Food Aboard

Boating Provisioning Checklist

Food Aboard
Ensure you have plenty supplies on board to provide you with sufficient energy to enjoy your boating day out.

Traveling by boat is one of the most pleasurable ways to reach a destination for fishing, waterskiing, swimming or simply anchoring up. If you want a relaxing trip, it is important to ensure you have plenty supplies on board to provide you with sufficient energy to enjoy you day out on the water to the full.

Healthy, tasty and hydrating

Hydrating with food
Out on the water you are exposed to the elements – wind, sun and salt. These natural stressors make you tire more rapidly, regardless of your age or level of fitness. Most of the water you need has to come from drinking it. NOTE: If you are travelling two nautical miles  or more from shore you must carry two litres of water for every person on board.

You know you can also hydrate with food.

Think high water content fruit and vegetables such as:

  • Watermelon and strawberries (contain roughly 92% water water per volume)
  • Grapefruit with 91%, melons with 90% and peaches with 88% water.
  • Pineapple, cranberries, orange and raspberries 87% water by weight.
  • Apricots hold 86 percent water, while blueberries and plums contain 85% water.
  • Apples and pears contain 84%.
  • Cherries and grapes contain an average of 81% water.
  • A banana’s composition includes 74% water.
  • Top of the vegetables list are cucumber and lettuce, consisting of 96% water.
  • Zucchini, radish and celery are comprised of 95% water.
  • 94% of tomato’s weight is water, and green cabbage is 93% water.
  • Vegetables which contain 92% water include cauliflower, eggplant, red cabbage, peppers and spinach.
  • Broccoli is 91% water by weight.
  • Carrots contain  87% water. Green peas and white potatoes contain 79% water.
Watermelons contain roughly 92% water water per volume making them great hydrating fruit to have aboard.

Good food to have aboard

Fresh salads are always enjoyable aboard. During summer months it would be a shame not to make a stop on your way and grab the juiciest and tastiest fresh vegetables from a market located near the boat ramp.  Mix tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, and onion will ensure your necessary intake of vitamins for the rest of the day. This is exactly what you need when you spend hours out in the hot sun and wind. These foods contain high quantities of water. Add cheese, nuts and sprinkling of fresh or dried herbs to make your salad tastier. During the colder winter months think thermoses of soup. Try a warm potatoe salad enhanced with onions, celery, capers, herbs, chopped hard boiled eggs, homemade mayonnaise and crispy bacon. This salad will make your day.


Eggs are rich in protein. They will boost energy levels and keep you in the right mood for your trip. Other essential nutrients in eggs are Vitamins B12, A, E and D, phosphorus, zinc, calcium, and selenium. All these elements are essential for overall health.  Bring wraps full of scambled eggs, chives, smoked salmon or crispy bacon.

Tuna or salmon

Fish is an important source of Omega-3 which helps to protect the heart, brain and keep skin and hair looking healthy. Tuna is a rich source of omega-3, good proteins, and Vitamin D. It makes a light and tasty meal or snack for crew. Open a can and spread on toast or crackers.  Add sliced tomatoes, salt and pepper and a sprinkling of dried and/or fresh oregano or basil to complement this nutritious food.


Just like vegetables, fresh fruits are great to help reduce the effects of dehydration and provide a high intake of vitamins. The best choice are fresh seasonal fruits you can pick up from local producers on your way to the marina. Those containing high quantities of water are recommended.

Home-made sandwiches

There’s nothing better than the classical sandwich. Sandwiches will help you feel energetic especially if you spread them with a little butter and your favourite chutney, line with lettuce and mix them with ingredients like meat, cheese, salami, smoked chicken, turkey, or fish with vegetables.

Quick snacks and sweet treats

If you can carry a esky or portable refrigerator aboard it’s useful to pack olives, pickles, cheese and salami. Just slice and put them on a large plate for everyone to enjoy with crackers or fresh bread. Whip up a big batch chocolate brownies, pack into eco-friendly biodegradable zip sealing bags and enjoy!

These are some of the basic foods that will keep you full and spirits up.

Waterspouts at sea

Waterspouts are a natural wonder to look at, but when
fully-formed can be destructive to vessels.

Waterspouts look like a slender tornado but, only occur over water. They are caused by  cool, unstable air masses passing over the warmer waters causing up-draughts to form, which can tighten up into a spinning column. The cool, moist air usually supports a full condensation funnel.

They are occasionally seen near the coast in late summer and autumn.  Waterspouts can be dangerous for boaters and shoreline locations. They are not usually a threat farther inland as they collapse soon after moving onshore.

Though considered to be  generally non-destructive at sea, a waterspout has the potential for being destructive. Like a tornado, the most destructive aspect is its ability to carry anything that comes in its way with it. Sand particles, small floating structures, animals and sometimes even small boats may be carried along with a waterspout.

