are friendly places to visit. I want to load up from day one with all the canned foods that I like and buy what I need (diesel, get loaded up with water, etc.) along the way.. that's my mission plan (so-to-speak).

Last edited by HighFly_27; 10-30-2012 at 10:33 AM. Reason: mistake
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