Provisioning is one of the most important parts of an extended cruise, providing the right amount and type of food for everyone aboard.

Cruising "Bahamas Style", relies on canned and dried foods, with occasional stops for water, ice and fuel. This style allows for cruising by day and dining ashore at night.

Most skippers choose a middle course, living aboard with stops every 3 or 4 days for fresh meat and produce. Bring aboard any heavy or bulky items, such as canned goods or paper products, which allows for carrying light items when stopping for re-provisioning.

Some meats, fruits and vegetables keep better than others. Much depends on the weather and the vessel's ice capacity.

Marinating Meats - Marinades preserve, tenderize and flavor meats.

LEMON MARINADE - for lamb or pork chops (3 lbs.)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, mashed
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon rosemary

SOY MARINADE - for beef, lamb or pork (3 lbs.)
1 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pepper

WINE MARINADE - for beef or lamb (3 lbs.)
1 1/2 to 2 cups red or white wine
1/4 cup wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
2 teaspoons salt
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon oregano & thyme, mixed
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Meats with short keeping qualities (24 hours)
Ground beef, chicken and fresh pork chops.

Meats with longer keeping qualities
Beef and lamb (unground) - a solid piece of meat keeps longer than meat which is sliced or cut up - should keep three days on ice. Marinated, they should keep several days longer. Since marinade flavors as well as preserves, you may want to make several marinades to give variety to your menus. Cured meats such as bacon or ham are available in cans which need no refrigeration.

Fresh milk should be stored directly on ice - it should keep several days beyond the last date of sale. Eggs, butter or margarine keep in the cooler as they do in the refrigerator. If you are unsure about an egg, fill a glass with water and slip the egg in gently. If it sinks, it's good, if it floats, throw it out. Harder cheeses such as Cheddar or Swiss keep well, especially when they are not sliced or shredded. Dry cheeses such as Parmesan, add flavor and variety and keep a long time.

Fresh fruits and vegetables - Ever since sailors discovered the cure for scurvy, fresh fruits and vegetables have been traditional in the yachtsman's diet. The keeping of fresh vegetables is similar to the home refrigerator, although some vegetables actually keep better in the boat cooler.

The basic three: onions, carrots, celery are used to flavor and give natural moisture to almost any meat or fish. Onions and carrots will keep well outside the cooler.

Green Pepper is one vegetable that keeps better in the ship's cooler than it does in the home refrigerator, since it likes cool but not cold temperatures.

Tomatoes keep well in the cooler. Partially ripened tomatoes will ripen at room temperature as you cruise.

Potatoes and Winter Squash keep well outside the ship's cooler, but take a long time to cook. You may prefer to buy instant mashed potatoes in foil packets (to keep out the humidity), or canned potatoes.

Lettuce keeps in the boat cooler as well as it does in the refrigerator crisper. Wash just before using, as excess moisture will rot leaves, or cause them to turn limp and brown.

Fresh bean sprouts are as easy to grow on a boat as they are at home. They are a good choice for extended cruises with few stops for fresh provisions.

Apples are traditional boat fare. They need no refrigeration.

Bananas ripen at room temperature. Try sautéed green bananas for a tropical vegetable.

Berries, such as strawberries, do not keep well, and should be used soon after purchase.

Citrus fruits keep well in the cooler, or even at room temperature.

Peaches, Pears and Pineapple can be kept in the cooler or ripened at room temperature.