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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.

2018 Archive



  • Generating Power. This is Part Two of a multi-part series on decadence. Okay, really it's about how to have a refrigerator off-grid. Today's piece is Generating Power. It focuses on powering the reefer. Here's how I do it.
    Categories: Characters, Gear, Locations, Recommendations,

  • Refrigerator Power Requirements. I am not an electrical guru by any means. The boys that know get technical real quickly. They know their stuff. I'm more of the practical "what works for me" sort... Powering a refrigerator off the grid involves three things. Here's how I do it:
    Categories: Boats, Characters, Gear, Locations, Pets, Recommendations,

  • Fancy Egg Salad. Eggs are inexpensive. I eat them a lot. For get-togethers and pot lucks I always bring deviled eggs. Folks like them and I do too. When making deviled eggs I sometimes have rejects. Those are the ones that don't peel well. They are placed into a spare bowl for improvement. Today I share the recipe for my Fancy Egg Salad.
    Categories:  Galley, Recipes, Recommendations,

  • Making a Desk. During summertime often it is too hot to do much except plan the next project. A few boats away from mine the owner has an air conditioner. What his boat lacked however was a desk with great visibility. I solved that with items from his back yard and a bit of ingenuity. Here's how I made a desk for less than $5.
    Categories: Boats, Characters, Locations,

  • Attaching Wires to the Bulkhead. The 32-volt battery banks on a neighbor's yacht needed replacement. Like all boat jobs it expanded a bit. Most of the Might-As-Well and While-We're-At-It items were as as a direct result of me. One issue was some of the wiring had fallen off the bulkhead. I had a low-cost (free!) solution. Here is how I fixed those wires.
    Categories: Gear, In the Bilges,

  • Nautical Swap Purchases - Handles. Earlier this spring I went to a nautical exchange in downtown St. Pete. That's fancy talk for a swap meet for boaters. I brought cash and an eagle eye. To say I was fortunate would be an understatement. I scored, and then came the second guessing. Was what I purchased all it was suppose to be?!?
    Categories: Characters, Gear, Locations,

  • Scooper Question. As good friends know I am a nut for thrift stores. They are fun places to explore. I believe it is the thrill of the hunt that pleases me most. Of course the prices are a real talisman too. Last year I found the coolest scoop. Today, if you would be so kind, please tell me what it is that I paid perfectly good money to own.
    Categories: Boats, Characters, Galley, Locations,

  • Tablecloth becomes Screens. Approximately eight years ago I spotted an army surplus screen tent at the Army-Navy store over on the east coast. The cost was $15 as I recall. I was wavering on the purchase when I spotted the same item at the Salvation Army for $4. Yes, I bought it then. Eight years later the screen most exposed to sunlight has deteriorated. Here's how I solved that problem for $2.
    Categories: Boats, Characters, Comfort, Gear, Money,

  • A Day of Reckoning (the diet) It all started out with a realization that I'd gotten fat. Not just a bit rounded, but genuinely obese. It said so on the BMI Chart. I weighed 50% more than I had when I was 25 years old, post children. I knew I was wearing a size Large, but... well, I'm different. Special. And really the weight didn't look "that" bad. The fault was hammered home by a Walker Bay dinghy. Here's what happened, and how I have dropped 30-35 pounds over the past year, almost painlessly.
    Categories: Boats, Characters, Galley, Locations, Pets,

  • Stacking Battery Cables. As the battery project continued the first step was to diagram out what was there before I did anything. I drew a couple of simple sketches, numbering both the batteries and the studs. Then I removed the cables from each post. As I went along I secured them, labeling each batch with the post number it came from. There were errors though.
    Categories: Gear, In the Bilges, Organizing, Recommendations,

  • St. Pete's Electro Battery. Replacing batteries is never cheap. Finding a store that has good prices often takes a lot of time and effort. In St. Pete the place where the pros go is Electro Battery. (Phone 727-323-4848) That's where we went. The manager is Joe. We arrived early and were helped immediately.
    Categories: Characters, Gear, Locations,

