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Old 06-03-2009, 23:03   #1
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Stow Food for Four?

Wondered how much food you could store on your boat if you had to. Like 2 or 4 could eat for how long.....
Please say what kind of boat and length/beam. This would be total food, including refer and freezer, plus canned, dried whatever.

Just wondering. Of course I know it would depend a lot on what you eat, but I am just trying to get a feel for how much space is devoted to food storage, and so on.
Thanks
Bob
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Old 07-03-2009, 00:25   #2
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We can hold about 45 days or so for two people. 36' / 43' loa, 11' beam. That's managing to keep some fresh ingredients on board, and not serving hard tack and limes for dinner.

There are a few categories I usually break stuff into:

- Things we can get anywhere. Flour, sugar, etc.
- Things you can buy in a first world country. Paper towels, etc.
- Things that you won't be able to find for a while. Depends on where you are, but most regions are known for having lots of some stuff, and not much of other stuff.

It really only makes sense to stock up on certain items. Paper towels are top on our list. Amazon.com has some great rates and ships them in bulk.
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Old 07-03-2009, 04:22   #3
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We provisioned for TWO people for six month cruises, on a C&C29 (28'-6" LOA & 9'-3" Beam).
We bought (locally) fresh fruit veggies weekly, and meat occasionally. Usually ran out of beer at about 2 months.
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Old 07-03-2009, 05:43   #4
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I did a bit of work on this including a paper stowage plan and all, and on a 43 footer for four people, it worked out to about six months. However...

Realistically, the vessel could not stay at sea all that time without fresh supplies. Phsyically, it could be done quite easily (with a water-maker), but even on relatively short journeys (two weeks) we have ended up just popping into places, for things like fresh milk, fruit, and things we just fancied.

Modern dried foods, tinned fruit, re-constitutable foods, and other such stuff are a Godsend to a cruising yacht, but in my experience, we have always forgotten something, and sometimes just fancy something not on board.

Towards the end of a trip, we often used to end up eating some pretty wierd and wonderful combinations though.

I suppose if planning a trip into the Antarctic, a survivalist venture or something, you could load more aboard, but you might then be deck-stowing gear, and you'd have to watch the weight as well.
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:32   #5
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Yeah, I'm thinking like you could NOT resupply, say a exercise or a calamity or something. The thread you started moonshadow about the global recesion started me thinking about this.
I have yet to travel long distance, and in reality am a babe in the woods compared to many on these forums when it comes to actually doing this stuff, but have thought long and painfully on many topics relating to cruising.
I remember reading Tom Neal on Cruising world on his gulfstar 50 and saying that they tried to keep 1 year supply of food on board. Now I know the gulfstar 50 a bit, and having been on a few, know that there is a ton of room on board, but wonder if something like this is possible on boats like most of us own, 5 to 42 foot or more or less.
I know that amazon.com has a very large assortment of foods now availabe that do not need refrigeration, including milk, meat, eggs, cheese, ect.

6 months would be my minimum I think. I figured I could convert one of my heads for storage if need be... better vacuume pack them good though.. can't have them tasting like a toilet though... lol

Just a thought.
When our boat is ready, and it will be by summer, I think I will store 3 months supply of food and full diesel tanks just in case.
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:03   #6
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With 2 of us on a 40' boat we carry sufficient food for 12 months. We have only a small refrigerator and no freezer. So I use a lot of canned and dried products. We grow reasonable amounts of fresh salad, enough usually for 2-3 meals a week. plus we grow fresh herbs. We fish and count on the results to provide fresh protein.

We carry sufficient propane for 1 year with heavy use for baking etc. 125 gallons of water with a small watermaker that can be powered exclusively by the wind generator. Sufficient diesel for 1 year to cool refrigerator and run minimum instrumentation. 1000 miles motoring capacity.

We have paraffin lights as well as all led navigation systems.

I sprout beans when we are offshore or in isolated anchorages. To date the longest we have been aboard without using any external services was 5 months...and we still had plenty of supplies left.

My view is that it is not so much food storage that you need to worry about but power generation. Our way of dealing with that is to run a low energy consumption boat and attempt to be as self sufficient as is reasonably possible at all times.
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:36   #7
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Similar frame of mind Bob. Well you have a good boat for it. She will take a bit more weight than many.

I am going to look at this in more detail, as the subject has a tad more urgency to it these days. First off, need to establish just what a years supply of food actually looks like. Interesting exercise.

I seriously think of it as a good investment right now. Just as an example, a cheap tin of beans cost me 11p a year ago, is now selling here at 29p. Have food costs gone up in Texas?

If I invested a $1 in a bank, i'd earn a cent (1%). Four tins of beans would give me a net return of 100% by the same standard! And, I could eat em.

I'm not saying that the solution to the world banking crisis should be to invest in beans, but you get my point?

On the stowage issue, I have just acquired a number of collapsable plastic boxes, that stack, and can go across the floor and unused bunks in some of the cabins, and all lock together and be walked upon. Makes the headroom a bit tight though. But essentiality rules.

I think it was the Robinson family that managed to last 148 days in a liferaft in the Pacific once. I read their book long ago. Maybe I need to read it again.

