Eating healthy onboard

by Jamie Griffin – YMI sail / Adv PB Instructor

I’ve just finished a week on the water teaching two students RYA Day Skipper through Lymington Yacht Charters (yes, they are an RYA sea school too!). 

I arrived onboard on the first morning to see that our food for the week had already be put in the saloon, but still in the bags ready for stowing. As the students hadn’t arrived yet, I thought I’d have a little look through the bags and help stow the food. My first thought was “I may be quite hungry this week!”.

Forever – Our yacht for the week. One of the stunning yachts owned and maintained by Lymington Yacht Charters.

After the crew arrived, we had our introductions like all courses and got to know them a bit better. They revealed that they were eating extremely healthy, almost vegan but mainly a plant-based diet (with the exception of fish), they got the weeks food delivered beforehand. Although I do try to eat as healthy as possible, on courses us instructors normally eat whatever has been chucked on the boat for the week. Which can be items like pork pies, crisps, cheese, various tinned goods, which I always thought was “good boat food”. But I was ready for the plant-based week and ended up quite excited about it.

Day after day, we all eat various plant-based lunches and dinners. Some at anchor, some on a mooring buoy, some alongside in various marinas around the Solent, and some underway. Not only was I not hungry, I was always comfortably full, felt really good and was always full on energy! Which surprised me. 

That started to make me think again about boat food. In particular, what IS good boat food?

The answer I got to by the end of the week, especially after a few days where we had lunches while underway, is that it’s not the food in particular that make good boat food, it’s the pre-planning and pre-preparation that’s important.

Preparing our food for the day is key

Both the students were successful on their week course, but I came away being very much more knowledgeable about food, especially plant-based food. For passages that are short enough that plant based products won’t go bad, there is no reason why you can’t eat as healthy as you try and do while on land too.

A very tasty vegetable curry with cauliflower rice

So, when you go shopping for your boat food, rather than endless packets of biscuits, crisps, and all those things that you think would be ‘good to grab while on the go’, you may want to think again. After all, not only is it better for you, it helps the planet too.

I’m back on land now, drying my wet weather gear, charging my portable VHF radio and red bulb torches, and trimming my slightly longer beard. I can’t wait to have a burger…

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Back on our home berth drying our gear after a wet last day