What about yacht provisioning? What can you expect to find when you get to that perfect paradise or dream destination. When you do, can you afford it without it blowing out the budget. Remember that every dollar saved is a little more cruising time before you have to return to "insanity land" to earn more cruising dollars.
Many of the yacht provisioning business located in the Caribbean are focused on the lucrative charter yacht and super yacht markets, so be careful you are not paying a premium for that. Many of those services offer a range of services from customs clearance and import of freight and so on, they do have a services that you might need. In general you will pay on average about 25% more for goods as so much has to be imported.The 4th Edition of the Marine Electrical Electronics Bible Get your copy and start becoming self sufficient and save money on expensive technician callouts.
I added details of Caribbean provisioning in The Great Cruising Cookbook but it is somewhat short these days and out of date. This list is now significantly updated and after much research. The explosion in provisioning sources is courtesy of the yacht charter companies and super yachts. I have not added in alcohol sources as its available most everywhere and what is more the range is from the finest wines to great local rum. This is list is all about food so enjoy!
So where to start? The ultimate cruise setting off from Florida in United States and out to Bermuda way out in the Atlantic. But ignoring that side trip and long offshore passage our start point is The Bahamas, Cuba (if you are not from the USA), Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.
Then we have Anguilla, St Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat, St Croix, St Maarten/Sint Martin, St Barth’s, Antigua and Barbuda, Guadeloupe, Marie Galante and that's not the end of it, when too many islands is never enough.
Dominica, Martinique, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Bequia, Barbados, Carriacou, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Margarita, Bonaire, Curacao (Netherlands Antilles), Aruba. There are so many great places to sail into and you need to know what you can buy and where to stay well fed.
The Caribbean does not have a large agriculture industry, the islands are small, very mountainous and hilly, and not a lot of water to grow things with. Add in the relatively large population of over 45 million and nearly as many tourists and you can understand why over 90% of food is imported. Much is imported from the USA through Florida and weekly container ship schedules. Add to this also imports from Europe and Asia and you get the picture. So if you are looking for provisions check on the ship schedule arrival dates and go shopping the day after that while its fresh and still on the shelves. The smaller the island the higher the price as they factor in freight costs. Like many I have my staples and source them from supermarkets and then I hit the various farmers markets for fruit, veg and seafood. The cheaper supermarkets usually are away from the tourist centres and you might need a taxi but it is worth the cost differentials. All about Caribbean yacht provisioning.