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Jun 6, 2014 05:28 AM

Provisioning a Sailboat?

This summer, I am going on a 5-week sailing trip from Brooklyn to Maine with 4 other guys. We'll go to the Bay of Fundy near the Canadian border. While this is the 4th time they’ve done the trip, it's my first time along for the whole ride.

Our galley is super basic and we have limited space to store water and fuel. Resupply is tricky & docking is rare, especially north of Boston, where we’ll be for 3 weeks. We have a small propane barbeque and a small butane burner. Water is a major issue.

Any suggestions for foods and preparation that store easily, conserve water and are really satisfying? We have used cous cous for starch a lot in the past. Other ideas?

Any good canned or preserved meat ideas? Something better than Hormel that won’t break the bank is ideal.

I also have a vacuum sealer. What does this make possible?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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    You're going to Maine not the South Pacific. What is that boat? A P-25? Can't be more than 25-27 feet. I thought it was tight on my old Pearson 28 with 4 but with 5 on that boat you will be on top of each other and I suspect that you will spend a fair amount of time ashore. So yes, stock up on canned goods but there will be plenty of places to buy stuff on the way so I wouldn't sweat the details of the supplies that much. It would be very different if you were saying that you're leaving from Brooklyn and heading to the Leewards with the first stop two weeks away. And if you said that I would say get a bigger boat. Where's the dingy by the way? Are you planning to sail out along the south shore of long island and stopping at Block/Martha's Vineyard or head up the East River through Hell's Gate and out the sound? Taking the canal or going outside of the Cape? Looking at that boat, I'm guessing it will take you 3-4 days to get to Boston if you're going all day. Cut down on the time if you also sail at night which I prefer as all the effen daysailers are off the water. I've made the trip out the sound and headed east and north a few times. Watch out for the fog. It can get really thick. When its the middle of the day and you're in pea soup fog, I find that a mug of soup does wonders for morale. But get more than 2 extra 5 gallon tanks of water. I carry 4 5 gallon jerry tanks full at all times. Two in each lazarette locker.


    I own a sailboat and two things I never leave the dock without are beef jerky and single-malt scotch.


    Live aboard for my 6th year. Numerous trips around Florida and the Bahamas. Deliveries as First Mate and Galley Slave for 15 years.

    2 liters of fresh water per person per day. Each bottle is filled at the communal meal. Each crew member has their own distinctive soda bottle. 2 liters for coffee for 4. 1 liter per 4 for cooking all meals each day. That includes mids.

    Your Captain is experienced. He probably already has a load plan. One and 2 liter water bottles can be stored throughout the boat. As can individual cans of food. Store meals together. This way you will not have to tear the boat apart looking for the canned asparagus to go with the Dinty Moore stew. It will be next to it.

    On a delivery, each of the crew is allowed the equivalent of a 5 gallon bucket worth of personal stuff. Munchies, books, personal entertainment system with ear buds. Poaching somebodies M&Ms because you are out or lazy is known as stealing. Which is why keel hauling was invented. Do not pull pots. This is why shotguns were invented.

    By top shelf canned goods. Meals will relieve the monotony. Take all dry goods out of the box and restore in doubled zip locks. Then label with a waterproof pen. Your usable storage has just tripled in volume.

    Verify the availability of stores where you plan on provisioning. Closed on Sunday, Only open half days on Saturday, Check at post office or library for owner. And then we have local as well as national holidays. Call before you leave the dock. They want your business and have a wealth of advice to cruisers.

    Do not plan on any food coming from the sea. Unless you buy it from a passing commercial boat. Learn how to use the VHF radio, and it is amazing how friendly they can be. As long as they haven't had any pots recently stolen from.

    Most (all) buy too much food and it is amazing how much comes off the boat at the end of the cruise. Plan your cruise, cruise your plan, and be flexible because weather and life happens.

    Fair winds and following seas.

    S/V Lager 6, Melbourne, Florida, USA


    My nephew just got a used 29 foot ranger sailboat but he'll use it as a daysailer.
    Be careful with the propane, around here seems at least one boat blows up every season.
    Good that crew has done it before and has experience. 4 guys x 5 weeks is a lot of food. Break it down for how long apart resupply points are. When you resupply hopefully there are laundry and shower facilities. Don't forget cleaning and drying stuff and I would assign rotating chores and even a chief cook. Are you planning on fishing or other foraging?
    Tillamook cheddar loaves will keep for weeks. So will eggs and butter. Idahoan dried mashed potatoes are good and easy, water only needed. Make bags of granola, the commercial stuff always tastes stale to me. Frozen meat will keep several days but you may prefer something precooked like a ham. Costco online has a 13# country Ham for $50 that will keep but is salty. Tortillas keep well and you can make and grill naan or other flatbread.