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Date: 30 October 2022. Madeira Beach Nautical Flea Market.


One way to save perfectly good money on marine items is to shop for used products. I do not need brand new hooks to tie off an inside laundry line. For Seaweed, nautical flea markets are an opportunity to find cool boat stuff at a decent price. I keep a running list of items I want on a card in my purse. I told you about my system in the 3x5 Cards article. Prior to Ian (Before and After Hurricane Ian article) Skipper and I were fortunate to attend the inaugural Madeira Beach Nautical Flea Market. I found a few winners and one not-so-good buy.


One of the first places I stopped at was the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary tent
located near the entrance to the Madeira Beach Nautical Flea Market.


The sanctuary does wild bird rehabilitations and rescues. It has helped out a couple of the night herons that live in the mangroves near Seaweed. One of the great blue herons had a hook caught half way down her throat. The Seaside Seabird Sanctuary took the heron and a few days later returned her to us. Ella the great blue heron (named by me after Ella Fitzgerald who sings the blues) continues to hunt from my swim platform.

Ella ↑ hangs out on my swim platform which is of course close to the water's surface. The height makes it easy for her to catch fish.

There were two dealers for boat gear that tempted me to part with
my perfectly good money at the Madeira Beach Nautical Flea Market.

One of the first finds was a hand-full of chip brushes for $1.

I like having disposable paint brushes on hand for small touch ups. These inexpensive chip brushes do shed the bristles so of course folks wanting a perfect finish might opt for a better paintbrush.

Tip for the Thrifty: When I am not finished with my painting project I do not clean the brush, nor do I dispose of it. Instead I place the brush in a plastic bag, wrapping it tightly. Then I put the paint-laden brush into my freezer. The next day I remove the brush. Within a couple minutes the paintbrush is defrosted and ready to use again.

In addition to the chip brushes, from the same seller I scored a stack of 17" by 19" (43cm x 48cm) bilge oil absorbers. Those are useful. Many old timers call them bilge diapers. Instead of absorbing water, they soak up oil and fuel. It is always wise to keep one or two in your bilge to prevent pumping bad stuff into the ocean. They are also handy to wrap around an oil filter when changing same.

Almost directly across from the chip brush guy was Damien of Drakkar Nautic. He came up from Miami with a boatload of cool boat gear.

Skipper rode inside my purse while at the flea market until I needed to get out my wallet. Then she made ↑ Damien a friend.

Damien had a lot of good gear at decent prices. I found several items that contribute to my waterline issues.

The Madeira Beach first annual Nautical Flea Market had a variety of decor, food venders and actual boat gear for sale. The decor is of course good for those living seaside. I will admit that I enjoy making my Seaweed look great with marine-themed pieces.

Years ago one of my favorite items featured the Thames River in London. I turned a lace tablecloth into a galley window shade.

The reflection of the water outside my window makes it look like that boat on the curtain
is underway. Although I was offshore, the waves were relatively benign. It was a good day.

I bought this tablecloth ↑ in a thrift store years ago and have been searching for another ever since. It features power boats unlike most "boat" themed items with lighthouses, sloops or schooners sailing by. If you ever spot this table cloth I would LOVE to know where so I can acquire another. My email address is janice@janice142.com. And thanks.

I purchased bilge diapers, chip brushes and these items from vendors at the first annual Madeira Beach Nautical Flea Market.

You may have spotted the two shaft zincs. My diver regularly replaces zincs on boats. Although too big for Seaweed, the price was amazing. I bought two 1 5/8" zincs. At the time I did not know these particular ones are considered "orphan" zincs. They are rare, and none of the boats around here use that size. I tried to "save money" for a fellow boater and did not do so well with that particular purchase.

Not everything I buy works as intended. I will
always keep trying to make my world better.

The shaft zinc used on Seaweed is 1 1/4". This is a common size. Usually I have no difficulty finding them for about $20 each.

Snap hooks and hinges are almost always useful. Having a small container for those times when a hinge is necessary is a good idea. Individual hinges bought at full retail are costly. I paid either 50 cents or a dollar each for the stainless hinges I purchased.

The hooks have been mounted. All in all, excluding the 1 5/8" zincs, everything purchased at the Madeira Beach Nautical Flea Market is useful aboard Seaweed.

Question for those who might know: Could a 1 5/8" shaft zinc work on a 1 3/4" shaft? Please reply below in the comments section, or direct via email at to me at janice@janice142.com

Thanks for any insight you might be able to provide.

Visiting the first annual Madeira Beach Nautical Flea Market was a success. If I am in the area in future years I will again attend. I love a bargain and did find several...

Thank you for reading. I appreciate that.

Have you any idea if a 1 5/8" shaft zinc could be used for a 1 3/4" shaft?
And, please share your "bargain" flea market purchase that turned out to be a personal dud?

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