From Hot Sauce to Hair Dye: The Things Crew Hoard

Dec 3rd 08
By Rubi McGrory

The word “provision” comes from the Latin words provisio, meaning “foresight and preparation”, and providere, which means “look ahead”. In our world, it refers to the act of outfitting the yacht with food and other supplies necessary for the smooth running of the vessel.

Every once in a while, however, the seasoned yachtie finds an item or product that he or she just can’t live without. The hoarding begins to ensure it's always on hand.

Depending on your job, you all have access to your own little nooks and crannies aboard for storage. Deck crew have the lazarette and a multitude of deck lockers; stews are intimately acquainted with every inch of under-bed storage and chefs generally can quote to the millimeter how much they can cram into their freezers.

Where you’re going and how many guests will be aboard determines how you can stockpile different items. If you know you have a busy charter season, you might amass good chocolates, since it can be risky to purchase them in the Caribbean and get them back to the boat without melting (if they hadn’t been destroyed in shipping already). If you know you will be down island with the boss all winter, chances are the deckies will have an abundance of fuel filters and boat soap.

Not all stashes are based on foresight, however. Some spring from bitter experience. I am a chef, and I once ran out of balsamic vinegar. Between St. Maarten and St. Barths there was none to be found, not a drop. I couldn’t fathom my culinary repertoire without it and have kept a large stash of it ever since.

Sometimes, the hoarding is location-driven. Suzie Hot Sauce is delicious and is available only in Antigua, as are some versions of local banana rum from Guadeloupe, so why not leave with a case or two? Especially since you have just made room on board after having finished the last of that luscious olive oil you found in Italy last summer and the frozen scallops from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

A brief survey of fellow yacht crew revealed that we can’t live without and at different points in our careers have squirreled away caches of the following:

  • flavored coffee creamer
  • frozen vegetarian burritos
  • lavender ironing water
  • chamois
  • butterscotch chips
  • tortillas
  • hair dye
  • cheese
  • oil filters
  • A4 paper
  • birthday candles
  • Swiffer refills
  • tea bags
  • light bulbs
  • mayonnaise
  • deodorant

    Robin K, mate and chef aboard a sailing yacht, says, “When we started on board the boat, there were over 200 cartons of long-life milk – enough to nurse a baby sperm whale and all were out of date. I also found 29 containers of toilet bowl cleaner and dozens of boxes of dryer sheets. I’ve been on board for three years and haven’t had to buy dryer sheets. Didn’t the last crew know that storage space would have been better served by filling it with Ziploc bags or paper towels?”

    What do you hoard on board and where’s the best place to buy it?
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    Rating  Average 2 out of 5

    8 Comments
    • GooGone, Downy Wrinkle Release, Flour Sack cloths - stock up on these in the USA!!! And then, of course, ALWAYS stock up on Mrs Balls and Vegemite whenever you can find it! Oh, and what would we be if we did not stock up on good quality Mount Gay Rum whenever we could find that!! Once, when I was a newbie Chief Stew, we went to the Med for the summer, and our (American) guests requested Skyy Vodka. You could not find Skyy in the Med at the time. I was very inexperienced and very stressed about finding Skyy. We had a bottle of Skyy on board that was about 1/2 full of original Skyy. My deck hand suggested that I fill the bottle up with Absolut and serve them this! We did, and they drank the Absolut disguised as Skyy for their entire trip! I now know that this is not the way it is done, but at the time it saved my (inexperienced) arse!!
      Posted by Isobel 08/07/2009 18:50:59

    • I ask crew before leaving to make grocery list of their favorites, I also ask in a sneaky way about birthday traditions,favorite foods growing up etc. When crew gets cranky, I slip them a reminder that they are loved like a favorite meal or wrapped up fav grocery treat etc. When one crew is down we all feel it eh? Laugh and love
      Posted by penguin 11/12/2008 17:25:03

    • Can't live without "Downy Wrinkle Release", Chocolates, ziplocks, chamois, magic sponge.
      Posted by Leti 07/12/2008 02:22:50

    • For the record,I have bought Suzie Hot Sauce from the USVI to Barbados.
      Posted by Demma 06/12/2008 17:25:02

    • It's the different nationalities that I stock for: cases of Mrs. Ball's Chutney, jars of Vegemite, tins of baked beans and strangely cartons on Gatoraide powder and Dr. Pepper. Crew can go without sleep or seeing their loved ones for months but if they can't have Mrs. Ball's with their mea than there is a mutiny
      Posted by victoriaallman 05/12/2008 11:24:49

    • next time i go to the med!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Posted by raf 04/12/2008 18:57:32

    • Next time I go to the Med. I will be sure to stock up on Downy Wrinkle Release! We had to have the owner bring some with him when he came aboard along with some printer cartridges (they are different in the Med. for some reason).
      Posted by Haley_3 04/12/2008 18:24:52

    • 220' w/ 12 crew they needed - cookies,salsa,juices,jimmy dean breakfast sandwiches,trash bags,ziplocks,detergent,dishsoap,candy(chocolates),bottled water and sodas of all kinds!!!
      Posted by GreenCleenMachine.org 04/12/2008 15:16:48

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