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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: 10 November 2017. Glass Dishes (elegance afloat)


I often hear from folks transitioning to life afloat. The ladies question galley gear. They are used to their conveniences and worry about having to downgrade their lifestyle, cooking habits, dishware and more. I'm here to say decadence is just around the river bend. I've got it and you can too!

When the view is like this, priorities
change. Meals are savored at anchor.

The panorama outside inspires me.
A well-stocked galley makes cooking fun.

Ladies who have cooked for years on cast iron pans wonder about bringing them aboard. I do know of a gent who only uses cast iron pans on his trawler. It is possible to use cast iron and not be plagued by rust. It being done right now.

My neighbor purchased a set of expensive boat cookware, Many experts say you must have special nesting pots and pans. Those with removable handles are even better. So he bought them.

A test period followed. He hated the fancy ones. The boat neighbor preferred his cast iron cookware. That expensive set is now stuffed unused in a cabinet at his house.

If you love your current pots and pans, why change? Bring aboard your everyday cookware.

Use what you are most comfortable with...
If it doesn't work for you afloat, change.

Living aboard a boat with a modicum of
decadence is a goal I've reached. You can too.

Internet shopping and rapid mail deliveries are a godsend. Initial equipment decisions I made were not always correct. When something doesn't work the way I want it to, I look for alternatives. I have changed my way of thinking about many things over the years aboard Seaweed.

When I first moved aboard I had ideas. I was sure that having only 12-volt items would be ideal. I bought a 12-volt drill by Black & Decker. It ALWAYS required recharging. I could have saved money and simply bought a $10 Harbor Freight drill. After all, Seaweed does have an inverter.

Now sometimes cheap drills break. I described a
repair in the
Electric Drill Repair article.

Being able to accept that not all decisions work in the long term is helpful. I am willing to change. That is why visiting other boat gals is so much fun. We all learn from each other.

I switched dishes too over time. Initially I had plastic along with some glassware. Now I only use glass.

Glass is prettier. Frankly I like my small fish plate. Although I have a fish dinner plate most frequently I use the one shown below. The larger the plate, the more I want to fill it. Because I am determined to lose weight a smaller fish plate helps me toward that goal.

Eating a meal served on glass, well, it simply feels wonderful. I definitely count my blessings.

There is something rather elegant about eating
off a glass dish shaped like a fish while at anchor.

Life out here is happiest
for those capable of adapting.

Start your life afloat with what pleases you. Jettison quickly what doesn't work. No matter what choices you make today, they may not suit you down the river.

I used to not care for spicy foods. Now I prefer hot
stuff. I've changed. Bland hotdogs won't work for me.

Buddy on the other hand will eat the bland
cheap hotdogs... as many as I will give him.

When moving from a house onto a boat, not everything will fit. Some stuff will have to be left behind. If an item is something you use regularly find a spot for it aboard your boat.

As for the rest, the article Take Small Bites (de-cluttering) may help in your decision making process.

Boats are our homes. Those of a "certain age" (that'd be me!!) like pretty things. I would not be out here these nine-plus years if I were still camping. A woman has to have some niceties.

Roughing it is not for me. I like a
 life of decadence. So does Skipper.

Even Skipper uses glass dishes. At night she has a nifty one I found at a local charity shop. I believe it is beautiful. She likes the water in it.

Incidentally, most stuff that I have broken occurred
during beach potlucks. I am just not always graceful.

For those new to the boating world, the storage space on your boat will determine how much you can bring aboard. Whatever you find extraneous, get rid of ASAP. You will want that space for other items.

I remember back on the east coast a fellow named Rich. He sent around an anchorage a plastic box filled with stuff. It was mostly galley gear he did not use. Everybody took some, gave more and passed along the box. It took a few days to circle the anchorage. What wasn't taken ended up at the local Salvation Army store.

I know I took four dinner knives. I cannot remember what I put in the box. Something no doubt that seemed like a good idea at the time... even on a 23' boat I have too much stuff.

Sharing what you have is a good thing. One of my most memorable meals came from Ken. He sent over a big bowl of pork chowder. There was more than enough for one, so I called Lynn on the VHF. She brought over bread and we ate it all up. Shared meals with friends afloat are part of the special life boaters enjoy. Good times... and more to come no doubt.

Aboard the Edge friends often gathered. There were
 many scrumptious meals served aboard this boat.

Socializing is one of the wonderful parts of this life afloat.

It is the people far more than the table
 set that makes boating memorable.


As for the galley gear you want, my advice would be to first take your favorites. Any tool that can serve more than one purpose is a good thing, IF you use it. Many decisions can be made by what fits best in your lockers.

Often I may buy a smaller, more expensive version of something simply because it will fit where I need it to go. Round containers use more space than square so I have shied away from those. As you're out here you too will refine your goods.

Aboard Seaweed, if I don't love the item it will be passed along.

I treasure being surrounded by the things I love.

For you and yours, I hope you find the happiness I enjoy every day aboard Seaweed. I truly am blessed.

Comments welcome and encouraged on the
Glass Dishes (elegance afloat) page.

Categories: Boats, Characters, Galley, Pets, Wild Things,


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: Tigger
MSV Wanderlust

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 ...

Making a pattern for an Alternator Bracket


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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