Stocking Up the Pantry

Stocking up the galley: a useful and practical guide

On boats, as we know, there are two enemies: the cold and hunger. Luckily, in the summer we don’t have to worry about the first one, while eating on a boat is always very important! Here is some advice on how best to prepare your pantry on board, to be ready to cook easy and fast meals for when you are navigating and more elaborate ones for those candle-lit dinners when you are anchored at a deserted roadstead!
Preparing the galley is one of the fundamental steps to take to best kick off a boating holiday. When you are anchored in front of a Greek island in the morning and wake up with no coffee, you will think back sadly on how you should have taken the time to properly equip your galley.

So here is a useful and practical guide.

It is important to begin with a mixed food pantry, and make a list divided into BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER, SNACKS/APERITIFS. Under each category, list the “basic” ingredients to cover all tastes, for example:  “JAM, HONEY, NUTELLA” and each person can circle to the one they want.

Prepare another brief list of fundamental ingredients, which could be, for example:
– WATER (at least 2 litres water per person per day)

and another list of “basic” products:


Another good idea is to prepare, all together if possible, a meal plan for every meal. In practice: if you are at sea for 4 days, you will have 8 main meals. If there are 5 people on board, and you have decided to have pasta for three nights, you need to count 100g per person X 5 people = 500g X 3 =1.5kg of pasta. In this way you avoid buying 10kg of pasta that you don’t know where to store.

Another important foresight is to check that nobody has any allergies or food intolerances, or is following a specific diet: it would not do for a vegetarian to have a fridge full of meat, for instance.

If you plan to be at sea for several days without docking, buy fresh food that will last a long time. For fruit and vegetables buy it unripe so it ripens on board. For bread choose kinds that last a long time, like Altamura or unsalted Tuscan bread (these stay soft for nearly a week if you wrap them up will in a paper bag!). If you have a working oven that doesn’t use too much energy, you could always make your own bread, letting the dough rise overnight and baking it fresh in the morning, making everyone on board happy, and other sailors nearby a bit jealous!

Francesca Pradelli

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