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23' mini-trawler
by Schucker

Janice aboard Seaweed,
living the good life afloat...

Trawler cruising on $14 per day is possible.
I'm doing it and you can too.

Janice Marois, nautical journalist.
Accredited member of Boat Writers International.

Here, I share my views on living aboard a small boat with very limited resources. Hopefully my successes will help others achieve the life. And yes, I'll share the things I did wrong too -- though not everything 'cause a girl's got to have her secrets!


Date: 18 May 2018. Dock Lines from Halyards (snubber too)


One of my favorite activities is shopping. The thrill of the hunt is a great part of the experience. A while back I was fortunate enough to get to the Cortez nautical flea market. That is a once per year event in Cortez, Florida. One of the best finds of the day were some old halyards. Not all were in great condition so I fixed 'em. Today I'll tell you how.

Side Note: The next scheduled Cortez nautical flea market is 20 October 2018.

It is held on the Florida Maritime Museum grounds located at 4415 119th Street West, ↓ CORTEZ, FL 34215
I LOVED the museum. There is no admission charge, so please make a generous donation.

I'd been looking for dock lines for quite a spell. Paying retail was not on the agenda. Thus, the nautical flea market had a special appeal. I was hoping to find several items on my Wish List. Details on how I keep track of this sort of thing is found in the
3x5 Cards article.

Aboard Seaweed I prefer braided lines, except for my snubber. A snubber is a line that attaches to an anchor chain.

The 3-strand rope I use as a snubber offers a spring. When the boat is at anchor and a wind comes up Seaweed naturally stretches out her chain. The snubber allows the boat to ride better with less abrupt movement when the wind blows.

When the boat comes to the end of her chain without a snubber in place there is a sudden stop followed by a jerk. It is unpleasant. This is a problem for those of us who prefer to anchor with a chain rode. The solution is to add a rope snubber.

The chain is falling almost straight down while
 the snubber is extended out. My snubber is black.

Snubber Stuff: After my anchor is set I let out the chain until the length deployed is approximately three to four times the depth of the water. Then I attach my snubber to the chain. My snubber line is 15' long. Next I release about 20' more chain. I want the boat to ride on the rope versus the chain.

I'm using and am delighted with my Mantus snubber attachment. Previously I'd used a rolling hitch but the Mantus chain grabber works better. It does not fall off. Contact Greg at Mantus Anchors for information. The man's got great products. No affiliation, etc.


There are many schools of thought on snubber length. One that is popular calls for a snubber at least the length of your boat. Some recommend 40' or more for a snubber. I don't follow that way of thinking. My snubber is such that if it were to detach, it cannot possibly get tangled into my prop. Thus, 15' is enough for Seaweed.

Please bear in mind that I'm coastal. I do not anchor in wide open places with lots of fetch unless the weather is favorable. Larger boats that venture further may chose to use a longer snubber.

But I digress...
When I was at the Cortez nautical flea market last autumn I found a pile of old sailboat *halyards. I bought ten lines, each between twenty and forty feet long. The total cost was $6. This was near the end of the sale which I am sure contributed to the lower price. I was naturally very pleased with my purchase.

*Halyards are the lines used to raise a sail. Side Note: One eBook I find useful when dealing with boating terminology was compiled by my friend Stuart Warren. His book is titled Dictionary of Nautical Terms. I use it to confirm definitions.

The halyards had been in the sun so I expected damage. What I found was that several lines had hard areas. That would have been caused by wear, strain or stress. Braided line has an inner core that when hot or stressed from applied tension melts. You can tell because the line won't be pliable in that one particular area. It will feel stiff.

You can see narrowed areas of line,
plus some fraying. All that was removed.

Between the scissors and my X-acto knife (thanks
Ken) I was able to eliminate the damaged spots.

This is my friend Ken. Skipper likes him too. Ken
is an electrical guy and did much wiring on Seaweed.

Ken has two cats aboard his 40' Rhodes
Bounty. Lessa and Erin are great felines.

This is Lessa:

This is Erin:

After I cut out the few bad areas on the
halyard lines I took a lighter and burned the ends.

When finished I had 13 lines for my
Seaweed at a cost of less than 50 cents each.

After I had coiled the lines I rinsed all with fresh
water. Then I hung them in the cockpit to dry.

After they were dried I attached a couple of eyebolts in my starboard side cockpit locker. A line looped between the two eyebolts allows me to hang all my new dock lines out of the way yet easily accessible. When I come into a dock it's a simple matter to retrieve a few lines. I place them where needed.

Storing your lines out of the sunlight
 will increase their usable lifespan.

Paracord keeps the lines tidy and
allows me to remove one at a time.


