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Old 25-07-2016, 13:01   #1
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Newbie questions re: meals on charter boats

Hi all,

We are two couples interested in chartering a skipper-only catamaran for a week in either the Abacos, Exumas, or BVIs. We are envisioning the trip as a "tour" of various beach bars and seafood shacks, and therefore would be interested in having only a few meals onboard the boat (maybe 2 dinners and 2 lunches during the course of a week). Is that doable on a skippered charter? If so, does the skipper cook and/or provision the boat, or would that be our responsibility? The best cook among us would have trouble with anything beyond cold cuts, so this is a real concern! If we would be in charge of the handful of meals, is it customary and/or polite to prep those meals for the skipper as well?

If the above is not really doable and the only alternative is a crewed charter, are such charters generally flexible with respect to meals? Mostly I'm seeing crewed charters for which the rate includes all or nearly all meals onboard the boat, which is a deal-breaker for us. Any guidance as to what the "norms" are with respect to meals on skippered/crewed boats would be very much appreciated!

NOT Julia Child

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Old 26-07-2016, 15:57   #2
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Re: Newbie questions re: meals on charter boats

In my experience a mix of meals on shore and aboard is very typical. Your party will definitely want to try the local beach bars & restaurants for many lunches and dinners but on some days you may be exhausted after a long day of snorkeling and just want a quick sandwich on the boat.

Once you pick your destination contact a few local charter companies and inquire what the rate includes and if there is a discount if you only want 'x' amount of meals prepared for you and served aboard. Also ask if you should provision yourselves or if they will provision for you ($$). Either way, if a meal is prepared aboard offering an invitation to the skipper/crew to join you would be the polite thing to do. You'll be living in close quarters for a week and it would be rude/awkward to leave him or her eating alone.

Personally, I'd suggest eating all or most breakfasts aboard. Most lunches ashore. Several dinners out - having dinner aboard with your favorite drinks and watching the sunset is not to be missed and takes the stress of getting back to the boat in a dinghy (depending on your locations) after dark.


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Old 28-07-2016, 08:44   #3
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Re: Newbie questions re: meals on charter boats

Great advice - thanks very much!
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Old 28-07-2016, 18:37   #4
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Re: Newbie questions re: meals on charter boats

Good scoops from maurader....

We have sailed the Abacos and the BVI.....the BVI is super for calm harbors, bays, and cays, snorkeling, beaches, fun times and friendly well as good trades for sailing.

When we first started bare boating, we would order partial provisioning, and the moorings or sunsail would send a list , and we selected our meals.

It was great and included breakfasts, lunches , dinners, snacks, drinks, condiments, everything...I think it was three dinners per week, as we planned on going a shore for dinner the rest of the time. They would fill the order and deliver boxes full of your provisions to your boat. You stow everything securely yourselves.

We found that the cost per person per day, and items left over was a bit expensive. So now we go to the local market, and lay in breakfasts, snacks, lunch makings, and have dinner ashore.

With your skipper, he should let you provision for the vessel in anyway
that you wish. I like that you will sometimes have dinners on board, happy hour, and just kick back. Also, there are grocery stores or mini marts at many of your planned anchorages in the BVI, so you can add on provisions as you go along if needed.

Our cooking dinners on board, we kept simple. BBQ the main course at the stern, and fix a salad. Sometimes we would add in a pre made dessert.
Easy stuff, no giant effort.

We also would load up on bottled water, mango, pineapple, guava juices, and cans of apple juice, orange, and tomato juices. lots of ice. And of course beer and rum.

Breakfast was always on board, and we would tank up big time for the upcoming day's activities. Lunches and snacks were kept simple, no big production.

It has been many years since our sailing the Abacos, but we did fix dinner on board more so than in the BVI. Presently, Erica takes a break from cooking dinner, and in the BVI , we go out to dinner every night and spoil her a bit. Well deserved reprieve.

However, we do have sundowners and boat drinks on board, and later after the shore time fun, we will snug into a cockpit seat, and enjoy the night skies.

You have several different options, but it will be easy, and no problem.
In the BVI you could also check with some of the tortola markets and order what you want, and not mess with the grocery shopping your selves. They can deliver it to your boat.

We just do the shopping on our own wheel a dock cart to the local market..
We try not to put cardboard boxes on board for a long period of time. Once we get back to the boat we immediately unload the dock cart, and stow the provisions. The cardboard boxes are taken to the trash. We do this to avoid any hitchhiking roaches.

Oh, and the meals out in the BVI are excellent. Not sure if that is where you will be cruising, but we love the BVI, big time.
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Old 29-07-2016, 05:19   #5
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Re: Newbie questions re: meals on charter boats

Ordinarily, skipper-only means skipper-only. The skipper that you hire does not do your provisioning for you, and does not cook your meals for you. In fact, if you have meals aboard it is usual to provide enough so that the skipper can eat, also.

Of course, everything is negotiable. So the best advice would be to talk to your charter company and ask what they can arrange.

Good luck.
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Old 29-07-2016, 05:31   #6
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Re: Newbie questions re: meals on charter boats

When I charter in the BVIs or Abacos with The Moorings, I prefer to provision ourselves. In both locations it's easy to walk or hop a cab to a local grocery store. I prefer both the lower cost and ability to obtain precisely what we want that comes with self provisioning.

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