Boaters are self-reliant beings. They need to be that way in order to survive for many days without setting foot on land. Below are two tips on how you can become more self-reliant and produce as well as preserve the provisions that you brought on board and some Boat Supplies (many of which can be Found at BoatSupply.com and other marine supply retailers) to bring with you!
1. Learn to Do a Little Culture
Foods that are live or those that are cultured have that good taste in them and they’re good for you! From yogurt to mozzarella cheese and even sourdough, these naturally preserved low tech foods are easy to make while you are Boating or on the water.
Yogurt is a homemade food that has become a favorite to many because it’s easy to store on board and it is hard to get in most remote areas. It can also be used for so many recipes and even works well as a base for some dishes. To make yogurt, all you need is powdered milk, some live yogurt culture, a good thermos for warmth and of course, a little bit of patience.
There are plenty of yogurt recipes online with easy-to-follow steps and instructions recorded on video. The most common mistake that people commit when making yogurt is guessing the right temperature for the milk. Make it too cold and the culture will not grow or too hot and they’ll all die. That is why it’s important to invest on a thermometer if you really want to get more serious on yogurt and cheese making.
Kombucha, a probiotic drink is another item that you can add to your on-board provisions. Behan Gifford, a Boater who once made a voyage with her family from Seattle to the Indian Ocean said that Kombucha has been their special treat while making the most out of what they got on board during the trip. “We first brew it because it’s so yummy. Of course, it also has a lot of health benefits” Behan says.
Preparing the recipe is very simple. You just need to pour water or even tea in a glass jar, add some sugar and culture of course and then let the mixture sit for 7 up to 10 days. Behan places the Kombucha in the center of the cabin sole of her Stevens 47 towards the mast. When the wind and waves get boisterous, they just tie the jar to the mast and wrap it with a webbing to keep it safe.
2. Grow Some Greens Stuff
Planting on board your Boat or Marine Vessel is another step that you can take as you move towards being self-reliant. This is very helpful especially if you’re cruising with the family. You can start with herbs planted in little pots that are placed in a safe place on your boat with enough sunlight (all boating supplies and parts should be purchased before you start your boating trip). Plants such as strawberries, spinach, peas, and even tomatoes are easy to grow in small pots of healthy soil. They can be placed on a sunny area on deck.
If you plan to be on the move, Cruiser Laureen Hudson shares some tips in how to grow a system of butter lettuce on board. She used a basic door shoe rack, empty plastic bottles of vitamin water and of course, some fertilized and healthy soil. With these materials, she was able to make a hanging garden which she placed in her cockpit.
“When we start Boating, we just take the hanging garden from outside, place them in the shoe rack so they can easily be hanged and be protected from salt water. Once we drop the anchor, we just take them outside again so they can get some sunlight and fresh air.”
Additionally, celery, green onions, and Romaine lettuce can also be grown using hydroponics. Just cut the root end, place the plants in a cup of fresh water and it will grow. You don’t need soil to grow some green stuff on your boat.
Just keep in mind that gardening won’t always work especially if you’re fond of cruising from one country to another. There are countries with strict laws and regulations about bringing live plants into their ports from outside borders. Always be sure to check on border regulations and laws in the country that you’re planning to cruise into before deciding to bring or plant a floating garden.
Example of Homesteading on your Boat
Below is a great video of one guy who decided to gather up a bunch of boating supplies and parts, some Food and get the Homesteading process started on his vessel.
They give you some great insight into how fun of an adventure this can all be! Watch below and let us know what you think!