The issue that will effect re-supply, will be a general breakdown of Law and Order. This is the African problem, where you can't run a farm, as people just thieve your crops, so you don't bother planting any new ones, and so on and so on. This is a very worst case scenario however. Very unlikely in the US I imagine, but civil unrest left to run riot could make it a local phenominon in certain areas.

My view of it is, that we just need to be able to "keep out of the way" for a bit, as historically, total collapse has been very rare, and very short lasting in any developed Country. Zimbabwe is perhaps the best example of a worst case, but we are starting from a different place anyway. The 1930s depression in US and Europe did not cause such a collapse. Yes, there were pockets of serious Sh** but with the ability to move about a bit, and our ability to pick up on radio broadcasts and cruising grapevine, we should be pretty comfortable let alone surviveable in a boat. And that is worst case thinking.

As some famous bloke once said.. Prepare for the worst, and live the best.

And hey, it's quite fun and an an interesting thing to do anyway. Stops us getting bored.
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:42   #8
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This reallly is a "How long is a piece of string" type question. For example if you prefer rice and pasta to potatoes then the numbers vary significantly.

You can also store a ship completely with dried food and reconstitute with water - this is what the round the world people do to cut weight.

The only way to do this is to keep a record of what you eat for a week and size and weigh it, divide your space and intended storage and come up with an approximate figure.

Some people will even store boxes of cans as a false floor in the saloon and work their way through them.

Do you have fridge and or freezer.

Do you make water

do you have the space/inclination to supplement your fresh greens by growing bean sprouts.

I know one crew who measure their journey capability against how long their supply of fresh mint will last before their ability to make mohitos ends!
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:50   #9
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Yeah. Good points Annk. Power is an issue and one of my potential problem areas. Solar panels look like good investments at the moment. And wind generators - with the amount of beans it sounds like I will have.

Bean sprouts. Now thats interesting. Must look up how you grow them.
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:57   #10
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for some reason...

...we can never seem to go much longer than a couple weeks before we run out of pickles. LOA 46', Beam 14'
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Old 07-03-2009, 09:13   #11
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Tins on the deck is a good idea. We once did that, but they had all got damp and the labels came off. Gave a whole new meaning to Strawberry Surprise. I once questionned her on it "This Stawberry Surprise has sweetcorn in it!"

"Yup" She said "That's the surprise".

<Mental note> Carry some extra pickles in case we meet Bash.
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Old 07-03-2009, 09:37   #12
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Quote:
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My view is that it is not so much food storage that you need to worry about but power generation. Our way of dealing with that is to run a low energy consumption boat and attempt to be as self sufficient as is reasonably possible at all times.
Agreed. No refrigeration on Lealea and we have converted all lighting to LED.

We are able to carry 12 months worth of food (Plus food and litter for the cat) aboard our 27 foot Vega. (I think I've listed it on another thread) If not for the water maker though we couldn't do it because of the weight. Freeze dried foods in mylar envelopes are light weight and easy to pack and that is what makes it possible for us. We also carry some canned goods plus ordinary dry stuff like oatmeal, beans, rice etc. and of course fresh eggs, fruits and veggies which will last up to two months or more.
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:20   #13
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We went more than 6 months without buying any new provisions on our W32. No refrigeration. Most of our food was freeze dried in commercial size cans, (ask your local Mormon where to get) etc. Had a major crisis after a little more than six months when we simultaneously ran out of peanut butter, popcorn, Tabasco sauce, eggs, and canned butter. We found a savior boat heading home to buy the first three items off of. Were able to buy a few eggs from the locals and paid the exorbitant local price for NZ canned butter.

We were quite lucky at catching fish, ate so much Lobster we got sick of it, and helped the locals hunting so got some fresh pork and goat. After a year we still had quite a large amount of staples that we'd originally left with.

FWIW, we removed all the labels from the cans, marked them with magic marker and varnished the cans. The cans held up pretty well for about two years when we trashed what little that was left because of age and rust. Eggs bought fresh from the farmer and either coated in vaseline or varnished will keep six months though they tasted a little odd at the end. We didn't have sprouting gear and sorely missed it. Fresh veggies, except green papaya, just weren't available to buy and we sorely missed them. Mayonaisse will keep indefinitely without refrigeration if you are religious about not adding contaminants when you scoop it out.

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Old 07-03-2009, 13:18   #14
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Quote:
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<Mental note> Carry some extra pickles in case we meet Bash.
In the days of sail, it was discovered that pickles would stave off scurvy, and before long most ships bound for the new world carried their own pickle pins. The theory here is that a cruiser can live a long long time on spam and biscuits if you have one good sized pickle per day for all hands.

I have found, to my great dismay, that in my favorite cruising grounds in the Sea of Cortez, even though spam is plentiful, it's difficulty to find a decent pickle in local mercados. I'm hoping before too long to spend a sabbatical down there, and wondering what to do by way of setting up my own pickle pin, one that will stand up to 25 degrees of heel, if need be.

The other problem is how to store a year's worth of Tangueray.
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Old 07-03-2009, 14:01   #15
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Pickles. I am presuming we mean pickled onions here? And what is a pickle pin?

I've searched it on the net, but can only find an advertising thingy.
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