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Provisioning on a charter yacht

Provisioning on board: complete guide on how to plan food on a charter boat


Would you like to know how much food you can take with you on a charter boat and how to plan the provisioning on board?

Although usually we do not find it that significant, the right provisioning on a rental boat is more important than it may seem at first glance.


First we have been busy thinking about where to go, then we have been studying maps and nautical guides on the chosen places: distances, advised tours, anchorages, etc.

But we do not always dispense due attention to the food that we have to bring on board. It is not very wise to go to the nearest supermarket to buy the first thing we find on the day we check in the rented boat. A little pre-planning is necessary and for that our sailing trip plan comes in handy.


Available stowage space

First thing to do is to get acquainted with the boat that we’ve rented from the charter company. Even if we do this by looking at the catalog, we have to know how big the stowage is. All boats have some limitations which we must know to act accordingly. Basically there are space limitations, not only to store provisions, but also to cook in the kitchen.


Food and drinks in a charter yacht
The available stowage space is an important element to take into account for your provisioning on a charter yacht.


Holiday’s general planning

Let’s start with the provisioning. To decide what food we should take with us, it is essential to know the schedule of the charter and for that we have to answer some preliminary questions. How many persons? Where are we going? What we plan to do? The number of people on board has a direct impact on the amount of food that we’ll take. Destinations and number of moorings are also very important.

It is clear that two ships with four people onboard don´t need the same provisioning for two weeks, if one plans to go directly to port and raise the anchor just to swim a few hours in a nearby cove and the other prefers to sail as long as possible without touching land, trying all anchorages in the area.

In the first example, the crew always has shops to stock up daily. They can also eat in restaurants to taste the local cuisine. Provisioning on board will therefore be limited to drinks, breakfast and perhaps snacks if one feels peckish before returning to port. In short, this crew doesn’t have to worry about provisioning if there’s enough food for the trip towards the destination port.

Anyway, thinking about our future needs is not bad even though it only is for convenience and price. Firstly because it is more convenient to buy food in our local supermarket, put it in our car and drive all the way to the boat, than to do it in an unknown port and having to find transport to take it to the jetty. If our option is to rent a boat overseas, we have to study about the shopping possibilities close to the chosen port. Price-wise, we know that the popular tourist destinations are considerably more expensive.

On the other hand, if we are planning to spend a two-week adventure in search of a deeper contact with nature, it would be wise to buy the non-perishable food that we might need during our stay on board in addition to the provisions of perishable food for the first five or six days depending on the capacity of the boat’s refrigerator.

Normally the majority of sailors who rent boats for the vacation, combine a few days at anchor in a cove with nights moored at a harbor that offers comfortable facilities. They take advantage of these days to buy food and drinks, wash the deck, fill the water tanks and connect the shore electricity to charge the batteries. In this type of program, breakfasts and lunches are made on board, while evenings are spent by having dinner ashore so as to enjoy the gastronomy of the visited places.


Food needed on board

With these ideas we can identify what we will need. On the one hand, we need products which will be the basis of our food for these days, such as rice, potatoes, vegetables and spaghetti. We can approximately calculate how many dishes we’ll prepare with each product, which already gives us an idea of the amounts we need to buy. However, these are products that we can get quite easily almost everywhere, even at a reasonable distance from the isolated anchorages. On the other hand, you then have to think about the quantities of supplements that will be mixed with these primary products, and this is where the cans can serve. Although lately other packaged products of different shapes compete a lot with cans.

And how do you plan the provisioning on board?

In the coming article we will explain what and how to eat on board.

Sergi Alós