Calling all live aboards and cruisers of long distance and even short distances -
What canned foods do you like ?
Starting Monday, I'm beginning my can night.
What are your favorite canned foods and brands ?
What would 4 essential items be ?
What about dry goods and how do you keep them dry on a boat ?

When I'm not looking at boats for sale, or reading about boat design, I'm planning for a month or more of food stores aboard. I've been spoiled on land with easy access to healthy fresh & seasonal foods, and really don't eat canned foods. But I know I will need to have a large store of canned goods. After reading an online article from a famous cruising couple (forgive me, I can't remember their names right now - from Cruising World I think), who started can night at their land home before leaving, it seems a wise and prudent idea.
Now, I know some cruisers, who will remain unnamed, could care less about variety. That's ok. I'm easy going, I can go eating the same d*** thing day after day but I know I'll be happier with variety.

So, starting Monday, I'm beginning my can night.
How about you ? Please share

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A pretty good idea Suky...I do know you want to use what is know as a CHINA MARKER,,,or I call them GRESSE CRAYONS.or Markers, w a pull down on the boat the labels fall off...not A PROBLEM FOR YOUR CAN NIGHTS..BUT WORTH write on the can.


yOU CAN ALSO GET aRMY surplus, and they have long shelf life.....

Sorry about the caps.
Hey Suky. Id prob go for canned ham, whole chikens, fruit, crabmeat, salmon, smoked oysters, clams, hash, beer, beer and more beer . I dont eat canned veggies -no nutrients in that. Im lmtd for space so Im gonna keep everthing in clear plastic tubs (rubbermaid thing). They should seal well enough to keep dry goods dry.

Hi Suky,
Wilf [hubby ] and I are live-aboards for two /three week cruise intervals [ I know it's not a long time cruise]. We're now retired and have plenty of time for summer cruises. Our boat is a CS22 , so it's not a big boat and therefore I don't have a lot of storage space.

The boat is always prepared with cans of chili, new England clam chowder, spaghetti sauce, chick peas, salsa, cans of salmon and tuna, sardines. I also keep pasta, rice, flour, couscous, milk powder and baking powder in the stores.
I keep lemons, garlic, onions, olive oil and different spices on board, which are useful for so many things.

We sail in Ontario, Canada and, during summer I like to pick different berries and also wild mushrooms, sometimes wild leeks and dandylion leaves.
I use the berries to make pan cakes and the mushrooms to make rice pilafs and such. It's fun trying to live on what the land provides for us. We also pack dried nuts and granola for snacks.

And, of course, there's always fishing. I'm not the luckiest person when it comes to that :-)
Let's not forget a few bottles of wine, cans of coffee and tea. I also buy jars of concentrated fruit juice, usually black raspberry. Add some water to this juice and it's an instant fruit drink.

So, that's what we do up here. I'm just in the process of stocking the boat for summer sailing so this is a good topic.
We were never big "can eaters" either before we left. As far as veggies go the nearest thing to tasting fresh has been corn. At least for us anyway. Asparagus is by far the worst. Peas and green beans are okay but the color of the peas kinda makes me a little sad.

Beans......embrace the beans. There's a whole world of canned beans out there that we've only recently begun to appreciate. Diced tomatoes are handy. Mexican night is a biggie on the Veranda.

Canned chicken has been a pleasant surprise. There's tuna of course. We prefer foil pouches for salmon, crab etc. You can even get canned ground beef thats pretty good. I know it sounds a bit frightening.

Don't forget about rice either. Canned crab and some Risotto makes a delicious seafood meal.

If we're in the states fresh food hasn't ever been a problem. We can always find a grocery store within walking distance. We always enough canned goods onboard to last for a month or more. We rotate them through as we move along. When we head to the Bahamas we typically carry enough cans to last us for 6 months but we supplement our canned goods with an incredible amount of fresh fish and lobster.

s/v Veranda
Bill - This is extremely helpful - that's a lot of cans - 6months worth... where do you stash em ? ...
I bought this to try today. Like it probably matters,,,do ye like the pink, white or lump crabmeat for the Risotto meal? I vote lump,,,,I bought all three.
gotta open all 3 - but if I had to vote without tasting em all... I vote lump too. I love risotto.
Thanks for adding to this discussion. Lots of great ideas and now it's feeling alot more fun !
We carry quite a lot of canned stuff but we like Mountain House backpacking products because they are light weight (Important on a small boat like ours), have a longer shelf life than canned goods and the mylar packaging is impervious to rust. Also you don't have the problem with the labels coming off. The downside is that you need to add water which can be a problem if you don't have a water maker.
That sounds like a great addition to stores... I like that mylar packaging too and the shelf life. Thanks Orvil
hey Bella, the info on not needing as many canned goods is great. I wonder how others have stored those dried stores effectively especially with so much moisture on boats...
I disagree that asking others is cheating.. we're all asking and sharing all the time. No difference between asking here or on SSCA methinks except there are different people. I love SeaKnots' communty probably because it is small, though growing.
I've gotten some great thoughts and reminders on what I like... and especially storage tips.
My desire to stock up is more about not wanting to have to go shopping ashore.. I like to take my time and if I find a cove or bay I love, I might stay a long time and want that option. Or if I get becalmed far from shore.
Cruisers need to know that they have to provide proof of means of returning home. In some pacific ocean countries, you are required to post a bond. In some places, it's as high as $ 2,000. You can use a credit card but they process the charge so you have to have the funds or credit line. When you're ready to leave, you receive a credit. If you abandon your boat or the engine stops working, the hosting country doesn't want to be stuck taking care of you.
Other countries will start doing this most likely. Seems like even travel by sailboats is getting more and more restricted but that's for another topic.
Several good points bella. We still have a few cans that we left Honolulu with almost two years ago and they are beginning to rust, even though they are in a dry locker.

We keep the boat stocked with 120 days worth of basic food rations for a number of reasons but it is true that you will most likely be able to purchase locally in any port of call, in many cases, more cheaply than at home. I am certain that most of us would much rather eat fresh local products than canned or freeze dried food. Surely that is part of the adventure of cruising. Our Pacific crossing took twice as long as planned due to damage to the rig and although we did run out of treats (The last week we were saving the one packet of chocolate drink mix to celebrate our landfall) we knew we were in no danger of going hungry.

To Suky: We store dry provisions such as oatmeal, raisins, nuts, pancake mix, rice, beans (And cat food) in screw-top plastic drink mix containers that protein powders and such come in. We asked a juice bar that we patronized to save them for us. In a week we had far more than we needed. They are water tight, come in various sizes and will hold up to five lbs. Best of all, they are free. Put a bay leaf or two in with oatmeal, cornmeal, flour etc to prevent weevils.


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