Date: 7 May 2017. Sheet Trick.
Life afloat is wonderful. I know
I am fortunate to live aboard my own boat. Plus I am on the gulf coast
of Florida which translates to beautiful green waters. It is the stuff of
dreams, until summertime. As the temperatures soar tempers shorten.
We then have the annual installment of the generator "have" versus "have not" contingents.
The Haves are fortunate. They have generators and are not afraid to
I admire those who create a
comfortable off-grid home. Owning a generator makes a world of
difference when it comes to the accoutrements of modern life.
Roughing it may work in the short-term. For a long happy life
afloat, I advocate a bit of decadence.
Suffering is for the birds. Decadence is delightful!
forecasts here call for three to four months of 90 degree weather.
You can well imagine how thankful I am to finally have enough solar
panels to run my refrigerator 24/7 while at anchor. That made a huge
difference in my comfort level, all thanks to Larry and his wife
Eva. Having cold beverages is a tremendous improvement in my life
style for certain.
Larry and Eva made it possible for me to have a
refrigerator on 24/7. They are so nice... thank you again!
Of course going to shore for ice
is an option. It is not a great one though.
Getting into a dinghy and rowing or
motoring to shore for ice when it is miserably hot is something I
did not do until desperation hit. It was easier to stay aboard in
front of the fan than to get out in the hot sun and journey to
Having a parasol helped make the
trips to civilization for ice less onerous.
In Florida long days of hot weather come along to
remind cruising folks why birds migrate. This time of
the year is when some boaters budget for marina stays. Air-conditioners
can be run without worries when docked at a marina. Other cruisers
buy generators that power an a/c unit.
Summertime in Florida is also when
boat crews with and without generators get into tiffs about noise. I
have heard rude comments about ladies who nest inside their vessels.
A gal I know on a Hunter sailboat becomes a hermit during the
hottest months, and who can blame her? Would you want to climb into
a dinghy and ride to shore in oppressive heat when you could stay
aboard your air-conditioned home and focus on a hobby?!?
have a variety of hobbies.
Cheryl on Island Time is a beader.
Edwin on Concord paints.
I made the quilt on my bunk while at anchor
one year. I have met several quilting women living aboard boats.
My friend Cheryl takes beads and creates beautiful
items. One of my favorites is a Spirit Shower she made for me.
It says "Seaweed" along the starboard edge in yellow beads.
I admire creative people.
Cheryl puts a lot of
thought and care into her gifts. This is a Spirit Shower she
made for Seaweed. It is "me" through and through.
More details can be
found in the
Personalizing Your Home
But I digress.
There are always grumpy individuals
who mutter about wind generators, clanging halyards, loud music, and most
especially this time of the year, gasoline generators. Where people
exist there will be conflict. The mature understand that we all have
My own sins are far less annoying
I would prefer that all people, myself included,
could afford a very quiet generator. Since I am not in charge
however there will be Harbor Freight or Northern Tools generators on
nearby vessels. I know how loud those can be. If you think it is
loud across the anchorage, imagine yourself aboard that boat. Ugh.
In this heat having a way to cool
off the boat is important. A $100 generator is a good stop-gap until
a more expensive, quieter one can be afforded. My Yamaha1000 was
$800. That is a lot of money for anyone on a tight budget. As for
those years when I could only afford a $100 unit, well, life is much
Update, June 2023:
My Yamaha 1000 is not available at present. I
did find both a Yamaha 2200 and a Honda 1000. What you should
know is this: Yamaha's come with a fuel shut off valve. That
means that I can cut off the gasoline and in four minutes the
motor stops. Thus my carburetor is empty, and this should
prevent gumming. Yes, I do purchase only ethanol free
you can easily install a fuel shut off valve in the Hondas.
Yamaha EF2200iS Inverter Generator
Honda EU1000i Inverter Generator
pull-start generators: I am unable to
pull start a Honda2k unless it has been running and is warm.
Otherwise, from cold, I cannot manage. The smaller Yahama
has a lower compression requirement (parroting what others
have told me!) and therefore I can pull it fast enough for
the engine to start.
From cold start with zero
fuel takes three or four pulls. If I did leave fuel in the
line I could start on the first or second pull. That would
create carburetor issues so I have to pull a couple times to
get fuel up into the engine.
Being on a budget
means making compromises while saving for the future. Having
fortitude and an end goal in place is critical for success. Enduring
is not fun if the future looks to be more of the same.
Having a mapped out goal is important. I wanted a quiet generator so
I could run my 5k BTU Haier air-conditioner at anchor. The solar
panels now power everything except the a/c aboard Seaweed. On days
when it is 90-plus degrees in the shade without a speck of breeze, I
Now I have it. Though $800 is a
lot of money, the Yamaha1000 generator will help me avoid having to pay
dockage for a few months each year. Thus it pays for itself the
first season. And it is A LOT quieter than the $100 version I had
for a few years. That one gave up the ghost back in 2014.
As I grow older I find personal
comfort more important
than ever. Staying cool and hydrated is a top priority.
There are few other things that
make sleeping better at night. Seaweed has a forward hatch which
scoops wind into my cabin. That's a true blessing. I also have a fan
that is "too noisy" until it gets hot. Then suddenly the sound is
not so bad at all!
Details on the hatch project can be found in the
Screening My Hatch (eBay advice)
The most important item I have
though is the sheet. What I snuggle under actually is not a sheet. It is a soft
holey tablecloth. The cut-out spaces allow air to flow through. I
prefer to be
covered and also want a breeze to cool me. This tablecloth/sheet serves
For those with access to a thrift store, you might
wish to put on your list a holey tablecloth like mine and keep an eye out for
something similar. Lace ones are too scratchy for me though I am
quite sensitive to textures. Find something soft and add it to your
When I was a kidlet, we
would dampen our sheets at night just before going to our bunks. The wind blowing over the sheets
would evaporate and cool us.
To you and yours I wish cool
breezes and happy days. Thanks for reading. J.
I'd love to hear what you do to stay cool in the
And, do you chose to dock for the summer to take advantage of unlimited
power at a marina?
Regarding the Comments Section,
found at the end of every article:
Before you type in each block be
sure to hit the backspace key. Coding inserts a space in every box.
Your email address will come back as malformed unless you remove
that space. (You don't have to include your email address.)
The capcha is case sensitive.
© 2017, 2023
Buying a Big Boat (part 3) ~
Previous Post ...
... Next Post
Finding a Veterinarian
A favorite aphorism: You eventually realize
you don't own a boat... you are the mayor of a city with several power
stations, fresh and salt water supplies, lighting, generators, main
power station, and a sewage system. Bruce, Mayor of M/V Mary Shaw.