Date: 31 March 2018. Scorpion Vacuum
and Kindle Fire Questions.
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
Scorpion by Dirt Devil retails for $50 however I found mine on
sale for $30 or so. It's worth the price!
The rest of the story...
My first foray into the vacuum world afloat was with a 12-volt version sold
for cars. Mine was an obsolete Oreck car vac. I rather liked it.
Alas, the unit finally gave up the ghost. Back then I wasn't in the
Fix-It mode so it was replaced.
was bought on eBay. The seller said it "worked great." The seller
lied. Like the original, it was a 12-volt model. It wasn't an Oreck
and used 10Ah when running. The worst part was that it could not pick up
threads from my stitching.
There were a lot off loose threads
while I made this quilt. ↓
Each button represents one dose of chemo on my road to recovery.
I got rid
of Number Two. That was an appropriately named vacuum. The last thing I need
aboard a 23' long boat is something that won't work properly,
excluding myself of course.
Clutter could quickly overwhelm a vessel this size. Getting rid of
items quickly is a mantra of mine.
I did keep
the power cord with a cigarette lighter end. Thus the purchase of
Number Two wasn't a total loss. I reused that long power supply cord
for another project.
It's that things change. What worked once, no longer is best today.
(Above, me and the Grand at Disney last year)
In the olden days and currently at Disneyworld
movies were seen at the drive-in.
But times have changed. Nowadays Netflix and DVDs supply our film
What was once Best
Practice, all too soon becomes obsolete.
When I first bought Seaweed I was on a 12-volt kick.
Everything needed to be twelve volts. I chose my drill because it
could be adapted to run right off my batteries when the 12-volt rechargeable
battery died. The drill didn't last long, but that's another story.
Details about one repair can be found in the
DeWalt Drill Fix
After my 12-volt fiascos, I found a rechargeable Black and Decker
vacuum at a thrift store. $2 was a good price. The unit seemed to
work too. Alas, every time I tried to use it the battery would be
dead. I would have to spend time
recharging the vacuum via my inverter. It simply did not hold a charge.
Seaweed with the wind generator
↑ and just one solar panel over
Back then I
was not as power flush as I am now. An Air-Breeze wind generator
plus a single 75 watt solar panel provided all my needs. The
inverter was not turned on very often. Mostly my incoming power was used by
my netbook via a car adaptor and the anchor light. Refrigeration was not an option
back then so
I did without.
Of course I wished to Have it All. The budget would not allow that. I
knew that a life of decadence was possible. It would take time to save for the accoutrements. That's what I did. Ten years in, I truly have
a blessed life aboard my Seaweed. I am incredibly fortunate.
evenings I would read via candle light. Later I bought an oil
I read a lot of books at night
using this ↑ small lamp. I still read using lantern light. It feels
A Kindle has made a huge difference in my reading. Free eBooks found
online have changed my life. Having the ability to re-read old
favorites is a true joy. There is no way I could store so many books
on Seaweed were it not for the Kindle.
to increase font size on my Paperwhite is a real boon. I've found
that books are printed with text much too small nowadays!
Of course if money were no
object I probably would buy one of those spiffy new 10" Kindle
Fire's... Gosh they sure are tempting. If any of my readers have
one, I'd love to hear your opinion. Is it just one more thing?!?
Or is it worth the $$$ when compared with a Kindle
10" Fire with 32GB memory ~
10" Fire with 64GB memory
side note, mostly I read books. I've been reading more than 300
books per year for decades. I wear out Kindles. The "average"
Kindle user according to Amazon reads for 30 minutes per day.
It's amazes me that anyone could quit reading after so brief a
time as that.
Thank goodness for
Gutenberg. Details on how to get more than 55,000 books
for free is found in the
Gutenberg Books (for free)
article. The books are primarily in English however other
languages are represented too.
my eyes age I suspect a larger screen would be more convenient.
That is why I am most interested in the 10" Fire. Plus it's cool
as all get out. "My name is Janice. I'm a gizmo-holic..."
that I need one! I've got a Paperwhite. The charging slot is
getting finicky on my Paperwhite though.
