Meal Planning for Long-Distance Sailing
Meal Planning for Long-Distance Sailing

Embarking on a long-distance sailing adventure with your family can be exciting, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. Proper meal planning is crucial to ensure that everyone on board stays healthy and well-nourished throughout the journey.

Meal Planning for Long-Distance Sailing

Embarking on a long-distance sailing adventure with your family is an exciting and fulfilling experience. However, it also comes with its own set of challenges, one of which is ensuring that everyone on board stays healthy and well-nourished throughout the journey. In this article, we will discuss the importance of meal planning for long-distance sailing, provide practical tips and advice, and share some delicious and nutritious recipes that are perfect for life at sea.

The Importance of Meal Planning

When setting sail for an extended period, it is crucial to plan your meals carefully to ensure that you and your family have access to a balanced and nutritious diet. Proper meal planning offers several benefits, including:

  • Maintaining good health: A well-balanced diet is essential for maintaining good health, especially when you are living in close quarters and engaging in physically demanding activities such as sailing.

  • Boosting energy levels: Eating the right foods can help to keep your energy levels high, which is essential for staying alert and focused while navigating the open sea.

  • Minimizing waste: By planning your meals in advance, you can minimize food waste and ensure that you are making the most of your provisions.

  • Saving time and effort: Having a meal plan in place means that you won’t have to spend valuable time and energy deciding what to cook each day.

  • Maximizing storage space: Knowing what ingredients you need for each meal allows you to pack your provisions more efficiently, making the most of the limited storage space on your boat.

Meal Planning Tips for Long-Distance Sailing

Here are some practical tips to help you plan your meals effectively for your sailing adventure:

1. Assess your storage capacity

Before you start planning your meals, it’s essential to assess the storage capacity of your boat. This includes the size of your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry, as well as any additional storage areas you may have. Knowing how much space you have available will help you determine how much food you can bring on board and how often you will need to restock your provisions.

2. Consider your crew’s dietary needs and preferences

When planning your meals, it’s essential to take into account the dietary needs and preferences of everyone on board. This includes any allergies, intolerances, or specific dietary requirements, as well as individual likes and dislikes. By catering to everyone’s needs, you can ensure that your meals are both nutritious and enjoyable.

3. Plan for variety

Eating the same meals day in and day out can quickly become monotonous, so it’s essential to plan for variety in your meal plan. This includes incorporating a range of different ingredients, flavors, and textures, as well as trying out new recipes and cooking techniques. By keeping your meals interesting and varied, you can help to maintain morale and prevent food fatigue.

4. Opt for non-perishable and long-lasting ingredients

When stocking up on provisions, it’s a good idea to prioritize non-perishable and long-lasting ingredients. These include canned and dried goods, as well as items with a long shelf life, such as rice, pasta, and potatoes. By focusing on these types of ingredients, you can minimize the risk of spoilage and ensure that you always have a supply of food on hand.

5. Plan for contingencies

When planning your meals, it’s essential to prepare for any contingencies that may arise during your journey. This includes having a supply of emergency rations, such as canned food and energy bars, as well as a backup plan for cooking in case your primary cooking method fails. By being prepared for the unexpected, you can ensure that you and your crew stay well-fed and healthy, no matter what challenges you may face.

Nutritious and Delicious Recipes for Long-Distance Sailing

Now that we’ve covered the basics of meal planning, let’s dive into some delicious and nutritious recipes that are perfect for long-distance sailing. These recipes are designed to be easy to prepare, using ingredients that are readily available and have a long shelf life.

Breakfast: Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are a simple and nutritious breakfast option that can be prepared the night before, saving you time and effort in the morning.


  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup milk or non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Toppings of your choice (e.g., nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, etc.)


  1. In a mason jar or airtight container, combine the oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, honey or maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Stir well to combine.
  2. Seal the container and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 6 hours.
  3. In the morning, give the oats a good stir and add your desired toppings. Enjoy!

Lunch: Chickpea Salad Wraps

These chickpea salad wraps are a delicious and protein-packed lunch option that can be easily customized to suit your crew’s preferences.


  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise or vegan mayo
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced pickles
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 large tortillas or wraps
  • Optional: lettuce, tomato, avocado, or other desired toppings


  1. In a large bowl, mash the chickpeas with a fork or potato masher until they are mostly broken down but still have some texture.
  2. Add the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, red onion, celery, and pickles to the bowl and mix well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Lay out the tortillas or wraps and divide the chickpea salad evenly among them. Add any additional desired toppings, then roll up the wraps and enjoy!

Dinner: One-Pot Lentil and Vegetable Curry

This one-pot lentil and vegetable curry is a hearty and flavorful dinner option that is easy to prepare and requires minimal cleanup.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup dried green or brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups chopped vegetables (e.g., carrots, bell peppers, zucchini, etc.)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and cooked rice or naan for serving


  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, curry powder, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne pepper (if using) to the pot and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  3. Stir in the lentils, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, and chopped vegetables. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
  4. Season the curry with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over cooked rice or with naan, if desired, and garnish with fresh cilantro and lime wedges.


Meal planning for long-distance sailing is essential for maintaining good health, boosting energy levels, and ensuring that your crew stays well-fed and happy throughout your journey. By following the tips and advice outlined in this article, you can create a nutritious and varied meal plan that caters to everyone’s needs and preferences. Bon appétit and happy sailing!