What’s on the Boat?

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2013 • all rights reserved

Instead of wondering what's on the boat and what you're out of, why not create a list? You can even download my template in Word!

If you’re a weekend cruiser, you probably ask yourself what’s on the boat numerous times as you’re getting ready to head back to the boat.  How much cereal is there?  Do I need to take more coffee? 

It’s tough to remember everything.  And yet, when you’re planning on jumping aboard and taking off for a few days, the last thing you want is to forget something “critical.”  Like, say, that coffee.  And so you tend to bring more . . . and then discover that you’ve already got four pounds!

Instead, why not create a list of everything you want to keep on the boat?  I created a simple “grocery list” in Word (you could also use Excel or even a handwritten and copied sheet) and try to check items off as I use them up (or use them down to the point where I need to buy more).

Then, before you leave the boat, do a final quick inventory just to double-check that you didn’t forget to check some things.

A few notes:

  • I organize my list by aisles in my grocery store, to make it easier when shopping.  Others prefer to organize the list by locker, which makes it easier to take inventory.  Some other system may make more sense to you!
  • If you use this list for shopping, you might want to include a section of “stuff to always bring.”  This would include anything that you didn’t want to leave on the boat, but that you consider a staple — an example might be sandwich bread.
  • You might also want a section on things to be sure to take OFF the boat each time you leave.  For example, if you’re in a hot climate and the boat will be closed up for a couple weeks, you might want to keep a small spice box that you take back and forth rather than leave them on the boat for the whole season.  (This could also be part of your “close up the boat” checklist.)

A standard list of “what’s on the boat” is invaluable at home too.  When you’re planning meals for the weekend, you can quickly look to see if ingredients you need are already on the boat.  Admittedly, if you’ve been “weekend cruising” for a couple of years, you may just know.   But the first year, it’s nice to have a list!

While it does take a bit of time to create your list the first time — and edit it a few times as you discover what you’ve forgotten — it saves a lot of time in the future, and makes the whole process a lot less stressful.  And spending a weekend on the boat isn’t supposed to be stressful!

You can download a blank copy of my grocery list (no items listed) in Word (.doc) format.  Put your own things in each section and leave a couple of blank lines in each one, too — I always find something that I want to add.  You can also change the headings.  While this is set up for my printer, you may have to change margins slightly for yours.  To be honest, you may come up with a better form for the way you use your boat — but I’m putting this out there for anyone who wants something to start from!

If the document does not show below (some browsers have problems), click here to view or download.

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Comments

  1. I really like your first choice of what’s “critical”. COFFEE, of course! BTW- I’m enjoying your book.

  2. Kevin Quade says:

    Thanks for the document. We will enjoy using it!

  3. D and Don svsoutherncross says:

    Thanks Carolyn for the “starter.”

    D

  4. I even use a check list for my iddy-biddy boat. It’s no fun trying to sail without a centerboard.

  5. A great app… Out Of Milk… Great for inventory boat house etc…check it out!!!!!

  6. I grew up in an area that was a long ways from anywhere. My parents would go grocery shopping once or twice a month. The system that we used to let them know what was needed was fairly low tech. There was a not pad hanging on the wall next to the pantry (Very large walking pantry). I an item was taken from the pantry it was written on that pad. So if we needed to open a new jar of mayonnaise, then who ever grabbed it would write Mayonnaise on the list. If Mayonnaise was already on the list, then we would add a “X2” or “x3” depending on how many jars were used. Then when my parents would go to town, they would just grab the list and take it with them. We were all fairly diligent about keeping the list updated. Because if we didn’t, we would have to do with out a certain item for possibly a month. It only takes that mistake once with your favorite item to drive the point home.

  7. I just added the app to my phone, you can scan everything you have and keep a running list on hand at all times

  8. I keep a grocery list on my phone with the grocery IQ app, I add a item to list when I get low or when planning meals.

  9. Great ideas!

  10. Love this. Please share your “Close up boat” list!!!

  11. we have been cruising now for 3 years with our family. This template has been priceless as we’ve provisioned from Argentina to Fiji! Thank you!

  12. Where is it? (Not the doc, I found that.) The coffee. Is it under the vberth in the red container or in the bilge in the blue one? Maybe it is under the starboard settee with the creamer?

    How do you keep track of what you have, in what quantity, and where you have it? Scot alluded to this in his comment. Have you covered this before in a previous post? I think the tracking of staple (and emergency) stores is part and parcel of the provisioning list. There will always be that “woo hoo thays gots tree ripe MANGOES” moments; and there will be those wonderful “never had it but it smells good” and “how do you cook that” moments but I’ll always want to know that I have “x lbs beans and x lbs rice”.

    BTW, I *always* know where the coffee is. The Limeys may sail on rum but I think coffee is one of the threads that ties me to humanity.

  13. When I try to read this post I keep getting redirected to Yahoo. Only this post. Have they been hacked or have I been hacked?

  14. Works for me

  15. Jeri I’m not having any problem.

  16. If u commented, I can’t get to it. Keep being sent to yahoo. Pls PM me.

  17. Jeri Thomson Novak – I can’t PM you, for some reason it’s greyed out. I don’t know why you are having a problem. If you’re on mobile, try a regular computer or vice versa. It could be Facebook . . .

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