Home   |   The Boat   |   First Mate   |   Admiral   |   Guestbook

Thanks for visiting my site. I have had 4,370,593 hits since 29 August 2013. Wow, and thank you!!!

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!

Thank you Colin for your PayPal donation. I appreciate that!!!

Date: 16 May 2019. Saving on Kleenex (handkerchiefs)


Budgets often fail not because of extravagant purchases. A plethora of lower cost throw-away goods bought regularly can add up to a large expense. In other words, it's not always the big ticket items that cause a shortage of cash. One thing I stopped buying is tissues. Brands such as Kleenex or Puffs with Aloe were my favorites.

The main impetus is because I washed one load too many with a tissue left in my pocket. Bits of tissue stuck to damp clothes is simply not fun. Picking bits of tissue off everything is a pain in the transom.


I switched over to cotton flannel torn into 8" to 10" squares instead of store-bought paper tissues. They work well. As a bonus, my flannel rags are much softer than even the best aloe infused tissues. Plus I save money by not purchasing tissues.


It wasn't just the laundry load with bits of tissue sticking to everything. I'd also upgraded to a better/warmer flannel nightgown. The old one was stained and I wanted to get one more use out of the fabric. The blue nightie was soft. It would be absorbent too.

In the previous article What to Wear I told you about my penchant for cutting up old shirts and turning them into disposable work rags. Cheap paper towels costs a dollar per roll. Old clothing that is torn, stained or otherwise disreputable can extend its useful life by becoming in essence a "paper" towel. Plus, the rags can be washed and reused or thrown away. Either option is still a win.

But I digress...
As winter ends folks who used cotton flannel sheets to stay warm donate them to thrift stores. This is the ideal time of the year to find a selection.

Fellows should look for plaid fabric. You've got
 your masculinity on the line. Don't buy hearts.

A couple years back I bought sheets with hearts. A
fitted sheet doesn't fit my bunk well, so I chopped it up.

Before purchase I feel the sheets. The fabric should not have pills. Pills are little round balls of thread that adhere to the cloth. Fabric like that is scratchy. Don't buy it.

Side Note: I am aware that you can buy a gizmo similar to a razor and "shave off" the pills. I have found that if the fabric quality isn't there in the beginning, shaving will not ever succeed long term.

Ideally the sheet will be soft. My skin is
sensitive so I only opt for the softest fabrics.

Side Note: My fitted bottom sheet didn't fit the bunk. I cut off the elastic parts. Then I cut/tore the fabric in half crosswise. It fits from my shoulders to the foot of the bunk. The advantage is that I use that part as my bottom sheet. I have successfully halved my laundry and still have a clean sheet.

Because the piece of fabric is smaller, it is easier to wash. I always use a cover too. My regularly washed bedding includes the hearts fabric piece you see above, plus a cover and my pillowcase. By keeping laundry loads small they are easier to dry inside the boat.

I am private and prefer to keep my boat looking nice at all times. Laundry hanging outside draws attention. I prefer not stand out.

First, fellows need to shop for a cotton flannel pillowcase. I would go to a thrift store. This time of the year flannels are usually available and on sale.

To make handkerchiefs, the easiest way is to lay out the flannel fabric. Make little snips about 1/2 inch long every 10" or 12" along the long side. This does not have to be exact. A pillowcase should yield six handkerchiefs per side. Thus with one small pillowcase you'll have an even dozen.

Next tear all the way across your fabric. Yes, you could use scissors. For me tearing is easier plus the edges are straighter. Flannels will tear once they are started. After I have the long strips I turn the fabric. Then cut the flannel pieces into Kleenex size squares.

Voila: Done!

All of mine are approximately the same size.
If you're a fellow you  might want yours larger.

They also makes nice rags for wiping my brow or neck when it is hot. I have also dampened one with water to help keep me cool in the summertime.

Because these are made from cotton flannel, they will be absorbent. If you need to sop up a bit of coffee that spilled, you're ready. Need to clean your dip stick? You're set. If you're like me you will find more than a dozen uses for flannel rags. Aboard Seaweed, flannel rags are an essential gear item.

If I didn't already have a good supply, I might consider adding a flannel sheet to my thrift store shopping list. This isn't worth paying full retail price in my view. Still, having rags that dry quickly (faster than regular towels) is a real boon.

Aboard Seaweed having
absorbent rags is Very Useful.



This is my version of Puffs with Aloe brand tissues. They are soft, absorbent and last practically forever. I do not hem the edges. That's just too much work.



After repeated washing the threads will start to unravel at the edges. I just use scissors to cut off the loose threads. Honestly though, it's so easy to to do this. Plus it saves me money.


My skin has become thinner as I age. I find these flannel pieces ideal. Several are used each day. I wash at least a half dozen every other day.

An Update regarding my Broken Arm: My arm is getting better. Thankfully the pain levels are decreasing. The bruises are fading. Thanks for the comments and emailed notes regarding the arm. Your encouragement is so nice. Thank you!!! J.

Thank you for reading. Happy boating.

Comments welcome and encouraged on the
Saving on Kleenex (handkerchiefs) page.

Categories: Comfort, Gear, Money,


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.

Something a new reader might not realize: Almost every picture on this website can be clicked. The photo will get larger when clicked. Do that a second time and the picture should be full size. Enjoy...

My Cruising Kitty earns money each time you buy on Amazon through my links. It costs you nothing and helps supplement my cruising funds.

Thanks for your support, and heck, just for being here. I appreciate that more than you can imagine.

Paypal Tablet link:  *CRUISING KITTY
*for those who wish to donate direct to me via paypal.


Pets of the Week: Missy and Nigel
La Sirena

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 five pounds.

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.


Copyright Janice Marois  |  Home  |  Archive  |  Topics  |  Boat List  |  Site Map  |  Email Me  |