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Hi Guys,

My hubbie and I are weekend sailors with a 3-week cruise in mid summer. Nights are spent mostly at anchor and I tend to take fresh food with me for the weekend. Often try to have a barie on the beach but often end up eating on the boat as the weather is bad. Hey this is the UK!

My trouble is that I get over enthusiastic about how much food I put on the boat when we launch and end up taking most if it off again as we don’t use it.

We are on a swinging mooring in the coastal waters off Wales, therefore we have no permanent power on the boat other than the batteries. We have a small fridge but no freezer. (I wish…)

How much would you put on a boat?

What sort of foods would you put on?

What would your experience suggest?


Thanks
S/V Sarcio
 

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I don't discuss my member
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The answer will be pretty different for everyone depending on what they like. I try to plan meals, that way I just don't make it up as I go. Only bring what I need to make that specific meal. Make as much as you can ahead of time and freeze it, this helps keeps the cooler/frige cold (ice belongs in your glass).

Do you spend 3 weeks w/o docking for fuel or water? I would imagine that with a detailed list of meals you want to eat, you can make stops along the way to get more goodies.
 

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Telstar 28
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I would recommend starting out with a basic supply of non-perishable canned foods. This is the stuff you leave on the boat and use mostly in an emergency. Rotate the stock out every couple of months....and make sure it is stuff you will use.

Then, add less perishable shelf-foods, like dried pasta, beans, etc... finally, bring aboard the perishable fruits, meats and vegetables when you come aboard each time...

If you get a solar panel, you can often run a small 12VDC refrigerator or freezer off of it. I run an Engel MT27 22 qt. refrigerator on my boat all summer long. If you plan on doing this, I would highly recommend you invest in a thermometer that records min and max temperatures, so you can know if the power went out on the refrigerator. Another trick to use, if you have a freezer, is to fill a small pill bottle half way with water and freeze it. Then flip it upside down. If you ever come back to the boat and the water is re-frozen on the bottom of the pill bottle, you know the freezer lost power long enough for it to melt and re-freeze. :)
 
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The best way I have found to avoid over-packing is to provision by calories. If you bring 2500 calories per day per crew member, you will have plenty of food, but not end up with a ton left over. Maybe up it to 3000 if you will be doing a lot of hiking or other exercise.

I usually pack as follows. You may have to adjust depending on your preferences:

breakfast: 500 calories/per person/per day
lunch: 700 calories/per person/per day
dinner: 800 calories/per person/per day
snacks (afternoon and late night): 500 calories/per person/per day

For example if you are packing trail mix for afternoon snacks for two people figure 300 calories per person, per day. So for two people, assuming it is your snack 2 days a week for three weeks, pack 3600 calories worth (probably 4-6 cups depending on the mix).

Using this method it will seem like you do not have enough of many things, but you will not run out. You also will not come home with half your food.
 

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plan your meals.
shop to your plan.
stick to your plan on board.
Allow for 20% deviation.
Long before departure, sit down with the crew and determine what everyone's preferences are, then schedule it out on a calendar, and then make your shopping list, with a 20% margin to allow for breakage, spoilage, snackage.

For example, if you are heading out for a week and 2 of you usually have two eggs each twice a week, then bring 10 eggs.

And then bloody well cook what you have planned! if they don't like it they can starve!
(that may work better with the kids than the spouse.)


If you're going to be gunkholing, shop daily in port. That way you can appreciate local cuisine, and variations in the dietary whims of picky crew.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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Hi Georgie (?),

My hubbie and I are weekend sailors with a 3-week cruise in mid summer. Nights are spent mostly at anchor and I tend to take fresh food with me for the weekend. Often try to have a barie on the beach but often end up eating on the boat as the weather is bad. Hey this is the UK!
However you cook ashore will have a tremendous correlation to how you cook on the boat. It does make sense to have some canned foods on the boat "just in case" but if you don't generally cook with canned foods you probably won't on the boat either. If you do then, well, you're set.

If you are hopping up the coast you will have the option of buying as you go along so the fresh veg can be bought as you go.

My trouble is that I get over enthusiastic about how much food I put on the boat when we launch and end up taking most if it off again as we don’t use it.
I do the same thing. The trouble is not having too much food and having to take it off again. The trouble is wasting food because you can't eat it fast enough before it goes bad. We all accommodate as we can. I keep most of my veg in baskets on the galley counter (with non-skid) under the baskets so I can see what I have and use up what is nearing end-of-life. For coastal cruising, keeping the veg in front of me is worth losing a day or so of life buried in the fridge. You may choose differently.

