Provisioning in the BVI

Provisioning for Charter in the British Virgin Islands

Provisioning—AKA grocery shopping for food and sundries.

Some people love provisioning for charter in the British Virgin Islands; some people hate it.  Either way, I think most can agree that there is generally an art or skill to provisioning in the BVI (and maybe some math).  And it does require some forethought and planning.

If you’re on the “nope, don’t wanna think about provisioning, meal planning, shopping, or cooking (or cleaning)” side, then we’d recommend hiring a hostess or chef.

If you’re “onboard” with provisioning, doing so in the BVI has never been easier.  Below is a quick reference for provisioning in the BVI.

Along with places to provision, we also provide some key tips to help become competent in this skill, and some handy reference sheets.  And last—we present restaurant recommendations so that on the nights you’re not cooking, eating, or cleaning aboard, you can enjoy some of the delicious BVI cuisine on shore.


We recommend ordering the bulk of your provisioning needs online and having them delivered to the boat.  Upon arrival, you can always stop at the local base market to pick up forgotten goods or to self-select your produce or meats.  Some of the markets in the BVI even pre-packaged goods with built-in menus or specialized ‘boxes’ depending on your tastes and desires.

Road Town

Larger Grocery Stores/Markets

Specialty Stores

Catered Meals


Plan Ahead, Organize, Meal Plan, List.

  • Check with your group to make sure you know exactly what they like/dislike. Any food allergies?  Dietary needs?  Start planning your provisioning well in advance of your departure date. Consider factors such as the duration of your trip, the number of people onboard, dietary restrictions, and how many times you plan to eat ashore.
  • Organization is key for proper planning and efficient provisioning. You certainly don’t need to set a strict schedule for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but the more precisely you know the total number of meals you want to have aboard the boat, the better. It helps to jot down a list of ingredients needed for each meal.
  • Develop a menu for each day of your sailing trip, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. This will help you determine the quantity and types of food and beverages you’ll need to purchase. Try to choose ingredients that can be used in several dishes.
  • Feeling listless? Make a list.  Create a full shopping list of all the ingredients and supplies you’ll need.
    Here is a good starter list to make sure you don’t miss some of the basics: Provisioning List

Snacks and Drinks

  • Go overboard on snacks… Sun and sea = snacks!  Whether it’s granola bars or charcuterie boards, make sure you have plenty of nibbles and light bites.
  • Fresh Water.   We can’t stress enough the importance of having plenty of drinking water with you. Being out in the sun all day feels great on your skin, but it also dehydrates the body, so we recommend at least ½-1 gallon of water per person per day. NOTE: That the BVI don’t recycle so try to buy bigger jugs of water rather than 10,000 little plastic drinking bottles – you will save a small amount of plastic for the planet but also the bigger bottles blow around less and tend to get used to the bottom. Bring your own colored reusable cup.
  • Drinks.  Remember to provision not only for meals but also for drinks. Stock up on water, sodas, juices, and alcoholic beverages according to your group’s preferences.
  • Coffee.  All charter boats come equipped with some sort of coffee apparatus.  Whether filtered or Nespresso, you can rest assured that there will be either a French press or percolator on board.


  • Nonfood items are just as important.
  • Think about kitchen items such as dish soap, paper towels, spices, coffee filters, oil/cooking spray, trash bags, ziplock bags…
  • Does your boat have a grill? Charcoal or propane?  Be sure to get supplies
  • Think about bath and personal items such as toilet paper, shower gel/bar soap, bug spray, sunscreen, after-burn cream, beach towels,
  • Finally, think about fun! Boat décor, games such as cards or board games
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Author, Sailing Vacation Specialist at NauticEd
Lauren Zykorie is a dedicated yacht charter agent at NauticEd, where her meticulous attention to the intricacies of every charter ensures that each client's experience is nothing short of exceptional. With an extensive background in traveling to premier sailing destinations around the globe, Lauren possesses a deep understanding of various yacht types and their unique offerings. Her expertise and passion for sailing translate into tailored charter experiences that exceed expectations, making her a valued asset to both NauticEd and the clients she serves.
Lauren Zykorie
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Last updated on April 10th, 2024