Finding a bargain at a nautical flea market is always a good thing. People like me appreciate the affordable prices found at such places. I had a great time at Cortez and found some cool stuff.

To you and yours,  I wish you much success in your hunts for boat equipment.

Comments welcome and encouraged on the
Dock Lines from Halyards (snubber too) page.

Categories: Boat Talk, Books, Characters, Gear, Locations, Money, Organizing, Pets, Recommendations,


Announcement: Folks who want to be notified when I post are welcome to become subscribers. I email readers every time a new article goes up. That's usually once or twice per week. If you'd like to be included via BCC* simply drop me a line to janice@janice142.com and I'll add you. It's free.

*BCC - Blind Carbon Copy. Basically no one but me will have your email address and the list of subscribers is not available.

Now this is not fancy. Basically I copy off the top three items in my Archive file. That way you can catch up if life gets in the way of your reading fun.

Secret: If you want to know what's what, start in the Archive. It offers you the title, first paragraph and topics (Categories) covered in each article published on my website.

My Cruising Kitty earns money each time you buy on Amazon through my links. It costs you nothing and helps supplement my cruising funds. I appreciate it so much when you click through my site's Amazon links. It really does help keep me afloat.

Thank you.


Pet of the Week: Murphy
on M/V AndyMac

Submit your pet's photo.
Please email pictures of your crew!

More canine, feline and feathered crew members can be found on the The First Mate Gallery page.


The Archive holds a chronological list of every item published on my website. It includes a brief synopsis (not just the title) along with the topics covered in each article.

Click on the title and voila: you're there. Enjoy!

Skipper, First Mate extraordinaire

Of course every boat needs a Deck Swabbie. Mine, born in 2008, is a papillon mix. She weighs in at 4 pounds 3 ounces.

Coming soon ...


Topics of Interest:
You can achieve a simple satisfying life

Oh, a wondrous bird is the pelican!
His bill holds more than his belican.
He can take in his beak enough food for a week.
But I'm darned if I know how the helican.
(Poem by Dixon Lanier Merritt, 1879-1972.)


For years I've been collecting short pithy statements otherwise known as aphorisms. If you're like me and enjoy the weird, go ahead and CLICK!

These are previously posted at the bottom of each article -- for new, you'll have to come visit again.

Seaweed is in St. Pete right now.

The above chart (#411) can be a wish book of sorts as you look over your domain and wonder where to go next. And yes, I do have the originals (sans red arrow) as jpeg's for download should you desire your own for closer perusal. Enjoy!

The Writer's Block

It's my belief that other folks who boat are some of the most interesting in the world. Inside every boater is a story. Let yours out! I'd love to post short stories, vignettes, or even longer articles that focus on some aspect of our life on or near the water. Suggested topics include:

1. I Remember When...
2. My First Boat
3. Who inspired you to be a boater?
4. Fishing Trips or Tricks
5. Or another subject of your choosing

For the novice, here's how to write: Simply pretend you're sending a letter to a friend. Tell about an event or a memory from years ago that you still recall.

Life has changed so much on the water since I was born aboard. Personally I'd love to hear your memories of life when you were younger. Boats were smaller, narrower, and much slower. Kids were kids and our families often shaped the adult we have become. Here are my two aboard the tow boat my dad ran for a time:

Your pictures would be wonderful too. I posted one of Boot Key Harbor taken in 2001 that has gotten quite a few downloads and really, that's not so terribly long ago... Do you have any photos to share? Email me.

Do you want to help out?

Often an article for the website will be completely written yet lack photographs. I like pictures and am looking for some for up-coming pieces:

  • Pets afloat (include pet and boat name please)

  • Any picture of boats underway or at anchor

  • Photos of people enjoying life in or on the water

Size: a minimum of 1000 pixels across please. If that doesn't make sense think bigger versus resized for emailing. I prefer the full-size version. Also, the name you'd like me to use when I add the copyright stuff to your picture. And thanks bunches!

My email address is janice@janice142.com

23' Schucker mini-trawler, circa 1983.

Thanks for visiting. If you happen to see my boat along the waterways, give a call on Channel 16. I'm always listening.

click picture to enlarge

My home is not fancy by any means, however you cannot imagine how wonderful it is to come back to her after an expedition on shore.

If I can live this life, why not you too?

Skipper, First Mate

Aphorism Alert: Begin doing what you want to now. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand, and melting like a snowflake. Marie Beyon Ray.

Contributions to my Cruising Kitty
are always appreciated.

Every gift helps.

The Cruising Kitty is what boaters refer to as spending money. There's never enough aboard Seaweed!

I am also an Amazon Affiliate.


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