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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: 21 October 2016. All's Well aboard Seaweed.


QUICK NOTE: All is well aboard Seaweed! Skipper and I have been having fun, going out regularly, anchoring and basically enjoying life. I've been testing systems (don't ask about the fan belt issue, yet!) and finding room for improvement. Sigh.

This has also been a time of reflection. Losing friends brings home the importance of life and enjoying same. Prioritizing, along with helping a friend get his boat cruise ready have taken more time than I expected.

A trip to the local American Legion is a sure fire pick-me-up.

Edwin, Doreen and me with the glass of sangria
at the American Legion post in Madeira Beach, FL.

Like all boat projects, the One-More-Thing-Itis is alive and well in Madeira Beach, FL. And it seems each job brings up more wonder. That's as in "I wonder what the P.O. (Previous Owner) was thinking when he did this!?!"

My friend and I are working on a plethora of large and small items. The goal is to get his trawler more cruise ready.

The to-do list of jobs for his boat so far seems to be getting larger rather than smaller. I hope that means we are making progress!

No, his trawler will not be finished. No boat ever is. His will be Good Enough. That's all one can ask when budgets are paramount.

As for Seaweed, she's just about perfect except for the stuff that is broken, needs upgrading, fixing or changing that is! Life aboard is wonderful just as she is. That's not to say I don't have a list of improvements I hope to accomplish one of these days...

More articles are upcoming. But not tomorrow. Tomorrow I will be just south of here at a nautical flea market. I've got a list and hope to put a sizable dent in it.

Redoing the battery bank is in store. The plan is to switch to buss bars. That will make the monthly battery checks easier. I'll need four sets (positive and ground) for the batts. I have two banks, five in one bank and three batteries in the other.

Of course I'll be consulting Calder's Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual 4th Edition for specifics. I have three charging systems. For the curious, they are an Air-Breeze wind generator, a TrueCharge20, plus my solar panels. It's all got to work together.

I want to make sure I'm up to date on the latest technology and advice regarding power and charging.  It's important that I maintain my batteries. I cannot afford to replace batts because of stupidity. That is the primary reason I check them each month.

In the meantime rest assured: I didn't forget you. All is well. Today I put a pretty big dent in the email Inbox. I'm just below 500 new messages so if you've written I'll get to it. Email simply is not a priority when there's boating to do.

Life is truly wonderful afloat. I love my Seaweed.

Two separate lines hold Algae to Seaweed. They
attach at different points providing double security.

I've got to get new stickers for the boats. The registrations expire at the end of this month for both Seaweed and Algae. It's just a week until my birthday so I need to take care of that too. Argh!

In all that spare time of mine that is..

But first, the nautical flea market. Wish me luck!

Comments welcome and encouraged on the All's Well aboard Seaweed page.

Categories: Boat Talk, Books, Characters, Locations, Recommendations, Vignettes


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: Peaches
Cap'n Noel's watchdog

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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