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23' mini-trawler
by Schucker

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

Trawler cruising on $10 per day is possible.
I'm doing it and you can too.

Janice Marois, accredited member of Boat Writers International.

It's been suggested I share my views on living aboard a 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: 26 January 2014. What Not To Do (smart anchoring)

Life on the water is wonderful and it can be inexpensive, but all too often a boat that anchors long term becomes not just a hazard, but a pain to all cruisers. It doesn't take a lot of money to buy a boat and just living on a boat doesn't make you a boater any more than sleeping in a garage makes you a car. Boaters -- real ones, not the bums -- are an asset to any community they belong to or visit. Here's how not to create problems for cruisers who follow in your wake.

  1. Use a legitimate anchor light. (solar lawn lights are not anchor lights -- not even close)

  2. Keep your vessel clean and tidy. (wash your doggone boat)

  3. Follow the rules (head pump-outs, no trash in the water)

  4. It's really not necessary to "hang it all out" (wear clothes on deck)

  5. Be a good citizen. (retrieve trash that floats by and dispose of properly)

What is wrong however is a circumstance that happens all too often: A boat will be bought and is to being delivered by the new owners to their home port. Along the way something goes wrong. Time constraints require the boat to be left at a safe place along the way.

How to leave your boat:


When you absolutely must leave your vessel, there are three options:

  1. Dry storage. Hauled out at a boatyard and placed on stands.

  2. In a marina tied to a pier.

  3. At anchor.

In my opinion, the first option is the ideal solution. Your boat is safe and she won't sink. The second, at a marina, generally insures your boat will be looked at. Both of those options however cost cash.

Thus a boat will on occasion be left anchored in a protected location. If done properly it's not a bad choice. Note the "if done properly" portion of that sentence please.


We can all understand the necessity of leaving a boat in rare circumstances. What I fail to comprehend is that an owner would leave their vessel without someone trustworthy to watch their sizable investment.

You may wonder what can happen in that event...

A while back I met a gent and his son (Nameless Ones aka NO from this point forward) who were moving their newly purchased Westsail32 from Florida to Tennessee. Time-wise, there was "enough" provided all went well. And it didn't.

Now NO did the right thing in that he didn't press on in iffy weather. That was smart. All too often newbies think they are bigger and stronger than Neptune. That's when Captain Murphy takes over and very bad things happen. You read about those folks in Survival books quite often.

Photo One:

Anchored, in a place with changing tides.

Using a single, albeit large,
Danforth type anchor.

Photo Two:

Now the boat has dragged back from the
green star
location as shown in Photo One.


The following day the boat is snarled with the two boats that are to the left of the Red Star shown in Picture Two.

Photo Three:

Photo Four:

A couple of tide changes later the boat
freed itself and was dragging further back.
Photo Five:

After becoming free from the two sailboats in Photo Four, the drifting wonder snagged yet another boat.

Quite naturally, other boaters are less than impressed with this sort of behavior. It makes all of us look badly whereas it is actually a limited problem.

Dragging boats usually are immediately taken care of and either properly anchored or towed to a marina.


As you can see from Photo Six ↓ 
this is a crowded anchorage.

Nameless Ones were irresponsible and none of this should have occurred. As a matter of fact the solution was one phone call away. And yes, it has already been implemented. That happened the day after the above picture was taken.

So how do you find someone to watch over your boat when you must leave her for a while? The easiest and smartest way to find the best person is to call your local TowBoatUS or SeaTow operator. Those are the fellows who tow boats for a living.

Usually they are in the "Cure" stage, solving problems. However there is one thing they also know about and that is "Prevention". They'd much rather prevent an issue than have to come in afterwards and fix it. Thus, if you must leave your vessel for any length of time, no matter how brief, contact a professional and ask for advice.

Prevention is always cheaper than Curing an issue after the event. Fixing something before a problem occurs is simply smart boating.

Most of the pros running TowBoatUS and SeaTow franchises will not be in the boat watching business, though some might be. They will however know the locals with a good reputation who can help you.

Call the professionals, not the guys anchored nearby though one may indeed be your man. If not a towing company, the local boat yards and marinas would all know people who can help you. Then be smart enough to take the advice offered.

Comments welcome and encouraged on the What Not To Do (smart anchoring) page.

Categories:  Characters, Security


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.

Skipper, First Mate extraordinaire

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


Coming soon ...

Anchoring: what not to do.


The Archive holds a running list with synopsis of published articles, and links to same.

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 being repaired in Carrabelle 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, and inside every boater is a story. Well, 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

Life has changed so much on the water since I was born aboard, and personally I'd love to hear your memories of life when you were younger. Boats were smaller, narrower, and much slower, but kids, well, kids were kids. 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

  • Derelict sloop or ketch

  • War medals

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!


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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