Cruising Helmsman

Get prepped

DURING this time of coronavirus every boat owner would have in the back of their mind, an ‘escape module’. Moored in the marina, ready to go.

But is it ready to go? Let’s look at some aspects of preparing to escape a serious pandemic threat on your own yacht.


First is it ready? At the very basic level, you need food, water and charts. Plus full diesel tanks and LPG bottles.

What kind of food? For seasoned cruisers stocking up for six months of independence is not a great challenge but, I would say we still spend at least two or three days making lists, buying the food and transport and stow everything aboard.

What’s on the list? Well let’s not start a long exclusive boring list now, lets just keep it general. Examples of lists should be easy enough to find online.

First you will need to cook a lot, so LPG gas is important. Count on six to eight weeks daily use for a nine kilogram bottle for a family of four.

On trips on our 50 foot yacht with six to seven crew aboard this time drops to three to four weeks. For six months, three to four 9kg bottles would not be over the top. So go and buy extra bottles and fill them up. They can be stored safely outside, even in the tropical sun, securely tied to the pushpit.

Next is bulk, basic non-perishables: rice, rice, rice! Rice has got to be one of the best foods for long term independence.

It might not be your favourite, but think like this: you are riding out one of the biggest threats to humanity ever; luxury and tastiness are a low priority right now. Rice is a nutritious food, easy to cook with minimal water usage. Whole swathes of humanity survive for generations

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