As an ex chief stew I completely understand how difficult it can be to provision the boat all over the world. Trying to make sure you have enough of the right brand toothpaste, specific vodka or the right breakfast cereal, no matter if you are on a remote Caribbean island or mainland France, can be challenging. And this is in a normal year! 2020 has presented even more challenges with purchasing and logistics. We have seen this first hand in the wine trade with delays from producers and slower shipping times. Although, as always, we keep going and work around these problems.
As we approach the Winter season where it is usual for yachts to travel to more remote locations, we have been encouraging our clients to restock their wine cellars and make sure they have a good selection on board to avoid disappointing owners or guests. I think it is important to be prepared as ever this season with ever changing restrictions and fewer freight flights which will limit the stock you find on island. So I have put together a list of a few things to consider on the Interior side, not just wine and spirits, but other options and companies that will be able to assist in making your winter season a little smoother.
WINE AND SPIRITS
As I am a yacht wine provisioner, let's start with wines and spirits!
Start by going through your inventory and making sure you have enough stock of the boss’s favourites. This is also a good opportunity to have us look at the stock your holding and let you know what to drink first, what to hold on to and what to drink NOW! It is common for yachts to have vintages of rosé and some white wines on board that have simply gone past their drinking window. If you have approval, get those off the boat or encourage the owner to drink them or take them ashore so you can free up that valuable space for wines that are drinking well and that you will use.
If you are a Charter yacht, it is important to have a good range of wines on board that cover most guests palate and preference. We understand you will always have those last minute charter preferences come through, which we can assist with in quick delivery world wide but, at least with a good selection of base wine, you will be able to offer them a wine that suits them if they drink through their selection.
DRY GOODS/PANTRY ITEMS/CREW TOILETRIES
It will be on your work list to update inventories after the season and get your purchasing done for each department but it is more important than ever this winter to increase what you usually stock, if space allows of course. The Caribbean and Seychelles supermarkets have become pretty good over the years at offering a range of brands from around the world but with shipping taking a hit and with large delays you may find they don’t consistently have the stock you need. Before you cross, if you have the space, stock up on those items on your preference lists.
I can’t recommend Ocean Pantry enough. These guys can get you whatever you need. I had a quick chat with owner Hannah Crouch and their Antigua offices are open and they will have 5-7 direct flights a week so can assist with anything you may need over the course of the winter in the Caribbean. And for anywhere else in the world, Matt will be operating the London warehouse. Hannah did suggest on stocking up though. Like us, they can continue to ship world wide but, for those bulky heavier items like toothpaste, shampoo or chocolates, save the boss some money and give yourself peace of mind and get your orders in before you go.
Keeping up fresh flowers on board when in the Caribbean or Indian Ocean can be expensive and tricky. Have you thought about preserved flowers? The initially investment is more but in the long run you save a lot of money and time! Plus you have the added benefit of having the owners favourite blooms no matter where you are.
The flowers are 100% real and natural. They go through a preservation process which maintains the flowers shape, texture and beauty. Basically freezing them in time. They will last up to 12 months in an air-conditioned room or room temperature. No watering, no pruning, and a HUGE environmental saving. Did you know each day, over 20 million dollars worth of cut flowers are airfreighted all over the world, stored in temperature controlled facilities and transported in refrigerated trucks! The CO2 emissions are immense!
Contact Ethereal Blooms or Loreta at The Roses Empire to place your order of beautiful preserved flowers.
GUEST TOILETRIES/LINEN/CROCKERY/GUEST ITEMS
Ok so I completely understand this is a tricky one as most of the time these items need approval from the owner or management which can take time. Plus custom sheets etc have longer lead times but do use this time before you cross to check your inventories and stock up on these items. The main reason being your saving in shipping!
Suzie from Sea Emporium is a dream to work with. She can assist with anything from napkins to umbrellas!
I hope this is helpful to some of you and that these tips make for a smoother winter season. Onshore Cellars, the companies listed above and many, many more are here to make your job easier. After 10 years on yachts, I understand the pressure put on Superyacht crew to deliver no matter your location. Sometimes things are out of your control, like a world-wide pandemic! But let us help you make things run a little smoother.
Sending our best to everyone and here’s to a good winter season!