Date: 3 July 2014. Budget Boating.
And now, back to our regularly
scheduled posts, albeit a bit late!
Boating does not have to
mean mega-millions, or even thousands of dollars. There's
another way, and the fun is available for those of modest means.
I know some of the friendliest of folks I've met have been exploring
and enjoying the waters in much smaller boats than mine. If
they can do it, why not you?
Mark and Lynn visited Seaweed. They are from
Colorado, and having fun in Florida.
When Lynn and her husband
stopped by, I learned that Lynn had recently taken a trip down
the Colorado River, white-water rafting and camping. How
cool is that?!?
And, as promised, here
are the photographs I took: [Click, and you'll get the full
||I also have a
picture of Mark and Lynn.
HERE for it.
And thanks for visiting
Seaweed and signing
my Log Book. :)
Sometimes being on the water does
mean a live-aboard capable yacht, however lots can be said for the
smaller boats out here. The folks who use them tend to be
curious about and interested in the world.
What I'm referring to of
course is those who paddle, row and putt-putt along in smaller craft
such as canoes, kayaks, and even something designated a
"cat-a-canoe" by it's builder.
This exploration however was
best described in a book called "Beachcruising and Coastal Camping"
and I believe that one ought to be in every budget boater's library. My original copy was borrowed by a
friend on a 27' sailboat -- and never returned. I don't loan my new
copy. It's a Keeper.
Beachcruising and Coastal Camping
authors of of this gem, Ida Little and Michael Walsh, are just
the sort of folks I like best. They are intrepid and actually
have adventures while not spending a ton of cash. Their book
offers practical advice on everything from supplies (toilet
paper, food stuffs, etc.) to being safe, having fun and more.
so many different ways to boat, and I guarantee it doesn't take a
$100,000 boat to be on the water and having fun. Often the smaller
kayaks and canoes are available for rent. You can try before you
buy. But note: when it's yours you will probably make some
modifications, and/or add cool stuff to make your time afloat even
better, just like Ida and Michael did.
Recently I met a couple of ladies who were paddling by my boat.
Amanda and Patty were in SunDolphin kayaks and having just the best
time. Florida girls, the three of us laughed and had a great time
getting to know each other.
Photo taken on the Steinhatchee River near Marker 48.
Paddling is one way to get
around, however I met Ron a while back and he outfitted his canoe with
an outboard motor. That's rather cool, and surely does make
going upstream a lot easier.
With a bit of ingenuity, Ron's made certain he can
travel greater distances without getting tired. Smart man!
But then Ron thought some more and because he had
a second canoe, he built what he calls a Cat-a-canoe.
His, nicknamed TOTS for Terror Of The Seas, is a marvel.
|Though Ron has
spent about $2,000 for his Terror Of The Seas cat-a-canoe* he
told me that if he'd chosen used canoes, a used motor and less
expensive plywood, he could have built TOTS for about $500.
*Cat-a-canoe is a made up word. Ron uses it
as a playful reference to a catamaran, a vessel with two hulls.
Extra fuel is in the port side canoe.
Ron also stores folding chairs in the starboard
canoe. Obviously this is for calm days on lazy rivers.
On the Carrabelle River heading eastbound:
Ron's cat-a-canoe is made from
two Rogue River 14' canoes. He also bought a new four-stroke
Honda 2hp outboard.
Though not fancy by any means, Ron has a pretty
good system. He's got his life preservers handy and accessible
at the bow of both canoes. His seat is a cooler with cold
coca-cola. TOTS even has a ship's flag with a manatee on it.
Of late I've noticed more and more
folks taking advantage of kayaks as a mode of transportation, and to
explore quiet waters. Visiting friends takes on a whole new meaning
when kayaks are involved! A friend named Renee sure has fun
Renee of Seahorse II enjoys her kayak.
Renee's has foot propulsion too --
I met a fellow named Rich back in
Pearl Bayou with that sort of set-up and he told me it was the best.
He could go quite rapidly with the foot pedals. Rich used his
kayak for fishing. He trucked his kayak where ever the fish were
biting and the mosquitoes were not.
Someday Rick thought he might buy a
bigger boat, but for now there was real pleasure in simple combining
fishing with kayaking. When we chatted over tea aboard Seaweed he
did say given an option, to go with the foot pedal kayaks if
possible. He liked that version best and commented about fast he
could go via simple foot power.
Even those of us with dinghies sometimes
kayaks aboard our boats. A friend named Angela aboard S/V Teasa
from Brazil visited me in her kayak one afternoon.
She brought a delicious cake too.
A kayak is often easier to use than an outboard because you can go
straight across the shallows -- can't do that with an outboard.
Angela paddles home after visiting Seaweed:
Still, the folks that have written
the book about using canoes, day-sailboats and kayaks are Ida Little
and Michael Walsh. They've got a system, and their book is a
real gem for those that wish to explore roughing it, with some
degree of comfort thrown in.
Beachcruising and Coastal Camping
Even though I prefer my
trawler -- after all, Seaweed is my home, Ida and Michael have
so much practical advice in their book that I advise boat
friends to buy it. It's for folks on a budget who cannot
afford to throw money at each problem as it occurs. [That
would definitely be me.]
Small boats are reviewed, both the good and
For folks with smaller
boats, and those who do not wish to invest major dollars in a
big boat at this point,
Beachcruising will open your eyes to
Not only do Ida and Michael give unbiased reviews of
boats they've owned, they also tell you how to fix what they
consider detriments to the boats. In both pictures and
text we are shown how to improve a day-sailer, along with what
modifications will improve our experience afloat.
They tell what they liked,
as well as what could be better in a variety of inexpensive
watercraft. From personal experience, I find the tweaks
very useful. I might not do exactly as they have done, but
I will take their idea and make it suit my vessel.
Ida and Michael have
wintered in the Bahamas, coastal hopped along the Carolinas,
camped along New England coasts and more. They don't say "No" or
"I can't" but instead embrace the word "Yes," and have a great
time while doing so.
Another nice feature in
Beachcruising and Coastal Camping
is found in italics. The Editor has added comments that I found
See page on right. →
And they provide you with a "What I wish I knew
then" and how to make stuff better in the future. Their
book is like sitting around a pot luck on the beach and chatting
with new friends about what works, along with what doesn't. I
If you have a 40'er, Beachcruising
will probably not be of much use. However, for those of us with
small boats and limited budgets, there are nuggets of information in
the book. This is one of the few boat books aboard Seaweed --
it's a Keeper!
For instance, on a deserted island, would you have
any idea how to find fresh water? I didn't -- until I read
this book. Not that I ever plan on being marooned on a desert
island, but if the zombies come, I want to be ready!
Does your boating include canoes or kayaks?
And, have you a motor on your vessel? What kind of motor (trolling,
Tyranny of the Tiller (pre-purchase advice)
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