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23' mini-trawler
by Schucker

Janice aboard Seaweed,
living the good life afloat...

Trawler life on a nickel budget is possible.
I'm doing it and you can too.

Janice Marois, nautical journalist.
Accredited member of Boat Writers International.

Thanks to those who chose to make purchases through my Amazon links found at the upper left corner of each page. This costs you nothing and does help fund decadence aboard my Seaweed. Plus, I appreciate it loads!!!

My mailing address is: Post Office Box 8284, Madeira Beach, FL 33738
15019 Madeira Way, Box 8284, Madeira Beach, FL  33708

Date: 17 July 2024. Too Much Stuff - Step Edition.


Over the past 16-plus years on Seaweed I have done a magnificent job of filling every nook and cranny aboard her to the brim. This has not done great things for my waterline. In 2013 I began the Becoming Clutter-Free webpage of articles I used to help me on this whole journey. Alas, I fell off the wagon. Unfortunately I am so very good at acquisition. I need to take the first step to reclaim my sanity and welcome you to join me.

The first step, er, steps...


Of late I have been going through every locker in an attempt to organize myself and my home.


Over the years I have managed to add much to my life. This year I realized that my possessions had begun to take up too much space -- not just in my lockers but in my head too. I found myself unable to locate items I knew I had bought. Spending perfectly good money to buy something I already own is unwise.


For the first few years
Seaweed was uncluttered.

Above the aft window now I have two rows of microgreens. That is good for self-sufficiency however it does look like a cluttered mess. I needed a solution. In my craft locker I found a piece of Battenberg lace that came from my Grandma in Massachusetts. That I hung from a piece of 5/16" all thread that happened to be the exact right length.

Have I mentioned I have too much stuff aboard Seaweed?!?


Battenberg Lace covers the two shelves above my window.


The open airy boat I first
bought has been supplanted by stuff.

Insert Excuses: What happened is that I would find something really cool, at a great price or free. It would be useful to have on hand. Inexpensive is ideal, especially if I could use it immediately. If I did not necessarily need the item, perhaps a friend would.

For the record, I have shared the fuel pump, tossed the foot pump that did not work and that spiffy sink gizmo is in a locker. Another problem I have is buying things and not installing them expeditiously.


Out here, trading is a real thing. Yes folks do sell spares however quite quite often friends simply gift things they no longer need. I have been the recipient of a 55 amp alternator, gifted a 1000 watt inverter, bought a $5 VHF radio (a true bargain), been given a 5' long oar for my Algae, and more. Trading is the norm at least among the folks who are friends.

For instance, the larger alternator on the right was gifted to me by Rich on Bemused. A few years later I sent along a solar regulator when he had a lightening strike.

At a certain point I became too good at acquiring and simply awful at getting rid of the unused. I am ashamed to admit that too many times a warranty has expired before I actually installed an item. Looking at you, AIMS 1200 pure sine wave *inverter.

*inverter: My friend Jesse is currently in Hawaii. When he returns he will complete the wiring for the inverter. I will not admit when the warranty expired on that 1200. Suffice it to say, quite a while back.

I purchased these wires ↑ from Genuine Dealz in Georgia. They have been my go-to for wires for many years. Genuine Dealz has become Custom Cable USA. I have not bought under the new Custom Cable USA name, yet!

I am astonishingly good at acquiring the pieces required for various projects. Because I am on a budget, I cannot afford to buy everything at one time. Thus I save up and get items as the budget allows. This means that quite often I have parts of a project acquired long before everything is gathered. As prices keep going up, I almost believe this is the proper way to do it. Doubts do creep in though... What do you think?!?

I have too much stuff. Maybe it is not necessary for me to keep every single thing I have stowed away. Therefore I have decided to make a concerted effort to find boat folks who actually can use my unwanted items. I shall be listing a few items on Trawler Forum. They have a SPECIAL SECTION for people (NOT businesses) offering boat gear. Link: https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/general-classifieds-no-boats.68/

These are the First Steps in regaining my beautiful airy home.

I am hopeful that with luck some of my old items will be just the thing for another boater. Fortunately Trawler Forum is a great place. The people there are incredibly smart cruisers. The Trawler Forum Classified section just might be a big help in passing along my old items. My plan is to ask for shipping plus a little bit for my cruising kitty. Please wish me luck!

I could actually use some encouragement too. I really have too much stuff. Lockers are brimming. To be fair, some is from our 40'er, however Seaweed is a 23' boat. I truly do not need large hose clamps. Nor four steps which are too big for my small gunnel.

This is what I used to have on my side deck / cockpit gunnel:

These are 2 1/2 inches wide. Instead I bought
4 (FOUR!!!) that are 3 1/4" wide. Those simply will not fit.

