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 aboard. How much cereal is there? Do I need to take more coffee?
Why Have a Checklist
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 the standard provisions you want aboard? 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.
Using the Checklist
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 aboard, 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 (check out my boat-friendly recipes), 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!