As usual I've wandered off topic. I have been obsessing over the
Fire's since I spotted it in my Amazon Recommendations. With
So what happened was this: After starting out on
Seaweed with 12-volt vacuums I evolved to using a rechargeable Black
& Decker. That was not a good choice. Every time I wanted to use the
dang thing I would have to charge the battery. That unit might work
well for someone that can leave the base plugged into an outlet. For
those like me who live off the grid, the Black & Decker was a pain
in the transom.
Now I use
Devil's Scorpion model. It's a hand held vacuum.
After the fiascos with car vacuums and the rechargeable unit, I knew
there had to be a better solution. That's when I started thinking. I
realized that what I needed most was a vacuum that could pick up
dirt, dust and hair quickly.
Then I went to Amazon and looked
for the most powerful hand-held vacuum I could find. I wanted enough
suction to pull the fillings out of my teeth. That's exactly what I
Another requirement was a reusable
filter bag. I did not want to have to continually buy dust bags.
This one seems quite stout. The paper can be rinsed.
It is thick and seems sturdy.
Aboard Seaweed each purchase is not evaluated merely by usefulness.
It also has to have a place to live. I cannot continually bring new
items aboard if there is no storage spot for same. With the vacuum,
I tied a double loop of 1/8" braided line around the ring by the handle.
A screw and washer tightened within 3/8" of the board
gives me a place to hang the
Scorpion down in my bilge.
When Seaweed is underway the washer keeps the braided
line in place. The vacuum is secure.
You may note the black power cord is tied by a
small piece of rope. The coil is shoved into the handle, away from
the front of the engine. That cord is really long too.
One of the reasons I enjoy visiting other boats is
because I learn so much. How people store their stuff
interests me. Aboard a 23'er, finding a place to keep items is
of vitally important. Seaweed is not just my home, she's my chariot to
I like being able to be underway in less than 15
minutes after the mood strikes me. That is another reason why I strive
to keep my home tidy. After I get this posted I'm going to get her
back organized. Of late I've been a bit under the weather. Seaweed is not shipshape at
What you're seeing: This
photo was taken from inside my forward cabin looking aft. I
have a large 24" square panel that opens to the engine room.
access to the engine, generator, and batteries is CRITICAL
when you are boat shopping. If it is not easy for you to reach
things now, I can practically guarantee previous owners have
not done routine maintenance as often as recommended.
Also secured on that board is the manual oil
pump. That black hose to the right of my vacuum is attached to
the orange pump when changing the oil. It's an easy job.
IF YOUR ENGINE DOESN'T HAVE GREAT
MAINTENANCE WILL NOT HAVE BEEN DONE.
My Scorpion has a yellow
pointer at the front. Push the grey button by the Dirt Devil logo
and it folds out/extends.
The yellow nozzle was too big to fit into the slots of my
air conditioner vent.
That is when I got out a straw and some blue tape. I made my own
It worked. The straw easily fit into narrow crevices.
The straw extends the suction of my vacuum.
After use I wind up and tie the power cord, tuck the
cord into the handle then hang the whole thing in my bilge.
This vacuum comes with
extension tubes so you could use it to vacuum the floor. I don't have
enough floor to use those. Were I in need of a vacuum for carpets
and such I would go with a more expensive full-size model. My
daughter used a Dyson though now she has a pair of the robot
had changed. Miracles happen. Elon Musk proved that we can do
Elon Musk sent his Tesla Roadster into space. How
cool is that?!?
As for me,
I'm a simple woman. Having a good vacuum aboard Seaweed is a mighty fine thing. This one uses
7Ah when working. If you're going to spend your perfectly good money
for a vacuum, I recommend the
Dirt Devil's Scorpion. I suggested this for my friend Irene. She
bought one and likes it.
This is Irene:
Though the Scorpion normally retails for $50, I believe I paid $30
(give or take) for mine.
Note: Buying through my Amazon
costs you nothing and does help my Cruising Kitty. Thanks for
Do you have a favorite vacuum?
And, please tell me about your Kindle experiences... do you have the new
In the Bilges,
Book Store - Haslam's in St. Pete ~
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