I do tend to build menus so I have all the ingredients for things I like to cook. I also keep non-perishables (flour, sugar, salt, etc) on the boat so I can bake bread and have the staples for many recipes. If you don't bake at home you probably won't on the boat.

Even with menus driving my shopping list, I don't overplan. We eat what appeals to us each day. Weather will drive some of your decision making.

I plan for leftovers. For example, I like to roast a whole pork tenderloin. Offshore with a crew of six we may eat the whole thing (in which case I cook two). Cruising with my girl friend, we'll have pulled pork sandwiches the next day, and shredded pork tacos or burritos the day after that. Chicken on the grill sets you up for chicken tikka masala and chicken salad thereafter. If you boil pasta you can hard-cook eggs at the same time for egg salad. Leftover pasta becomes a base for stir-fries, and leftover rice turns into fried rice.

Since you don't have a freezer you can freeze a lot of things at home and take the hard-frozen food with you to the boat where it will help keep the power draw of your fridge down while it thaws.

What sort of foods would you put on?
The same things I put on when I lived ashore. If you don't cook and eat it at home, why would you do so on a cruise, especially a coastal one.

When I left Plymouth for the Azores I shopped at Tesco and bought the same stuff I would have in the normal course of things, just more of everything. *grin* Somewhere I have picture of one of my crew loading 14 dozen eggs.

All that said, I tend to cook roasts, casseroles, and one-pot meals on the boat. Mise en plase is even more important in cooking aboard than at home.
 

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We liveaboard so I keep a constant supply of food on board. We also go off sailing weekends and on extended holidays. In this region of the world, once we leave Eilat, provisioning gets pretty thin. I've learned to keep my food basics stocked for about two months in advance. I am a vegetarian so this list may not match your shopping list but it may give you a rough idea of where to begin.

My basics are: flour, rice, quacker oats, pasta, granola, other breakfast cereals, lentils and beans. Each of these is stored in a container in the galley and there is at least an equal amount as back up stored in my food locker. (some foods like rice and pasta have several bags as back up.)
I also keep on hand: coconut, cocoa, a variety of nuts and seeds, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. A variety of teas in bags and loose herbs, coffee, buscuits, crackers and other snack foods. Canned foods I always have a good stock of are: tuna, sardines and tomatoes/paste.

This is my base line for provisioning. In a pinch I can make a meal from something here with a few fresh vegetables thrown in.

If I were you, I'd make a beginning of the season shopping list where I'd bring on board my basic foods. Think of what they are and how much you use for one meal. (With us 1 cup of uncooked rice will last two meals... there are about 4 cups of rice in a kilo bag. Two bags of rice will probably last us two months....) You can find a good list of cup equivalents here if you want to calculate quantities more acurately.

Shop for enough staples to last you the season, then you don't have to haul them every time you come to the boat. You might over do it the first season or two, but you will get to know how much is enough fairly quickly.... although I'm always paranoid that we'll run out :p
Robyn
 

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For the sake of the exercise, keep track of what you eat each week for a month. That will tell you what you'll really need/use assuming you don't eat out frequently. Remember too that most places you're likely to visit also have shops and at least on our trips, shopping for fresh food has been part of the adventure.

FWIW...
 

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I would think a cool way of adding a fresh zest to meals on longer passages is to keep some sprouting seeds (broccoli, clover, etc) and a couple of sprouters handy.
I wonder if anyone attempted to grow a tray of wheatgrass. 2 oz juice a day could provide a balance to all that canned, dry & preserved food.
 

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I would think a cool way of adding a fresh zest to meals on longer passages is to keep some sprouting seeds (broccoli, clover, etc) and a couple of sprouters handy.
I wonder if anyone attempted to grow a tray of wheatgrass. 2 oz juice a day could provide a balance to all that canned, dry & preserved food.
Not hard to do and commonly done on a lot of cruising boats I know of.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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You can spend a lot of money on sprouters. I use quart-size Ball jars with nylon rings and stainless mesh from sproutpeople.com . I buy my seeds from them as well. I rotate between mung beans (great for stir fries), radish (zingy addition to sandwiches and salads), and broccoli (direct replacement for leaf veg in salads). You do have to rinse them during sprouting which amounts to about four gallons per week(ish). I've used the rinse water for tea and coffee (okay for me but some people don't like the aftertaste) and to water herbs (basil, chives, and espazante generally on board when the seasons are warm).
 
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