You may have heard (and it’s true!) that you tend to eat more at sea than at home. Just imagine- you’ll be active for the majority of your waking hours. Even if you’re just sitting around, the muscles of the body naturally respond to the movement of the waves in order to stay balanced.
So what to eat during your yacht holiday? Of course you’ll want to enjoy fresh local products whenever possible, but you’ll need to have a good supply of basics to see you through the trip.
Preparing and Shopping
First off, check to see what your yacht’s galley includes- oven, kettle, stove, etc. Most charters include basic utensils. But, if you really want to be prepared, bring along a good knife, sturdy cork screw and small cutting board. Just remember to keep it minimal- space will be limited.
Always keep the space in mind and remember that you’ll have less room for things like chopping and grating.
Find out your crew’s dietary and taste restrictions before you leave. You absolutely want to avoid any sort of allergic reaction when far from a doctor, and you won’t want anyone skipping meals because they don’t like what you’ve prepared.
Focus on non-perishables as your base- you can then create balanced meals with a mix of perishables and things that will keep for longer. Your fridge will likely be very small, with even less room for the freezer. In fact, your fridge will be a prize location, reserved for only the items that absolutely require cold storage.
Plan your meals and create your shopping list according to what you’ll eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This will require a certain amount of planning but it will pay off!
Create a very detailed list of what to buy. This will help you avoid waste and also ensure you don’t take up more space in the boat than necessary. Instead of ‘bread’ for example, write how many loaves, what kind, etc.
You’ll also want to focus on when you plan to prepare each meal. Be sure to consume your perishable items before they spoil, near the beginning of the trip. Keep the meals using non-perishables (such as pasta) for the last few days, especially if you know you won’t be able to stock up on provisions.
Bring plenty of snacks to keep your crew fortified throughout the days. Nuts, biscuits, cheese, dried and fresh fruit make for easy finger foods.
Finally, expect the unexpected. Have a backup plan for if your barbecue stops working or your boat doesn’t have a coffeemaker. An ‘emergency’ store of extra snacks and an extra meal of non-perishable goods is also a good idea.
Organisation and Cooking On-board
It’s often best to have one person, or perhaps a team of two, in charge of cooking and food supplies. But, be sure every member of the crew knows how to safely light the stove and has a general idea of where things are kept. This will be useful in case someone needs to step in for the cook for a day.
It’s difficult to actually cook whilst at sea, even if it is a very calm day. Try to prepare lunch in the morning before setting off, and make sure there’s space in your fridge to store it if necessary. You can then easily grab your sandwiches or salad at mid-day when everyone’s hungry.
Be sure to carefully put away all utensils when not in use. Even when the boat is docked it can move unexpectedly and send sharp items to the floor or across the cabin.
Ask your LateSail advisor about rubbish disposal, allowances and restrictions for your destination. In some places you can actually dispose of organic waste in the sea. In general you’ll want to know the rules and where you’ll be able to clear the yacht of rubbish and recycling.
A Word on Beverages
Potable water is one thing you can never have too much of during a yacht holiday, so it should be your first priority in terms of beverages. Plan for at least 1.5 litres of water per person per day.
Since your yacht holiday is just that, a holiday, the subject of alcohol will also likely be a key factor in your provisioning plans.
Some people claim that the effects of alcohol are amplified at sea and drink less, while others choose to spend the entire day accompanied by a cold beer. Whichever the case for your particular crew, remember that beer and wine take up a good deal of space.
These items can often be purchased along the way, which can be great especially if you’ll be cruising in a destination known for its fine wines. Local beer in a can has the advantage of a non-breakable container, and can often be picked up at even the most basic shops.
You can also bring along a bottle (or several) of liquor such as vodka or rum. Being more concentrated, these take up less space than beer or wine.
Try to find out in advance where and how often you’ll be able to stock up on provisions. Destinations absolutely vary in terms of the availability of shops and certain items.
Also, unless you really want to ‘get away from it all’ you can plan to enjoy at least a few of your meals on shore. This is a great way to explore the local area, enjoy regional cuisine and get to know the culture.