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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.

Here, I share my views on living aboard a small boat with very limited resources. Hopefully my successes will help others achieve the life. And yes, I'll share the things I did wrong too -- though not everything 'cause a girl's got to have her secrets!

Thanks to David for the generous donation via PayPal. That was very nice of you. As I go into the boatyard next month, this is definitely appreciated. Thank you Cap'n.

Date: 20 June 2020. Preventing Injury, Step Edition.


All folks of a certain age become concerned about our health. Staying independent is Extremely important. One way to insure same is to be proactive in preventing accidents. I learned about that in a rather abrupt fashion. Details can be found in the Broken Arm Lessons article. Aboard Seaweed there are however other places that needed attention. Today I'll tell you about a $10 solution to one safety issue I was experiencing.

The first thing you should know is that I'm a big fan of slippers inside the boat. This is primarily because they are more comfy than my regular boat shoes. It is also a ritual, in that this is home and I can be comfortable here.

I wear inexpensive dollar store slippers,
and repair them when the bottoms get holes.

Unfortunately though, slippers did not get named that because of the great traction experienced while being worn. They slide and that can be dangerous. This problem was most pronounced when stepping down into my forward cabin.

Schematic of Seaweed shown below: Step referenced is shown in the top drawing, starboard side of the boat next to the wheel.

An open doorway is next to the steering wheel. One step
 down and you're in my cabin. That is the slippery step.

There are of course a multitude of hand holds on my boat. The problem is that at bunk time I'm heading below with Skipper, my tea cup, a kindle, the tablet and a phone. I am not an octopus with a multitude of arms to hold things. Usually I place all the peripherals near the doorway, except that time when I slipped.

I know. You know. We all know that was a dumb choice. Fortunately I did not fall, nor break anything. I took the mishap as a wake-up call. The step had become a dangerous spot.

I needed to resolve this ASAP. In the meantime I stopped trying to carry everything below at one time. In considering my options, I felt the best choice would be to add some non-skid tape to the edge of the step.

I found what I needed on eBay from a seller located in Hong Kong. The price was less than $10 for 15 feet of two inch wide non-skid tape.

I surmised that with 15' of the stuff, when it
fails there will be plenty more to replace the tape.

My goal was to cover just the
of the step.


Carefully I cut the a piece a bit longer than needed. Then I angle cut the corners. Though not perfectly sized, this is definitely Good Enough. I can state unequivocally that the addition of tape is a success. It prevents me from sliding forward.

Even though I do have handholds when stepping down into my cabin, the $10 solution was a good one. If/when this tape deteriorates or starts to pull away I can replace it with ease. Eventually I may add a strip to the edges of both steps into my pilothouse. In the meantime I hope you too will stay safe.


Lesson Learned: I believe that by paying attention to a potential accident I was able to proactively prevent any problems in the future.


Non-skid tape is an inexpensive solution to slippery steps. One piece across the edge is sufficient to prevent slips and falls.



Price, circa spring of 2020: less than $10 for 15' (5 meters) from a Hong Kong based seller on eBay. Mine is 2" wide and comes in a variety of colors. I chose charcoal grey.



Happy boating, and thank you for reading.

Comments welcome and encouraged on the
Preventing Injury, Step Edition page.

Categories:  Gear, In the Bilges, Money, Security,


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: Mac
on S/V Gypsy

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

23' Schucker mini-trawler, circa 1983.

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
are always appreciated.

Every gift helps.

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

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