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NEWPAGE View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12 Aug 15 at 12:53am
I have been Googling and Binging this for weeks, yet I have no real answers.

How do you decide on what food, chocolate, Prawn crisps and things like Fairy Liquid and rolls of toilet paper you take.

I read one blog that the guy on an Atlantic crossing was taking 90 liters of milk, 24 bottles of wine and a roll of TP per day for a crew of six on a 46ft boat, where do you put it all?

More importantly how do you keep things like bread, meat and milk fresh?

Do any of you have a freezer? My boat has a large electric coolbox stored under a seating bench
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Brass View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 15 at 3:46am
Originally posted by NEWPAGE

I have been Googling and Binging this for weeks, yet I have no real answers.

Take a look at this website


It provides a method that may be suitable for extended cruising.

Otherwise menu plan:  How many people? What dishes for each meal?  What ingredients for each dish?  How many hot drinks per day average?  Split between tea, coffee, chocolate, instant soup?  What additional condiments do you want?  etc etc.  Add it up then there's your shopping list.

How do you decide on what 

Prioritise.  Decide what you can't afford to run out of an what it doesn't really matter:

food,  Food for as many days as you intend to be out plus from one to three (or more) days reserve tins/'hard tack'.  Then start eating the crew starting with smallest first.

chocolate, Prawn crisps   It doesn't matter if you run out of these on day 2.  Menu plan/ration per day.

Fairy Liquid  how long does a bottle last at home?  a week or two?  take 1, if you run out, then it doesn't really matter, there's plenty of dishwashing liquid just outside.  Same for paper towels, you can really live without

rolls of toilet paper  This you really don't want to run out of, but don't over-insure:  toilet paper kept on a boat absorbs humidity (and bilgewater), and after too long, becomes useless mush

you take.

I read one blog that the guy on an Atlantic crossing was taking 90 liters of milk, 24 bottles of wine and a roll of TP per day for a crew of six on a 46ft boat, where do you put it all?

Don't pay too much attention to someone boasting about how much rubbish they're taking on an ARC.

OK, at 24 bottles of wine for six crew, say they're moderate, say between them 2 bottles per night:  12 nights, maybe they're a little more abstemious:  say 18 nights.  That one looks reasonable to me.

OK, 18 nights and days, six into 90 is 15, that's nearly a litre of milk per crew per day:  That's a lot, if they're not making blender milkshakes and smoothies.  I'd probably halve it, and keep a stash of powdered milk in reserve.  Get UHT/Longlife milk, that way you only need have the currently opened carton in the fridge.

1 roll of tp for six per day:  sounds a bit lavish, but, as I said you don't want to run out:  one dodgy chicken korma and you'll run through (pardon the pun) your supply pretty fast.

More importantly how do you keep things like bread, meat and milk fresh?

 Milk:  Get UHT/Longlife milk, that way you only need have the currently opened carton in the fridge.  Keep a stash of powdered milk in reserve.  Stow milk cartons carefully: they are fairly robust, but not bulletproof.

Other dairy stuff:  how can yogurt go sour?.  Margarine is a chemical concoction designed not to go bad:  it usually keeps its consistency even if not cooled.  Spreads, pickles and so on are designed not to go bad, they don't need to go in the fridge.  Cream cheese, taramasalata, crab dip, probably do need to go in the fridge and be gobbled up early on:  leave the prawn crackers and crisps and nuts for later in the voyage.

Bread:  is a bugger.  some supermarket bread has so much chemicals in it that you can't make it go bad, but it's tasteless to start with and after a few days becomes both stale and tasteless.  Nice artisnal bread is tasty, lasts longer and less stale, but has lots of yeast and goes mouldy quicker.  Of course unsliced bread keeps better than sliced, but who wants to be slicing bread in a seaway?  No magic answers except to avoid ordinary bread.  Wraps, lavash, lebanese bread, seem to last better.  Ry-vita, crispbread, retains texture and freshness for as long as you're sailing, and don't steep it in bilgewater.  Pre-prepared wraps can be individually wrapped in plastic, and they'll go for a week in the fridge.  Pre-made and wrapped sandwiches seem to last longer than just the sliced bread alone, and you can always wrap cheese and ham ones in foil (either beforehand or on the fly, and put them in the oven, and they'll crisp up and be quite tasty.

Meat and perishables:  Select/Schedule, Minimise, Prepare, Freeze, Manage.

Select/Schedule what meals require perishable meat, and schedule the most perishable (fish, bone-in chicken, other chicken red meat) first

Minimise use of perishable meat:  you can get good quality tinned frankfurts, tinned mincemeat sauce, tinned fish, tinned ham, dare I say it, tinned corned beef, to use after the first 5 days or so, when perishable meat might be running out.  You can get standard cryovac packs of bacon, salami, etc etc that will survive in only moderately cool conditions, including, as long as you have got packs only large enough for one meal at a time, and the packs remain unbroached, sculling around in melted ice in the bottom of the ice box.  Whole salamis, getting slices off, will last a good long time at room temperature:  that's what they're made for.