  • Proper Attachment of a Terminal End. During the 32-volt battery bank troubleshooting and eventual replacement there were problems with two 4-gauge wires. One went on the #8 battery terminal. That positive wire end piece had broken. I replaced it. There is a right way to put on a new terminal end. Here's how to do it correctly.
    Categories: Boats, Books, Characters, Entertainment, Gear, In the Bilges, Recommendations,

  • Clothes in the Bilges. Before I owned Seaweed I spent an inordinate amount of time obsessing over what clothes to bring aboard her. Looking nice is important to me. I also realized that my choices had to conform to a life afloat. Specifically that meant everything had to dry quickly. A different criteria comes into play when I'm in the bilges though.
    Categories: Comfort, Gear, In the Bilges, Unmentionables,

  • Diagnosing a Bad Battery. A neighbor has a boat that would not start. Because the engine turned over weakly, he believed the batteries needed charging. Fortunately shore power is available. Thus it was a simple matter to charge the battery banks. Nevertheless there was a problem. Here's how I diagnosed where the issue emanated.
    Categories: Boat Talk, Boats, Characters, Gear, In the Bilges, Locations, Recommendations,

  • Voltage Meters for the Batteries. When at anchor watching the power is a habit. I don't want to take my batteries down too low.  It is important to be able to start my engine should I need to leave immediately. To that end I have a bunch of voltage meters scattered about Seaweed.
    Categories: Anchorages, Boat Talk, Boats, Characters, Gear, Locations, Money, Recommendations,

  • Storm Update 29 May 2018 (and boat insurance fiasco) All is well here in St. Petersburg, FL. The storm Alberto passed us by without incident. Basically the winds blew and it rained. I am glad I did laundry the day before though. Having everything clean always cheers me. That I had almost two weeks of groceries in my lockers was a good thing too. I am set! Except for that one thing...
    Categories: Characters, Locations, Pets,

  • Storm and Hurricane Info Links. As the hurricane season is beginning a mite early I needed to find my online links for storm information. This article provides the ones I use. It's a convenience piece for me that I believe you may find helpful too. I have also provided easy access to storm information previously posted on my website.
    Categories: Books, Characters, Locations, Recommendations, Security, Wild Things,

  • Dock Lines from Halyards (snubber too) One of my favorite activities is shopping. The thrill of the hunt is a great part of the experience. A while back I was fortunate enough to get to the Cortez nautical flea market. That is a once per year event in Cortez, Florida. One of the best finds of the day were some old halyards. Not all were in great condition so I fixed 'em. Today I'll tell you how.
    Categories: Boat Talk, Books, Characters, Gear, Locations, Money, Organizing, Pets, Recommendations,

  • For the Fishermen (anchoring system) First of all, please know I am the world's worst fisherman. Fish do not fear me. In fact I've seen them suck my bait into their mouth and spit out a perfectly clean hook. For details on that see the Glass-bottom Dinghy article. However a while back I ran into a successful fisherman who used a different anchoring system than I. Here's what he does.
    Categories: Boats, Characters, Fishing, Wild Things,

  • Garbage Containers. Aboard Seaweed refuse is a concern. Because I am in a tidal area where water flow is good, disposing of garbage over the side is one solution.  That said, no trash is ever tossed overboard. The only things I do feed the fish are edibles that sink. For items such as orange peels I made a cool container. By repurposing and recycling items I already had onboard I saved money too.
    Categories: Characters, Galley, Unmentionables,

  • Making a Plug-In AC Voltage Meter. A couple years ago I bought an AC powered nightlight. I plugged it into an outlet in my galley. Eventually I broke the plastic part that lit up. The LED was blue and still functioned. I thought the base section might be of use someday so I tucked it into a junk drawer. Then it came to me: I could make my own plug-in AC meter from the broken nightlight and an AC meter I had on hand. Here's how I did it.
    Categories: Gear, In the Bilges, Recommendations,

  • Scissors in the Galley (baked bacon) I have lived a few decades. Physically I'm not where I once was. Like many who have passed the half century mark, compensating is a normal state of affairs for me. One of the ways I do that is in the galley. Instead of using sharp knives most of the time I employ my scissors to cut foodstuffs. You might find this technique useful too, especially in rough weather.
    Categories: Boats, Characters, Galley, Recipes,

