Provisioning for a Boat Trip – Your Checklist!


Provisioning for a Boat Trip – Your Checklist!

Provisioning for a boat trip is often looked at as a harrowing task for both new sailors and veterans of the sailing world. Provisioning doesn’t have to be a dreaded or consuming chore! The first thing I do is determine where we are planning to sail.

Depending on your destination, you may need more or less provisions to make your trip safe and comfortable. Certain areas can be a wasteland for provisions, but most destinations are terrific resources for you to restock as needed.

I also suggest researching your destination to discover what is available, the costs, and how much you want to pack onto the boat at the beginning of your trip.

Keep in mind that provisions take up a considerable amount of space, so stockpiling 6 months worth of supplies when you could easily replenish needed items as you go, may not make a lot of sense.

Keep in mind that provisions take up a considerable amount of space, so stockpiling 6 months worth of supplies when you could easily replenish needed items as you go, may not make a lot of sense.



What are the Essentials to  Bring on Board

As a basic rule of thumb, I like to bring what I consider the basic essentials for a sailing trip. Ideally, you will include these provisions before any other items that are merely for comfort or convenience. Always try to bring these provisions onboard:

  • Bug Spray
  • Bottled Water
  • Coffee and Tea (and coffee filters)
  • Ice
  • Matches and Lighters
  • Oil for cooking (olive, vegetable, corn, peanut, whatever you deem necessary)
  • Seasonings (salt, pepper, various spices)
  • Cleaning Supplies (all-purpose cleaners, dish soap, hand soap)
  • Sunscreen
  • Toilet Paper
  • Trash Bags
  • Hand Towels
  • Mop

 Provisioning List

Writing out a list of provisions is always fun for me, but some people find it difficult to decide what they should and should not bring. When you head out to stock up on provisions, bring a list to help guide your purchases.

It is especially helpful if you are trying to stick to a specific budget. Bear in mind, fresh foods are fine to have onboard, but they will need to be eaten first or they will spoil. Plan to eat the non-perishables later in the trip.

  • Fresh Foods
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Dairy (Cheese, Butter, Milk, and Yogurt)
  • Eggs
  • Eggplant
  • Fresh Fish
  • Fruit (Apples, Oranges, Pears, Bananas, etc.)
  • Garlic
  • Green Beans (also string beans and wax beans)
  • Herbs
  • Lemons
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Dried and Canned Provisions
  • Beans
  • Vegetables
  • Meat and Fish (Anchovies, Sardines, Tuna, Chicken, potted meats)
  • Tomatoes
  • Pickles
  • Soup
  • Condiments (Mustard, Ketchup, Mayonnaise)
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Nuts
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Beverages
  • Beer
  • Fruit Juices
  • Soda


Ice is vital when sailing on boats. You will plow through bags of ice every few days, but most ports will have ice available for purchase.

Provisioning Tips

With experience comes knowledge, but I still pick up new and helpful tips frequently. A great way to save space for food storage is to invest in a vacuum sealer to minimize the amount of space bags take up. A pressure cooker is a fantastic way to prepare meals, but you need to take the time to learn how to use it properly.

I also suggest keeping Power Bars on hand and a supply of candy to satisfy your sweet tooth. Wherever you stop, pick up a few basic items, even if you’re not running low yet, if the item is something that is used frequently and will need to be replaced regularly.


Provisioning comes down to planning and anticipating your needs and the needs of your guests. Having everything you need when you need it is part of the luxury of a vacation, even if it takes a bit of work before you get out on the water!

 Want to Know More Provisioning Tips? 

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Do you have some tips for provisioning? Would you like to share them by leaving a comment below, I’ll love to know about it!

7 thoughts on “Provisioning for a Boat Trip – Your Checklist!”

  1. This checklist was very helpful! It was very similar to my camping checklist. I usually have a box of non-perishable items in my little camper at all times. I generally restock after every trip. I think I will start doing the same for the boat. I usually have a first aid kit as well, sometimes an extra one, just in case. My mother has always said, if you forget it you will need it every time.

    • Hi Kodi,

      Yes, I agree with you, it is very similar to any checklist:) Usually, every well-maintained boat possesses a first aid kit, so for this, you can be tranquil:)

      Thank you for the comment and wish you to sail soon!

  2. Great site i now feel, when it comes to the food and beverage to bring, prepared to sail the seven seas! however you put coffee and coffee beans on the essentials list when that is certainly not an essential for me. Also you put a link explaining what Provisioning is, you might want to consider adding a text definition on the page somewhere. Great job! keep it up!

  3. Hi there,

    Just surfing the net and came across your site. Nice site. I am actually planning a little boat trip with my family. defo need to show the Mrs this page and take heed of the advice given Probably end up printing this out make sure we don’t miss out on the provisions, so much we did nt think about! Our Trip will be Thailand, Starting Phucket, going along Koh Phi Phi, similan islands, then on to Penang (Malaysia) from there Samutra and other islands of Indonesia then back up the gulf of Thailand. Any specific advice for that trip appreciated. Will be our first boat trip.

    • Hi Derek,

      How nice, these places are a real paradise! I am sure will enjoy, especially by boat!

      If it’s your first trip, then I suppose you will charter a crewed yacht, which offers all the comfort, you won’t have to worry about the provisioning. However, there are a lot of great sailing tips on my website, you should take a look:) The southeast-Asia page will interest you as well!

      Thank you for the comment and I wish you a wonderful sailing trip!

      Please don’t hesitate when you’ll get back to share your sailing experience, I’ll be more than happy to hear from you!

  4. Thank you so much Daniella – I will definitely be flagging your website as I am really strongly considering hiring a charter next year. I have read a lot of your articles now and am convinced it is definitely something I would like to try. You make so many good points about being able to replenish as you go and doing research about the location in regards to how accessible certain resources would be. I want to have enough room for all my bikinis and shoes etc. 😉

    Holly xx

    • Hi Holly,

      Nice to see again on my website:)

      I am glad you like my articles and hope to see you soon on board!

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a great day!


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