Prepare.  Get your butcher to cryovac your meat (take along your chicken and he'll do that too for you. Buy food in cryovac.  Protect food in plastic containers.  Pre-prepare meals, or buy ready pre-prepared/frozen meals like lasagne, cottage pie, even pizza.  Your own pre-prepared meals  curry and rice, meat and veg stew, pasta and sauce, even roast lamb and veg, you can put into individual serving size foil containers, and freeze:  these can then be re-heated in the oven (if you're metho bound, you might need to upgrade this strategy to how it works in pans of boiling water).

Freeze as much food as you can at home before putting it in the coolbox or fridge on the boat.  this is not the time for Masterchef preciousness about fresh is best.

Manage your perishable supplies and your coolboxes.

Establish one 'main fridge/freezer' and one 'day fridge'.

Main fridge is carefully packed at the start of the voyage with frozen foods/meals, in the order that they will be needed, latest on the bottom, earliest on the top.  Main fridge only gets opened once a day, and all food for that day transferred into the day fridge, or stowed unrefrigerated (frozen meals, in particular, you'd prefer to have thawed out before putting them on to heat, to save fuel).  If you wish, and if you can get it, you can use dry ice in this fridge:  wrap it in numerous layers of newspaper and put it about half way down the layers.  Cold travels downwards, so it will have its best effect on the food you need to keep the longest.  if you're using wet ice, you need to ensure that food that is going to be submerged in the ice-melt is in waterproof containers (cryovac, or snaplock containers), and that you drain the ice-melt periodically without leaving the drain hole open all the time for the cold to run out of.

Day fridge, which can be just one of those flexible cooler-bags, has things for that day, the current carton of milk, cool drinks, butter, cheese, dairy dips etc.  If you're crafty you can use the frozen foods you just got out of the main fridge to cool the drinks in the day fridge.

If you have a real live fridge, as opposed to an icebox, for your main fridge, keep up the thermal mass in the fridge to the maximum.  Your fridge should always be full, full to the brim, with cold canned beer (ok make it light beer or softdrink or fruit juice if you must).  When you're provisioning you take the beer out and replace it with food, but only take out as much beer as you need the space for food.  As you take out food, or drink the beer immediately replace it with the beer that you have taken out (or more beer) so that the fridge is always full to the brim with cold stuff.  It works hugely better that way.  With an icebox, the reverse:  as you take stuff out, don't put warm stuff in unless you also put some more ice in:  otherwise you'll just share the cold in the existing things with the new things and everything will end up merely tepid.

Do any of you have a freezer?

Yes, bit of a gamechanger, particularly when provisioning away from home:  you can buy fresh meat etc and freeze it back on board.

And make iceblocks.

Don't need to play the thermal mass game with a freezer.

 My boat has a large electric coolbox stored under a seating bench
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Rupert View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 15 at 8:25am
Brass, if there was a prize for best answer of the year, you just won it. Didn't have the urge to go long distance yachting again having not done so for a few decades, but do now, just to try out some of these ideas.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 15 at 10:29am
Was it the keeping the fridge full of beer for hygiene reasons that was the drawcard?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 15 at 12:52pm
That and eating the smallest crew, though as a veggie, I suspect I'd be lunch!
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tgruitt View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tgruitt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 15 at 1:52pm
You bake your own bread when you need it and take UHT/powdered milk.

Cous cous is good as it's really boring and easy to cook so you can add stuff to it, also good food portion size compared to dry volume.

You don't need the wine, bottled water is more important for emergencies. If you do need alcohol then rum will suffice.

I've never sailed a yacht that has a fridge on board (they're far too heavy) so wouldn't know how to use it.




Needs to sail more...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote NEWPAGE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 15 at 3:03pm
Oh brass thank you!!!

That is an article you wrote, must have took hours.


Originally posted by tgruitt

You bake your own bread when you need it and take UHT/powdered milk.

Cous cous is good as it's really boring and easy to cook so you can add stuff to it, also good food portion size compared to dry volume.

You don't need the wine, bottled water is more important for emergencies. If you do need alcohol then rum will suffice.



thanks, not thought about baking own bread.

I don't need wine or any alcohol, I need Cola, preferably Pepsi Max :)

Originally posted by tgruitt


I've never sailed a yacht that has a fridge on board (they're far too heavy) so wouldn't know how to use it.


Really??? I looked at eleven yachts before buying no 12. I think all but two had some form of fridge or electric cooler box, only one had a freezer.

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