Avoid navigating through a waterspout

Avoid the temptation for a closer look. Try a course at right angles to its apparent direction of movement.

Look for the weather signs
Dark spots on the water, followed by rings or a sudden shift in wind can be warning signs of a developing waterspout. Look for the telltale signs in the line of flat bottom cumulus clouds or thunderstorms, or in the lines of thunderstorms that can develop any time of year.

If a waterspout is in close proximity and you are unable to avoid it, take down any sail, close any hatches and if possible stay below deck.

Find out more about weather for boaters from the Bureau of Meteorology.


What’s needed for a fisherman’s picnic

Man Fishing
Winter fishing –  calm seas, clear, crisp sunny days

Food which is heavy to carry and gets in the way of fishing gear won’t be popular with fisherman.

Easy to eat food is essential for fisherman as they will be concentrating on reeling in, casting out and baiting hooks.

Provisioning planning

Think about food which is nutritional, can be easily eaten in one hand and which is substantial such as a beef or pork pie and salad. Fill a plastic container with potato salad and wrap up the pie separately. Add a bread roll or two. Extra food for fishermen might be a container of bite-sized things like small squares of hard cheese, cocktail sausages, cherry tomatoes, nuts, and dried fruit. Morsels to enjoy while waiting for the fish to bite.

More fisherman’s food ideas

Include crumbed lamb cutlets, cold sausages in a long roll with BBQ sauce, roast chicken legs or slices of a vegetable or meat loaf. In winter months it can be very cold especially, early dawn until the sun comes up, so a hot flask of soup is a good idea.

Remember to pop in a knife, fork , spoon, paper towels and a rubbish bag, as well as bottled water and a flask of tea or coffee. Pack the picnic inside a suitable sized Esky, so the food won’t be crushed. The Esky can also double as a fisherman’s foot rest or even as an extra piece of safety equipment.

June 2019 newspapers reported two men and a seven year old boy were rescued after their boat sank 14 nm off the coast of Caloundra, South East Queensland . They had been fishing in their 5.2 metre. All three were rescued after treading water in cold conditions for six hours and and clinging to their esky and were rushed to hospital suffering from hypothermia. The adults took turns holding the young boy out of the water in an attempt to keep him out of the cold water.  Police confirmed they were not wearing lifejackets at the time the vessel started taking on water.

Keeping energy levels up

Snacks are a necessity to keep energy levels up and if the fish are not biting, fisherman will need a little something sweet to console them!

Try out our Fisherman’s Chocolate Slab Cake recipe. Let us know how you rate it.ChocSlab


½ cup (50g) cocoa powder
½ cup (125ml) boiling water
160g unsalted butter, softened
3 eggs
1½ cups (330g) castor sugar
1½ cups (200g) self-raising flour
⅓ cup (50g) plain flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
¾ cup (180ml) buttermilk

Chocolate icing (Optional)
100g dark cooking chocolate, chopped coarsely
25g butter
1 cup (160g) icing sugar, sifted
1½ tablespoons hot water


Pre-heat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease 19cm x 30cm lamington pan; line with baking paper.Blend cocoa with water in a small bowl and set aside to cool.
Beat butter and sugar in a small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Transfer mixture to a large bowl, stir in sifted flours and soda, and buttermilk; stir in cocoa mixture. Spread mixture into pan. Bake about 30 minutes. Cool cake in pan for 20 minutes before turning, top-side up, onto wire rack to cool.
Make chocolate icing. (Optional) Spread cold cake with icing and throw in some whole strawberries to eat with the cake. Cut cake into squares.

Chocolate Icing
Melt chocolate and butter in a small saucepan, stirring, over low heat. Remove from heat; stir in sifted icing sugar and water until smooth.

Prep & cook time 55 minutes + cooling. Makes 20.

This cake can be made the day before the fishing trip. The iced cake can be frozen for several weeks. Thaw the cake in the fridge the night before. This cake is also good just with a dusting of sifted icing sugar applied once the cake is cooled.

Before heading out on the fishing trip

  • Check that your boat is seaworthy.
  • Check that you have all the required safety equipment aboard.
  • Report your trip. Let someone know where you are going, how many will be aboard and when you plan to return.
  • Make sure you and your crew know how to handle the boat.
  • Check the weather forecast.
  • Make sure you have sufficient fuel and water aboard for the duration of the trip.
  • Go easy on alcohol.
  • Keep in touch – use your marine radio to log in and log out with the local volunteer marine rescue.
  • Carry a registered EPIRB . An EPIRB is a legally required item of safety equipment when travelling 2 nm or more offshore. More information at
  • Carry a personal beacon.
  • Wear a lifejacket.