Provisioning (For Real This Time)

In a boat, everything must have its place
Our boat mid stowing. It was not a pretty sight.

The last couple of days have been full of provisioning and organizing said provisions. This process has proven to be much more time consuming than I originally anticipated (which is really the only constant aboard our little sailboat). Last year when I was blissfully unaware at how long it would be until we actually finished our repairs and were able to leave I did a little comparison shopping so when it came time to actually load up I would be sure I was getting the most for our money. I’m sure a few prices have changed over the last year but the chart definitely gave me an idea of how much I would need to spend. The fault of the spreadsheet is that it does not include comparative prices at Aldi’s. Aldi’s is a new discovery for me thanks to my friend Kathe aboard Tribassa Cross. When they first sailed into town she was going grocery shopping and kindly invited me along since she had a car. Putting your groceries in a trunk and driving back to your boat is a hell of a lot easier than strapping them to the back of a bike and riding about 2 miles. Aldi’s is amazing. Their prices are so good, often beating Walmart’s. For example, I got a huge bag of potatoes for $3. A smaller bag cost about $5 at Walmart. A 4-pack of butter was an entire $1 cheaper. And, 9 out of 10 times I have been there their produce is really good! They are a smaller store so if you are looking for something specific you may still have to head to Wally World.

Can coozies are a great way to keep wine bottles safe.
Finally a good way to store all those coozies we’ve accumulated.
Stowing away provisions aboard our sailboat.
Limes and oranges wrapped in tin foil and stored no where near the apples. I have no idea what the foil is supposed to do, only that The Boat Galley Cookbook told me to do it.

Anyway, back to getting our boat ready to sail away. Since we’ve been living aboard for almost a year now I have a pretty good idea of how much we eat and how having only a freezer aboard impacts meal preparation. I’ve learned that neither of us really likes canned green beans so we still have about 10 out of 12 cans that I bought from Sam’s last Spring. I’ve also learned that red beans and rice makes a super easy meal when I don’t really feel like cooking.

Our friends on Avalanche lent us their car while they were out of town for the holidays so I took the opportunity to load up at Sams and Walmart. I still have a few important purchases to make at the liquor store but for the most part our provisioning is done. Using The Boat Galley Cookbook I organized, labeled, stowed and inventoried all of our purchases. I am going to try and look at our inventory each week so I can get a better idea of how much we consume and how quickly. It took me about a day to do all the shopping and another 2 days to put it all away.

A dry bilge is a great place to store provisions.
This is only part of the starboard bilge. Everything is neatly labeled, bagged and stowed! I love the squared olive oil can I found!

I currently have 121 items shoved in my bilge with room for more if needed. We had a little water come in once which rusted a few of the cans (good news is we got to toss a few of those green beans!) so I have taken to putting all cans in bags and their bins when storing them down there. You can never be too safe. Behind our “love seat” I have over 170 food items stashed away. While this locker is big and holds a lot, it is also above the waterline so the weight really contributes to how much much our boat leans to the starboard side. Someday I may try and redistribute the weight to the other side of the boat, you know, when I have more time. The rest are shoved in other various lockers. While this may seem like a lot of food understand that I counted each granola bar, pop-tart and pack of ramen we bought at Sams. I can say with confidence that if all the grocery stores in Florida ran out of food the crew of Chance would be more than prepared and have enough to share. Despite having this all on board I’m sure I’ll be missing some key ingredient when I go to make dinner tonight. Good thing The Boat Galley Cookbook also has a handy section on substitutions.

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  1. Kelley-Wow is it starting to get real for you guys now. Keep us posted on how well your provisions last (I am taking notes from you guys). Wishing you safe sailing and delicious dinners-Deborah

  2. If you have an iron you might try mylar bags and toss in an oxygen absorber to keep air/bugs/moisture out of your dry foods. The iron is to seal the bags of course.