My solution: I took off the old one and threw it away. The last thing I need aboard Seaweed is something that does not work. Except myself that is. Have I mentioned how wonderful retirement is?!?

For now I am redoubling my efforts at clearing out the clutter. Where I have extras I am passing them along. Baby is active in her church so some of my old crafting items have been promised to her. A friend is picking up a beading tray tomorrow. Cheryl and I are going to lunch, then to the thrift stores. I'm going to show restraint. Maybe!

As always I do thank you for reading. I appreciate that.

Comments welcome and encouraged on the Too Much Stuff - Step Edition page.

Categories:  Becoming Clutter-Free, Boats, Characters, Gear, Locations, Money,

Announcement: Folks who want to be notified when I post are welcome to become subscribers. I email readers every time a new article goes up. That's usually once or twice per week. If you'd like to be included via BCC* simply drop me a line to janice@janice142.com and I'll add you. It's free.

*BCC - Blind Carbon Copy. Basically no one but me will have your email address and the list of subscribers is not available.

Now this is not fancy. Basically I copy off the top three items in my Archive file. That way you can catch up if life gets in the way of your reading fun.

Secret: If you want to know what's what, start in the Archive. It offers you the title, first paragraph and topics (Categories) covered in each article published on my website.



Something a new reader might not realize: Almost every picture on this website can be clicked. The photo will get larger when clicked. Do that a second time and the picture should be full size. Enjoy...

My Cruising Kitty earns money each time you buy on Amazon through my links found in the upper left corner of every page. This is a tangible way to support me and is greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your support, and heck, just for being here. I appreciate that more than you can imagine.

Paypal Tablet link:  *CRUISING KITTY
*for those who wish to donate direct to me via paypal.

Pet of the Week: Frankie
on M/V Surf Monkey 2

Submit your pet's photo.
Please email pictures of your crew!

More canine, feline and feathered crew members can be found on the The First Mate Gallery page.


The Archive holds a chronological list of every item published on my website. It includes a brief synopsis (not just the title) along with the topics covered in each article.

Click on the title and voila: you're there. Enjoy!

Skipper, First Mate extraordinaire

Of course every boat needs a Deck Swabbie. Mine, born in 2008, is a papillon mix. She weighs in at five pounds.

Coming soon ...


Topics of Interest:
You can achieve a simple satisfying life

Oh, a wondrous bird is the pelican!
His bill holds more than his belican.
He can take in his beak enough food for a week.
But I'm darned if I know how the helican.
(Poem by Dixon Lanier Merritt, 1879-1972.)


For years I've been collecting short pithy statements otherwise known as aphorisms. If you're like me and enjoy the weird, go ahead and CLICK!

These are previously posted at the bottom of each article -- for new, you'll have to come visit again.

Seaweed is in St. Pete right now.

The above chart (#411) can be a wish book of sorts as you look over your domain and wonder where to go next. And yes, I do have the originals (sans red arrow) as jpeg's for download should you desire your own for closer perusal. Enjoy!

The Writer's Block

It's my belief that other folks who boat are some of the most interesting in the world. Inside every boater is a story. Let yours out! I'd love to post short stories, vignettes, or even longer articles that focus on some aspect of our life on or near the water. Suggested topics include:

1. I Remember When...
2. My First Boat
3. Who inspired you to be a boater?
4. Fishing Trips or Tricks
5. Or another subject of your choosing

For the novice, here's how to write: Simply pretend you're sending a letter to a friend. Tell about an event or a memory from years ago that you still recall.

Life has changed so much on the water since I was born aboard. Personally I'd love to hear your memories of life when you were younger. Boats were smaller, narrower, and much slower. Kids were kids and our families often shaped the adult we have become. Here are my two aboard the tow boat my dad ran for a time:

Your pictures would be wonderful too. I posted one of Boot Key Harbor taken in 2001 that has gotten quite a few downloads and really, that's not so terribly long ago... Do you have any photos to share? Email me.

Do you want to help out?

Often an article for the website will be completely written yet lack photographs. I like pictures and am looking for some for up-coming pieces:

  • Pets afloat (include pet and boat name please)

  • Any picture of boats underway or at anchor

  • Photos of people enjoying life in or on the water

Size: a minimum of 1000 pixels across please. If that doesn't make sense think bigger versus resized for emailing. I prefer the full-size version. Also, the name you'd like me to use when I add the copyright stuff to your picture. And thanks bunches!

My email address is janice@janice142.com

Thanks for visiting. If you happen to see my boat along the
waterways, give a call on Channel 16. I'm always listening.

click picture to enlarge

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

Aphorism Alert: Begin doing what you want to now. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand, and melting like a snowflake. Marie Beyon Ray.

Contributions to my Cruising Kitty via
are always appreciated.

Every gift helps.

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

I am also an Amazon Affiliate.


My Buddy, and his girlfriend...

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