6 Tips for Provisioning Your Bareboat Charter in Croatia
First time chartering a bareboat in Croatia? Here are some useful tips.
You’ve opted to go bareboat, bold move, I like it. For those of you who are passionate about sailing, a bareboat charter is a great holiday idea whether among family or friends. If you’ve been around the block (or docks?) when it comes to bareboat charter, you no doubt have your preparations sorted and a rough weekly menu which is a go-to – kudos. For those of you who are new to this, cooking on a boat may seem daunting or perhaps you haven’t even given it a second thought but we thought we’d help you out by giving a few tips and tricks.
Don’t go crazy on provisioning
It seems tempting to want to do a full grocery shop for the entire 7-day charter but believe me when I say that you really don’t need to; with grocery stores and fresh markets in basically every port up and down the coast, you are never far from what you need.
Don’t pack unnecessary crap
I have witnessed some people go aboard a yacht with some seriously unnecessary crap (for lack of a better word). I know we all have our quirks but don’t burden yourself by bringing your favourite jug, coffeemaker or pan; most ‘bareboat’ kitchens are fully equipped, in fact, I was on Nava’s new X Yacht recently and its kitchen was in better shape than my kitchen at home – including a coffee machine!
Buy the basics at the beginning of the trip
Like I said, you don’t need to go crazy on provisioning but buying the basics is a good start. Think –
Basic needs: toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning products, rubbish bags, cling film, baking paper, tin foil (comes in handier than you think)
Breakfast: It will be nice to wake up on your first morning aboard and not need to worry about needing to go shopping. Cereals, yogurt, milk, eggs, fruit, juice, coffee, tea is normally enough to keep everyone happy; throw in some ham and cheese if you want a ‘continental style’ breakfast and you have all bases covered.
First dinner: having only just boarded their new home for the week, most people like to stay aboard for dinner on the first night. Keep the first meal simple, so you can enjoy the boat not be stuck in the kitchen (actually this is a rule of thumb for the entire week). A pesto pasta is a great first dinner, easy to prepare and it can be dressed up with fresh cherry tomatoes, good olive oil and parmesan – put a plate of bread, cheese and pršut out first and voila, you have whipped up a 2-course meal in about 30-minutes. (Buy: Spaghetti pasta, a jar of pesto, a pack of cherry tomatoes, parmesan, a pack of pršut, local cheese, olive oil, salt, pepper, bread)…
Snacks: there is something about being at sea which always triples my appetite, so be sure to buy a few snacks to begin with – crackers, chips, nuts, dried fruit, chocolate…
Drinks: Buy a few large 5 L bottles of water to begin with, if you have 6 – 8 persons on board, you will go through this fast enough. I am sure you also want some beer and wine to toast the beginning of your voyage but you don’t need to stock up like prohibition begins tomorrow, you can buy alcohol at most supermarkets along the way and the prices do not vary greatly between destinations (except for Hvar, everything is more expensive in Hvar).
Embrace the fresh local markets
Croatia is abundant with wonderful fresh fruit and vegetables, in fact, I swear I hadn’t actually tasted a nectarine or tomatoes until I came to Croatia! Avoid supermarkets if and when you can, instead opt for buying fresh fruit and produce from local markets which are normally set up as stands in public areas. Bonus points if you take your own canvas/reusable bags to reduce plastic! Buying as you go will also help eliminate food waste.
Get amongst the local fish markets
Cooking fresh fish may seem an overwhelming task to many (it was to me up until recently) but I guarantee that if you buy fresh fish and cook it yourself aboard, it will be one of your best meals and most memorable experiences – not to mention a great travel story. Read our guide on buying, cleaning and cooking your own fish here.
Buy from a butcher
Can you see a theme here? Why buy pre-packaged food that has been sitting on a shelf for who knows how long, when you can buy directly from locals. There are many butchers in prominent locations along the coast, making it easier for you to buy good quality meat. For example, in Stari Grad on Hvar, the butcher is right at the end of the riva.
Cooking during your charter
You have chartered a yacht for the week to enjoy sailing, swimming and relaxing, I am sure spending the entire time in the kitchen is not what you had in mind. Hopefully, in the evenings you will be dining out at some of the fabulous restaurants and konobas along the coast, sampling traditional dishes and delicacies. In this case, all you need to prepare is breakfast and lunch – stick to the KISS rule – keep it stupid simple.
This article has already been long enough, so I will bring you some menu ideas and a weekly menu plan next time.