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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!


Comments are still giving me fits. They don't work, yet. In the meantime please send any messages to me directly at comments@janice142.com ... In the meantime, thank you for your patience. It is appreciated. J.

Date: 22 January 2017. Watermaker Wish Coming True.


Side Note: A lot has been happening around the boat of late. To keep things in chronological order, I'm posting as I wrote so friends can catch up with all that is occurring in my world. Life afloat keeps getting better.

Great News!!! I was offered a Katydin 40E watermaker. It comes complete with the world cruising kit and the spares kit too along with a pre-filter assembly I read about. It was an amazing coup. I am truly blessed. My friend Ken is taking it off his sailboat and will install it in mine. I am beyond excited, thrilled, joyous, happy, and cannot stop smiling. True friends are an amazing gift.

This is Ken's boat. She's a 40' Rhodes
Bounty2 set up for world cruising.

BOB from Time Stopped,
, KEN and me.

Since before I found my Seaweed I have lusted after watermakers. Originally I wanted a Spectra with Z-Brane. The cost nine years ago started at $6,000 and quickly moved north with accessories and such. I could not justify that expense. Nor could I splurge as there wasn't enough in the coffers to pay for such a thing.

But a girl can dream, and boy oh boy have I dreamed of finding a watermaker I could afford.

Hauling water is physically very difficult for me. I'm not getting any younger. It is not getting any easier.

One of the downsides of having a small trawler such as Seaweed is that the space for tankage does not exist. Though she carries fifty gallons of water, that's not enough without economizing. Keeping hydrated is critical to health especially in the south where the heat can be oppressive.


Filling the water tank on Seaweed:


FIRST: Get permission before you take any water. Not all places allow you to fill your water tanks. It is boater's responsibility to find out who has the authority to permit you to take water. Then abide by their rules.


To fill the tank on Seaweed while at anchor I had to go to shore in Algae with water jugs. Mine are small because water weighs eight pounds per gallon. I could not lift a 40 pound five gallon container. Physically I simply do not have the strength.

Because I do not have upper body strength I use smaller water bottles. That necessitates multiple trips to fill my tank. It is exhausting.

Once back at Seaweed I have to balance myself on the seat in Algae. Then I lift the jug to the bow, open the fill and pour in the water. Hopefully I won't spill much.

This whole process is not easy. When it is hot the chore is just miserable. However I do like showers so this is one of those "glamorous jobs" the travel writers cannot describe accurately.

Someday you'll see, unless you frequent marinas and fuel docks.


Hauling water is not fun. Ugh. I hate it. Worse yet, I dread so much the whole procedure that it can take on enormous proportions in my mind. That probably seems silly to you men-folk. For me getting water aboard is something to be endured.

Because of Ken and Bill, now is the dawn of a new era. I'll have a watermaker up and running  very shortly.

Note: I am woman. Cruising is supposed to be fun. With the accoutrements of a comfortable life, it is!

Sparrow* is the same person I bought my Air-Breeze wind generator from years ago. He understands and knows my boat quite well from that install. Ken also knows I've been wanting a watermaker for years. I missed one once and that pinged my soul each time I dragged the water jugs to shore.

*Sparrow is the name of Ken's boat. Out here folks tend to call each other by the name of their boat. You'll want something that is easy to hear over the VHF radio, easy to spell (nothing cutesy) and for god's sake, nothing vulgar. Crude boat names are regarded with derision by all but the most immature.

A watermaker has been on my wish list forever and a day. I do know realistically going to a marina is the "better" (more cost efficient) route. That said I prefer out of the way places without a lot of facilities. Having the ability to make water will make all the difference in the world to me.

I love remote areas with wildlife and lots of stars.

The ability to see stars is directly
 proportional to people. A place with lots of
 people means far fewer visible stars.

Hauling water is a real pain in the transom. It is back breaking and shoulder aching. I hit a drunk driver in the 80's and my left side is not-so-great... All the work bringing water to Seaweed is behind me now.

This is Cheryl and Fred's Island Time.

A couple I know on Schucker Island Time, a 40' motorsailor, have a Spectra watermaker. They bought it at a boat show. Cheryl and Fred HAVE to wash their boat every few days with fresh water because they need to use their watermaker. Watermakers are happiest when used frequently. How cool is that?!?!

I want that to be me, and soon it will be.

This is possible because
 of website reader friends.

Donations to the Cruising Kitty make a Big Difference. When this opportunity to own a watermaker came up I had the funds in my Paypal account to Seal the Deal.

Until you've hauled water as often as I have you cannot know how wonderful it was to have access to the gifts from readers. That has made a HUGE difference in my life. I cannot say thank you enough. I truly am blessed by the best website friends on the planet!



The relief of knowing that I can avoid lifting eight pound bottles of water is beyond the scope of imagination. Think of it this way: My water tank is 50 gallons. Fifty times eight equals 400 pounds. To refill my water tank means moving 400 pounds. Ouch.

And now those days are behind me. It's been a long journey. The dreams I had back in 2008 are coming to fruition. I am so fortunate.


I have the craziest, best, absolutely most amazing 23' home of anyone.

Truly I am totally blessed. Thank you. Thank you. Thank YOU!!!

Contributions to my Cruising Kitty
are always appreciated.

Comments welcome and encouraged on the
Watermaker Wish Coming True

Categories: Boats, Characters, Comfort, Gear,


Announcement: I did start a few months ago emailing notices to readers when new articles go up. 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: Shy Anne
aboard M/V Bucket List

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 ...

VHF aboard Seaweed

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:

  • Parrot or a macaw

  • Electric food dehydrator

  • Any picture of boats underway or at anchor

Size: a minimum of 1000 pixels across please. If that doesn't make sense think bigger versus resized for emailing -- I'd 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!

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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