  • Scorpion Vacuum and Kindle Fire Questions. I realize hearing a woman extol the virtues of a vacuum sounds rather odd on a boating website. That said, my Seaweed gets dirty. A vacuum helps me keep her clean. Over the past ten years I have tried several models. Power sources varied too. Most sucked, and not in a good way. Here is what I've learned.
    Categories: Books, Characters, Entertainment, Gear, In the Bilges, Recommendations, Unmentionables,

  • Book Store - Haslam's in St. Pete. I am a reader. Books have been a huge part of my world nearly all of my life. Finding a glorious bookshop is always a treasure. Here in St. Pete we are fortunate to have a place you need to visit as you're passing through. It's called Haslam's Book Store and is located at 2025 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL 33713. This place is a gem. It's the sort of store that you book addicts won't want to leave.
    Categories: Boats, Books, Characters, Locations, Recommendations, Vignettes,

  • Upsizing the Alternator - My Mistake. First of all, "everyone" says get a bigger alternator. I did so. Though my reasoning was correct errors were made. As with most things, there was not a single flaw that caused the problems I experienced. Instead a litany of Good Ideas morphed into mistakes. I was fortunate to catch this before a catastrophic failure incurred. Here's what I did wrong.
    Categories: Boat Talk, Books, Characters, Gear, In the Bilges, Locations, Recommendations,

  • Alternator Bracket Pattern (how to) If I had a dollar for every Good Idea that has ever crossed my mind, I would be rich. When it comes to alternators I've had more than my fair share of ideas. Some worked well and others didn't. One success I had was with the pattern I created for my new, larger alternator. Here's how I did it for less than a dollar.
    Categories: Characters, Gear, In the Bilges, Locations, Money,

  • Snook Surface (cold weather consequence) It has been cold here in St. Pete. Even the water temperatures have dipped. The consequence is that fish are coming to the surface. Of late, snook have been spotted. Often when one says "the fish was THIS BIG" the statement is met with skepticism. Well, I have proof.
    Categories: Books, Fishing, Locations, Recommendations, Wild Things,

  • Draft Prevention using Foam. I have a drafty boat. When folks say things like "be sure to crack a window when you're using your oil lanterns" I laugh. Really?!? Aboard Seaweed there are breezes even when she's closed up tight. Here's how I help seal the door into my cockpit.
    Categories: Boat Talk, Characters, Comfort, Gear, Locations,

  • Rat Traps (securing mouse traps too) So far, knock teak, I have not had an issue with rodents aboard Seaweed. This fact does not mean that I am unprepared for such an event. To be on the safe side several traps were purchased. In case I'm faced with rats or mice I want weapons in my arsenal.  Here is how I make sure the critters cannot escape.
    Categories: Boat Talk, Boats, Characters, Galley, Unmentionables, Wild Things,

  • Five Dollars at a Time. Women have a distinct advantage over men. We are more willing to admit that we aren't 25 years old any more. Of course you fellows can do a lot. The question comes down to "Should you?" More often than not, the answer is no. If you are like me, perhaps my solution will work for you.
    Categories: Boats, Characters, Fishing, Galley, Locations, Money, Unmentionables,

  • Advice for the Vintage Boater. Last month I received the nicest note from a gent who can be considered vintage. Grover asked "Do you know where there is a trawler like yours for sale?" Alas I do not. That however is not necessarily a bad thing. I believe there are alternatives that should be considered if limited mobility is an issue. These options are often less costly than my own Seaweed. Details follow.
    Categories: Boats, Characters, Wild Things,

(this is the Archive for 2018)

Click for year 2017 Archive

A favorite aphorism:  A good deed is like a pebble thrown into a pool of water. The ripples spread far beyond the point of impact. Dear Abby by her daughter Pauline Phillips.

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 extraordinaire

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are always appreciated.

Every gift helps.

The Cruising Kitty is what boaters refer to as spending money. There's never enough aboard Seaweed!

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